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

22 - Mistaken IDs, vocalnastics, importance of being Ernst, unhappi chappi, Beeza Geezas

From: (peter mair)

Hi Ian,
Listening to this track from 'Perfect Strangers' recently it struck me that the lyrics might be about a certain guitarist and how even this early into the reunion he might be making things 'difficult'. Suspect 'twist in the tale' falls into the same category. The funny thing is that i don't think he ever realised himself what was being said if you watch videos of him playing said songs.... Can you confirm?

Cheers Peter

Hi Peter,
That's an intriguing question. So far as I can remember the only song which was 'dedicated' to Ritchie was 'Smooth Dancer' from 'WDWTWA'. There was a time when Roger and I would look at each other during a lyrics bash and say 'people are going to think this is about Ritchie' when invariably we were writing about, inspired by, or pissed off with someone else. At that point of course it's hard to get it out of your mind and maybe, just maybe there was a subliminal connection from time to time.
Cheers, ig

From: (christopher parsons)

In one of the other letters on Caramba you were talking about what a strain Child in Time had become on your voice and how it effected your general performance. I saw you three times on the last tour of the States with Skynyrd and Nugent, as well as hearing your performance with Pavarotti, and I haven't heard you range this clear in years. I was wondering if you had been doing anything to strengthen your voice, or if by picking and chosing your material and refining your approach has allowed your voice to regain some of the endurance that seemed to have waned during certain periods? I was very impressed with your performances,as was the general crowd around me at the gigs I attended.You definitely stole the show for many folks in attendance. Also, on a side note, is there any chance that you might do materail similar to the song you did with Pavarotti; more classical based that displays perhaps a fuller range and different approach? I was really moved by that performance. Thanks for your time.

>>>>>>>>>>Chris Parsons

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your letter and comments. I think performance is affected by many things; you have to choose material that you can deliver, and you have to have the confidence to do the job and still have some in reserve. I've been into this in great depth before, but to answer your question specifically (this will be tricky) I do take more care of myself these days and I think that's because it seems worth it; the band is not full of despair as it was ten years ago. I used to feel like a Hollywood GI in Vietnam, demoralised and without a sense of purpose, so I might as well get drunk/stoned; they're gonna kill me anyway so let's make it painless. Special projects will come along from time to time and I do enjoy things like singing with Pavarotti (that was a benefit for the Afghan refugees/orphans by the way) and I'm left enriched after these things, and that leads inevitably to a variation (normally very slight and technical) in my approach to Rock 'n' Roll.
Cheers, ig

Dear Ian,
when you privately make holidays, is it possible to relax, no fans, which recognize you? I read you had nice holidays at the Algarve with your family.

Last August I saw you the first time life.
Do you come to Germany again next year?

Thanks for answer,
all love,

Dear Veronica,
The great thing about our fans is they way they treat us. It's always polite and hardly ever intrusive. Of course you get people asking for an autograph but it's mostly good-natured and that way it never bothers me. I forget who I am sometimes as I'm walking round the market or lying on the beach, and so I am equally surprised when we all agree that I am who I was they think. I'm not sure about any dates in Germany next year, I really hope so. How can a whole year go by without any shows in Germany? Impossible.
Cheers, ig

From: (uli jon roth)

Hi ian gillan, I'm Bernard from Singapore.

I'm sorry to say this, but i find u a real asshole. People always blame ritchie for everything and u seem to escape unscathed. It seems Ritchie is your ideal scapegoat. I've been yer fan and purple for almost 10 years now.

Throughout yer coureer especially in the 80s and 90s you don't seem to treasure yer voice and i've heard a lot of bad vocal performance since the reunion. Ritchie was right. U were indeed an old yeller. In addition to that, u're being unprofessional by constantly forgetting lyrics and drinking a lot of beer. Ritchie would not have left had it not been for yer unprofessional behaviour. And why would u join back purple in 1993 after proclaming that u'll slit yer throat if u rejoin purple again? Lastly, I'm disgusted at yer refusal to sing mark 3 or listen to any of their albums. If hush wasn't a cover song you would probably not sing it.

And when the crowd sang the mark 3 song 'soldier of fortune' in some asian dates, you just kept quiet. Gillan i suggest u Watch the cal. jam video witness by 400000 crowd, u'll definitely appreciate mark 3. I gotta say u're a real prick gillan.

Hi Bernard from Singapore with an address that explains everything,
Thank you for your letter and kind words. I have dealt with all of your points in great detail over the years, but never quite so articulately or inaccurately.
Cheers, ig

Hi Ian,
a recent Q&A enquiry (fron "Jon") asked about a BSA song. I think he's confusing IGB with SGB!!! Steve Gibbons had a song called "Riding on my BSA" around that time, I saw him perform it whilst at the Isle of Man TT, either '83 or '84. A great song, you should try it - lyrics along the lines of, "I once new a girl, she was over the hill, but she came around to meet me on a Triumph Bonneville!"
Cheers, Charlie

Hi Charlie,
Thanks for clearing up the mystery. I too once knew a girl, who thrilled me with her charms, so I climbed on the back of her Birmingham Small Arms. It didn't work out, my ambitions were phantom, there was no chance for two on a BSA Bantam. I know, I know, but I've just woken up.
Cheers, ig

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