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

49 - speaking horses, sweatless & Ipswich, dictator, extant in Milton Keynes,
perihelionic unknowingness


Hi Ian,

After listening to the early Purple albums for the last 25 years, I'm still not 100% sure of the lyrics on the "Concerto" album. I contacted someone at the "Highway Star" website who thought you ad-libbed and promised to get back to me but never did. Could you please let me have the lyrics "from the horse's mouth" so to speak ?


Hello Keith,

Thanks for your letter and question. You will find the 'Concerto' lyrics in the 'Wordography' section here at Caramba together with some comments.

Cheers, ig

From: (David White)

Hi Ian,

Last nights gig at Ipswich was terrific. Was at the front and saw all the fun. Have unforgettable memories of Roger's bass being so very loud, Jon's leaving was so very sad, Ian's one handed solo was so very cheeky, Steve doesn't get a sweaty head(!!!) you did Mary Long on a carpeted stage with no shoes on!

And during the show, you mentioned once visiting the Regent (Gaumont) with your old mate Paul Mariner. Dare I ask if maybe you just might follow the plights of ITFC? (Right now we need all the support we can get!) Good luck with the remaining gig, travel well and please carry on writing. Really Liked the Abandon album!

All the best
David White.

Hello David,

Thanks for the letter...Steve is very cool.

I have many good memories of Ipswich and the characters who were part of the team then in the late seventies/early eighties. Ipswich is one of the best run clubs in the country and the plight they are in now is a direct result of the felonious, negligent or plain greedy (take your pick) way in which football has been administered since the inception of the Premier League. No one should have to pay that big a price for one season's failure/relegation.

I like the idea of the Phoenix League...or Premier One and Two...but really, what hope is there for a sport with people like Crozier and Blatter at the helm. I suppose we can think ourselves lucky that the seemingly demented Max Mosely ended up in Formula One.

Good luck to you all there in Suffolk.

Cheers, ig



My first question is; do you actually type all of your answers out or are you dictating to someone? I assume from knowing you that you are doing it all yourself but being familiar with so many people whom you are in constant correspondence with- let's just say We are all curious as to how you do it!

The second question is; Where and when did you actually learn to speak Japanese? This is in response to the question about you singing "Zero the Hero" in Japanese to which you said that you had.

Thanks for signing our Friends guest book and for being so giving to all of your Fans (especially us)! Your Grateful Friends and biggest Fans....

Chuck and Sue Quinn

Hello Quinns,

Six strange, no, not strange...refreshing.

In answer to your first question...I am typing this as we speak. There is no-one else present in this room but I do not feel alone. I do it not that differently from the way everyone else does it, but differently enough to make a difference!

In answer to your second question...on the fourteenth of July 1978, at precisely 07.34 GMT. Which is why I was able to be so fluent in my delivery of Zero the Hero at the time to which you refer, whenever that might have been. Other than that I can't remember a thing.

Do I know you?

Cheers, ig

From: (Fraser, Graeme)


it's a pleasure to post to your wonderful website.......

Regarding an earlier posting on the subject of autographs, I was reminded of a time some 10 to 15 years ago when I thought I saw you in the toy department of John Lewis in Milton Keynes.

After much nudging of my missus (look, I'm sure it's him, I've seen him three times in concert, once at Preston Guildhall!) I decided not to pester the Gillan figure on two counts.

1) Fearing it really was you and you'd be none to pleased to be bothered while clearly venturing forth on a family matter.

2) Fearing it couldn't really be a rock legend in the toy department of John Lewis, Milton Keynes, and I might suffer the embarrassment of telling the local bank manager he had the finest voice in contemporary music. As contexts go, it just didn't compute. But then again, I did seem to recall you were a man of Buckinghamshire.

So, to paraphrase the punk from that Dirty Harry movie: "I gots ta know...."

And no small thanks for providing the soundtrack to 30-odd of my 40-odd years. All the very best to you and yours.


Hello Graeme,

Thanks for your letter. My daughter Grace is eighteen years old and I used to buy her toys and stuff from John Lewis in Milton Keynes, so I imagine that would fit the time frame and the was probably me.

I don't mind people coming up to say Hi, it's never been a problem; I'm pretty anonymous anyway, when I'm 'off duty'.

Cheers, ig


Hello Ian,

Many thanks for many years of much enjoyment of your many songs. Anyhow, Im looking for the meanings of some of your lyrics, as there are a few words that elude my linguistal cunningness. The song "Anya" from The Battle Rages On, you sing in the second verse "Across the pushta plain to see..." Exactly what is a pushta, where can I find myself one, and did I spell pushta correctly? Also, on Made In Japan you mutter something leading into Space trucking just as the band hit those sharp, short 2 and 3 note crashes. Any idea what you might have said? Were you yelling at a stagehand for a beer? Telling Ritchie how good he was? Placing your dinner order? And lastly, If not mostly, Deep Purples new DVD Perihelion, What is Perihelion? Who is Perihelion? Is Perihelion near Cleveland? Your reply to these inqiries greatly appreciated. Keep rockin till ya roll...

From Mark Sheehan,
Sandwich Ma

Hello Mark,

A pushta is a plain, a sort of Hungarian Dartmoor.

I have no idea what I said...any of your guesses could be right.

Perihelion...from Peri...which, in astronomy, means the point nearest to...and Greek Helios, meaning the Sun. So Perihelion means the closest point of approach to the sun by an orbiting planet or satellite.

A little point of trivia here...did you know that such a position can generally be calculated by the laws of classical mechanics, but the systematic change in the perihelion position of Mercury could be explained only by Einstein's general theory of relativity, for which it constituted an important test.

I don't carry that stuff around in my head you know, I just made it up.

We have a DVD called 'Perihelion'? Is that right? I'll have to check it out.

Cheers, ig

Return to:
Back to the Q&a index