Deep Purple History: It was here that Deep Purple Mk 1 all lived prior to their first American tour.
The Details: Deep Purple were originally living in Deeves Hall, but when that became unavailable, their managers set them up in a number of hotels until they could rent a house. This was Number 13, Second Avenue, Acton Vale.
Developed in the Victorian era, the street was further extended in the 1930s. Number 13 was one of the handsome Victorian terrace properties. Blackmore and his girlfriend had one room upstairs, Jon and Nick shared another, and Rod and Ian shared the third (downstairs we think). The living room and kitchen was communal.
The group lived here right up until they left for their first American tour in October 1968, after which the managers ceased renting it.
Today: The street is still residential and (on the whole) nicely maintained. Number 13 is a private residence.
Getting there: Second Avenue is three quarters of a mile from the Shepherd's Bush tube, on the right hand side of the the A4020, just after the traffic lights where Uxbridge Road becomes The Vale.
acton vale 2004
Hanwell Community Centre
Deep Purple History: It was at Hanwell Community Centre that Mk 2 began their rehearsals and wrote much of their hard rock masterpiece "Deep Purple In Rock".
The Details: Begun in 1856, the Central London District Poor Law School in Hanwell London housed and educated disadvantaged and orphaned children from Central London in the countryside (Charlie Chaplin was orphaned here as a child). In 1930, the place was taken over by London County Council, who closed the site, developed the surrounding land as a housing estate, and demolished the school until only the central block remained. In 1945 this was turned into the Hanwell Community Centre.
Local pop groups were able to rent rooms and when the members of Deep Purple were looking for somewhere to set up base in June 1969, Hanwell Community Centre was ideal. It was here that Deep Purple In Rock, was born. "It was always available, it was cheap, and it was close to where we were all living at the time," Ian Paice remembers. "It was the only place we could find where we could make a lot of noise," Roger Glover notes.
After Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were offered a job in Deep Purple, on June 16th 1969 they got a cab to Hanwell Community Centre for their first practise. The Hanwell sessions focussed Purple as Ian Paice recollected: "In a short space of maybe three or four weeks, we found that everything was possible, and it was all contained within ourselves. We didn't have to look outside, and that was really exciting."
Another local band called Spice also used the building to rehearse in, and were quick to borrow one or two ideas they'd heard coming through the wall. Three months later they became Uriah Heep. The origins of "Speed King" went back to Hanwell, as Roger recalls. "Ritchie had mentioned that he liked Hendrix's "Fire". I stood there in the huge echoey gym and apprehensively started playing the first thing that came into my head that would convey a similar feeling. My Fender Precision bass sounded lonely as the sound careered off the dirty, cream painted walls. They all joined in, making it sound great, and a jam ensued which would set the course of the song. It was exhilarating."
During rehearsals at Hanwell on July 15th, the band took a break. Roger: "There had been a lull in the jamming. Someone said "Do you remember that song "Bombay Calling" by It's A Beautiful Day? Jon started playing it for us. We all joined in, we slowed it down, Ian started singing something over it, and it sounded like it could be interesting." This quickly evolved into "Child In Time". "Hard Lovin' Man" came from another of the Hanwell jams.
The photos of Deep Purple shown opposite were all taken on July 17th 1969. Today: Hanwell Community Centre stands proudly in what is left of the grounds, surrounded by estates. Some land has been left round the building as a park for local residents. The building is an impressive Victorian style edifice, with Italianate windows and columns on the front facade.
The room Deep Purple rented is situated on the ground floor, to the far left of the building as you look at the front, with two rounded sash windows. It is now used as a red cross room for the storage of wheelchairs.
Hanwell is now a protected building which means it cannot be demolished or altered without permission. It is also used by film companies (the film Billy Elliott filmed in the gym). There is currently an application by developers to turn the building into luxury apartments, the local authority keen to rid themselves of responibility for the place. This will of course ruin the interior and mean all the local societies who use the place must leave.
Deep Purple At Hanwell
Deep Purple's Rehearsal Room [highlighted in red]
...the same place today
Deep Purple History: It was here that "Highway Star" was first performed live.
The Details: Deep Purple began their Autumn 1971 UK tour in Portsmouth. A coach was hired to take the band, invited journalists and photographers to the show. On the way one journalist asked Ian Gillan how the band wrote their songs. Glover began bashing out a new tune they'd been working on, gave Gillan a title and Gillan began ad-libbing words on the spot. They rehearsed it before the show and "Highway Star" made it's debut at Portsmouth Guildhall on Sept 13th 1971. The picture here shows Gillan racing off the stage that night.
The band had played the Guidhall for the first time earlier that year, February 9th 1971, on their final "In Rock" tour. They played the hall again on August 19th 1972 on the "Machine Head" tour, and once more on February 23rd 1973 during Mk 2's short final UK tour.
The group included the venue next on their extensive 1996 Purpendicular tour twenty three years later, and played at the venue again in September 2002.
Portsmouth Guildhall 2002
Portsmouth, Sept 13th 1971
Hyde House, Nursery Gardens, Purley
Deep Purple History: Ian Gillan's home from 1971 until around 1983.
The Details: Seemingly newly built when Ian Gillan moved in (possibly in the grounds of an older property), Ian lived here throughout his time with Deep Purple and Gillan Band days, only moving shortly before the reunion.
Today: The house is little changed externally, it is still a private residence.
Getting there: "Nursery Gardens is just off the main A329 Reading to Pangbourne road in Purley on Thames. It is accessed by turning to the north along Purley Lane at the traffic lights in the middle of Purley and then turning left just before the bridge over the railway. By train, travel to Tilehurst (first stop for local trains on the main line west from Reading). The station exits on to the A329 - turn right and walk for about a mile to get to the traffic lights, bearing right at the roundabout about half way along the way. Buses also go along this road, check for details at the station." Matthew Kean
Thanks to Lorrainne Pickering for the recent pictures.