Ask Steve - Playing classic DP songs, getting kicked out of high school, and flying planes
How do you approach playing the classic Deep Purple songs? Do you imitate the original guitar part or do you make it your own?
To me, I play the songs as a fan and also as a new guitarist. In the body of the song, if the live sound is very similar to the original recording, then I would play the parts as closely as I can remember to the way Ritchie did it. But in reality, I often change the parts to help the soundman with dynamics. For instance, during a keyboard solo, I would play a muted part, or more abbreviated part than the guitar on the record, in order to save the soundman from having to turn me down in the live mix. During solos, I take a lot more freedom, as Ritchie himself would often do.
Is it true that you were kicked out of high school for refusing to cut your hair? What happened?
Yes, actually I got kicked out about every 2 weeks starting in 8th grade because my hair was touching my ears. It was a small town in Georgia in the 1960's and they didn't take to the rock and roll look at all. At age 16, I walked away for the last time, vowing that I wouldn't cut my hair any more. I worked odd jobs to pay for my tuition at a private school until I could start some college courses and transfer to college in a big city.
Do you still get a chance to fly planes as often as you would like?
Of course not..........I would be up all day, every day if I could. Everything looks better from up above, and you really have freedom up there. I think that there is no time to think about problems when you're flying, especially doing some specific type of flying like aerobatics or soaring (sailplane).Back to the Ask Steve Archive