- the official site


Daniel Varga on 2004-05-13:
After this long time, do you still have the motivation and energy to play in Deep Purple?

Hi Daniel,

Apparently, I do.


Steve Nulty on 2004-04-10:
Hello Roger,

I have listened to your music since my older brother tricked me into believing that he had bought me the Osmonds Crazy Horses LP for Christmas, only to find that it was Fireball. I was about 14 then, and had not even heard of Deep Purple. I think Lars Ulrich had a similar experience and this inspired him become a musician. I have always been inspired by the music, and regarded the band in whatever form as a trusty old friend that you could turn to. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anyway, a question, who were your early influences, and what inspired you to take up music? Was there a defining moment when you said, "That's it I need to take up music"?

Looking forward to seeing you in Manchester in November.



Hi Steve,

I just loved skiffle music when I heard it in the early 50s and I guess that it was then that I caught the bug.


marko slavi?ek on 2004-01-10:
roger, please tell me in philosophical way, what is music?

Hi Marko, Music is probably the only art form that disappears the moment it appears.


Seth on 2003-07-01:
Hi Roger,
An odd question, perhaps, but: when it comes to friends, are yours typically people familiar with your DP history, or rather unaware of it? It might be a bit strange and unfeasible to strike up a friendship with someone who 'worshipped' you as a Rock God, and could not see you as an actual Person!
As I said, an odd one, but there you go.
Seth Patterson

Hi Seth,

An interesting question. In a strange way, you get to instinctively understand when someone is a genuine friend. I don't see myself as a 'rock god' so it is uncomfortable when someone else does. Some of our fans have become friends over time, especially when they realize that I'm just someone like them at heart that just got lucky.


Andy on 2003-04-03:
Hi Roger
Who have been your Bass player role models, past and present?

Hi Andy,

Of those that I've admired over the years, Paul McCartney has the be the single biggest influence - his fluid and melodic runs were unforgettable. Jack Bruce and all the Tamla Motown players have to be mentioned. One of the best lessons I learned was from George Porter Jnr. of The Meters on the song Hey Pocky a-Way, from the album Rejuvenation back in the early 70s. There was so much space between the notes that you could have a light lunch between playing them!


J.T.McDonald on 2005-05-08:
What is the hardest part of being a musician, the band or the ex-wives?

Hi J.T.

Hope you're well. The hardest part? The ex-crew members!!


Ake Nordh /IKEN on 2003-03-09:
hello there!!!
i've heard you mentioned as '' the stinking hippie''. where does that come from?
the first time i heard it was in ''hungry daze'': ''present the stinking hippie, and throw
the naked tunder to the crowd''. the second time is on the machine head dvd.thanks for that dvd bytheway(DOES it spell like that :-))i really love the videoparts from the US-tour,how much of the show was filmed? love that Rickenbacker (but you probably knew that, i've told you that before) i'm waiting for the show here in stockholm,see you guys there.

cheers from

Hi Iken,

The name comes from the time I first joined Deep Purple. Ian and I were not very well off at the time we joined Deep Purple, in fact we had one decent pair of trousers that we shared, they were crushed velvet bell bottoms, as I recall, and it was his turn to wear them the day that I met the rest of the band for the first time. I was not exactly a fashion statement (I had string for a belt!) and I was also partial to the occasional unusual cigarette. They christened me "the stinking hippie" then and it stuck.


Janis Ward on 2003-01-25:
Could I just ask, why the bass? You write lovely music and I wonder why this is your preference?
And while I've got your attention THANK YOU for the pleasure you and your many musical incarnations have given me over 30 and more years - Let's not dwell on that! 😉 and may I wish you and your family all the best for the future 🙂
an old friend, JANIS

Hi Janis,

Thank you very much for the compliment. I rarely write songs on the bass, usually acoustic or piano, unless of course it?s a jam. I started playing bass because when I was at school and a few of my chums and me were swapping tips about where your fingers had to go on the fret board, I saw The Lightnings, a school band, rehearsing Poetry In Motion (Johnny Tillotson) in the old gymnasium and suddenly I wanted desperately to be in a band. I told my pals and, as it turned out, one of them could play an ?F? chord (I couldn?t) and the other one actually had a solid body lead guitar, so I said OK then, I?ll play bass, and took the two top strings off my old Spanish guitar, screwed a pick up on it, and voila - bass player! I didn?t mind, I loved it, and grew to love it more. Thanks for the kind thoughts.


Denis Grant on 2003-01-24:
I recently read an artical in classic rock about the best purple line up for me it is without a doubt mk2 yourself lord paice gillian and of course the strange but brilliant blackmore. was that your fav line up. Also do you all like soccer if so what teams did you all support.
PS cant wait to see you at the secc with skynard because you are the greatest two bands of all time cannot wait.

Hi Big Den,

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. I can’t say that I have a favourite line-up; it’s a bit like asking what is my favourite colour (all the silly pop magazines in the 60s always wanted to know that, along with favourite food, drink, girl’s hair colour, etc.).

Soccer has been a part of my life one way or another. In my youth I was never a huge team supporter, though. I moved to London when I was nine and on the first day at my new school I was surrounded by a group of tough looking kids who wanted to know who I supported. I hadn’t clue as to what they were talking about so they elucidated the point by poking me in the ribs and saying, “Football, you idiot, who do you support?” I still didn’t know what they were talking about - I had been living in Wales up until then and other things like ploughing matches, horse shows and sheepdog trials, were important. “, don’t know,” was my witty reply. “Right, that’s it, you’re an Arsenal supporter then. Say ‘Up the Gunners’.” I repeated “Up the Gunners,” baffled, but quickly realizing that this was the only way I wasn’t going to get beaten up. So that was my first team. Many years later, IG took me to see QPR and I became a sort of fan but I was never that into it, to be honest. Later, in DP we used to play quite a bit, really for Ritchie’s sake, and although I did enjoy that sometimes, it got a bit political at times. These days I don’t play. I enjoy watching a good game but it usually doesn’t matter who wins, to me.


Royce Smith on 2003-01-22:
Hi Rog...not a question, as most of the questions I could think to ask you have been asked and answered previously...
I would, however, like to take the time to tell you that you were an early inspiration to me (ummm...In Rock, Concerto, etc..telling on us both here) and as we age (nicely, in your case, not to such a degree here) you continue to be so. I'm a bassist in a working band, and a couple or two years younger than you and you exhibit (and all along have exhibited) the grace and growth that I aspire to. Long life and much more success to you, sir, and to DP! Looking forward to the new project with Don. One last comment...I am and always have been "the stinkin hippy" in a "drinking band" so your comment to the announcer in Sydney was a revelation and a delight 😎

Hi Royce,

You say some nice things but in all honesty, or modesty, it is difficult to take credit for being very, very lucky. I have learned from some great teachers (the rest of the band!) and been fortunate enough to have been in such good company all my life, so far. 😉 Cheers my friend!


Roy Davies on 2003-01-13:
Hi Roger
Its that damn bloke who wrote the Rainbow biography here...(many thanks for your kind words and time after the NEC show too...) Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.
Glad to see you're considering a book too; if you need any help sometime let me know! 🙂
However, on to a question; Are you one of those musicians (who invariably seem to be bassists for some reason) who collects all the various 'paraphernalia' through the years ; the tour posters, stage passes, gig lists, stage clothes, etc.?

Congratulations again on the book, it really was an achievement. I have
some stuff, of course, loads of photographs, some posters, magazines,
clippings, paraphernalia, etc. but I'm not like Bill Wyman, who kept
absolutely everything. Having said that I would probably surprise myself if
I actually went through all the boxes, drawers, files and cupboards in my
house. One day...


Evgeni on 2002-12-19:
Dear Roger,
How a Man(Human) may contact and drink a beer or two with you as you are a hyper star?!

I Evgeni,

Hyper star? I don't think so. Actually I'm surprisingly easy to have a drink with, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. It's not something I can organize though. I've supped many a beer with many a fan, as they will confirm.


Koen on 2002-12-12:
Hello Roger,

It's nice to be able to write to you. I'm from Holland and got into all things Purple when I was 16, right when the '84 reunion took place. It was the video of Perfect Strangers on (argh) MTV that got me hooked (only saw it once, but enough to get me very interested).
Anyway, my music taste is rather broad, and perfectly well 'catered for' by all things Purple; the band may be hardrock but the offshoots often are not. I, for one, really like Mr Blackmore's guts to start up a folky band, of all things. And Jon's classically-inspired solo stuff. And - absolutely - your solo material. I really enjoy Snapshot by the way! 🙂
A rather lengthy introduction which brings me to my question. Doens't it bother you that Deep Purple and with it, the offshoots, are pigeonholed as heavy metal? I am always amused when I go to CD shops, and look for Purple, it is in the Heavy section. That IS understandable, but also there, because it's Purple related, are solo things.
So it's interesting how stuff like Blackmore's Night, Butterfly Ball, Sarabande etcetera often sits uncomfortably in the same bin as Venom, Slayer, and all those other (to me, disgusting) bands.
What do you think of this 'desire' to pigeonhole the Purple family? And while we are at it, what is your view on the Heavy Metal genre? Personally, though being very much into Deep Purple, I care not one bit for the HM genre.
Anyway. Congrats on a great solo album (that Bramlett boy is a great find) and hope it won't take another 18 years until you do another one 🙂
And, thanks for the music through the years.
Take care


Hi Koen,

I used to get peeved when we were referred to as heavy metal but I don?t care so much these days, probably because there is nothing I can do about it, so why worry? I agree, heavy metal seems to be a restrictive genre, taking only one aspect of hard rock (the intensity) and doing it to the extreme and to the exclusion of anything else. These days I?m just happy to see it in the record stores at all, so complaining about where it?s situated seems churlish. In a way it makes sense because not all the solo stuff is so well known, so where would one look for it anyway? Thanks for the good comments, I?m planning the next one now so I doubt it will be 18 years until the next one.


Kevin Stankiewicz on 2002-12-09:
Hey Roger,
A while ago, you used to wear a lot of hats, which was a simply marvelous look. Recently, I've noticed that you switched to wearing bandannas. I understand that you're getting a little thin up top, but why the switch?

When I was in Episode Six, I used to get dressed up for the stage in outfits that were sometimes outrageous - the ?super? look. Later on, in Deep Purple, the idea was NOT to dress up for the stage but rather dress down, eg. ?normal?, hence the denim duds and denim hat, all off-the-shelf. It has careened between these two poles ever since, with varying degrees of success (I shudder to look at the Death Alley Driver video) but I gravitated towards hats because my hair is fine and within a few minutes of being on stage I always looked like I?d just climbed out of the shower. Anyway, hats became a bit of a bore, and I always liked the idea of a headscarf, so I tried it and liked it. These days it suits me just to feel comfortable.


Wolf Schneider on 2002-11-29:
Hi Roger,

Judging from your usual .sig quote, you're a fan of Randy Newman. Whom else do you find yourself listening to these days? Also, do you listen more or less than usual when nearing song-writing sessions, either to get ideas or to avoid inadvertently picking some up?

Hope the upcoming sessions are enjoyable for all; working with Michael Bradford should make for an interesting change...

== wolf

Hi Wolf,

Bob Dylan sits at the top of the heap, of course, his output remains the motherlode of stimuli for me. I don't listen to music as an end in itself, ie. to get inspired, but listening to him always gets my mind going. What do I listen to? Always a difficult question to answer. Here in LA I went to Amoeba Music the other day, so it would be illuminating to see what I came away with;

Alice - Tom Waits - I love Tom's voice character, ugly but lovely, and he's always got interesting lyrics (there's a song on here about a man born without a body, just a head and arms, who dreams of being a famous piano player; " I had trouble with the pedals, but I had a strong left hand, and I could play Stravinsky, on a baby grand". Anyway, he joins the circus, goes to Coney Island and ends up being famous and known as Table Top Joe.)

The Essential - Blind Willie McTell - Dylan championed him early on and I never got around to getting him in my blues collection.

Manic Moonlight - King's X - A highly underrated band but an acquired taste. I acquired it after hearing Gretchen Goes to Nebraska many years ago. Nice guys too, I meet them from time to time. Saw them play the old Ritz Ballroom in NY a dozen or so years ago, superb gig. Huge sound and impeccable harmonies, and just three of them!

Senor Blues - Taj Mahal - Great voice, great writing, great blues. This album has its share of fillers, although they are always good, but the opening track has to be one of my faves over the last couple of years, Queen Bee, which I was originally exposed to on an album called Memphis To Mali, a fabulous mix of African and American music.

Relish - Joan Osbourne - It was a used CD, they specialize these at Amoeba Music, and I got it for $5 and change. Sounds great. I bought it because I recently heard her perform live on the radio in NY and I was very impressed with her as a singer and a writer. She will last and is not just as good as her latest single. IMHO

Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis - A collection of early stuff. I have the vinyl of many of these songs, two of which are classics I fell in love with in the 70s; Strawberry Letter 23 (covered by someone who had a hit with it in the 80s), I prefer the orginal, of course) and Ice Cold Daydream. He's a superb blues guitarist but he's also a multi instrumentalist and plays great bass. As it says on the back, "Shuggie Otis should have been a West Coast superstar, a genius, a musical wizard of the highest order." RB used to like him.

Songs For The Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age - I don't usually buy new bands, very rare in fact, but someone said they sounded like early DP so I thought I'd give it a listen. It was OK.

Anyway, that's what I came away with. I could go on and on about who I listen to but this answer has already taken up so much time I won't have time for breakfast!


Wolf Schneider on 2002-11-28:
You recently said that you enjoyed looking at concert photographs of yourself "as long as they are good ones." That, of course, begs the question: what, for you, characterizes a great concert photo?

Hi Wolf,

A good photo is one that has either action, composition, lighting, nudity, drama, or all of the above. For me, one that makes me look good, in other words, a shot that doesn?t look like me (just kidding). We are all a little vain at times (aren?t we?) and one doesn?t like to see awkward poses, odd facial expressions, double chins, nudity, bad head scarf days, or unfortunate juxtapositions.


Derek Rich on 2002-11-25:
First I want to say thanks for "Mask" - I bought it in the summer of '84 when I was fourteen and it opened my eyes to some styles that I never really took any time to investigate.
My question - Why did you pick Connecticut to live in?

Hi Derek,

Thanks for the Mask comment. I didn?t really pick Connecticut, it just sort of happened, like most things in my life. It was at a time when my first marriage was ending and I was joining Rainbow, 1978/9). I had nowhere to live and asked Bruce (Payne, my manager) if I could stay with him for a few weeks. Three years later he casually inquired if I was ever going to move out, so I decided that I might as well stay in the area that I'd come to know.


Scott on 2002-11-24:

I hope you have time for this question.
Maybe also a silly question...

Where do you obtain your headgear / bandanas?
I notcied that they are quite long in the back.
Do you use two together?
Just curious, my friend...

Also, you are quite simply the classiest bass player in the world. Not to mention a superb songwriter and producer.
I think you're the best, man.

"A dream's a dream, whatever they say..."

Scott "The Aviator" Bell

Hi Scott,

Silly questions are my speciality, I'm sure you've noticed. The headgear (I like that name, sounds like it could be an album title) that I prefer is from India and can be found in head shops, hippy shops, stalls in markets, and of course in India. They are made of cotton and that?s important. Most of the scarves one finds around the globe are silk, and that's no good because they are slippery and have little friction and therefore tend to unravel. Unraveling is not for me. I don't like to see anything unravel. Which begs the thought ? what is the opposite of unravel? Ravel, I suppose. That's why I like Indian head scarves, because they ravel well. (IG tells me that ravel is actually a word, I'll have to look it up.)


Chris on 2002-11-18:

Thanks for taking the time to answer fan questions. DP is my favorite group and have been a fan since 1985 (I was 13 when I saw the video for Perfect Strangers on MTV and my older brother was always a huge fan prior to and after that time.) MY question(s) are as follows:

1) Why is it taking so long to record the next DP cd? Are you guys in the studio and when is the expected release date?

2) Will there be a major change in the setlist the next time DP tours here in the US? Alot of fans would like to hear the new stuff. I know that in the States people say DP is a classic rock band, and that you guys try to cater a show that contains mostly classics. However the 4x I have seen DP since 1998, there is always a good and loud reaction to newer DP songs like Ted and 7th Heaven. I hope you guys put a heavier emphasis on the newer stuff and a little less of the classics and keep on including the lesser known stuff (hopefully Demon's Eye, Cry Free, Rat Bat Blue to name a few.) DP is not a nostalga band in my book. Please no more co-headlining shows!!!!

3) Why no songs off of Abandon?

4) Who are your favorite professional football, baseball and basaketball teams?

Love your new CD. All the best.

Your Friend,

Hi Chris,

> 1) Why is it taking so long to record the next DP cd? Are you guys in the studio and when is the expected release date?

We haven't started yet so I don't know how long it's going to take. I assume though, that you're referring to the length of time between albums. Good question. After the Concerto we got tied up with touring with orchestras for a while and that put us back. There was also the bigger question of whether Jon was going to be in the band or not, I don't think it would have very wise to have recorded an album with Jon and then have him retire and us go out with Don or whomever just playing Jon's part. That wouldn’t have been fair. The essence of this band is what happens when we play together. On the other hand, no one but Jon could have reached that decision, and it took some time for him to finally face what he didn't want to face; he loves playing with this band, a band that he helped to create, but he had other avenues to explore and eventually he put himself in a position to do just that. We are now ready to explore our own avenues. I believe it will be all to the better for this delay.

> 2) Will there be a major change in the setlist the next time DP tours here in the US? DP is not a nostalga band in my book.

Yes, I believe there will, but don't forget that with the audience getting younger, more and more people are coming to our shows who haven't heard us before. Like it or not, they are the songs most associated with us. It would be nice to have newer material be so well known but right now it isn't. I know all the arguments, believe me, I have them with various people in our organization all the time, and I'm all in favour for newer songs, or even rarely played older ones, but I also know the realities of the band, both from a media point of view and a personal one. However, having said that, I will be fighting for as much new material as possible.

> Please no more coheadlining shows!!!!

Talk to our agent and see how difficult it is get any kind of tour these days. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

> 3) Why no songs off of Abandon?

On the Abandon tour we did seven new songs from that album. Seven! We've never done so much new material before or since. Personally, I think some worked better than others, but I really enjoy playing Seventh Heaven and I'd love to do it again. I liked Any Fule too but that's a tough one for IG to sing night after night. We'll see.

> 4) Who are your favorite professional football, baseball and basaketball teams?

Bristol Wednesday, The New York Wankers, and The Knickers.


Dave Heitmeyer on 2002-11-18:
Hello Roger,
I met you after the Cincinnati show this year, and spent about an hour talking to you. I mentioned my Deep Purple poster collection, which is extensive. My question is, Do you collect DP posters, which do you have??? I am looking for a US promo of "In Rock", if it was made. That is a classic album. Would you ever consider visiting me at my home, talking music and autographing my DP poster and CD and LP collection???
I love your new solo CD, and I have a copy you autographed for me coming from Scott Meyer at Eagle/Red Ink records. He said you visited the label last week. Also, were any posters for your new CD printed, and if yes, where could I get one for my collection.
Oh, by the way, I have a music business, named Purple Music.
Thanks for all your great music, past and future.
Dave Heitmeyer at Purple Music

Hi Dave,

I don't collect posters. The only thing I used to collect was, of all things, thimbles from around the world. USED TO... I had a wall-mounted shelf especially designed for thimbles but now it's full and the thrill has gone. I have no idea how that started and frankly, I’m glad I’m over it, and without therapy!
I have a few posters, nothing much, and I certainly don't have any early ones. I did not collect them as much as find I had them. I'm not one for going round anyone's house and talking music, sorry. Posters for Snapshot (thanks for the kind thoughts btw) are not an item that I am aware of. When we do some Guilty Party gigs, hopefully next February/March, there might be some then. Keep your eyes peeled. (Ouch, I don't like the sound of that!!!)


Christos Gatzidis on 2002-11-18:
Hi Roger,

I am a long-time Deep Purple fan and I was very happy to see that you finally got round to creating your own website. I had the luck of meeting you in Thessaloniki, Greece two years back for a very memorable Q&A session you did with the Greek DPAS there. My question to you would be, once Purple finally do have their run (not that I am hoping that day will come anytime soon!) would you be interested in going back to something you haven't done for a while, producing? What bands would you choose to produce and are there any bands today which you'd like to work with? Good luck with the new Purple record which seems to be in the works by the way!

Christos Gatzidis

Hi Christos,

> once Purple finally do have their run

We prefer walking these days.

> would you be interested in going back to something you haven't done for a while, producing? What bands would you choose to produce and are there any bands today which you'd like to work with?

Quite possibly - I just love being in the studio. However, I don't make plans, I just take life as it comes. No bands or artists in particular. I would always like to produce bands who have two things going for them - good songs and good management. That rules out 98% of bands. 😉