Brace yourselves for the bad news but…Self Made Man is off on his annual summer holiday next week and this is his last blog of the month.

And not only that – it’s a blog that reveals a shocking secret about our resident classic rock expert!

Read on and remember Self Made Man will be back in August – exclusively AT RUSHONROCK. 

Regular readers of this blog will know that I never watch reality TV shows. Right? Well, er, wrong actually.

I’ve not suddenly become a convert to Big Brother and still haven’t seen an entire episode of Britain’s Got Talent, The X-Factor or I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

But I have been watching Superstar, ITV’s  new show to find Jesus Christ for their forthcoming nationwide Arena tour of Jesus Chris Superstar.

And I’m really enjoyed it on several levels. For starters, some of the contestants have excellent, rock voices – and the songs they’re given to perform aren’t the usual driverl associated with such prime-time shows.

But above all, I’m a big fan of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar and plan to see it when it arrives on Tyneside later this year.

In fact, I like a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s compositions including Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Coat. Godspell and the non-biblical Phantom Of The Opera.

But Superstar is unquestionably my favourite, not least because it includes the classic I Don’t Know How to Love HIm, lyrics written by Tim Rice for the role of Mary Magdaleine.

It was Yvonne Eliman, who made the song famous and it is her voice which features on the double-CD version of the musical than I own.

I actually had it in cassette version in my youth and the role of Jesus is taken by a certain Ian Gillan.

If there’s no Child In Time or Highway Star type of song in the mix, his vocal style is unmistakeable and fans of Deep Purple would certainly recognise his voice in tracks such as The Last Supper and of course, Superstar itself – perhaps Lloyd Webber’s most famous composition.

Mention of Deep Purple brings me to the sad, untimely death of their keyboardist Jon Lord.

I only saw Lord live during his days with Whitesnake but his greatest works were undoubtedly during his days with DP and songs such as Lazy, Burn and Smoke On The Water are tributes to his talent.

Many of our rock heroes are now in their late-60s and early-70s and sadly, inevitably, over the next decade or so, a few of his associates will be joining him for that great gig in the sky.

Deep Purple were probably the first rock band to introduce keyboards as an integral part of their act and for that reason, Lord will always be remembered as a master of his trade and a standard bearer for the music he played..

Ian Murtagh