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

28 - UK tour, aye aye, rules of engagement, Toolbox, roll call, Stonehenge

From: "beverley.bird" (

Hi Ian,
Great news about the uk tour. It's been long over due and a real treat with you coming to Nottingham, the first time since the seventies. I will be taking my 15 year old son again. Last time we had front row at Birmingham and this time 2nd row at Nottingham.

I have two points for you. Could you not include a few uk dates each year just to give us a chance of keeping in touch with the band and the second point, sooner or later the band will call it a day, can you promise me with your hand on your heart that there will be a farewell tour and that the last few dates will be in the uk ( I do hope that I am speaking about a long time in the future !) To many bands have just gone without completing the final chapter in the book so to speak. The last thing I want is for you to disappear on a world tour never to be seen again.
See you 7th Feb !

Hi Beverley,
Thanks for writing. I would love to do more in Ireland and the UK. A festival is long overdue I think. Maybe this tour will help. Regarding your second point, the band will not call it a day, certainly not now we're just getting the hang of it; if you could see and hear what's going on at the writing sessions you'd know what I mean. See you at the Royal.
Cheers, ig

From: Gregg

Mr. Gillian,
I just saw Ian Hunter in Cleveland on November 2 and was amazed by the show he put on. Would you and Purple ever consider of breaking away from traditional hard rock/heavy metal bands(such as your past US tour mates) and possibly perform with other bands outside of the traditional circles on future venues?
A curious fan, Gregg

Dear Griegg,
I'm a great fan of Ian Hiunter, he's a man unto himsielf. Sometimes we don't have a great deal to siay about the acts we work with. It is a good point though, because the package siends a message about the ethos of the band. We're aware of it and, where piossible will use some infliuence.
Cheers, igig

From: "Stephan Janson"

hello and greetings!
I wrote an email a long time ago.I remember that I was very happy about the fact answering me so immediately. the reason for mailing again is that I have some questions concerning singing. I spend much time with improving my singing and Ian as my favourite singer is still very important for me. while trying to sing a couple of dp-songs I recognized that it was impossible for me to do it without any pressure.ok, I love this rock-screaming style. but sometimes it's better to perform the songs a little more quiet.because I use to play them with accoustic guitar.the only thing I want to know: is it possible to sing perfect strangers without that screaming style? I've listened to many other bands(uriah heep,iron maiden etc.)and they all have that similar kind of singing style.maybe that's the only way to do it?!

There is a different between your 70's voice sound and the 80's sound(that's still alive and kickin'*g*).did it change because of your will or because of hardrock-singing over the years? I really want know so I would be very happy about a "speedy answer" (requests for "speedy answers" generally fall on deaf ears - Proverbs - Steve) again.
ok bye! Stephan

Hello and greetings to you Stephan,
First I'd like to answer your question and then make a point about the Q & A which should be of interest to everybody. The voice is an instrument and there's only so much you can do with it. Some people are pitch perfect and have a great timbre (timbre is really to do with tone and resonance), so they are the lucky ones and, if they care to work at it, will get good results from their instrument. Some are not so lucky with the physical vocal attributes but carve out a niche through other means, the genius of Dylan for example. Basically there are no rules other than to be expressive in the way that pleases you most, and that will normally convey itself to others if you want to perform. If you want to sing quietly and do Perfect Strangers with an acoustic guitar then go for it, and enjoy it. There is a change in my voice but I'm actually happier with the darn thing these days because the tone is miles better in the important high mid-range. Speed King for example sounds to me hugely improved from the way it was in the seventies. I'm not entirely sure why because I don't analyse these things and I'm not very technical, but it's probably a combination of age and enthusiasm.

Now to your request for a speedy answer. I do read every single Q & A and there are tons of them. There are some categories of question which get repeated over and over, and as the purpose of the Q & A is to get out information I don't see the point in repeating answers which are already up. I know everybody would like a personal response but that is simply not possible so I focus on the purpose of the exercise, whilst making sure I do not avoid those 'difficult' probings.

Next, although I may answer the question within a day or so of receiving it, the reply goes to Caramba where it is queued for publication. This is by necessity an arbitrary ("arbitary" is a very good word - Steve) decision, made by our splendid webmeister Steve Campbell, who has been with Caramba since the beginning and is indeed responsible for setting up the site in the first place. So, no matter how quickly I respond, it may be a month or more before the reply goes up. Sometimes it may not go up at all if Steve spots that I'm covering old ground. We used to have a guestbook; that was fun for quite a while and everyone could get access, although I didn't know what people were talking about half the time. Eventually we decided that some of the more extreme comments that were being made and some of the vendettas that were being carried on were not things that we wished to be associated with, so we dumped it and started the Q & A. The ethos of Q & A is to be open and informative. I recognise that we can't be all things to all people, but we have a focus and hope to keep most people happy. Thank you for your understanding.
Cheers, ig

I've been a fan of yours for many years and I want to thank you for many great moments and for making the World's greatest albums, whether it was with Deep Purple, IGB, GILLAN or solo. I think Dreamcatcher was a masterpiece in it's own minimalistic way. 'Chandra's coriander', 'That's why God is singin' the blues', 'Country mile' and 'Anyway you want me' are some of your best efforts ever I think. But my favourite album is Toolbox.

Well, I have some questions as well:

1. I think the cover on 'Naked thunder' is a great one. But where was the picture taken?

2. Your version of 'Anyway you want me' is a knock-out. I know it was written by Scroeder/Owens, but do you know who originally recorded it?

3. Steve Morris is a great guitarist and he seems like a real nice guy. How long have you known him and where did you first meet? Has he done albums in his own name or with other artists?

Thank you for your time, and I must say I really hope you will do another album with Steve Morris in a near future.
Thomas, Sweden

Hello Thomas,
Thanks for your letter, interesting obsevations and questions. The cover shot for 'Naked Thunder' was taken in the Yuma Desert, in Southern California. The first version of 'Anyway you want me' that I ever heard was by the young Elvis Presley. I was introduced to Steve Morris by Garth Rockett, who toured with him back in '89. Steve has done loads of stuff. I'll get him to do a list and we'll put it up here or hereabouts. I am working with Steve now on some interesting material, in fact we have another session when I get back home.
Cheers, ig

From: Nagendra Nachiketa

I listened to Deep Purple from 1984. However, am not very sure of the name of your first album, am interested to know as I like your music. Kindly give me the information.
Best Regards
Nagendra Nachiketa

DP's first Album was 'Shades of Deep Purple, released in 1968. I joined the band with Roger Glover in 1969 when we recorded DP's fourth Album called 'Deep Purple in Rock'. Legitimate (in my book) DP recordings that I have been involved with since then are..'Fireball', 'Machine Head', 'Made in Japan', 'Who Do We Think We Are' in the seventies, then 'Perfect Strangers' (that was around 1984), 'The House Of Blue Light', then in the nineties 'The Battle Rages On', 'Purpendicular', and 'Abandoned'.
Cheers, ig

From: Gom

What ever happened to the stone henge stage set from the Sabbath tour? I'd love to buy it. I'd put it up in my yard and piss off the neighbors. Also, Have you ever sung any of the Born Again songs since you've left Sabbath? Will you ever sing them again?

Hey Gom,
As far as I know 'Stonehenge' could be still languishing in it's container(s) in a dockyard somewhere. I will contact the design company LSD (Light and Sound Design), see if anyone there can remember what happened to it. No I haven't sung any of those songs since leaving Sabbath, but I was just re-reading the lyrics to 'Trashed' which is now up on 'Wordography' and I sang it through to myself whilst having a laugh. Maybe one day I'll do it with someone or other, you never can tell.
Cheers, ig

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