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Deep Purple, Whitesnake set to play Westbury

For the next 48 hours, the official color for the village of Westbury will be purple.

On Sunday, Deep Purple performs at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. On Monday, Whitesnake, featuring former Deep Purple singer David Coverdale (1973-76), will play on the same stage. They'll be focusing on songs from Coverdale's DP days.

"Destiny! Kismet! But entirely coincidental," Coverdale says about the two bands playing back-to-back. "What are the odds?"

Whitesnake recently released "The Purple Album," on which Coverdale and company reworked songs from his tenure in the band.

"We simply gave the songs a fresh coat of paint, rearranged the furniture a bit and threw a snake-print rug in front of the fire," says Coverdale. "But it's still the House of Purple."

Doing the album gave Coverdale closure from his whirlwind fronting one of the biggest bands in rock at the time.

"With this project, I reconnected with my past," Coverdale says. "It's simply our tribute to that time and those incredible musicians I had the indescribable good fortune to be involved with."

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Meanwhile, Deep Purple marches on with three legacy members -- bassist Roger Glover, drummer Ian Paice and lead singer Ian Gillan -- at its core. Although the band has gone through multiple lineup changes, its spirit remains intact.

"We embrace change and that keeps us alive," Glover says. "If you stay the same, you stagnate."

The band is playing songs from its latest album, "Now What?!," along with classics like "Smoke on the Water," "Highway Star" and "Hush."

"We had to acknowledge that most of the people coming to see us want to hear those songs whether we want to play them or not," Glover adds.

Decades after its release, "Smoke on the Water" remains the first song many kids learn on guitar.

"It's become our defining moment," says Glover. "It's a magical riff because it's so simple yet so unique."

Although the band has been a significant part of rock and roll history for more than 45 years, Deep Purple still has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"There seems to be a lot of politics involved," says Glover. "As far as the band is concerned, we don't care that much."

For Deep Purple, it's the fans that matter, not awards.

"Without the fans, we don't exist," says Glover. "Looking out into the crowd and seeing people enjoy themselves is what keeps us going."

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