Deep Purple made their live debut on April 20th, 1968 at the Vestpoppen, in Kastrup, Denmark. Little did they know how important they would later become to rock history. The band’s initial lineup consisted of Rod Evans on vocals, Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, Nick Simper on bass, John Lord on keyboards, and Ian Paice on drums. The original name of the band was Roundabout and that was what they were called when they made their live debut in Denmark. The show was notable both for its elements of colorful improvisation along with the shattering volume levels – this band played LOUD. According to, the original setlist was as follows:

  1. Hush (Joe South cover)
  2. And the Address
  3. Hey Joe (The Leaves cover)
  4. Love Help Me
  5. Help! (The Beatles cover)
  6. Mandrake Root
  7. Prelude: Happiness / I’m So Glad
  8. One More Rainy Day

Of course, the band Roundabout would soon change their name to Deep Purple, and become a legendary band in the history rock, especially hard rock and metal.

And here’s what else happened this week in rock history:

Born This Week in Rock History

4/15/1894 – Bessie Smith (Blues Vocalist)
4/19/1942 – Alan Price (keyboards, The Animals)
4/20/1945 – Jimmy Winston (keyboards, The Small Faces)
4/20/1948 – Craig Frost (keyboards, Grand Funk Railroad & Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band
4/21/1947 – Iggy Pop (Vocals, Iggy and the Stooges)


Died This Week in Rock History

4/15/2001 – Joey Ramone (lead vocals, The Ramones)
4/16/1999 – Skip Spence (guitar, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape; drums, Jefferson Airplane)
4/17/1998 – Linda McCartney (vocals & keyboards, Wings)
4/19/2012 – Levon Helm (vocals & drums, The Band)
4/20/1991 – Steve Marriott (guitar & vocals, Humble Pie & The Small Faces)
4/21/1970 – Earl Hooker (blues guitarist)


Music Releases and Top of the Charts:

4/15/1977 – Lynyrd Skynyrd’s LP One More For The Road is certified gold
4/16/1964 – The Rolling Stones, The Rolling Stones was released
4/16/1964 – Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams” was released
4/16/1971 – The Rolling Stones release “Brown Sugar”
4/17/1970 – Paul McCartney releases his first solo album, McCartney, in the U.K.
4/17/1971 – Three Dog Night’s “Joy To The World” hits #1
4/17/1973 – Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon is certified gold
4/18/1980 – “Another Brick In the Wall (Part II)” becomes Pink Floyd’s only #1 single in the U.S.
4/19/1980 – “Call Me” becomes Blondie’s second #1 in the U.S.
4/21/1973 – Alice Cooper’s LP Billion Dollar Babies hits #1


This Week in Rock History:

4/15/1964 – After a long day of filming for their first movie, which is still titled Beatlemania!, The Beatles relax as Ringo Starr declares, oddly, that it’s been “a hard day’s night.” John immediately begins writing the song of the same name on the back of an old greeting card; it will eventually become the title track for the film.

4/15/1966 – The Buffalo Springfield play their first gig, opening up for The Byrds in San Bernadino, California.

4/15/1971 –  The Illinois Crime Commission releases a list of “drug-oriented rock records” that include Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” but also, for some reason, The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Puff The Magic Dragon,” by Peter, Paul and Mary

4/15/1971 – The Beatles win their one and only Oscar, Best Score, for the movie Let It Be.

4/15/1992 – Queen reunites for a tribute charity concert dedicated to their fallen former leader, vocalist Freddie Mercury, who’d passed away from AIDS some six months earlier. Robert Plant, David Bowie, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Paul Young, Ian Hunter and Roger Daltrey, among others, show up to sing Freddie’s and their own hits.

4/16/1955 – A young Roy Orbison sees Elvis for the first time, performing at the Sportatorium in Dallas. No word on whether or not Roy Orbison was “Crying.”

4/16/1974 – Queen make their US live debut at Regis College in Denver, CO. The encore included covers like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Hey Big Spender.”

4/16/1996 – At tonight’s Grammy Awards ceremonies in New York, KISS, back again in full makeup, announce their reunion and upcoming tour, the first time all four original members have taken the stage together since 1981. The audience was so excited they rock and rolled all night.

4/17/1969 – Bob Dylan’s former backing group, which has come to be known simply as “The Band,” plays its first show alone and under its own name at the Winterland Auditorium in San Francisco. Getting that gig over with certainly took “the weight” off their shoulders.

4/17/1970 – Richard Nixon invites Johnny Cash to perform at the White House, then surprises the singer by requesting Merle Haggard’s reactionary “Okie From Muskogee.” Cash declines, but does perform “A Boy Named Sue” instead.

4/18/1975 – The Alice Cooper television special Welcome To My Nightmare airs on ABC, inspiring lots and lots of actual nightmares.

4/20/1968 – Deep Purple make their stage debut at the Vestpoppen, in Kastrup, Denmark.

4/21/1960 – Testifying before the US Congressional committee on “payola,” DJ and TV host Dick Clark admits to having taken money and gifts to play songs on the radio, going so far as to declare 27 percent of his playlist as containing some sort of financial interest for him. For his penitence, Clark is ordered to sell off some of his conflicting interests, but has his name cleared — unlike DJ Alan Freed, who refuses to admit that payola was an illegal or immoral practice.

4/21/1961 – The Beatles debut at the Cavern Club in London.

4/21/1969 – Janis Joplin makes her stage debut in London when she and her Kozmic Blues Band perform a legendary concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

4/21/1970 – Elton John makes his stage debut as a solo act when he opens for T. Rex, Spooky Tooth, and Jackie Lomax at the Roundhouse in London.

 Which of these events do you think was most important for rock history? Did we miss anything? Leave us a note in the comments, or leave us a message on Facebook at or on Twitter at @tributapparel!