It was 1974 when Deep Purple released the album Burn, I can’t say I was ever really into the band. Not that I didn’t like them, I was just busy listening to Bowie, but I did remember the album cover – five burning candles, effigies of each band member.
Late last year, I was asked to create visuals for a Whitesnake tour. They were promoting their new Purple album, a tribute to David Coverdale’s time, in let’s face it, one of the most popular classic rock bands of the 70’s. Or perhaps, of all time.
My mind started wander; how could we pay tribute to the band and bring some of the past, back to the future? Pun intended. It dawned on me that that a burning bust of David Coverdale might be a good place to start. A perfect accompaniment for the track ‘Burn’.
Now, working with technology and video on a daily basis, I assumed we would re-create this image digitally. Bringing the past to life in a modern way, by animating a burning candle of David. It was, after all, 2016.
So, just like any other project, we set out to create the video. Much to my ‘modern’ surprise, it became clear that the best way to do this, was to create another ‘David’ candle and film it…..burning.
To be honest, the prospect of this really excited me… creating a sculpture of David Coverdale, commissioning a candle; it was perfectly practical and off the wall all at the same time. Discovering a new craft is always exciting, and I had never before created a ‘bust’. Half of the fun of what I do, is finding new ways to bring a concept to life, and sculpture was definitely a new string to my bow. I was filled with a child like enthusiasm as I typed ‘candle makers London’ into Google. Now, it’s probably not something you’ve thought much about, but it turns out that bespoke candle makers are quite a niche trade, obviously.
With the Google search results as my guide, I browsed the second website from my list. Was the company established? Check. Did they have a Royal Warrant for their expertise in candle making? Check! It seemed like a good place to call, so I did.
An older guy, also by the name of David picked up the phone. Starting with the usual niceties, I went on to ask him my strange request. To my surprise, he responded with no hesitation. ‘Oh yes, we can absolutely do that for you. It was a long time ago, but we’ve done it before, back in the 70’s. Not sure if you’ve heard of the band, they were called Deep Purple’
I’d be lying if I said I contained my amusement and suprise. One Google search and two telephone calls later, we had re-united David Coverdale with the candle maker who created his ‘younger’ wax bust, all those years ago.
It was a wonderful twist of fate that made the project special. Did the video work? Yes it did. Did David Coverdale like his new, more mature candle? Apparently so. Well, as they say a picture tells a thousand words….