George Harrison Jams with Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple in 1984
Back in December 1984, George Harrison jammed with Deep Purple in Sydney, Australia.
And although this seems an unusal and incredibly random occurrence, remember that Harrison was a friend—and neighbor—of Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice and keyboardist Jon Lord. In fact, Lord even appeared on Harrison’s 1982 album, Gone Troppo.
“We were very close, I adored him,” Lord once said of Harrison to Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. “He was one of the most delightful of men.”
As the clip opens, Harrison is being introduced to the audience, announcing that he is “Arnold, from Liverpool.” (Note: Harrison was raised on a street called Arnold Grove in Liverpool, England.) From there, the group launches into a very loose jam of “Lucille,” which the Beatles performed regularly in their early stage shows and on the BBC.
This version of Deep Purple—which happens to be the band’s recently reunited classic early Seventies lineup—were enjoying commerical and critical success with their 1984 comeback album, Perfect Strangers. The band is Lord, Paice, Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.
We’re not exactly sure why Harrison was in Australia at the time, but he did own propery there. Maybe he just wanted to catch up with some old friends.