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

58 - oddly restrained, not grand enough, a small fretful morsel, starting out, a question of identity


Dear Ian,

I'm skipping the "we're not worthy"-part - too much of that might make you cocky, thinking you're really something....;-)

Being a fan more than half my life, I really don't know what to ask you, but since this is a Q & A page, I guess I must come up with something.

1) How has touring and being a musician affected your health over the years? Have you ever had a breakdown, felt like there was no energy left, has the doctor at any point ordered you to slow down, make a new start, change eating/drinking/workout habits or something like that? How do you go about keeping in shape?

2) What is the worst thing about Jon Lord leaving the band?

3) If you could pick one person - living or dead - to interview, who would that be?

4) Is your daughter singing or playing an instrument as well? An Ian Gillan record with a father/daughter duet would've been charming.... or perhaps not?

5) What is your favourite drink?

6) Can you cook? If so, what do you impress friends and neighbours with?

7) What do you wish for Christmas?

8) Was this too many questions? What question would you like to be asked?

9) My first two names are Odd Walter. Wouldn't that be a great song title (a follow-up from Ted the mechanic) ? Odd is norse and means spear's end. Walter is German and means warrior. But I am a peaceful man though - teacher, singer, guitar player and poet.

Give my love to the guys - thanks for all the great moments.

Odd Walter Bakksjø

Hello Odd Walter,

Thanks for your questions, your evident restraint and care for my personality.

1) I have thrived on it.

I believe that human beans, or long pigs as we are referred to on some menus, need two things to be happy...a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging...In my job I have both. I don't recall having a breakdown.

I have never worked out (sic), as I'm not so keen on the smell of gymnasia, or the music they play. I don't like running because it interferes with my thinking, and I can't justify the expense of jogging accessories. However I do walk for miles along nature trails, beaches etc., and I take pleasure in saying hello to people who aren't wearing headphones. Also I swim a lot. When I'm touring, the nightly work out on stage is aerobic, to say the least.

2) There is no worst thing as I see it, this is life and I respect Jon's decision. I shall treasure my memories of Jon's massive contribution to Deep Purple and his influence on my life, but most of all I look forward to our next meal together, when he will choose the wine. His sharp wit....A nervous fan once said to Jon...'Jon Lord, I'm your hero.' He replied...'Oh, so you're King Arthur, I'm pleased to meet you at last.'

However we are now in the age of Don Airey, and he brings his own personal and musical talents to the band. His sharp wit...At a recent dinner in L.A. after a session, a keen political debate in the category 'republicanism' took an historical turn. The questioner turned to Don '...The Punic Wars, you do know about the Punic Wars don't you?' 'Oh aye' replied Mr. Airey 'The Punic Wars; Paicey and I talk of little else on the tour bus.'

3) Vladimir Putin, I'd love to get a glimpse of what's in his mind for the future of Russia.

4) My daughter is enjoying her life and developing her own talent and skills like any other nineteen year old. The last thing she needs is a father/daughter duet, she's making her own way in life. That's not to say we shall never work together, but not until she has her own identity. Then no-one can ever say 'you got this because of your dad'.

5) That depends on the circumstances, so long as it's water-based I'm not fussy.

6) I can cook although I'm not sure if I have ever impressed anyone with my culinary skills. (yes he has, he does a particularly splendid spag bog - Steve / ed) I do a mean cheese fondue.

7) Although I'm not a Christian, it would be a good time for a little understanding in general. More specifically I would like to see a reduction in the obscene level of commercial exploitation, which seems to be a complete contradiction to the spirit of the occasion.

8) I don't mind questions at all, but it would be pointless if I chose them.

9) Thanks for the explanation...which end of the spear would that be?

Cheers, ig

From: Pamela Johnson -

Dear sir,

I was a student at the American College of Switzerland back in the 80s. This college was formerly housed in the old Grande Hotel in Leysin, Switzerland, which, before the college bought it, had stood abandoned for many years.

A few of us were wondering if this is the same Grand Hotel that is referred to in the lyrics:

We ended up at the Grand Hotel
It was empty cold and bare
But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
Making our music there
With a few red lights and a few old beds
We make a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know we'll never forget
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

With your references to Switzerland, and Leysin's proximity to Montreux, naturally rumors have circulated for years that the hotel referred to in the legendary song is, in fact, OUR hotel.

Many thanks in advance for clearing this up...

Pamela Johnson
Manager, ACS Alumni Board

Hello Pamela,

I'm sorry to disappoint you but the Grand Hotel was definitely the one in Montreux itself.

Cheers, ig

From: Dregsteve re: question from Debs

One final thing, could you ask Steve how he does the beginning of Highway Star? I've watched it a thousand times and still can't believe that he doesn't have a Harley in his pocket!!

Thanks!! Debs x

this is an easy answer.........start with the whammy pushed all the way down, then strike the lowest string, pulling the bar back to the original position slowly. then repeat on the next string when the pitch has gone up about 5 frets worth, until Ian starts to sing.

From: (Jenny Rycroft)

Thank You for replying to my last email just before Christmas! I have finally got my new guitar now. It's black and deep purple colour, in the same pattern as wood grain! You can tell I am mad on Deep Purple, as I now have my guitar in the same colour!

I am hopefully going to see you again on the 25th July, 2003, in Glasgow! I hope I can stand at the front again, but I doubt it! I guess that is a one in a million chance to do that, it was great to be able to do though! Deep Purple is the best band ever, you write and play excellent music, and I admire you all very much.

I am going to try very hard to start my own band up soon with a few mates from school, but they aren't very talented, so I need to try and teach them some techniques and persuade them to practise lots after school with me.

A few questions I would be than happy if you could answer them for me are:-

1. Could you possibly give me a few hints how to start up your own band from scratch?

2. Where is the best place that I could possibly find some of Deep Purple's written music on the internet that I could read of?

3. What would you be doing if you weren't in Deep Purple?

Thank You Ian Gillan if you answer my questions, I'll be ever so grateful!!!

Jenny, 14

( birthdays only in 12days on the 13th March - I'm so excited!)

Hello Jenny,

Thanks for your letter, comments and questions.

1) I think you're doing it the right way to start with. Enjoy the rehearsals with your friends, some will get better and some will drop out. As you improve others will come along and eventually you'll have a group of like minded people. Try to start with simple tunes that are fun to play, and don't worry about record deals or getting famous...not for the time being at least.

2) You can't do better than going to the website then click on lyrics/tabs under Purple Music in the menu in the right hand margin. You should find everything you need in the line of words, chords and tablatures.

3) It's hard to say, every little thing you do today affects your life in the long term. I like working with wood, so maybe something along those lines.

Hope you had a happy birthday on the 13th March.

Cheers, ig

From: (Orrimaarko P.F.)


Hi, My wife and I were fortunate enough to catch a Purple gig in Sydney 2 years ago while we were travelling Australia. During the gig you mentioned that your dad was Scottish. My wife went to a signing at a local music shop the next day (I was at Steve and Paicey's guitar and drum clinics) and you told her your dad was from Govan. I was just curious as to whether you consider yourself half Scottish or just English, cos you've stayed there longer? I know we're all British blah blah blah, but the bios of the band just say an English band, when Roger's from Wales and Steve's from the States!

Thanks for all the music - and Sauchiehall St 1970! (I wasnt born at the time but I do have an original copy of the next day's Daily Record!)


Hello Ricky,

Thanks for your letter and difficult question. Yes, my father was from Govan in Glasgow. As it says in Gunga Din (see Wordography)...

'...My Daddy was from Scotland, and I couldn't understand A single word he said to me until I was a man...'

I am half Scottish and half English, but I grew up in England and therefore by definition I'm an Englishman. However, I am required to write British or U.K. in all the travel documents that have to be completed. England, or the state of being English, doesn't seem to exist, even at Westminster.

The world was a different place in the 60's and the original formation of Deep Purple was made up of Englishmen. Roger Glover brought in some Welsh blood in '69. I believe the first American to join DP was Tommy Bolin for 'Come Taste the Band'. Now Steve has been with us for a decade.

National identities seem to matter less in this multi-cultural age, but Deep Purple still seems to me to be essentially English, and I don't mean that in a flag waving sense at all...more the roots that we can't escape, nor would really want to.

Cheers, ig

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