by Patricia Masters (story and photos submitted by Tim & Teri Martin)

Tommy Bolin, lead guitarist and vocalist of Deep Purple and Glenn Hughes, their bass player, talk about Ritchie Blackmore, the Jakarta accident and their solo careers.

Prior to Deep Purple’s Lakeland appearance, Music Media Magazine’s (MMM) managing editor, Patricia Masters (shown at right with Tommy), had a chance to talk with new Purple lead guitarist Tommy Bolin (TB) and bassist Glenn Hughes (GH). Following are excerpts from that conversation.

MMM: You all have just returned from an overseas tour, where have you visited?

TB: Yeah, we visited Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Japan.

MMM: Were they all sell-outs?

TB: Yeah.

MMM: What do you think of your new album? It has already reached 96 on the Billboard lists.

TB: It’s called Teaser, and was done independently of Purple. We are real happy with it.

MMM: Do you plan on releasing any of the material as a single?

TB: “The Grind” will be out by the time this is printed.

MMM: What will you be up to next?

TB: In early April, after this Purple tour, I am going to England and tour with my own band.

MMM: Any singles planned for release off the new Purple Come Taste the Band album?

TB: “Gettin’ Tighter.”

MMM: Getting back to Teaser, there are a lot of different sounds on the album, is there any one sound that you particularly identify with?

TB: Maybe “People, People.” You’re right, there are different sounds. “Dreamer” will probably be the follow-up single, I sort of identify with it too.

MMM: Do you think you might be taking Purple in a different direction that Ritchie Blackmore did?

TB: I really don’t know, because I never really heard much of the old band. I would think so though.

MMM: How long have you been with them?

TB: About eight or nine months.

MMM: Since your January 14 start of the tour what was your largest crowd?

TB: Jakarta, Indonesia… 125,000. In the States it has been in Philadelphia… almost 19,000.

MMM: Sell-out most?

TB: All of them I think.

MMM: What are the Bolin words of wisdom… the creed you live by?

TB: F___ ’em if they can’t take a joke!

MMM: Are you going to play any songs from your own album, Teaser tonight?

TB: We used to do “Wild Dogs,” but now we just do “Homeward Strut.” The crowd seems to get off on it so much, and the rest of the band really digs it and enjoys playing it.

MMM: You know that your album is doing better than the Purple’s. Is that good or bad?

TB: Well, it’s good for me… and I guess what’s good for me is good for the band.

MMM: Have you read any of the reviews in Rolling Stone of both the albums?

TB: Yeah, yeah, they were very nice… very polite… very good.

MMM: With all of the rock-press hype, do you think that they’re doing a Bruce Springsteen number on you?

TB: I hope not. I read a thing where Bruce Springsteen said he was really embarrassed about all the hype and everything. We were even in Australia, and we were walking past stores, shopping and stuff. You go past a music store and see a “Bruce Springsteen” guitar which is a Japanese guitar with the name Bruce carved on it… could be Bruce Lee for all I know.

(At this point Glenn Hughes, Purple bassist enters the conversation.)

MMM: (to Hughes) Do you miss Ritchie Blackmore?

GH: Who?… Oh yeah, he’s a very nice guy?

MMM: A nice guy, I hadn’t heard that before?

GH: We’re really good friends, and I like him a lot, but I prefer Tommy.

MMM: You think he’s taking you in a good direction?

GH: Yeah, and it’s much more my direction. I didn’t much like playing that duh-de-duh.

TB: It’s a much funkier band. Everybody in the band is like showing each other off much more. I think that is what is needed.

MMM: Is everybody pretty sensitive about what happened in Indonesia? (ed. note: A Purple roadie, Patsy Collins, fell to his death in an elevator shaft, the circumstances were never very clear.)

GH: Ummmm, yeah, especially me, because I was the last one to see him. I was with him in the room before he died.

ARCHIVES NOTE: Music Media Magazine was a free music guide based in Tampa, Florida.