In a world gone mad, you can trust Ian Gillan

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In the past two weeks, as latter-day celebrity Beirut fans like Anthony Bourdain and Liza Minelli have hightailed it out of the Middle East or canceled appearances (in Minelli's case as a kind of international goodwill gesture), one group of long-time Lebanon hands has hung on doggedly: Deep Purple boldly and repeatedly refused to cancel its appearance at the Baalbeck Festival. "The band has never canceled a show and has no intention of doing so," Deep Purple said in a statement a week ago. "If the festival promoter decides to cancel the show as a result of the current conflicts, Deep Purple will vow to reschedule in the near future."

Sadly, a band willing to brave smoke on the water was stopped by smoke over Baalbeck, which has since become another target. I'd look for them to keep that rescheduling promise, however. Deep Purple to my knowledge has been playing Lebanon since at least the early 1990s, a time when that trip was still considered somewhat intrepid. Back then, Deep Purple and the legendary Samantha Fox were the only acts broad-minded or career-challenged enough to make Beirut a stop on the tour, but make it they did. In the Hariri era the pickings got easier and the celebrity namechecks moved up the C- and into the B+ and A- lists: Shirley Bassey, Alvin Lee and Ten Years After, Roger Waters, Mariah Carey (post-crackup!), Fiddy… All gone now. The summer celebrities have flown the nest, but bank on this: Deep Purple shall return, river-deep and mountain-high.

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NEXT: Rice Rocks Beirut

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  1. It’s hard not to think of Israel as the bad guys when they fuck with my man Tony. Fewer episodes of No Reservations = an absolute moral wrong.

  2. Per Anthony Bourdain: ?It was paradise, sort of the western dream of the way we?d all like the Middle East to be?enlightened, progressive, multi-cultural, and multi-religious,? he told Reuters. No longer. ?I was in love for two days,? he said, ?and had my heart broken on the third.? He added: ?I feel this awful sense of regret that we were never able to show Beirut as it was. To see everyone?s hopes die and watch the country dismantled piece by piece was very painful. I?m very angry and very frustrated.?

    Seems we – of all nations – would want something of what Mr. Bourdain describes to stand as a bit of a beacon. Sad that we’re doing so little to help that flourish under the dubious claim of “letting Israel defend itself.”

    I’ve got no problem with Israel defending itself. I encourage it. But something about all of this seems very wrong and I have a bad feeling about our part in it.

    I hope Tim is right about Rice’s visit. Time will tell.

  3. I saw Deep Purple back in 85. It was the summer before I joined the Navy. They were on a reunion tour even then. It had already been over two decades since Machine Head. I wonder if John Lord is still with them.

  4. In a world gone mad, you can trust Ian Gillan

    I’d have more faith if Ritchie Blackmore was playing with them.

  5. “Sad that we’re doing so little to help that flourish under the dubious claim of “letting Israel defend itself.””

    And now they’re blowing up marked ambulances as they load up with injured women and kids.

  6. Just found that out, Jon. This whole bit of businesses gets sadder with each day.

    I have never felt less faith in a president than I do with Bush now. I hope and pray that I am wrong.

  7. Here’s a great Bob Dylan song about Israel:

    http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/bully.html

  8. Warren,

    No, John Lord’s retired. The band’s still going strong, though, even without Blackmore (Steve Morse — ex Kansas — does a pretty good job filling RB’s shoes). Check out Purpendicular — it’s almost as good as Machine Head and a hell of a lot better than most of Purple’s 80’s and 90’s drek.

  9. And now they’re blowing up marked ambulances as they load up with injured women and kids.

    The Jews have the right to strike against their would be mass murderers no matter who they use to shield them. As Israel is the only criminal state — next to America — for the Nazilike, Ernst Rhoem wannabe Libertarians, it’s good to hear you creatures scream at the Jewish state. They must do be doing something right to make you guys foam-at-the-mouth so much. And I thought you anti-Semites said it was the Jews who whined. HA!

    As Reason did a friendly interview with Hizbollah, it’s natural that it should be disturbed by Israel’s action against its heroes.

    Here’s an excellent video about you Hizbollah supporters from that beautiful woman the misnamed Reason magazine smears as a murderess, Michelle Malkin:As Libertarians are not patriotic Americans, this video will not impress you; however, there may be patriotic lurkers amongst the Hit & Run board and they will find the video useful

  10. So all Lebanese are mass murderers? And you have it on good authority that the ambulances were a sheild rather than carrying the injured claimed in the article?

    You’re making the classic argument that criticizing Israel means I’m an anti-semite. I can’t speak for Reason but I am not an anti-semite. I strongy support Israel’s right to exist. However, one would think that it might be smart for Israel to focus on Hezbollah rather than inflaming the situation by bombing civilians in the country Hezbollah happens to inhabit. And one would think we would want to support a burgeoning democracy in the area rather than supporting Israel’s off-the-scale bombing campaign. They should be focusing on Hezbollah – not killing innocent civilans.

    But since those civilians are (for the most part) neither Jewish or Christian, it must be o.k. to kill them, right Steven? Since, of course, all Muslims ar terrorists.

  11. I strongy support Israel’s right to exist.

    Geee…. I strongly support your right to exist too, Madpad. HOORAY for the little things!

    But since those civilians are (for the most part) neither Jewish or Christian, it must be o.k. to kill them, right Steven? Since, of course, all Muslims ar terrorists.

    Don’t they all go to their triple xxx rated paradise when they die? If death is what they love so much, then they should get down on their knees and thank whoever is killing them for giving them an early ticket to their triple X rated paradise, where they’ll get to have sex with all these comely girls and boys. I just don’t see what all the fuss is about or what the criticism is even if Israel is doing what you smear it as doing.

  12. You have some serious issues, Steven. Maybe you ought to work on ’em.

  13. Wait, when did Reason call Malkin a “murderess”?

  14. Good old Purple. They are one of the few bands which actually could play during a bombardment, as they would drown out the sound of the artillery

  15. Steven, maybe you should advocate killing Christians too. They’ll go to fluffy clouds, harps, and halos Heaven, won’t they? Clearly the only crime would be to murder atheists.

    SR, I think he’s talking about this
    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/07/suicide_not_pai.shtml
    (filtered through a 3rd grade reading comprehension.)

  16. I’m a HUGE Deep Purple fan, and I think it’s great that they’ll reschedule this. Jon Lord retired a couple of years ago because of their constant touring and his desire to finally get around to some of his backburner projects. Purple is way better with Steve Morse on guitar than with Blackmore–Ritchie didn’t give a shit during the reunion era at all and you could tell from his half-assed playing. Morse is an amazing musician who has brought a lot of energy and chops into Purple.

    BTW, if anyone’s interested, Ian Gillan is going to be doing a solo tour of the USA this summer/fall to support “Gillan’s Inn”, which is rerecordings he did of a bunch of his old stuff, both in and out of Purple.

  17. Bruce Dickinson will only go as far as Cyprus

    Pussy.

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