promo photo, during 1968-1969
|Birth name||Roderic Evans|
|Born||19 January 1947|
|Origin||Eton, Buckinghamshire, England|
|Genres||psychedelic rock, progressive rock, hard rock|
|Years active||1959–1973, 1980|
|Associated acts||Deep Purple, Captain Beyond, The Maze, The Horizons|
Roderic Evans (born 19 January 1947) is an English former singer. In the late 1960s he began his professional career in The Maze, formerly MI5, after which he was a member of the original Deep Purple line-up who produced three studio albums with a more progressive and pop driven sound. After recording a solo single, he was a member of the original Captain Beyond line-up, who produced two studio albums.
Evans was born in Eton, Buckinghamshire He played together with drummer Ian Paice, in The Maze, formerly MI5. He was also in a band called The Horizons in the mid 1960s. Reports state that Evans also worked as a male model around this time.
Evans and Paice were original members of Deep Purple when they formed in Hertfordshire in 1968. The most recognised song recorded with Evans singing is "Hush", which reached No. 4 on the US Billboard charts in October 1968. After recording three studio albums, he was dismissed in 1969. His departure from the band was in part due to Evans' desire to move to the United States.
In 1971, Rod recorded a solo single for Capitol, titled "Hard To Be Without You" (b/w "You Can't Love A Child Like A Woman"), 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 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.
Tour of imitation band
In 1980 he was approached by a management company which specialised in questionably-reformed bands with well-known 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.
He has not appeared publicly since the court case and his current whereabouts are of considerable interest to fans of early Deep Purple.
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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