In 1973, Coverdale saw an article in a copy of Melody Maker, which said that Deep Purple was auditioning for singers to replace Ian Gillan. Coverdale had fronted a local group called The Government, which had played with Deep Purple on the same bill in 1969, so he and the band were familiar with one another, and after sending a tape and later auditioning, Coverdale was admitted into the band, with bassist Glenn Hughes adding his own vocals as well. In February 1974, Deep Purple released their first album with Coverdale and Hughes titled Burn which was certified Gold in the US on 20 March 1974 and in the UK on 1 July. In April 1974, Coverdale and Deep Purple performed to over 200,000 fans on his first trip to the United States at California Jam. In December 1974 Burn was followed-up by Stormbringer, which also ranked at Gold album status in the US and the UK. The funk and soul influences of the previous record were even more prominent here, and this was one of the reasons why guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left the band in June 1975. Rather than disbanding, Coverdale was instrumental in persuading the band to continue with American guitarist Tommy Bolin (of Billy Cobham and The James Gang fame). As Jon Lord put it, "David Coverdale came up to me and said, 'Please keep the band together.' David played me the album that Tommy did with Billy Cobham. We liked his playing on it and invited Tommy to audition.' The band released one studio album with Bolin, Come Taste the Band in 1975. The album was less successful than previous records, and at the end of the tour in March 1976, Coverdale reportedly walked off in tears and handed in his resignation, to which he was told there was no band left to quit. The decision to disband Deep Purple had been made some time before the last show by Lord and Ian Paice (the last remaining original members), who had not told anyone else. The break-up was finally made public in July 1976. Said Coverdale in an interview: "I was frightened to leave the band. Purple was my life, Purple gave me my break, but all the same I wanted out."