OLDER NEWS - a time of rocking in Purple...

The story so far...

This is a jump back to the Purple Smoke and Cheap Turtle days plus a few others. I had a blast playing with these great muscians but towards the end I was admittedly beginning to feel too old for it all... Still, a blast is a blast!

09 March 2012

There will be no further gigs as Purple Smoke.

19 February 2012

After the sudden demise of Purple Smoke there is a sad wave of phone calls and emails in circulation - the first 2 scheduled gigs for 2012 are in March yet it is not clear if they can be played - for the remaining gigs there is possibly a lifeboot - special volunteers for a special line-up... We shall see...

15 February 2012

Oh dear - Purple Smoke is no more. Bernd recently joined another band (his 3rd) and in the last few weeks the ensuing emails started corkscrewing out of control - a bit childish really. Either you accept things as they are or not - well the usual 'taking sides' amongst band members took place and then the emails madness escalated and that was that. At first everyone agreed to play the first few gigs but after last nights emails it will no longer happen.

Here in the Musikkeller in Frankfurt 2011
05 February 2012

I took my Bugera 1960 Plexi to 'Stone' - he will build a power scaling feature into it so I can turn down the power but turn up the volume to the tubes. I hope it will sound good. Incidentally I find the sound to be close to a pretty good Hendrix Plexi sound - not the cranked up EVH sound but I have had no opportunity for that yet.

05 November 2011

I picked up an attenuator called a Chrid on eBay pretty cheap. To my pleasant amazement it works great with my Plexi - even without losing EQs. I remember the Tom Sholtz II being no good but to be fair my transformer was faulty at the time and blew some time later.

22 October 2011

Both Purple Smoke and ROSALIE had a great night live in the Bad Kreuznach Rockland Cafe on Friday - 14.10.2011. A lot of people were there which was fantastic.

Alex with long hair... I had forgotten that.
It was also great to see the boys from Rosalie again. I hope we can repeat the double-pack show again somewhere else.

24 Sept 2011

I have bought a Zoom G2R pedal on eBay which is a modelling pedal with Ritchie Kotzen's presets etc. The Zoom G2R pedal has 9 effects which are overall pretty decent. It has 16 amps of which some are quite usable for clean and crunch sounds. I would have not problem recording with them but I doubt I can create a real preamp sound for a live setup with my amps, but I did not expect that. The stored R.Kotzen presets are not interesting as you can easily create them with the standard presets. Still, it has a tuner, practice drums and both the reverb and delay work quietly in the fx-loop of my Plexi. In fact in theory the tiny thing can replace my racked-up 19" Rocktron Intelliflex Ltd.

11 Sept 2011

On Friday I walked down to the Eich-Kultfest to see some live bands here in Dorsheim. However it began to rain a little and the band playing was not for me... Also it was almost empty so I left. Jogi and I wanted to meet on Sunday and take a look at 20.000feet - a Saxon cover group but it poured down - so I stayed at home.

28 August 2011

Last night Purple Smoke rocked the Case Blanca bar in Usingen - for the second time in a week the audience was very impressed! Thanks to Thilo the sound and light was very good. All I can say is that the band is simply excellent. We had a lot of fun on the stage and it is now effortless to play and have fun. I am very proud of them.

27 August 2011

Tonight Purple Smoke will be playing at the Case Blanca bar in Achtzehnmorgenweg 6, Usingen - 21.00 onwards I guess... If you are not doing anything then come on over!

Handsome Wilco... Taken with my old D40
08 May 2011

We Purple Smoke had a great night in Flonheim - Bernd and Thilo had everything under control - the new PA system was tremendous. Alex had his TV colleagues film everything and I am sure there will be at least one good demo out of the whole performance. It was a pleasure to have Project-P play as support group and it was nice to see some old and new faces - thanks for coming! pics will be posted soon - thanks to Norbert!

07 May 2011

I received my AirPlane Flanger back from the shop - it was repaired and is fantastic! I love it! Shame there is no application for it with music from Deep Purple or else I would use it tonight. Getting ready to go to Flonheim...

10 April 2011

I bought myself an Ibanez Air Plane Flanger (Paul Gilbert model) but it arrived damaged - the left foot switch was loose and the ring won't take the thread. So much for quality testing... It sounds sensational, but with every cycle there is a wild oscalation squeal-peep which is as loud as the guitar. If I turn down then I only hear this - I pray it is duff or else it is unusable. I will send it back tomorrow and hope the replacement is better.

27 March 2011

'Alexander The Great' - in Mainz - Last night we rocked! Purple Smoke balancing on a tiny stage with absolutely no room at all - but nice and tight is a good thing! Alex and I were forced to stand up in front. The room was absolutely full - People were so close they were dancing on my pedal board, yet miraculously only once did someone accidentally pull a cable. A great audience - enjoyed seeing Bernie S. again. He will open a musik bar soon on the Rhein.

20 March 2011

Musikkeller - Frankfurt - Last night was a very good trouble free gig for Purple Smoke - nothing blew up, went up in flames or cut out. Good sound and I enjoyed playing - great audience too. Everyone enjoyed it. Many thanks to Norbert for the photos and Fabian, the one-man road crew.

Everything is louder than everything else...I think we reached 115dB at rehearsal...
Lots of fun!
The next gig is :- 26.03.2011 'Alexander The Great' - in Mainz

12 March 2011

Last night we had a very good rehearsal. Bernd had previously taken my amp and fixed the fault which had been cutting in and out. For the first time in weeks it ran perfectly. I am looking forward to the next 2 gigs. Here are the dates:-

19.03.2011 Musikkeller - Frankfurt
26.03.2011 Alexander The Great - Mainz

27 February 2011

Had a musik-keller day today - exchanged the old machine heads on Alex's heavy guitar for new Schallers and corrected the playing height - It is now good to go. As a kind-of-deal he gave me a 120w Peavey valve amp which I have not tried yet - we presume it is faulty so maybe 'Stone' can fix it should it be more than just a valve. I re-seated the switch on my Satch guitar and filled the old holes - it will be partly re-painted next week when rubbed down + dry. I checked out all cables on my new pedal board and threw 2 out. I have bought myself a battery charger and next week I will experiment with 2 pedals which hum with power supplies. I fixed my cry Baby pedal but I am not convinced it is 100% as it seems so thin and it drops some volume...

And yes, for the first time I played my Les Paul over my amp - it sings lovely - lots of sustain...

20 February 2011

I am slightly groggy today - last night Purple Smoke played in Casa Blanca in Usingen and we had a great night. Our first gig together and it was a great success. I was plagued by minor glitches such as 2 strings breaking, bad contacts and 2 pedals breaking down, yet it all does not matter. Purple Smoke rocked! Sadly I had no camera but I hope to get some better pics soon. It was fun to have the young boys from 'Live Wire' to open for us. They are only 13/14 years old but they are great, they remind me why I wanted to play live some 35 years ago... Nice to see Dom again too!

This looks like the part where Alex and I do the 'Strange Kind of Woman' vocal duel. Tonight, a second later a string broke. I graciously announced him as the winner and walked off the stage (I changed guitars and came back).
09 February 2011

Gary Moore was an enormous influence on my playing and I have read the news of his passing with great sadness. He was one of the best rockers ever. The ultimate rock guitarist and a terrific blues player. I saw him live years ago in Manchester and like Rory Gallagher in his time, he was a one-off wonder. I do not know any other guitarist who could play with such compassion and ferociousness - just take a look at him on you tube jamming at the Marshall factory - he annihilates the blues Devil and any other Satans in the vicinity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFwg1Ue_wdM&feature=related

Gary Moore - my Master - R.i.P

30 December 2010

Rehearsed last night with Purple Smoke - had a good time except it was freezing cold. I hear we have a second gig booked in April together with Straitus Quo which will be great fun (not yet posted on our websites) but check out their website anyway:- http://www.straitusquo.de/ Paul and Bernd - "Rocking all over the world".

28 November 2010

This week Bernd posted our demo songs over at Hessen Rockt :- http://rockt.tv/groups/purple-smoke (go to the bottom and click on the names).

Here is the new PS logo
31 October 2010

Last week we re-voted on the new band name - we are now 'Purple Smoke' and we will start with preparations for the new demo tomorrow evening. Joerg has done a great job on the new webpage which is still under construction so don't bother mailing about things missing, misspelt or not yet complete - you can have a sneak preview here - http://www.purple-smoke.de

Good-looking Alex and his taxi drivers from the Konstablerwache-Frankfurt. I would not get in a taxi with any of them... ha!
Dietmar (Stone) has built the fx-loop into my Plexi and he says it is working fine! What a guy! I am looking forward to try it out!!!

09 October 2010

This was not a stage! You could launch a rocket on it!

The stage itself was very very high...
05 October 2010

Finally back from Spain. I say 'finally' as we had flight cancellations caused by a general strike and the only reasonable $$$ option was to stay longer over the weekend. We had a really good time but we would rather have come home on time as were already mentally fatigued after 9 days, still, Mrs W and I boldly stuck it out. I had some of my favourites mp3s with me which made the beach more bearable.

Blue clear skies, blue clear sea, sandy beach, decent beach chairs, mps3 music and cold drinks.
19 September 2010

40 years ago on this weekend Jimi Hendrix came home in the early morning hours and for what-ever stupid reason took 9 pills on top of everything he had already consumed in that night, and shortly afterwards in bed he choked to death on his vomit. The autopsy confirmed red wine in his lungs. Either he under estimated the strength of the German pills from his then German girlfriend, or he was poisoned by her for personal reasons, or she poisoned him on behalf of stakeholders... There were as many stakeholders as there were conspiracy stories. Not unlike Michael Jackson of late. Jimi's career was at a crossroads as psychedelic-blues widdling was over. In England the rock bands were turning to song writing. It is ironic that the same British guitarists whom he had directly influenced had created a new genre of rock music and he was suddenly stumped and redundant. It would have been interesting to see what his next step would have been for the rocking 70s...

A great shame and a waste of a precious life. I find a lot of his songs dated and hard to listen too, and lots of live recordings and performances were totally ruined by drugs. Yet we have to remember that the late 60's were very different. All things said, he was the biggest guitar pioneer and influence of all times. He played masterfully, wrote dozens of electrifying classics (which no other single guitar-playing artist had done), and he was flamboyantly beautiful.
16 September 2010

Eich Kult Fest - it never fails to amaze me how friendly the organisers are and the lengths they go to to organise the event. The bands I saw were very good too.

This was in Sept. 1971 in Berlin.... exactly 39 years ago.
15 August 2010

I put the 'spare parts' Strat together and wired it up - it worked fine, but the neck I have felt wrong. I could not get warm with it at all and I have enough guitars... So I called it off. I will sell the body and neck separately. The body is from a ESP Strat.

A nice body, but I have enough...
17 July 2010

Once again I thank everyone at the Crope'n air Festival in Belgium for their warm hospitality and friendliness - Belgium is always a great place to play and everyone is so kind. Last night we ( Cheap Turtle ) had great fun despite a bad rain storm earlier in the evening. We started at 01.00 in the morning (today actually) and it went on until the very early hours - so I am a little groggy right now...

ps. our intrepid roadie, Dom, played bass (flawlessly) for us again as Joerg could not make it due to illness.

Here we are all in one shot.
Rock n' Roll way into the morning hours...
19 June 2010

This week we ( Cheap Turtle ) were in TV. Admittedly only for a short review as part of the overall TV report of the Open Doors concert. I have made a small snippet from RheinMainTV:- There are 2 links here - one for a Divx/MP4 format which works with VCL and Realplayer and the other for Windows Media Player:- If they do not start normally then click on the link with the right-mouse button and use 'Save As', and then open locally with your media player.

Link 01 for VCL and Realplayer - End of Burn - 2.2MB

Link 02 for Windows Player - End of Burn - 4.2MB

13 June 2010

The Hugenotten Halle is quite large and has a great stage - we estimate 400-500 people were there by the time we finished. I had a great time running about the stage - apart from playing well it was my best 'performance' yet. I felt like I was 20 again! The audiance was with us all the way - great to see so many people scream, dance and shout - exhilerating! I was on a high and did not want to stop!

29 May 2010

Last night Cheap Turtle had yet another landmark gig in Sinkkasten. Not because Sinkkasten is a reputable and honourable club to play in but more because poor Bernd had called in to say he was too ill with fever to play keyboards. For the 3rd time in 4 gigs we were forced to either cancel or take the risk with a replacement. Well, there are not so many Jon Lords on the streets, but once again we could fully rely on Andi Koenig from Demons Eye to step as our Jon Lord for the night. The gig was a rousing success and we all had an awesum night.

Here we are - the Cheap Turtle Globe Trotters - the show that never ends...
Stefan - having a ball! He is usually hidden behind his kit and pictures are rare, so here he is!
Andreas Koenig - a 'king' amongst keyboarders!
And last, but not least... Brett Blackmore!
23 May 2010

Last call - The next Cheap Turtle gig is next Friday - 28.05.10 Sinkkasten - Broennerstr. 5-9, 60313 Frankfurt. I hear Sinkkasten is quite a well-known venue. Looking forward to that.

I bought an ESP Strat body on Fleabay for 4 Euros - the postage costed slightly more, ha! Anyway it arrived and it is pretty good! I will make a standard Strat using all my left over parts. Will take a pic tomorrow.

16 May 2010

Last night Cheap Turtle had a great gig in the Rockland Cafe in Bad Kreuznach. Our guest singer was Michael Baum, who brilliantly sang his way thru the set without anyone even knowing he is not the singer - I don't even think anyone even mentioned it.

Bernd and Thilo brought their new PA system and I must give full credit to Thilo for getting us a great sound with so little time - also credit to Dom who was lugging things around.

The Rockland Cafe is quite cool and it may even become a regular watering hole for me. It was also a pleasure to see Bernie Schiffmann and also Ingo M. from the Fakedolls. It was a rare that I did not need to drive - I have a thick head today...

Michael and I
09 May 2010

I got home a 04.00 this morning and then sat a little dazed in front of the TV with a well deserved cold beer. Miltenberg is in Bayern and as usual there was the load-and-unload in Frankfurt so sure I was a little tired, but otherwise ok. Yesterday we (Cheap Turtle) played with a good performance and good spirit, but sadly there were not as many there as expected... A shame when you add up all the hours of preparation, travelling, running costs and countless risks. Last week in the Musikkeller (Frankfurt) I lost a piece off my tremolo arm on my main Strat - last night a different piece broke off the tremolo on my backup Strat (Tweety) plus the input jack broke. I asked the Beavers staff if I could take an input jack from one of their guitars on the walls and they kindly obliged. Yesterday I played the whole of the gig with 'Tweety'. ps. My Plexi was fine - sounded very good with EL34 tubes - yet it is just so LOUD!

Regretfully no one had a camera so I snapped a few shots with my handy:-

Beavers is a very cool place with lots of musical memorabilia!
My Plexi with Joergs JTM-45 on top (just in case...) - looks cool!
25 April 2010

It was almost a disaster... Yesterday we (Cheap Turtle) loaded the transporter and I got something in my eye and as you know that does not work well with hard contact lenses. I was suffering in tears for hours. However that is trivial compared to the real upset of the evening - whilst loading the gear into the club Joerg was suddenly taken ill and by the time we did the sound check it was clear he could not play bass - it looked like we had to cancel. However through great fortune our intrepid roadie 'Dom' volunteered to play bass and my Fabian was to take his place at the door. Dom handles everything around the stage / band, and he plays bass in his own heavy-metal-*Prog-Rock* band. We had no time for rehearsal - we knew it was going to be interesting...

And then there was a second pleasant surprise - Andy, the ex Keyboarder from CT who now plays for Demon's Eye, happened to be at the gig and voluteered to play bass for a song - Let the show begin!

We hit the stage and exploded - pure adrenelin! Everyone and every song was perfect - Dom rocked like a crazy nut! His performance and exuberance rubbed off on us all. It was truly great fun and the audience were very enthusiastic. And then Andy joined us for Mistreated - I played an extended intro and then we rocked into the song - it was one of the best versions I have personally played and Andy nailed it perfectly.

The hero of the night! Dom!
Andy, the keyboarder from Demon's Eye!
I also met Paul McGarry who sings/plays guitar with Bernd in Straitus Quo - it was very nice to speak with a fellow Englishman and muscian. I also met their other guitarist, Dimi, but I did not realise that at the time. Both are very pleasant guys, I am looking forward to see them live soon.

05 April 2010

The sun is shining. I am back home after our latest adventure in Belgium at Take 5 - Cheap Turtle had a great night and as usual the folks there were very friendly and appreciated everything we did. Alex and Sophie (and all their staff) were very kind. We had a great sound and I was happy again with my equipment - especially with my Satchurator.

Here is Take 5 - the playing hall is the white building at the rear.

Here is Take 5 - Harley over the door/roof. It has very unusual toilets too... Hall is at the rear.
Great sound - great gig!
30 January 2010

I sold my Engl combo for a good price. The Engl sound too much 'combo' for me and also sounded strange and overwhelmed thru my big Marshall boxes. Oh well. At least the money will pay for the first installment on my teeth - hmpf! Yet I will need a backup amp soon - a cheap EL34 amp with a master volume?

A little Engl... But we had to part ways...
My Satch guitar is finally assembled for testing and last-minute tweaking. It looks great, sounds great and plays very well. I will change the middle size frets for jumbo frets and find some decent screws for the pickup frames. The Ibanez machineheads are crap but appear to stay in tune - I will keep an eye on those... The tremolo system is cheap crap but know I know I will keep the guitar I can buy a better one soon. Sorry about the picture - I will take some better ones tomorrow.

Finally assembled for testing!
01 January 2010

I was reading some funny quotes from musicians yesterday over at Dave Lings web-page - some are really funny!

Here are a few to get the new page started:

"A French magazine printed my obituary. How did I die? I dunno, it was in French."
Lemmy Kilmister

"Madam, you're a banquet of a woman!"
David Coverdale, to a lady who exposed her breasts at Whitesnake's Hammersmith Apollo show

"When I was doing cocaine regularly I would say it was very much out of boredom - plus the fact that I was addicted."
UFO's Pete Way

"I had a couple of drinks. I started in 1970 and finished in 1985. It was a very big drink."
Alice Cooper

"When I first met him, he couldn't even speak English. It was all 'fuck, 'cunt', 'piss, 'shit'. I introduced him to a whole new side of life. I gave him a dictionary."
Angus Young of AC/DC on the late Bon Scott