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

46 - a very particular man, gigs & venues, categories, on follicular derangement,
businesslike otters


Hi Ian,
first of all a thousand thanks (or more) for the big chance to meet and talk to you in "east of ..." (now you know where: somewhere in the nowhere). By the way: on the tour T-shirts they printed only "Stuttgart" (no east or west), what is totally wrong, so your placement wasn't that bad at all ;-) I also was in Cologne (any fule kno where that is) three day before. There I noticed you ruined your black&white shirt (How did that happen?). But in the east you seemed to wear it again. Do you have several similar looking shirts or did you get it mended?

But what I really wanted to ask is: Why did you throw your microphone stand in the ditch (is that the right word in english, e.m.p.e.) between the stage and the audience? We wondered whether maybe your monitor sound was bad (the sound for the audience was excellent though) or what else happened? Did you recognize that a fan wanted to keep the stand as a souvenir (but the security took it away)? Steve and Roger throw their picks and Ian P. his sticks as souvenir, what could you give us? Don maybe some keys? ;-)

And why didn't you play Space Trucking like you did in Cologne? And the riff (or better more) of the new "Chinese/Japanese" song from the new album we are desperately waiting for?

Thanks again and keep on rocking

Hi Helge,
Thanks for your letter and comments. You seem like a man concerned with intricate detail, so I'll do my best to answer you. Sometimes we don't know exactly where we are going to be performing months in advance of the concert. Especially in the case of summer concerts, which are often held in exotic locations, generally off the beaten track. So, when we say East of Stuttgart, it is the only information we have at the time.

If you read 'A Matter of Taste' somewhere in the Caramba archives, you will see that once I feel comfortable with some clothes I tend to wear them until they fall off my back. Such was the case with my black/white silk shirt. It started to shred, I caught it on the end of Steve's guitar. It was mended, by Jan, our wardrobe mistress, about three times before it finally gave up the missed the funeral, and no, I only had the one.

I can't remember why I threw the mike stand in the ditch (we call it the pit), but I'm glad it was retrieved, there's not another one like it in the world, it's custom made. I doubt if the monitor sound was bad enough to provoke such action, even at it's worst it is very very good.

Regarding souvenirs, I have nothing to give, even my tonsils have been taken out, otherwise you'd be welcome to them.

Playlists are down to pre-gig discussions. Sometimes it's just a whim and sometimes there's a good reason for choosing or eliminating material; in this particular case I can't remember, sorry. As for the riff or whatever it was, that's just a bit of nonsense that we enjoy; I don't think there's any plan to record it.

Cheers, ig


Last Friday, (6th Sept), I was able to experience DP live for the first time in my life and I must say that it was a night to remember for the rest of it, your voice on top form, Jon Lord's perfectly timed appearance and subsequent thunderous ovation, the woman jumping onstage to deliver a kiss during Highway Star, (If I recall correctly), with Steve Morse following suit, the awesome solo exhibition and the sheer greatness of the whole performance.

I also have two questions to give a point to this letter...

1: Has there ever been one single gig that you've attended as either a performer or spectator that has stood out head and shoulders above the rest? (Don't know if this has been answered before)

2: What has been your favourite venue for whatever reason?

Thanks to you and the rest of the band for a fantastic time, Andrew

Hello Andrew,
Thanks for your letter and comments, they are much appreciated.

I am often asked questions like this, in particular 'what is my favourite song'. The answer is simple. Here is the first thing that comes to mind...'Mary Long'. If you had asked me that question yesterday I might have said 'Don't hold me back', or any one of a hundred others. So, here in the same spirit is the answer to your questions, which I have taken together.

First, as a performer, Roger Glover's Butterfly Ball at The Royal Albert Hall in London, in the late Seventies. This was a significant event in my life and a time when the audience influenced me in the choice of which of the paths on offer, at that moment, I should decide to take.

Secondly, as a spectator, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers at the Blue Moon Club in Hayes (West London) in the early Sixties. This was a significant event in my life and a time when the artist influenced me in the choice of which of the paths on offer, at that moment, I should decide to take.

Cheers, ig


Dear Ian Gillan,
From the time of Deep Purple mark 2A, I remember that Deep Purple-followers fell into the Led Zeppelin-category and the Black Sabbath-category. The Led Zeppelin followers of Deep Purple were the least intensive and were doing traditionally fine in the normal life.

The Black Sabbath followers of Deep Purple were much more personally emotionally into the Deep Purple groove and wanted what you were standing for to be the whole of their lives.

IT IS the LZ-Deep Purple followers that are still around, because the BS-Deep Purple fans are dead decades ago after short miserable lives. In the Deep Purple physics this is a fenomena that would have been so interesting to hear your opinion about.

I CERTAINLY donīt accuse you people who were the ultimate musicians.

This is a general question.
I hope you will be the next president of U.S.A. and that you will change some of the hidden basic presets around this.

with eternal admiration,
George Vedel

Dear George,
I can't answer your question honestly and be the president of the United States.

You are intense, man. I remember some of this thinking that was going around at the time, but it never was like that with us...the musicians/bands. Of course egos came into it, but there was a basic camaraderie that said...'this is what's happening, come and get it.'

Cheers, ig

From: (James)

Dear Mr. Gillan,
I'm a 15 boy from Canada. Some friends and i recently got a band together, and i was wondering two things.

1. How have you kept your voice in such incredible condition? is there any tips you could give to me on how you got and kept the range and capacity that you have?


2. I've seen some photos of you in the early 1970s around the Fireball era, and i was wondering how did you get your hair like that? probably a stupid question hahaha


Dear James,
Thanks for your letter and good luck with the band. Regarding the voice, first it was a journey of discovery, with no real ambition other than to enjoy working with musicians and exploring the possibilities. I think it takes a few years to get to know yourself, and after those formative years, mostly spent copying and interpreting the work of others, it's not too hard to find your own voice. Keeping it is another matter; I suppose it depends on the company you keep.

My hair got like that through lack of attention.

Cheers, ig

From: (Goss, Simon (S.))

Many happy returns and happy birthday to you, sir. Sorry I'm a bit late, but better too late than never, I guess. I hope you are in the best of health and enjoying a short break between your humungous US tour and the up and coming european tour. I am really looking forward to seeing you guys in Cologne next week (28th August). I saw you all last year with Don as a temporary replacement. He did a smashing good job. I took along a couple of pals (7 in all) to see the show. This time one of the guys is bringing along his whole family! He was very impressed it would seem. He certainly said so many a time.

I wouldn't be surprised if you get sick to the teath sometimes from constantly having to answer the same questions all the time, so I decided to ask some perhaps not so usual questions for you to wrack your brains over. So here we go then:

What was your earliest childhood memory?

What do you do when you are pissed off (whatever the reason) to calm down?

What is your favourite beer? Mine is Altenberger Brauerbier

Have you got any ideas how to produce sensible politicians at all? ( being a british citiīzen in Germany, I am not allowed to vote in the up and coming elections, but to be honest, considering the pathetic bunch of loonies they have got here (seems to be the same almost everyweher, I wonder where they get them from?), I prefer not to anyway!)

Last but not least: Which is your favourite wood, that you work with? I like oak, but the sawdust is quite aggresive due to the natural tanning acid oak contains. Otherwise I like working beach.

I hope this isn't a bit much...


Hello Simon,
Thanks for your letter, comments and questions.

My first memory was the reflection of the fire, flickering on the ceiling of our bedroom.

My favourite beer? I don't have one really, but there's a west country effort called Otter Ale, which does the business.

How to produce sensible politicians? Hmm. I'll get back to you on that one.

I like a nice larch pole myself. Cheers, ig

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