Deep Purple’s Lockdown Was a ‘Dress Rehearsal for Retirement’

Roger Glover describes Deep Purple‘s coronavirus lockdown experience as a trial run at retirement, but says they aren’t ready to end things yet.

They recently released the covers album Turning to Crime, which was a way of keeping busy while Deep Purple couldn’t tour or record together in the same studio. Glover says he felt “privileged” to be part of a group that still had momentum.

“I think we still have another ‘proper’ Purple album in us, but this was a great dive into nostalgia for us,” he told Classic Rock. “In some ways, the COVID lockdown was like a dress rehearsal for our retirement. And as much as we all loved the opportunity to have all this additional time with our families, it’s clear that none of us are ready for a life without music and artistic expression just yet. We have so much fun doing this band.”

They’re well aware, Glover added, that Deep Purple “can’t go on forever, but the idea of stopping isn’t a nice one – and right now it’s not a consideration. It’s hard to explain exactly why we’re still here 50 years on, but with this new record being a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do, that’s a question we can save to answer on another day.”

Drummer Ian Paice told Classic Rock that the process of choosing the tracks for Turning to Crime, then recording them separately with producer Bob Ezrin, had him thinking about his early days.

“This album is meant to be fun,” he argued. “It’s a homage … not always to the actual songs, but to the spirit of the songs, which, when we were kids, made us want to play rock ’n’ roll, to take a whack at it too. When I was kid I remember buying a couple of Yardbirds singles, and boy, they were exciting. Like they were on stage, not in the studio. Nobody was being careful or safe; it was like somebody stuck a few microphones in front of them and captured it. That rawness really came through.”

He noted: “And I tell you what, we’ve made a great sounding record too. When you stick it on loud it doesn’t half kick your ass!”

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