Dear Friends

DF 70 - ....Lurgy Whooshed (sheep stealing referenced)

March 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all safe and well, keeping your heads down and not feeling too depressed by essential quarantine measures; I'm at home in England, adjusting to the new regime as best I can.

I call this virus The Dreaded Lurgy, the phrase comes from a Goon Show script broadcast in 1954.

Every Sunday my post-Victorian grandfather would preside over a traditional family lunch. Always a stern affair, this nine-year-old boy was not allowed to speak unless spoken to. We ate in silence, with heads bowed. In the background our large bakelite wireless radio set would deliver BBC Light Programme entertainment, and from 1951 we looked forward to the zany and revolutionary Goon Show, with a hugely talented cast, namely Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, and particularly Spike Milligan, who was perhaps the most significant influence on future British comedy; Monty Python for example.

But the show itself was not the main amusement for me, oh started with an involuntary shudder from across the table, a barely-in-time replacement of cutlery on dinner plate, and a futile attempt at self-control as my grandfather stifled a snorting-chuckle before losing it completely. The meal descended into shrieking chaos as we listened to the Ying Tong song. Our ribs ached as we were liberated from the pent-up atmosphere; grandpa howled and hooted with laughter; his face streaming with tears. Post-war rationing, stringy meat and watery gravy were all forgotten in these few deliciously anarchic moments, when our lives were changed forever, and humour became re-established as our natural response to every threat.

In this current outbreak, the weirdest thing for me has been unpacking my suitcases entirely and putting them away. Normally it's a quick turnaround - laundry etc - and off again after a few days.

I remember an incident back in the early 80's when I was puzzled to see my bags by the front door, when they ought to have been in the studio for a whole fortnight. My quizzical eyebrow drew a kindly response from Mrs G. Apparently I was making the place untidy; she'd called Phil (my manager Phil Banfield), who had booked some gigs and 'the car will be here in an hour' off I went; uncomplaining.

Now, I'm here for the duration and gradually getting used to it; grateful for modern communications and overwhelmed by the number of calls and messages from family, friends and well-wishers. It's good to see how we find time for each other and draw together against a common enemy.

Yesterday there was a call for all of us to stand outside our front doors and applaud the NHS (National Health Service) to show our appreciation for their frontline bravery and dedication in the effort to save lives. It was quite amazing to hear the loud clapping, cheering and whistling; and uplifting too, in the sense that we were experiencing the wonderful collective human experience I call congregational euphoria. Wouldn't it be cool if some of that bonhomie remains when the storm has passed?

I've mentioned this before somewhere in a past DF or Q & A, but it comes to mind again…as a societal reflection of Newton's Third Law 'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction'. Let's say we take an historical dispute like a vendetta or a constant state of hatred and war between conflicting states or cultures.

Now we confront the combatants with a challenge...for example 'What exactly was it that angered you about your enemy at this time last week?' They would not be allowed to quote any acts of vengeance or tit-for-tat actions that started before time began...just last week's issues, when they were forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder against a new threat to both parties.

Lo and behold...the hatred is long-standing and deep-rooted; nothing to speak of in the last week.

If the theory holds up, then it (the dispute) could be solved in a week from now. If the nebulous beginnings really are lost in the mists of time, or whether the conflict started because of a stolen sheep, a lawyered-up divorce, a religious schism or a perceived insult where no offence was intended, then these brainless idiots will be fighting and killing in a self-perpetuating and self-justifying unstoppable cycle of violence until the cows come home.

Many thanks for all the positive reviews for 'Throw my Bones', the first release from the new Deep Purple album 'Whoosh'.

I have just started work on a new Wordography (in the Basement Archives) and that should be in place on Caramba, by the time you get the album.

Turn away from the dark and follow the light.


Ian Gillan

Copyright © Ian Gillan 2020

So while things are quiet and social life is disrupted,
        it is a good time for reflection, meditation and contemplation.
can intertwine at any time, we are as one.
We can turn away from the dark and walk towards the light.
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