California Jam
concert — UK — 1974

Can you imagine a thing like this - a band that was at their peak just two years ago now is a complete waste? I guess you can, because it happens to many bands. Still this is a perfect example for the situation - in 1972 on "Scandinavian Nights" Deep Purple truly rocked. There wasn`t a single boring song in sight, jamming was memorable and singing was as powerful as it can get. But by 1974 Ian Gillan (vocals) and Glen Glover (bass) had left the band taking up David Coverdale as vocalist and some other guy to play the bass. They play much of the material from their latest album "Burn" which isn`t necesserialy bad but it`s much weaker than the Gillan-era stuff. And what comes out of it? Nothing particulary good. Coverdale`s vocal power doesn`t nearly match the one of his precessedor, Ritchie Blackmore seems to be clueless what he wants to play in his solos - he`s sometimes even sillier than that "Spinal Tap" guy with his violin. They do play "Smoke on the water" which wasn`t included on "Scandinavian Nights" but the performance is somewhat uninspiring. And what do they do with "Space Truckin`"! It goes for 30 minutes and most of the time John Lord plays totally unlistenable stuff on the keyboard. Ritchie, on the other hand, suddenly crashes his guitar into a camera on stage and starts throwing things. Something goes on fire, but since the concert itself wasn`t on fire, even that doesn`t bring too much of my attention to the performance.
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