Glenn Hughes performs Classic Deep Purple at O2 Institute Birmingham.Glenn Hughes

By: Lori Smerilson Carson

Adding a bit of nostalgia to one’s life, especially these days, is always a great idea, and Vocalist, Bassist, Songwriter Glenn Hughes has created the perfect trip back in time. This extraordinarily talented musician and his band Guitarist Soren Andersen, Keyboardist Ed Roth and Drummer Ash Sheehan are hitting the road to play Deep Purple’s album BURN for its fiftieth anniversary, as well as a few other memorable tunes of that era. Florida fans will be able to see this amazing show on September 22nd at The Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale and on September 23rd at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.

Hughes started his career in Trapeze before joining Deep Purple in 1973 to record their eighth studio album BURN which was released in 1974. That same year they also released STORMBRINGER and in 1975, Come taste the band. He released his first solo album Play Me Out in 1977, has been a part of several projects including joining The Dead Daisies in 2019, and as one of the founders, is still with supergroup Black Country Communion, which has been going strong since 2009.

Catching up with Hughes just prior to this fiftieth anniversary tour which he is co-headlining with Yngwie Malmsteen, he revealed some details about the tour, some insight regarding recording the original version of BURN, a bit about his past and what fans can look forward to.

SFL Music: What can fans look forward to with the Burn fiftieth anniversary tour?
Glenn Hughes: Well, I’m honoring the legacy of that album and a few other songs from my catalogue with Deep Purple. Look, it’s unbelievably fifty years ago since we were at the castle in the English countryside writing those songs, and here I am talking to you. I may be the last man standing to be able to do these songs, so I’m very grateful to bring these songs to the fans.

SFL Music: Is that what inspired you to do this tour?
Hughes: Honestly, it’s been coming to realize it’s been fifty years ago this month when we were in the castle making that, writing those songs and again I say, I am the only one doing these songs right now and I don’t think they’ll ever be performed again. When I’m finished doing this tour at the end of next year, these selection of all these songs possibly won’t be played in their entirety again. So, let’s all get together and enjoy them now.

SFL Music: Absolutely! I know you’re talking about “Burn”, “Sail Away” and all those awesome songs. Now the story about the castle, did that have an influence on your writing? I know you wrote with David Coverdale a lot.
Hughes: Yeah, we were at this castle called Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire, right on the Welsh border. It was the summer of ’73 and we were set up to write in the crypt, the dungeon in the lower level of the castle where you can imagine all kinds of things happened down there. Maybe a few murders down there. So, we were writing this piece of music in the confines of this very gloomy atmosphere, but it spurred us to create this brand-new music and remember back in that period, David and I were the new guys. Ritchie (Blackmore), Jon (Lord) and Ian (Gillan), the older team. We felt like a brand-new band, and we felt fresh and young and hungry.

SFL Music: There was a story where Ritchie put a speaker in your room with ghost sounds? What happened with that? Did it scare you?
Hughes: Well, Jon warned me something like this was gonna happen. I hadn’t spent enough time with Ritchie to realize, he won’t do that to me. Of course, that first night sleep. Ritchie and I were the first ones to arrive and we had dinner together, and then at three o’clock in the morning, whoo whoo whoo, whoo whoo. He rigged a speaker up in my room under the bed and was on a microphone in the next room. You know when you’re really dead asleep (he laughed)? You can imagine, right?

SFL Music: I’d be running out the door.
Hughes: Yeah, it was funny the next morning.

SFL Music: Did he do things like that all the time?
Hughes: All the time. Ritchie and I by the way for people that care, we have always had a very good relationship. Forget the rumors. Ritchie and I, we’ve been great friends. So, he always had practical jokes and that was Ritchie Blackmore. That’s the kind of guy he is.

SFL Music: That’s a cool story, and Jon was the one who warned everyone?
Hughes: Jon was beautiful and I miss him. Look Lori, making that particular album in that castle with these five men all again, fresh and ready to go, was remarkable. It’s a moment in history for not just rock fans, but us fellows that were making the album.

SFL Music: Do you foresee anything in the future with David and Ritchie?
Hughes: David and I speak quite often about maybe doing some other stuff. We’ve been talking about this for quite some time. We did try and put with Jon twenty years ago, we did try and contact Richie about doing MK 3 again and nobody could reach him. So unfortunately, that didn’t happen and Jon’s no longer with us. You know Lori, people ask me all the time, “will you get together again with Ritchie or David?” It would be interesting. Will it happen? I don’t think so, but I can’t say, never will happen. I have no expectations, Lori. I have enough in my life with whatever I’ve done. Good, mad, happy, glad, sad. I have had enough, and I have enough going forward. Would it be nice to take a lunch with Ritchie and David? Of course, it would. Would we work together again? I’m not sure, but you never know, do you?

SFL Music: This is true. You’ve been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What was that experience like?
Hughes: Well, David and I were together. We didn’t perform that evening. Ritchie wasn’t there, so we didn’t do any music. It was a bit strange because David and I were one team and the band with their team. It was a little bit uncomfortable, not just for me and David, but it was little bit uncomfortable. I only want to wish Deep Purple only the very, very best. I have no hard feelings and hopefully they feel the same.

SFL Music: How did you and Yngwie (Malmsteen) end up doing this tour? It’s going to be phenomenal!
Hughes: I’ve known Yngwie since 1983. We’ve been friends since then. He opened up for me when I was in a band called Hughes/Thrall in L.A. when he was in a band called Steeler. So, we’ve been in touch ever since and I see Yngwie whenever I can. He played a song with me, one of my songs “Mistreated” about ten years ago in London at Wembley Arena for the Marshall (Amps) fiftieth anniversary. After we played that song, we got together and said, well you never know. Maybe we can do this again or we can maybe do something together, and ten years later, here we are doing this co-headlining tour across the USA!

SFL Music: What influenced you originally to become a musician? When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
Hughes: Well, I was a soccer player as a pre-teen and I played soccer for not just my school, for the county as a twelve-year-old kid. It was around about when The Beatles started making music in 1963 that I asked my parents, is it possible I could get a guitar for Christmas? I was studying, reading music as an eleven-year-old in school. I played trombone and piano. So, I was reading music as a pre-teen and when I started playing guitar, I fell in love with the six-string instrument and of course I went on to play the four-string instrument. I still play keyboards and guitar and of course, you know me for my voice.

SFL Music: So, you had that formal training?
Hughes: I had formal training, yes.

SFL Music: What would you recommend to a new musician?
Hughes: When I use the term quite simple, it’s not simple. Especially a pre-teen, anywhere between ten and thirteen or something like that. If you fall in love with something, any kind of art form or anything you love. If you could stay the course for a couple of years when you’re very young. My nephew, when he was very young, he would play hockey. Now he plays hockey all the time. So, I say if you love something so much you could live, breathe, see, eat, everything’s got to be centered around that, and then you’ll find your passion and your desire, and if it comes true, then you’re on the way.

SFL Music: Is that what you attribute to the longevity and success that you have?
Hughes: Yeah. This is not a joke. I still sometimes on the road sleep with one of my guitars. I love my work. I love writing music. I’m a different man than I was in the seventies. Everything has changed for me. My whole lifestyle has changed. I’m very grateful to still be here when some of my friends as you know, aren’t here. We’ve lost a lot of incredible musicians from either cancer or alcohol abuse or whatever they are no longer here, and my job is to carry the flag for those that aren’t still here and those who still want to carry on making music and coming to shows.

SFL Music: Are there any new projects coming up?
Hughes: I just completed the new Black Country Communion album with Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian. I completed the vocals two days ago, so the album will be coming out in I’d say, early spring next year. So, that’s the next album you’re gonna see coming from me. Lori, I’m going to be doing this legacy show until the end of 2024 and after that, I’ll be doing something else. I know what it is. I can’t say what it is, but I’ll be doing something other than that. There’s only so long I can play these entire songs. I mean, this catalogue of songs all night, like in a set list. There’s only so long I can do that. I want to get back to playing my solo work. I’ve got seventeen albums of Glenn Hughes solo that need to be addressed, and maybe there will be a new one next year too.

SFL Music: What would you say inspires you when you write?
Hughes: I only write about the human condition. I don’t write about fiction. Ever since I got sober in ’91, I changed the format of the way I wrote. So, when I made a decision to get sober, when I came back to the land of the living, I decided I’d write about love and about faith and about, not so much religion. I talk about spirituality, about staying in the present. So, I always write about us, the human condition. About the love factor and how we keep ourselves together as one.

SFL Music: That’s so important nowadays too. Is there anything else that you want fans to know about?
Hughes: Only to tell them this, how important it is for me to come to you in America. I’ve been a resident here, a citizen for a long time. I am an American although I have a British accent. I love this country. It’s the greatest country in the world. No matter what we’re going through right now, we are Americans and we always will win in the end, we will get there. So, I’m looking forward to playing to my fans across this great nation, in every city, in every venue as we trudge along this happy road of destiny.

SFL Music: Is there anything particular you like about Florida?
Hughes: Florida, one of my favorite places. I look forward to coming down to see you. Again, it’s the people, isn’t it? So, for me it’s every night, every county in this country. Basically, I’m in love with this country and I can’t wait to visit with my fans. They’re not coming to see me. I’m coming to see them, trust me.

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