|Their combined age is probably in the region of - well let's not even think about it...|
Never mind about the years, feel the quality. Throw the combination of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash into conversation and, if you are talking to any rock fan worth their salt, you should get the equivalent of a rock high five.
All three bands are heading south in May next year for BIG Concerts, for the Masters of Rock concert tour, kicking off Friday, May 28, in Johannesburg, going on to Durban on Sunday, May 30, and wrapping up on Tuesday, June 1 in Cape Town.
Headlining will be "the world's loudest band", (according to Guinness World Records) - Deep Purple.
Formed in 1968 and ranked as number 22 on VH1s Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, Deep Purple are regarded as the founders of British heavy metal.
Over the years the original nucleus of Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Rod Evans and Nick Simper have changed (for a start, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover replaced Evans and Simper).
Lead vocalist Gillan came and went and came back.
Just think Hush (which, in 1968, gave the band their first top 5 single in the US), Black Night, Slaves and Masters and, of course, that rock anthem Smoke on the Water.
Formed in 1970, with such hits as Easy Livin, Sweet Freedom and Wonderworld, the Dickensian monickered Uriah Heep were not too far behind Deep Purple in coming forward on the rock scene.
With their "complex harmonies, heavy duty riffs and swirling keyboards" - as NME described their music some decades ago - Uriah Heep did the double (hitting the charts on both sides of the Atlantic), in 1970, with the album Demons and Wizards.
Like DP, the band has, over the years, had multi line-up changes. In the mid-80s, after a lull in popularity, original guitarist Mick Box "re-built" the band, including a new vocalist, Bernie Shaw.
Finally, and this will age me, I saw Wishbone Ash at Imperial College in London in 1971.
Described as a "melodic hard rockers, dominated by the twin lead guitar attack of guitarist vocalists Ted Turner and Andy Powell", they followed The Rolling Stones and predated The Who.
The line up is currently Andy Powell, Muddy Manninen, Bob Skeat, Joseph Crabtree.
Powell and Turner are included in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 20 Guitarists of All Time.
Itinerary: Johannesburg, Friday May 28, Coca-Cola Dome, Tickets R275 to R500. Durban, Sunday May 30, ICC Arena, tickets R272 to R426. Cape Town, Tuesday June 1, Grand Arena GrandWest; Tickets R297 to R476.
Tickets from Computicket on 083 915 8000.
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