Deep Purple - Deep Purple Had To Wear Hats For First Malaysian Concert
The members of Deep Purple had to promise to wear hats for an important debut performance in Malaysia at the beginning of the 1980s, because officials in Kuala Lumpur feared the band's long hair would upset concertgoers.
Frontman Ian Gillan tells Wenn he and his bandmates went through a year of contractual issues with government bigwigs before the concert could even be scheduled, because the officials feared the band would corrupt the country's youth.
Gillan tells Wenn, "They were scared of the English disease, as it was called. They were checking all the lyrics and all the ramifications.
"It was a key gig for us because we were doing a whole series of Eastern dates and this and two others were key dates, without which the rest of the tour wouldn't have happened.
"I will never forget one clause in the contract... The wording went exactly like this: 'The boys in the band shall not allow their hair to fall upon their shoulders'. We agreed that we'd tie it up or wear hats or conceal it.
"We did actually let the hair come down because the Minister of Culture came to the press conference and he said, 'You're not at all what I expected - you can speak!' He said, 'If the hats fall off after three or four songs, it'll be Ok', so I called over a camera crew and said, 'Would you mind saying that again because it's in the contract. I want witnesses.'
"Rock music was a big threat back then, so you got rejected from a lot of places. It was mostly the drugs and the loud-mouthed singers that people were afraid of."