This instrumental was written by session guitarist Bill Parkinson while he was playing with PJ Proby. He told Songfacts that he wrote the song because the backing orchestra wanted a couple of instrumentals. The music was arranged by one of the band, and was subsequently used by Carlo Little as a drum solo. Little, who died in 2005, was the original drummer for The Rolling Stones; he also played with Screaming Lord Sutch in his band The Savages, where lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore served time before becoming a founder member of Deep Purple. It was Blackmore who borrowed - ie stole - the riff from "Lost Soul" for "Mandrake Root", which appeared on the band's debut album, Shades Of Deep Purple
, in 1968.
Says Parkinson: "I was doing some gigs with Nic Simper and Carlo Little in a scratch band. Nic Simper and I got on very well,and, whilst we were traveling to the gig Nic informed me that Ritchie Blackmore had stolen my theme 'Lost Soul.' This was written for the PJ Proby orchestra originally as an opening theme, it was later used by Carlo Little in Screaming Lord Sutch's band, The Savages and The Circles as the main theme for his drum solo.
This was the first that I had heard of it, he said he would bring me a copy of the recording to the next gig. I thanked him and contacted Deep Purple Management and went to their offices in the west end, where I was paid approximately 500 pounds. I know now that I was taken advantage of, but at the time I needed the money. Ritchie followed me as guitarist with The Savages at that time and Carlo Little taught him the theme 'Lost Soul.' The Circles were a group of top rock musicians of the time, Brian Keith of Plastic Penny, Carlo Litle of The Savages and original Rolling Stones, and Paul Raymond of Chicken Shack and myself, Tom Jones, PJ Proby etc. We recorded a top thirty number with Island Records 'Take Your Time'/'Don't You Love Me No More' which Brian Keith and I wrote together. By the way, the notation of 'Lost Soul' is exactly the same as 'Smoke On The Water
' with slightly different timing."
Alexander Baron - London, England