Putin's heir rocks to sound of Deep Purple

Politicians seem to be queuing up these days to proclaim their trendy music credentials to image-conscious voters. First Gordon Brown waxed lyrical about his love for the "very loud" Arctic Monkeys. Then David Cameron got in on the act by including the Killers in his Desert Island Discs selection.

Now, the man who is almost guaranteed to be the next leader of Russia has gone one better. For Dimitry Medvedev doesn't just love Deep Purple, he loves them so much he's going to fly them to Moscow to play at his own private gig.

Besides being the current First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and chairman of the state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, the heavy metal-loving Mr Medvedev is also President Vladimir Putin's anointed successor – and thus the clear frontrunner in next month's presidential elections.

At a party to be held next Monday in the Kremlin, officially to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Gazprom but also being touted as a tribute to Mr Medvedev, guests will be entertained by his favourite group. Mr Medvedev has on more than one occasion outlined his love for heavy metal bands including Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and says he owns every Deep Purple album. Russian news agencies reported yesterday that Tina Turner would also appear at the gig.

A spokesman for Gazprom said he could not confirm the line-up and that the event would be an "internal corporate party" and closed to the press. Although Russian media have hinted that Mr Putin will attend, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it was not yet in his diary.

President Putin is known to have more conservative musical tastes. When asked if Mr Putin also liked Deep Purple, Mr Peskov said: "I haven't heard anything about that. From what I know, he likes classical music more."

Bringing in Western superstars to play is nothing new for the top layer of Russian society. George Michael, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé are just three of the stars reported to have been whisked into Moscow for behind-closed-doors gigs. Last year a juice magnate flew in Paris Hilton to entertain his 15-year-old daughter.

On Deep Purple's Russian fan website, Deep-Purple.ru, reaction to the impending visit was mixed. "I'm pleased that our high-ranking officials have good musical taste," wrote one fan. "But they are not spending their own money on the concert." Others hoped that bootleg recordings would be made available, while some posts raised suspicions that Mr Medvedev himself was using the forum under a false name.

Deep Purple formed in Hertfordshire in 1968, and - with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath - went on to become one of the pioneers of heavy metal. The band was successful in the US before poaching the singer Ian Gillan from Episode Six and making it back in the UK. The group - which once was the loudest in the world according to the Guiness Book of Records - split in the 1970s before later reforming with Steve Morse.

The band has given 24 concerts in Russia since 1996. In 2004, the deputy mayor of Moscow, Mikhail Men, hired band members Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner to re-record some songs he had written in the 1980s.

Turner was in Moscow last June to sing at a private party attended by Mr Medvedev. He told The Moscow Times he was paid "very well" for the concert.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)