Deep Purple today win the somewhat surprising endorsement of a British government minister. John Whittingdale MP, in his first interview since being appointed as Culture Secretary in the new Conservative cabinet, pronounces himself a big fan of the rock giants.
The interview, in the Daily Telegraph today (Saturday), contains a further surprise in that Whittingdale reveals that his all-time favourite Purple track is not one of their signature songs from the classic Mark II era of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. Instead, it’s a much-loved track from the 1980s period in which that Blackmore-Gillan-Paice-Lord-Glover line-up was reunited.
His predecessors as Culture Secretary attracted questions about their suitability for the role, but Whittingdale stresses that he is a lover of all of the arts. “I love TV, I love film, I love music,” he says. “I always have done. My tastes in all of them are pretty broad. I occasionally think about what might be my top 10 records and it ranges from Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to Deep Purple’s ‘Knocking At Your Back Door.’
“I do have a love of rock music,” he goes on. “I’m seeing AC/DC in a couple of weeks’ time. I’m going to [London venue] the Roundhouse tonight. I went there for something called Sham’s Last Stand which was Sham 69 when I was about 22. I went to see the Buzzcocks there, I’ve seen Deep Purple there.”
‘Knocking At Your Back Door’ was the opening song on Purple’s 1984 reunion album ‘Perfect Strangers’ album. The modern-day version of the group are on a North American tour in July and August, then a European run (with support from Rival Sons) that concludes with a date at the 02 in London on December 3. We hope to see Mr. Whittingdale there.