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

32 - Heartless, Much Ado About Nothing, Jon Lord, Ritchie ref, live Toolbox?

From: (David McCrory)

Hope you and the guys have a great time in Glasgow. Had tickets for the gig but unfortunately I am going into hospital for major surgery and will not be fit enough to be there. My stepdaughter is delighted, she gets the ticket. Please don't make it to long until your next Scottish tour I will be looking forward to it.
Cheers & good wishes.
Jane McCrory

Hi Jane,
Your daughter is a heartless exploiter of circumstances, but if you write again with her full name I'll make sure there are a couple of backstage passes waiting at the box office. Then she can pick up our 'get well soon' card and deliver it to you personally.

See you the next time around.
All the very best, ig

From: (Gerhard Jahnel)

Hi from the far Austria!
A us Radio Station told, that Steve is not with Deep Purple this year. Is this true? I've 2 tickets for the Hammersmith Show. If Steve is not there it will be interesting.

Hi Gerhard,
Thank you for writing. I don't know where these stupid rumours ever come from, but you can phone that radio station and tell them to check their information before they make irresponsible broadcasts.

There is absolutely no foundation for it, in fact Steve and I and the other guys are exchanging e-mail daily regarding professional matters concerning the tour..... really important stuff, like where is the best pizza parlour, pub, launderette, strip joint etc. Oh yes, hotels, venues and airports too.

Don't worry, Steve will be there, as always.
Cheers, ig

evening Mr Gillan
i have been over at the ''highway star'' site, and a quiss that keeps popping up is : what about Jon? there are numerous roumurs abot him leaving Purple. is that true?i would have a very hard time calling that band DEEP PURPLE. i was ok changing blackers for morse, but lord for something else is unthinkable. so what is your answer big IAN?

Good day Åke Nordh,
Thanks for your question. This hits upon the most profound essence of the Deep Purple Story. The Deep Purple Family.

I have explained in the past how I felt when leaving the band in '73. Even though (at the time) I had no intention of ever singing again, it was still a wrench to leave the 'family', no matter how discordant it may have become.

So much of a wrench that I couldn't bring myself to listen to 'Burn' or 'Stormbringer'; it was like (and pardon the crude analogy) watching my ex-girlfriend with another guy. Please understand that I have no bad feelings about David, or any other ex-Purple musician for that matter, but family ties are strong and emotions run deep.

This is why it is so easy for me to understand how fans and friends go through heartache every time the band seems unsettled, or someone leaves. It's like your parents separating, or some other kind of big family break-up.

What Ritchie did for Deep Purple could never be replaced by anyone. By the same token Ritchie could never have done for Deep Purple what Steve Morse has done. And the truth was and is that we could never have continued with Ritchie in the band (that is not debatable), so it would all have ended with 'The Battle Rages On'. On reflection, that would have been madness.

So if, or when, Jon Lord decides he's had enough, or unable to continue, then we shall continue to respect and love him for all that he's done for and with us. If you remember, Jon had a very sore knee during the last European tour, which resulted in him missing all the dates. We were very lucky to have Don Airey able to deputise for Jon and the show went on. If or when the same situation occurs I think it would be madness to cease, just as with Ritchie, Jon's work will be forever treasured.

Nostalgia has it's place, as I can see from your love of the 'old days', however there is still so much left to do. I think we'd all have quit years ago if we felt that Deep Purple was just a classic rock band.

'Come ahead McQuillan' och aye.
Cheers, ig


Just wanted to ask Ian Gillan what Ritchie Blackmore was referencing when he came up with the title, "Machine Head". Was it a reference to the guitar neck? To a tape head on the 16-track tape recorder? A sexual reference? A combination of all of the above? Not only was that an historic album, but it spawned a popular rock band of the same title 25 years hence.

-James Gemmell,
Grand Rapids
PS: my favorite song is "Pictures of Home"

Hi James,
Thanks for your letter. The machine head in question was the works at the end of the neck of Ritchie's banjo. That part beyond the nut, where the strings go for treatment, before being held, by the tuning pegs in order to operate harmoniously. A sexual reference? James I'm intrigued; one of my hobbies is comedy sex, tell me more.
Cheers, ig


I just wanted to say that you are the best singer in rock! I seen you 2x in concert with purple in Cincinnati, Ohio and it rocked. The two questions I have are. Were there ever any songs recorded live from the Tool Box CD and will they ever be released. The second question is. What do you think of the songs you did with Sabbath? I think of that cd as a heavy Gillan solo cd.
P.S. My new baby boy will be born in October and his first and middle name will be Ian Gillan. Hopefully he will be a good singer.


Hi Jon,
Thanks for the letter and the kind words. There were no official live recordings from the 'Toolbox' album as far as I can remember. As I have said many times, I loved the 'Born Again Album' with one exception, and that was the ghastly mix that Geezer Butler did after the album was finished. It certainly didn't get my approval and I have a monitor mix at home which is ten times better. Having said that, I loved everything about the year I spent with Sabbath, the guys, the songs, the tour, everything. I am greatly honoured by the naming of your child, I hope he will be healthy and happy.
Cheers, ig

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