The official Deep Purple YouTube channel has released a split-screen video that will be eagerly received by their legions of fans. It includes previously unseen footage from the original camera rushes of their performance of one of their best-loved hits, ‘Black Night,’ filmed at their concert in Hamburg, Germany on 1 December 1970.
It’s a rare opportunity to see not only the Mk Ii line-up of the rock trendsetters in their early pomp as a live outfit, but the reaction of their fans at certain points during the track. At the time of the concert, ‘Black Night’ had just been Purple’s first major European hit single, and remained their biggest-ever hit there. It entered the UK bestsellers in August 1970 and spent two weeks at No. 2 in October, held off the top only by Freda Payne’s ‘Band Of Gold,’ also reaching No. 2 in Germany.
Richard Green wrote a piece for the NME at the time of the band’s German tour, in which he said: “There’s a very mysterious Fraulein X doing the rounds of German concert halls that quite a few bands would like to get their hands on at the moment. Deep Purple encountered her and her devious activities twice during the first half of their current German tour when she organised riots of a very frightening nature in Hanover and Heidelberg.
“Purple are the latest group to suffer from the deplorable antics of ‘fans’ who want all concerts to be free. At the slightest suggestion of an entrance fee, upwards of a thousand troublemakers gather at the hall and provoke everyone in sight into damaging property.
“’They had battering rams in Heidelberg and they were trying to get at the band,’ Ian Paice told me when I joined them in Hamburg. ‘I was really frightened. They had us cornered in the dressing room.”
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