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He felt that Hughes was too soul and funk, and Coverdale wasn’t performing Blackmore’s sword and sorcery lyrics with conviction.Paice and Lord wanted to stop the band then, but Hughes and Coverdale talked them into staying.
The members of Deep Purple were amenable with Tommy completing that project, however, as they had been individually been considering doing solo projects themselves while remaining with the band, so Tommy was quickly on board and the full lineup was intact.
As desperation was setting in from the growing bill for studio time and wear and tear from the auditions, Deep Purple roadie Colin Hart was talking about the situation with Robert Simon when Tommy Bolin’s name came up.
Simon had done sound on shows for promoter Barry Fey, including the James Gang, and he had been very impressed by Tommy’s abilities on guitar.
Previously used by Columbia Pictures for movie production, the huge building was taken over and renamed Pirate Sound Studios by sound engineer Robert Simon, nicknamed ‘Captain California.’ Deep Purple were one of the first bands to book time there, as Simon had been a favored sound engineer at previous Deep Purple live shows dating back to 1972.
The band auditioned a large number of guitarists, including Dave “Clem” Clemson.
Whereas in June and July the band had been exuberantly jamming and working on fresh material for the album, for the live performances Tommy was faced with being expected to play Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar parts note for note on the older Deep Purple material in the set list.
In effect this made Tommy feel like a hired hand rather than a creative partner and resource, feelings similar to what he had experienced replacing Joe Walsh in the James Gang.
Of the two remaining tunes, one was “Lady Luck,” a Jeff Cook tune from Tommy’s days in Energy.
One thing that was certain was at this point the band was extremely enthusiastic across the board about Tommy’s involvement.
This was arguably the most commercially successful lineup with hits such as “Smoke on the Water” and the Made In Japan LP.
Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left in 1973, replaced by David Coverdale on vocals and Glenn Hughes on vocals and bass to complete the Mk 3 lineup.
The original lineup is referred to as Mk 1 (short for “Mark,” which caught on rather than “Version”).