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It was deep, man! Deep Purple, that is: The classic band brought their heavy rock style (and tune "Smoke on the Water") to the TODAY plaza Thursday, and all we can say is ... where there's smoke, there's fire.
Early on, TODAY's Matt Lauer was ready to rock:
While the band themselves literally wanted to stop the presses to announce their appearance:
They lived up to the hype, of course. As singer Ian Gillan noted, they were on "top of the world."
The band's been on the road nearly constantly since they formed in 1968, and they've heard lots of versions of "Smoke" over the years. "There have been some strange ones," he admitted. "There was even an Argentinian stripper called Yvonne the Tigress who did it to a samba rhythm. It was amazing."
Still, there's nothing like the original to get the job done right.