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AC/DC Vs. Deep Purple

On January 25, 1975, a brawl was held between members of "AC/DC" and members of "Deep Purple" crew.

How and where did it all happen? Stay tuned and find out.

(Photo: Violet Hamilton Collection)

This quarrel took place at the "Sunbury Pop Festival" - an annual agricultural festival held northwest of Melbourne, Australia.

This was the third year in a row of the festival, which has been held since 1972 in the so-called "Long Weekend", during Australia's independence celebrations.

The guest of honor at the festival that year was "Deep Purple"ת who came especially to Australia for a one-and-only performance. "Deep Purple" has just released their "Stormbringer" album, which was released about two months before the show. No one imagined that the name of the album would be a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, as far as what went on that show.

Let's start with the fact that January in Australia is a summer month, but on the day "Deep Purple" was supposed to go on stage, there was a huge rainstorm that turned the farmland into one big mud bath. This affected the number of tickets sold that day to only 16,000, compared to the many tens of thousands, at festivals held in the past three years.

Now add the fact that tickets price were $ 20, twice as much as they charged in the past year. The high price was set to cover the high costs of the "Deep Purple" show - a total of $ 60,000 which is equivalent to a sum of about half a million dollars in today's terms.

It was the highest payment by large, any of the bands in the festival got, with the band management demanding that this sum will be paid regardless of the number of tickets sold for the festival. In the end, due to the poor sales of the tickets, the festival organizers had to pay the entire profits to "Deep Purple", while the other artists and stage workers were paid nothing.

But the weather and the small number of tickets that were sold, were not the only things that will be badly remembered from that festival. During the festival, a brawl broke out on stage between members of "AC/DC" and "Deep Purple" crew.

Opinions are divided as to why the brawl broke out, but everyone agrees unanimously that it actually happened.

The prevailing version in the "Deep Purple" camp, as quoted by David Coverdale, was that after "Deep Purple" finished their show, an "Australian band" took to the stage and used Deep Purple's equipment without permission, which led to the brawl between Deep Purple's crew members and "AC/DC". Compared to Coverdale's memory from the event, drummer Ian Paice gave a completely different version, according to which "AC/DC" appeared before "Deep Purple", but substantially exceeded the time allotted to them and thus not leaving "Deep Purple" enough time for a full performance, as they were scheduled to leave to the airport, immediately at the end of their show. Paice said that the band manager simply turned off the "AC/DC" amplification system to get them to end the show, and as a result the brawl broke out.

(Photo: Guitar Interactive Magazine)

On the other hand, in the "AC/DC" camp the versions were much different. It was alleged that "Deep Purple" was the one that substantially exceeded the time allotted to their performance, only to prevent "AC/DC" from performing after them and as a result, a brawl broke out between the two parties.

Another version says that the members of "Deep Purple" did not want to take the stage, whether due to the extreme weather or they did not want to perform before "AC/DC". Under these circumstances, the members of "AC/DC" took the stage and played with the amplification equipment of "Deep Purple", which eventually caused the quarrel.

Whatever the reason for the brawl, what's certain is that the big winner among the two hard rock giants was actually "AC/DC", a band only in its infancy back then, that took the stage about a month before the release of their debut album "High Voltage". This incident gave of the young band good publicity, at least in the eyes of the Australian audience, who greatly appreciated its daring and the fact that they were not intimidated by the “purple” giants.

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