Questions - you got 'em; answers - we got 'em

19 - medical matters, Japan 72, Super Trouper, Nauseef, Ritchie & Steve


Dear Ian: Do you still have that sweater you wore during the recording of Machine Head? Who wrote the "thank you" notes on the inside cover, where Claude Nobs was thanked in one of the squares? What was that drawing on Roger Glover's nose, and who was that guy who drew that?

-Jim Gemmell, Michigan, USA

Hi Jim,
Thanks for these original questions. I don't have a copy of Machine Head with me so I can't tell you who wrote the 'thank you' notes, although I suspect it may have been me. I don't have that sweater any more unfortunately. I lost all my personal possessions in 1982. The drawing on Roger's nose was done by our sound engineer, Martin Birch. It depicts a penis and testicles, in the mode 'dripping'. The penis that is, not the testicles.
Cheers, ig

From: Andy

Greetings Gillan,
What is happening during Speed King on the 1972 live in Japan recording? It seems like you are having a bit of trouble with some unruly members of the crowd!


Greetings Andy,
I think it's more likely to be unruly members of the band that I was having trouble with. Not sure. I'll check it out.
Cheers, ig

From: Iain Harnish

Hi Ian,
I'm sure you're sick of answering questions about possible tours, but I was wondering if you know of any chance of there being an expanded tour of Canada for the next album? You gotta play Nova Scotia! Has Purple considered playing Super Trooper live?

Iain Harnish

Hi Iain,
Not at all sick. I have the same interest myself in going to as many places as possible. Unfortunately it doesn't always happen and sometimes it's hard to explain why. There is a lot of territory to cover but I wish that every few years we could concentrate on the places that miss out. I'll talk to the manager about it. Watch this space. Super Trouper hasn't been considered, I don't know why. I'll have a listento it when I get home.
Cheers, ig

From: Jerome Boza de Lima

Ian :
Big hello from little Ecuador. Must tell you that I have enjoyed your biography, but nevertheless I wish their would have been a little more information on Mark Nauseef. I totaly agree with you concerning the musical direction of the music during this period and the need for more comercial success. However, I feel you had the best rythum section any band could have had.

I would appreciate your opinion concerning Nauseef's drumming and his contribution to the Gillan Band from your point of view. Maybe Im wrong, but he`s definitely not a time keeper, his musical thought is very ample, making him a very melodic percussionist.

Your Fan,
Jerome Boza de Lima

Hi Jerome,
And Hello to Ecuador. I agree with you that the rhythm section was very strong. Mark Nauseef and Johnny Gustafson worked brilliantly together and had a distinctive quality. I would also agree that Mark was primarily a percussionist, and yes a melodic one.
Cheers, ig


Hi my name is george. I went to my first deep purple concert last night,"sydney australia"...i was blown away!!! Ian i know youve probably been told this a million times but holy mary mother of christ youve still got it..ive been a purple fan for some 20 only 29 years of age.. Im also a vocalist in my band...ive being singing professionally in australia for 11 years...Ian you were and still are a god too me..!!! you and Bruce dickinson were and still are ..not only my role models....but inspiration in many ways....i hope to meet you one day....and it would be an honour for me to sing with you also...i sound like an earlier version of yourself..Stupid question.....Are you and Ritchie blackmore seeing eye to eye at all these days...?And what was the reason for him leaving..."this time round.."?Im not trying to take away from steve i think hes doing a sensational job and have aquired a respect and liking toward him..

Thank you so much for giving the world such a talent.

love always

Hi George,
Thanks for your letter. I'm glad you enjoyed the show. I had a great time too. I haven't spoken to Ritchie since he left. I'm sure we would see eye to eye on many things outside of working together. No one really knows why he left; he disappeared in a puff of smoke, but he wasn't happy about me being back in the band that's for sure. It's always been difficult for Purple aficionados to deal with the divorce. That's what it's like when people can't live with each other any more, when the magic has gone. What do you do? Stay together for the sake of the kids? That's what we did. Even so, what happens when the kids grow up and leave home? This was the scenario at the time of Ritchie's departure.

The bald facts are that the band was dying, there was no future. Like any new spouse Steve has had to deal with the old family members who have affection for the departed one. This has not been a problem for the huge army of new fans who have arrived since Steve joined the band, nor for those older ones who were disenchanted with Ritchie's behaviour. And it has been a positive bonus for the rest of us in the band who have been able to rediscover lost confidence and push ourselves in new directions. I have no bad feelings for Ritchie. I hope he's happy, he made all his own decisions. I treasure the good times we had together, and there were plenty. Steve's guitar playing pedigree is never in doubt. He was voted the best player in the world by his peers for many years, I think it was in the 'Guitar Player' magazine. Eventually he was asked to step aside and give someone else a chance.

The next winner was Joe Satriani, the gentleman who helped us out for a year when Ritchie left. (Incidentally I hear a rumour that Joe just might be playing a track on Roger Glover's forthcoming solo record, but don't tell anyone). However, I believe it is more than just Steve's exquisite playing which makes him the real deal. His personality on stage gives him the rare quality which you can only describe as captivating. Ritchie was captivating too, but he was then and Steve is now. Cheers, ig

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