The Band

John - vocals, harmonica, percussion.

When offstage, John spends every spare minute immersed in his other passion - martial arts - teaching Jujitsu, Karate & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

One evening in 1980, John's fifteen year old brother put 'Child In Time' on the turntable and turned it up to 11. From that moment, seven year old John was hooked, wondering "How can Ian Gillan scream so high, without hurting his throat?" 'Mutually Assured Destruction', by Gillan, further fuelled the youngster's intrigue, which was to remain for many years to come.

By the time John was fifteen (by now having lived in Gibraltar six years), he was regularly wailing along to Blackie Lawless and W.Axl Rose in his bedroom, every night. At eighteen, the opportunity to emulate his early vocal influence arose, when he successfully auditioned for 'Jesus Christ Superstar' (the anoraks among you will know that Ian Gillan sang the part of Jesus on the original studio recording).
John's live debut arrived in April 1992, in front of a six hundred-strong audience, in St. Michael's Cave, Gibraltar. Shortly afterwards, John's first band was formed, the local phenomenon 'Sympathy For The Blonde' - a cross between Metallica, Guns n' Roses and The Sex Pistols, with a sprinkling of Jim Morrison's drunken theatricality. After the inevitable break-up, due to musical differences (of course!), John spent a number of years making a name for himself as a DJ in and around southern Spain, even spending a week DJ-ing for reggae band 'Aswad' in 1995!
In 1997, John returned to the UK and, after several years of musical inactivity, decided he needed to get back onstage and joined the rock covers band 'Sibling Rivalry'. After a few months, the band imploded and John decided to return to his original musical influence. With his brother Lee taking care of the management side of things, the Deep Purple tribute band 'Purple' was formed, with Mike Harlow and the late, great Brian Matthews.  'Purple' evolved in to 'Purple Zeppelin'. The rest, I'm sure, will be history................


Mark - Guitar and Musical Director

Joined pre-punk band "Scum of the Earth" whilst at school - supported Michael Des Barres (husband of Pamela, and singer with Silverhead) at the Roundhouse. The band split and reformed as Streamliner with John Osborn (aka Billy Karloff) -  gigs on the London pub circuit with Iron Maiden, Heavy Metal Kids (Gary Holton) etc. Narrowly escaped being mauled by resident lion on the roof of The Island Hotel, Leysdown which soon after mysteriously burnt down.

Worked at Macari's guitar shop in Charing Cross Road for 3 years - sold goodies to Thin Lizzy, Jack Bruce, Hank Marvin, Eric Idle, Tony McFee, Andy Fraser etc - and attended many Led Zeppelin rehearsals at ELPs Manticore studios on pretext of selling them equipment - actually just to watch in awe!

Bought John Paul Jones' stage bass rig, consisting of the three Acoustic amps and bass bins he used at virtually every Zeppelin gig between about 1970 and 1976. Rather stupidly, declined his offer to also sell me his Fender Jazz bass for £250 as the action was too high and it wasn't very comfortable to play. Doh!!!

 

 

Attended ELPs Christmas party. Not the evening of sex, drugs and rock and roll my teenage self had been hoping for, as the Roadies forgot to order enough beer (amongst other things) Auditioned for The Damned - didn't get the gig.

Formed NWOBHM band Legend - played gigs on same circuit as Dervish guitarist and chum, Brian Matthews. Later joined by brother Gavin Matthews on bass, and played Marquee several times before splitting. Recorded and worked with many artists in the studio  http://www.londonrecording.com/clients.html 
Mixed "Motorhead Live 1983" album.

Bumped into Robert Plant whilst on holiday in Ibiza. He was there with his band working on new material, and played several low key club gigs where the locals didn't seem to know who he was. There were cardboard handwritten signs saying "Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin singer" pinned to lamposts outside the club, to pull in the punters! I took some photos at the gigs and one of them ended up in in the music paper "Sounds". Phil Carson (then head of Atlantic records) contacted me to ask for a set of the photos as he was playing bass in some of them, and gave me a big pile of albums in return. Cheers Phil!

Legend album AD1980 released retrospectively on CD by Vinyl Tap. Re-kindled interest in playing, and formed noisy rock covers band "Taste Station Zero" with Gavin. Started learning piano and joined blues band, Sneeky, on guitar then piano. Recorded several albums with musical pals, just for fun, as "The Plums"

Asked at short notice to form backing band for Elvis tribute artist, Danny Fisher to fulfil gigs at the Albert Hall. Members of the brass section "The Kick Horns" http://www.kickhorns.com/ 
were already on board, and very fortunate to obtain the services of Shakin' Stevens drummer, Howard Tibble and Gavin. Great fun to be involved in those amazing gigs!

Played (basic!) piano in house band for jam nights at a Rock pub for about a year. Most unexpected gig was with Brian and Gavin at Igtham village hall, playing with the girls from Bucks Fizz! Joined Purple as temporary stand in for Brian to fulfil gig obligations. Discovered the joys of scalloped fretboards and played guitar in the house band for weekly jam nights in Sevenoaks.

Toured South Korea with the Abbagirls (www.abbagirls.com)
as Bjorn (embarrassing photos available on request) The first show was broadcast live on TV to 6 million viewers, with later gigs at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul.
Purple later expanded repertoire to include a set by Led Zeppelin which is where we are today. Probably the most enjoyable guitar gig ever……..


Mike - Bass Guitar
First introduced to Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple amongst lots of other Classic Rock Bands of the seventies at the age of 9 or 10 by my older brother - thanks Rob. The obsession with this music began then and remains to this day.
Started playing music while at school with a bit of guitar and various brass instruments until I settled on the Eb Bass (Tuba).
Played in lots of brass concerts and recorded an album with the brass band while at school but quickly claimed the school music departments new purchase of a bass guitar (a Columbus Jazz Bass) when it arrived.
Joined my first gigging band on leaving school, followed by several others in the 1980's including "'Loose Ends" , "Life Line" , "Free Fall" , "In Like Thieves" amongst others.

Had a long spell of more years than I should have not playing music at all and becoming "Corporate Mike" - travelling up and down the country working and staying away from home and loosing my hair! I eventually dusted off the Rickenbacker when I auditioned for the Deep Purple Tribute Band "Purple". We have been playing the Deep Purple music we love ever since but the lure of playing some Led Zeppelin was too great and eventually we had to incorporate a Zeppelin set into the show!


Alex - Drums

Influences The Faces, Fishbone, Deep Purple, Rage Against The Machine and so much more.

Started banging on cardboard boxes aged 10 years old, and got first real drum kit at 12. Played in schoolboy band Infinity, then Bloodshot, Chevennes R&B band, Primary Colours, and the Admirers.