Gateway to Hell – Deep Purple

As a child of the 70s growing up in the Midwest, I was exposed to a lot of different (sometimes not so good) music.  My parents listened to country and used to square dance (google it).  Disco was the rage and what we now call classic rock was pretty big.  I found Kiss to be quite entertaining and was drawn to their music for sure – especially the album Destroyer.  They were cool because they scared adults!  It probably wasn’t until 1980 though that I became more serious about the actual music.  It may have been because I started playing drums at that time, but also because we had an exchange student from Germany who was 5 years older than me.  He was definitely into rock music and introduced me to Deep Purple.  I remember listening to the band’s “best of” album Deepest Purple a lot at that time (it might even have been an 8-track tape!).   This was the first truly heavy music that I heard.

This album has songs that to this day are ones that I love.  Woman from Tokyo, Highway Star, Space Truckin’, Burn, Stormbringer, Child in Time, and of course, Smoke on the Water.  These songs defined heavy metal for me.  I recall one of my teachers calling it “acid rock”, which at the time confused me a bit.  That didn’t really phase me though in my growing appreciation for this kind of music.  Although I didn’t know much about the musicians, over time I got to know who Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, and the rest were, and how influential they would come to be on this music we enjoy so much.  Yeah, it may not seem that heavy now, but it was for the time and very few other bands were doing it quite the same way.  I didn’t really care for Zeppelin much then, and it took me a long time to develop an appreciation for Sabbath (besides, they were far too evil for me at the time).  Deep Purple was different and definitely not an affront to most people’s (adults) thoughts about music at that time, so they were more acceptable for a kid to listen to.  Granted, at the time AC/DC was gaining popularity as was Van Halen, and Judas Priest was pretty big.  Rush and Aerosmith had been around for a while and Iron Maiden was just getting started.  Deep Purple, though, was the band I was most attracted to and got me started on this heavy metal trip.

 

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

-Harley

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