Friday, August 10, 2012

Rod Evans

Rod Evans (born 19 January 1947 in Slough, Berkshire) is a former English singer and was a founding member of Deep Purple in 1968. He provided vocals for the group's first three albums, including the hit singles "Hush" and "Kentucky Woman". He was replaced by Ian Gillan in 1969.
Early career
Before joining Deep Purple, Evans played together with Ian Paice in The Maze, formerly MI5. He was also in a band called The Horizons in the mid 1960s.
He was a founding member of Deep Purple when they formed in Hertfordshire in 1968. The most recognised song recorded with Evans singing is "Hush", which reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard charts in October, 1968.
After recording three albums with the band, he was dismissed and replaced with Ian Gillan in 1969. After his departure, Deep Purple became a heavier outfit, as opposed to the more progressive and pop driven sound established with Evans.
Post-Deep Purple
After leaving Deep Purple, Rod recorded a solo single for Capitol, then went on to form Captain Beyond, along with former Johnny Winter drummer Bobby Caldwell, former Iron Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt, who also was part of the last incarnation of Iron Butterfly. This band proved to be very influential, but sales never reflected their musical achievements. Lack of commercial success ended the group after three albums.
Evans left Captain Beyond and the music business after their first two albums. He then became a director of respiratory therapy at a West American hospital until 1980.
Deep Purple reformation controversy
In 1980 he was approached by a management company which specialized in questionably-reformed bands with big names, and he began to tour under the Deep Purple name accompanied by unknown session musicians. The line up was Rod Evans (vocals), Tony Flynn (guitar), Tom de Rivera (bass), Geoff Emery (keyboards), and Dick Jurgens III (drums), son of famous big band leader Dick Henrey Jurgens.
After several shows ended in near riots, Evans was sued by the management of the real Deep Purple and they were awarded damages of $672,000. As a result of the lawsuit, Evans no longer receives royalties from the band's first three albums.
Later life
He has not appeared publicly since the court case and his current whereabouts are of considerable interest to fans of early Deep Purple. There have been considerable, unverified rumors that he entered the medical profession and was practising in the US city of San Francisco from the early 1980s onwards.
Reportedly he was contacted by Captain Beyond guitarist Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt to join the band for a reunion, but Evans wasn't interested in being part of the project. Reinhardt's death in January 2012 ended any chance of a full Captain Beyond reunion occurring.

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