Deep Purple. Everyone has heard of Deep Purple right? Perhaps not, but at one time they were the loudest band on the face of the earth (1975). I was not initially a fan of the band because, as I’ve mentioned before, I wasn’t a fan of bands with keyboardist. However, if you’ve ever learned to play the guitar you will know that Smoke on the Water is perhaps the first or second song (behind Wipeout) you learn to play. Its that easy yet so iconic.
Smoke on the Water is from the album Machine Head released in 1972. I was just a pup at the time and really didn’t know the band or the song until around 7th grade (1973) when two things happened.
- I took guitar lessons the summer of 1973
- I got kicked out of shop class (a story for another time) and put into art classes that fall
Now I took a lot of ribbing from my friends (who were in the shop class) for getting punted to art class. But let me tell you, all the girls took art class and I was one of only two boys in the class and in 1973 I was starting to notice girls. So I wasn’t bothered one bit by the ribbing and I enjoyed being in art class. Getting kicked out of shop would later affect my high school shop class grade but another story for another day.
Art class consisted of one day (Tuesday) in learning to draw or paint or, my favorite project, create our own tie-dyed shirt. The other day (Thursday) was spent in music appreciation. Now, on any other year music appreciation would be listening to and discussing classical music, but I lucked out that year and there was a new teacher who wanted to listen to and discuss Rock music. The Rock Gods were listening to my prayers.
Here is where Deep Purple’s Machine Head comes into the story. The music teacher pulled out Machine Head, we listened and we discussed. How cool is that for a 7th grade class. I was in heaven. The other folks in the class, mostly girls, not so much. We went on to listen to Yes, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly‘s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Uriah Heep. All bands I’d never heard of but was now seeking out and listening to. My music knowledge and appreciation was expanded greatly that year
Sadly, I don’t remember the teachers name or even remember how he looked. I do remember sitting in the classroom though.
So in honor of that year I spent in and loved art class, I’ve chosen Deep Purple’s Machine Head as Paw Paw’s Vinyl of the Month.