COLIN HART1) How did you get involved with DP? When, what you did, what was it like?
I first got involved with Deep Purple when I was touring the U.S. in 1970 with a band called Mathews Southern Comfort. We were the opening band, then Deep Purple and Rod Stewart and the Faces were the headline act. We all had a blast and I was offered a job with them after the tour. I accepted......and here I am.
2) Who was the "leader" of the band after Ritchie 75?
Ritchie was not the leader of the band. There was no leader after Ritchie. He made himself the leader by only doing things his way and when he wanted to. When he left it was back to a 5 way decision process, six ways actually as Bruce Payne was involved, too.
3) Do you remember if DP Mark III ever recorded their concerts, if yes - where are the tapes?
There were some recordings and I believe the tapes are in the hands of the people who we used for sound at the time, in California. I'm sure they will surface sometime soon.
4) During 1975 DP rehearsed at Pirate Sound studios, what you remember from those sessions?
It was a lot of fun there rehearsing with Deep Purple and Rainbow, who used the same place for all their auditions and rehearsals too. There were many other bands playing around us in different rooms at the time, too, so it was a good chance to mingle.
5) You were with DP at Pirate Sound, did Ritchie "steal" you from DP?
Ritchie asked me to go with him when Rainbow started and I agreed to move to California and was with Rainbow through its entire life, until the most recent one, of course.
6) Who was in Rainbow when you "joined" them?
Rainbow number 1 was Blackmore, Dio, Mickey lee Soule, Gary Driscoll and Craig Gruber on bass.
7) What was working with Rainbow like? What did you for Rainbow?
I was Tour Manager and general "do anything" person for Rainbow. I was the lucky guy who got to tell everyone who came to auditions that they didn't get the job, too.
8) Can you tell something about Cozy Powell, what was he like and why he left Rainbow?
Cozy was one of the best guys I ever met in the music business. He was honest, funny, kind and spoke his mind exactly as he felt. That's how he and Blackmore began to not get along. He told him what he thought, and would not be a toy in the band for Ritchie to push around. I think that was the reason for his leaving. He got tired of all the bullshit. I also shared a house with Cozy for a few years in Weston, Connecticut in the late 70's.
9) Or Graham Bonnet? Why he got fired?
Again, Graham fell out of favour for being himself and doing things his own way, like getting his haircut against Blackmore's wishes, which infuriated Ritchie beyond belief. He also is a really great guy with a big heart and I was proud to have been his friend.
10) How did you feel about those always changing line-ups?
It was frustrating, but there was always a new enthusiasm from Blackmore when he had new blood in the band.
11) Did Rainbow record other concerts than those for On Stage album - where are those tapes?
I'm sure someone recorded some stuff, but I don't know who has them or where they are.
12) When did you first hear about DP re-union - anything special from Perfect Strangers sessions?
The reunion was mentioned many times before it happened over a peroid of a couple of years. Perfect Strangers was one of the best times I have had with them (Purple) probably.
13) What do you do during recording sessions- except play golf?
I have only started to play golf since moving to Florida about 4 years ago, and I don't play when they are recording. There is always plenty to do, dealing with 5 band members who are all so independant from each other.I usually try and stay out of the way when they are actually recording and prefer to listen to a finished piece.
14) Is the DP's football team still alive?
Gladly, the football team has died a loing time ago, when R.B. quit the band. He forced people to play and most resented that. I played again long after he had gone in a league down here, until my knee finally said "no more". It was a pleasure to play here for fun, but I did have some good times playing for them, except he (R.B.) always wanted to win, no matter what.
15) When Ritchie left 93, did he ask you to come along? or Bruce?
When he left, he wanted to get rid of everyone except Bruce, but Bruce didn't want him anymore, as he too was fed up with R.B.
16) Do you have contact with him nowadays?
The last time I spoke to him was when I left him at the Airport we connected through, after leaving Finland and his final show. I said " see you sometime" and that was the last I ever saw or heard from him.
17) How is your job (in a couple of words)? Has your job changed a lot during years?
My job is a lot more work than many people realise, including the band and management. It has changed a lot over the years from a fun thing to a very business thing now.
Thank you very much Colin.
by Tero, PSOF 2000