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

39 - Gunga Din, Born Again, Spanish Fleas, JCS, Wordogs, Belgrade?

From: jcm2710@yahoo.co.uk (John C Micallef)

Dear Mr. Gillan,
Re your wordography for Gunga Din, this name comes from an epic story by Kipling, which was made to film

see the following website: click here

Also: click here This website has an English poem, wherein Gunga Din is a character - maybe tied to the film and story mentioned above.

I hope this helps.

Best regards from Malta,
John Micallef

Dear John,
Thanks for your letter. The poem 'Gunga Din' can be found in Kipling's 'Barrack Room Ballads' (and other verses).

This is a wonderful collection, a copy of which sits on a shelf within arm's reach here in my studio.

Full of humour and poignancy this one tells the story of a Cockney soldier at war in India, and his respect for the man who brings him water. At the end, after receiving a mortal wound, his dying words are '.....you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!'

There's a fair amount of brutal humour, which wouldn't be allowed today; however, it suits my way of thinking and can be inspirational '....I only insult my friends, my friend. The rest can go to hell!'

Contemporaneous stories like this add texture to our history books, don't you think.
Cheers, ig

From: stx32802@Allstate.com (Garza, Judy)

Greetings Ian,
I just wanted to be the one unafraid to say "I loved the Black Sabbath Born Again album." Okay, so the mix, and the cover of the album, and the bulkiness of the stageset bothered you - it was some of the most impressive singing i've ever heard. Good Lord, the shrieks at the end of disturbing the priest, hot line, and born again - not since child of time had you done anything like that. Ozzy only wishes he could.

It's one thing to hear Ozzy knock the post-Ozzy sabbath albums, but I was disappointed to hear first you, and then later even tony Iommi himself frown upon that Born Again album. The riffs were good, the singing was good, and the concert was good (san antonio). Rock on, mate, because the age of the great rock singers seems to be dying with you, Dio, Halford, Perry, Graham etc .. As the music industry continues in its grunge rock mode.

Hi Judy,
I really do love the album; the final mix really was quite dodgy though. Never mind I have great memories of my time with the Sabs, and I would prefer that to be quoted more often than the one negative thing amongst all the fun, yes the cover and the stage set too are all remembered fondly.

Thanks for writing, cheers, ig

From: ostrowiecka@alpha.sggw.waw.pl (Joasia Ostrowiecka)

Hello!
I've just read the latest correspondence and I've checked immediately all my e-mails if they weren't rude. I don't think they were; I had no intention to press you up. "Patience is a virtue": we have one fine saying in Poland- "Hurry is advisable only when one catches fleas"- how do you like it? The vignette of your Internet page is very interesting: Caramba=Hang it all. Do you know Spanish? It's a very beautiful language. Excuse me, my style is telegraphic. Which doesn't deny my sympathy to the music. I like Glenn Miller, too. And Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix. Also heavy metal, of course.

I seldom ask for something, unfortunately, now I need one text. I have got DP texts from Highway Star page, but they are incomplete. What is the third verse of "Living wreck"? Where can I find it? My English isn't ideal (out of practice), so I can't understand the whole text from my records. I like Internet very much. I'll write before long. I'll try not to ask for anything more.
Hi! JO

Hi Jo,
Thanks for your very nice letter. Yes, Spanish is a beautiful language. Shell here at Caramba speaks it fluently and colloquially, so we miss nothing. I shall have to ask her what is the Spanish equivalent of the adage. (Fleas! are you sure?) Anyway, as you've been so telegraphic, I'll be happy to answer your question....... You said you gonna love me You said you gonna set me free But I knew that you would bring me down And cause me misery You'd better do something for your own sake Yes it's a shame Ah you know you're a Living Wreck The rest of the song together with the usual preamble will be found sooner or later in the Wordography section, here at Caramba.
Cheers, ig

From: bernt.kuepper@t-online.de ("Bernt Küpper")

Hi Ian, I read in an old newspaper that you were performing "Jesus Christ Superstar" only for one evening live in a church in New York in the beginning of the 70ies. Is this true or is it just a rumour? Thank you and all the best! Bernie

Hi Bernie, It is not true. Cheers, ig

From: catherine@delfi.lv (Catherine)

Dearest Ian!
Thank you! Caramba is great - just the thing fans like me want from you... "Dear Friends" is extremely pleasant to read (thank you thank you thank you thank you). And Anecdotage is the most hilarious thing (lol lol lol). Wordography is also great. I cried when I read about GUNGA DIN, honest...But I got a bit disappointed since I didn't find SMOOTH DANCER in Wordography. I really believe that those lyrics are among your best works. It was a revelation for me when I got the whole idea of it. Since then always when I listen to NOBODY'S HOME I can't help thinking the both songs are about one and the same... Please, tell me if I'm wrong.

Please, answer - you'll make me happy.
Catherine

P. S. Gee, how could I forget! Thank you for "I LOVE YOU TOO" that I got from you at the show in Riga on March, 29. I was so endlessly happy that my desperate "I LOVE YOU" reached you that night . Million thanks! You are the sweetest Ian of all Ians in the world!

Hugs, kisses, love, admiration and all the pleasant things that you can possibly think of - from me to you.

Catherine, Riga, Latvia

Dear Catherine,
Thanks for your letter and kind words. The Wordography is very young.

You will find 'Smooth Dancer' and 'Nobody's Home' in the Wordography in due course, as I plan to go through the whole catalogue eventually. Then you'll be able to judge for yourself. However not everything is attributable to obvious sources.
Cheers, ig

From: zrenjanin@hotmail.com (MT)

I am only 23 years old but have been a loyal DP fan for good 10 years, believe it or not. My favourite DP LP is In Rock, and I truly believe no-one will ever top it. It is by far the greatest hard rock album ever made. It was also the first DP album I'd come across. I still remember the day I first played it... Will remember it for the rest of my life. It truly was an eye-opener! You are the best vocalist ever, but I am sure 1000s of people the world over have already told you that.

I only have one question: Is there even a remote possibility of you guys ever coming to Yugoslavia - namely Belgrade and/or Novi Sad? I would give my arms for the opportunity to see you en vivo! I am sure I speak for all DP fans in Yugoslavia. Playing either of the two abovementioned cities --or better yet, both BG and NS! -- would mean the world to us.

There are loads of awesome venues here but - provided you decide to come, of course - I don't think the 100,000-capacity Red Star stadium would be large enough to hold all of us who admire your music.

Yours truly,
Mile [city of Zrenjanin, Yugoslavia]

Dear Mile,
Thanks for your letter and kind words, both of which are much appreciated. I will pass this on to the office and if there's ever a chance of playing Belgrade again (I was there twenty years ago with my own band) it would make me very happy.
Cheers, ig

Return to:
Back to the Q&a index