- the official site


Firstly, thank you for all the kind words you sent. I’ve been knocked sideways by the great reaction to Now What?! I kind of knew it was good but you never really know until people get to hear it and are interested enough to send feedback. I raise a glass to you.

I’m now back home after a memorable festival tour with DP in Morocco, Bulgaria, Georgia and Romania, where yet again I’m reminded of the power of music and how it connects all of us. Listening to music is one of my favourite occupations. I was randomly investigating my music library the other night when I came across a song that called forth a memory.

Many years ago, after seeing a play somewhere off Broadway in Manhattan with a couple of friends, we were walking to my car and happened to pass The Knitting Factory, which was advertising the band Steadman – a band that I’d recently been turned on to as they were included on a compilation album released prior to Paul McCartney’s Glastonbury appearance. There wasn’t a huge queue so on the spur of the moment we decided to go in for a nightcap and check them out. Sitting down near the stage and ordering a beer I observed some unkempt teenagers setting up the gear, tangled wires everywhere and a general scene of chaos on the small stage. The keyboard was perched on rickety stand; it might even have been an ironing board. What kind of show we were in for?

A great one as it turned out. To our surprise, those same straggly teenagers then took the stage and played a full-on set of hard, melodic rock, unusual chord progressions, spot on harmonies and tons of attitude. I soon bought the album, Revive, and wasn’t disappointed. The song I first heard on the Glastonbury album was called Carried, and remains a favourite. Paul McCartney endorsed this track, maybe because it’s tangentially Beatle-ish. I was certain that this band was destined for some success but unhappily it didn’t happen. Maybe they were just too good. Who can divine the fickle taste of the public?

Good luck,


13 thoughts on “I RAISE A GLASS

  1. Denise T. Dardarian wrote on 2013-11-22:

    I have been thoroughly enjoying the album-I am hoping you and Deep Purple will come back to the USA to do some shows, especially my hometown of L.A. You know I will definitely come to the show! I recently read an article about Ian Gillan going to my ancestral homeland of Armenia for the grand opening of a music school in the city of Gyumri(formerly known as Leninakan back in the Soviet days). Gyumri had been devastated in the earthquake in 1988, and had been slowly rebuilding for the last 2 decades. Almost 25 years later, the grand triumph was the opening of this school, and having your pal Ian there to cut the ribbon and celebrate with the students, community, local officials, and church clergy was beyond amazing. I actually cried with joy when I read this article-back in the 1970’s during the Soviet Era, Deep Purple’s music crossed all barriers. No amount of barbed wire, KGB, and oppression could stop the young people in the USSR from enjoying it. I hope Deep Purple will go to Armenia and play for the people there sometime soon. Regards, Denise : )

  2. Irina wrote on 2013-07-10:

    Dear Roger ! Thank you very much for great album ! In different days, in different periods different songs becomes my favorites, and it seems to me that this indescribable magic will go on infinitely . It’s very hard – to talk about music, describe sensations and feelings, so i say “THANK YOU, DEEP PURPLE !!!” I wish you and your friends all the best, good luck in the tour, looking forward to see and hear you in Moscow and i hope, i dream to meet you again !!!

  3. Mark Bryant wrote on 2013-06-20:

    Roger — GREAT ALBUM!!!! I love all of the songs and especially enjoy the interplay/solos and the prominence of the keyboards! This is one of your best ever! Thank God you made another album! Make more please — I know DP has more to say!

  4. Lars wrote on 2013-06-17:

    What can I say that hasn´t already been said about Now What? It is an album that grows with each listening. It´s lika a modern version of a 70´s rock album, warm sounding and nice. Every song fits right into the whole picture. Very solid.

    Lars, Sweden

  5. James Gemmell wrote on 2013-06-13:

    Hi, Roger. Great to hear from you on your website. I met you backstage in Clarkston, Michigan, about five years ago. Being nervous, I kept saying, “I know I’m a stranger to you, but I feel like I’ve known you forever”. I’ve actually been a friend of Ian Gillan’s for about a decade, and correspond with him on a semi-regular basis. You guys are so down-to-Earth and classy, and that counts a ton knowing that you guys “get it”, as a friend of mine in The Concussions likes to say. I brought a couple members of the band last year about this time backstage to meet IG in Detroit. They were blown away by how nice he is. Anyway, as great as the new album is, I did have a couple of egotistical, know-it-all comments that I passed on to Ian in Portugal. 1) Although the songs were lengthier, I actually they think should’ve been stretched out a bit more in a couple of cases. The best example was my favorite tune, “A Simple Song”. Don Airey is really getting going on his incredible, Jon Lord-esque solo, and then it kind of comes to a bit of an abrupt end. I wanted that solo to go longer, it was so good. I do think the ending of Weirdistan is tremendous, especially with your bass outro on that! I won’t gush about songs like “Uncommon Man”. That kind of artistry speaks for itself. I liked Ian’s vocal on “Out of Mind”, but I felt the beat was a little repetitive. Vincent Price – love the song and video. Ian and I had a discussion about Vinny visiting him backstage at Butterfly Ball after he filled in for Dio one night, and raving about the show. I told Ian I’m a huge fan of Price; his campy, but superb acting is legendary, obviously. The sense of humor (sorry, American spelling) on that is off-the-charts. Speaking of charts, Ian and I have had long, long discussions before about the state of the music “industry”. I’m glad it’s going well in Europe. But it’s mind-boggling to this 50-year-old what has happened in America. We all loved rock music, as you know. But corporations took over, and you have one beancounter in Kentucky programming 300 music statons: telling the program directors which songs will air on their station. The program directors have so little room to play any new songs. Moreover, I had Eagle Rock send the program director at the “classic rock” station down the hallway from mine (I’m news director at one of five stations in Grand Rapids; the news station) a copy of “Now What?!”, and he wasn’t able to play it for two weeks he’s so swamped with work. That’s another aspect of the U.S. radio “industry” that you musicians may not even be aware of. These mega-corporations have purchased so many stations that they are continually cutting staff. Everyone in radio is doing the work of 3 or 4 people. In the 1990’s, the Federal Communications Commission de-regulated the industry, allowing corporate conglomerates to own up to 7 stations in a given market. Clear Channel now owns nearly 700 stations, and the one I work for owns about 600. How do they make do with so few people? Well, the rock stations are nothing more than empty studios with flashing lights. About 90% of the air time has been voice-tracked. Which is to say, a disc jockey reads /records a sheet of one-liners ahead of time (e.g., “Coming up in just a few minutes, Led Zep, the Stones and Rush, but first….”). Those liners might be read a week ahead of time, sometimes from a different town even! They’re then uploaded and logged into the Scott computer system, and are fired off by a computer. Everything is run in automation nowadays by a desktop computer with a touchpad screen. If the Scott System is in auto, no disc Jockey has to even be in the studio. And most of the time, no one is! So, when listeners call in to request a new song by Deep Purple, the phones just keep ringing and ringing…except there’s no sound. It’s just flashing lights on the Telos pad. Why am I telling you all this? I want you and the rest of DP to know that it’s now that Americans don’t like new rock music. It’s that they cannot hear it on the air. And, moreover, they’re not EVEN AWARE that Purple has a new album out. Not even aware. Only a few of us die-hards keep track online. It’s a bummer that DP won’t be here anytime soon, but it is what it is, to use the cliche. Bob Ezrin asked me to spread the word to radio stations, but he knows as well as I do that that is going to be fruitless: I cannot contact hundreds or thousands of stations, and who would listen to me, anyway? However, the Vincent Price has gone viral, with more than 200,000 “views” as of this writing. And there have been several write-ups (online) in newspapers and magazines giving the album high marks. So, perhaps a major TV talk show might have some interest? I know The Late Show with David Letterman had Zeppelin on a month or so ago. Anyway, thanks for the great album, but more importantly, the hard work in the art/craft, and the humility. -James Gemmell, Grand Rapids, MI.

  6. JOEY NEW YORK USA wrote on 2013-06-12:

    Hi Roger. Yes indeed Now What is a great album. I hope you guys play a lot of these songs live by the time you get to playing New York USA. I am sure that Jon Lord also raises a glass to you as well, for a job well done. Keep the great music coming. Deep Purple is not spent creatively, That”s for sure!!!! I hope a follow up to this lp will be sooner than later. Thanks again for a great release. MORE PLEASE 🙂

  7. Reg Yeates wrote on 2013-06-12:

    Re: Now What?! Excellent album
    RE: Steadman – I remember seeing them on manay occasion when they were called The Dharmas in the early 1990s at our local pub ‘Roots’ club in Gosport. Simon Steadman had a great stage presence and the band were tighter than tight.

    It is a shame they never really gained the success they deserved.

  8. clive robey wrote on 2013-06-11:

    Roger, an amazing album, thank you. Steve and Don have merged in the way that Jon and Ritchie did (well almost!) and some of the instrumental work outs take me right back, where the band used to belong. A second album with Bob must surely beckon?

  9. Rob Lindop wrote on 2013-06-11:

    You should rightly be proud of Now What?! Roger, just make sure that you play plenty of it on the forthcoming tour! And what would it take to put Bad Attitude into the set? I think it would work well with the sound of the current band (in particular Don’s style). Here’s hoping! 🙂

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ about Steadman by the way, nice tune.

  10. chris bradbury wrote on 2013-06-11:

    Now what?! is an onion of an album. Each listen just reveals another layer. Mr Exton deserves a clap. I’ve put all the Purple Morse albums on one CD (called it Morse Code; nerdy, eh!) Now What stands up with the best and probably, for me, is the best since Perfect Strangers. You’re a hell of a team. Unemployment prevents a live viewing sadly, but I will catch the reviews. Good luck, be safe, keep the faith. And thanks. Really.

  11. Tracy and Tina (from Florida) wrote on 2013-06-11:

    Hello Roger,

    Yes, ?! is without a doubt a fantasic offering from you guys. I have listened to it at least 40 times now and can’t get enough. I also can see your attraction to the tune by Steadman. As with most of the music that you seem to be attracted to, it seems to be a separation from the ‘norm’. Which is a testimony to your longevity in the biz. That type of interest by a musician is the recipe for unbridaled creativity. Always seeking that ‘different sound or feel’. Hats off to you and sure do hope you eventually tour the States in promotion of ?!. You know us, we will travel far if that’s what it takes….

    CheerZ from Tracy and Tina (from Florida)

    • Denise T. Dardarian wrote on 2013-06-20:

      I am enjoying listening to Now What?! and am enjoying it thoroughly. I know there are a lot of people here in the States who are enjoying it too. I truly hope you and Deep Purple will come tour the USA, including Los Angeles-I know I’ll definitely be at the show. Fondly, Denise T. Dardarian

      • Jens Porep wrote on 2013-07-31:

        Hi Roger,
        your music has accompanied me now for 43 years, since 1970! Deep Purple, Rainbow, your five solo cd’s an the rainbow stuff. Tnak you for your inspiration. I have been to 5 Deep Purple shows up to now (last time in Frankfurt last year) an I will be in Mannheim in November this year. i hope to hear more from Now What?! I’d appreaciate if you play the whole albulm. the encores can come from older stuff, to remind us of old times …
        Cheers Jens, Germany