David Coverdale recalled the “madness and mayhem” of his first concert as Deep Purple singer in 1973, and admitted he wasn’t in a position to contribute to the destruction that was taking place around him.

The Mark III lineup -- consisting of Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Glenn Hughes and Coverdale -- played its first show in Copenhagen on Dec. 9 of that year, four months after Coverdale had been recruited as an unknown working in a clothes shop, and ahead of the release of Deep Purple's Burn album.

“I walk onstage for the first time – where it came from, I don’t know, but I still do it – ‘Are you ready?’ I screamed into the microphone, and I’ve got a very powerful voice," Coverdale told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show. "So, like, everybody goes, ‘Oh my God!’ and there’s this roar from I don’t know how many thousands of people. And it was great.”

The moment seemed to energize the lineup, which knew it had a lot to prove after having parted ways with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover six months earlier. “Suddenly I’m singing, Ritchie’s smashing a guitar, dragging amp stacks over,” Coverdale recalled. “Paice is trashing his drums. And I’ve like become a member of the audience while I’m actually onstage. Lordy’s thrashing his organ, boys and girls, thrashing his organ every which way! And I’m going, ‘My God, I should do something, I should do something … ’ I’m going, ‘I can’t afford to smash anything!’”

He quickly made a decision. “I had a ring on, which was like ten bucks, so I took it off with great drama, threw it on the floor and stamped on it," he said. "That was my contribution to the madness and mayhem!”

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