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

65 - Papers & answers, bare necessities, gynaecology, taking a view,
reply from a squirrel-goose


Hello Ian,

I do not know what it takes to be answered (you probably have to make ringing sounds like a phone I suppose... - ed), maybe it is just the matter of luck. If I have to say that Bananas is great, then yes... IT IS. I thought it was obvious.

If I had to say that you have an amazing voice, then I think it is a cliche. I would not write to you otherwise.

My only question is:  Which is your most favourite English newspaper?

Ildiko Chikan

Hello Ildiko,

Now that's a good question which has been answered before, but maybe it is time for a refresher.

Certain promises were made when we closed the Guestbook, one of which was that I would read every letter that came in; and I do, sometimes long into the night. This one caught my eye because of your opening speculation, which you partly answered yourself: it is luck to a certain extent, although persistence can triumph; occasionally. Flattery never works.

Here's the procedure: Your Email to the Q & A link at Caramba is shunted directly to me. I read it and file it according to priority. This is an arbitrary process. For example, your previous letter dated 11/20/2003 is in the pending/maybe section; this section gets whittled away and sometimes even erased en masse according to need.

Next, I write the answer to your question and mail it with others to Steve Campbell (our beloved Editor/Webmeister at Caramba). He will then put them into a balanced set for publication. Sometimes he will hold Q & A's for months until he can find the right place for them, and some of them never make it to the website.

So, as I answer your question now, I'm not really sure when, or even if, you will read the answer; it's up to Ed. (Yup - ed)

Now to your second and only question. I don't have a favourite English newspaper; I buy at random.

Of the tabloids, The Daily Mail has gone down the tubes, whilst The Mirror is much improved. Of the broadsheets, I have to pinch myself sometimes to believe that I live in the same country as The Telegraph and The Guardian. They are both top quality, but somewhere in between perhaps, lies the truth; if there is such a thing.

I don't trust The Sun or The Times so I leave them on the shelf. Then there's The Independent, well, what can you say about the Independent? That's a flaky newspaper; one day brilliant and the next....Hellooooo? Anyone there?

The Financial Times carries a decent cryptic crossword and so I buy that quite often when I'm travelling as it's easily available almost everywhere.

Cheers, ig


Hello Ian

My name is Ansgar and I currently live and work in the United Kingdom as a electrical engineer. I am formally from Stockholm in Sweden and have been a fan of the Deep Purple for many years. I am writing to ask you opinion on the behaviour of fans at you're concerts. I recently attended a concert in Stockholm - I took along my young son (he is 14). It was to be a birthday present to him and I had traveled home for a few days to take him for his treat. We were standing near the front section which we had a good view. The concert was very good and the sound was fantastic. My son was very enjoying himself but it was spoilt by some girl fans who were obviously very drunk in the crowd. They did not seem to be listening particularly to the great music but were delightedly being very loud and baring their breasts to everybody. I noticed that you thought that this was amusing and funny but I thought it spoilt my and my sons fun.

I think fans should be controlled to an extent. My son was embarrassed by them. I tried to complain to the management but they said they're was nothing to be done at that moment. When I came to you're concerts in previous years everybody enjoyed themselves and although they're was much to drink the behaviour was controlled. What I want to ask is what is you're opinion on this subject? I was asked to show in my bag that I had no alcohol (and my son also!) but quite clearly there was some smuggled through. Do you agree with drink being taken into concerts and bad behaviour or would you prefer that fans just enjoy themselves any way? Do not get me wrong as I like to drink sometimes but I think that if I go to a Deep purple concert I should concentrate on the music and not the drink.

Ansgar Windahl

Hello Ansgar,

Thank you for your letter and your enigmatic question.

It's tricky when you talk about such an experience with your young-ish lad.

I do remember the incident and yes I was amused and happy; I like a bit of exuberant exhibitionism.

The mood as always was peaceful and there was no threat except maybe to a protective father who wanted to concentrate on the music and share a pure experience with his son.

I'm sorry about the distraction, but like so many sorries in the English language it's not really an apology; more a feeling of empathy.

Thankfully our music is not entirely cerebral; it's quite physical too.

I don't know the answer to the alcohol question; maybe they smuggled it in having drunk it earlier.

The one thing I like above everything else at a Deep Purple concert is the distinct and almost total lack of violence; we're all there for the same reason.

Hopefully we'll see you at one of the shows in the U.K. next November.

Cheers, ig


Hi(hi) Doc,

Wow, what a way to bounce into the world! I must say your Bungee Birth Method sounds ingenious.

Be it so, I might add that I have no desires whatsoever to give birth .. and thereby most unregrettably will have to miss out on the experimental procedures.

However, I'd like to mention that this Method of yours has made me leave an odd impression on my environment, as I seem to randomly burst into giggles in various public places whilst envisioning the process.

Not to mention, your very clever collie with her book and powerdrill.

I had such a dog once when I was seven, he was my sweetheart; he found ways to make me understand him, he loved me and protected me. I never found as beautiful a heart.

By the way Professor, would you kindly elaborate; what exactly would a neural disruptor actually disrupt? In which sense should I be imagining such an object?


Hello Tabatha,

Thank you for your nice letter. I've had quite a mailbag on the Bungee Birth Method, I think it will catch on.

My Neuron (Neural was a typo) Disruptor temporarily affects the nerve cells. It is one of an arsenal of weapons I have developed in recent years for a purpose which cannot be disclosed until later. In it's most benign form it can be pointed at an aggressor and it will pacify him. The effect is quite stunning, he simply sits down and has a little snooze. On full power I can put a whole army to sleep. You should imagine it in a sense of wonder.

Cheers, ig

From: (Mark Hodgetts)

G'day Ian


Congratulations on your last DF column.  It really made me think about GM food.  Its something that the average Joe just let's fly right by.  You obviously have some fairly strong views about a number of things which leads me to thinking about the lyrics that you put in to your songs.  Some of these are quite thought provoking but you don't seem keen on falling in to what I would see as a trap of becoming an issues band like say Midnight Oil.

How do you see  a band such as the Oils (presuming that you've heard of them) and the stands that they've taken over the years.  Does an artist, be he musician, author, actor, painter whatever have an obligation to stand up on issues that concern them or do they risk the possibility of being seen as grandstanding posers? Heath Ledger, for example got pilloried in the local press for his stand on the Iraq war, the Dixie Chicks have really copped it for their stand on the same issue.  The Oils made a not too subtle statement at the Olympics that probably embarrassed my Government (then again probably not).  This was largely ignored by the press and seen as what else would you expect from that bunch of Pinko Commie sympathisers. 

Anyway keep up the good work and best of luck with the new album.  Please come back to Oz.  I want my kids to see the best band that ever was.


Mark Hodgetts

G'day Mark,

Thanks for your letter and your thought-provoking observations and the question. Good question.

As you can see it's been a while since you wrote in to the Q & A and meanwhile the GM issue has improved greatly in the U.K. Due to massive public resistance there is effectively a moratorium on the issue; although the government spins it otherwise. Monsanto has actually withdrawn. This is a great relief, however you can't trust these Frankenstein food buggers; they are masters of attrition. Nevertheless I'm sure they will be watched very, very closely from now on. Who knows? Maybe the ripples of rejection will spread and force a massive reversal of policy on a global scale. Dream on.

Of course I've heard of Midnight Oil and their political activities and you have to respect anyone who stands by their beliefs. There are many celebrities who lend their names to worthy causes. The problem lies with the snide interpretation of their intelligence, commitment and very often their motivation, by the filthy press. Be a good boy/girl (MBE?) and lend your name but not your voice. What could you possibly know? You're a pop singer, or whatever. A noisy irrelevance. Just smile for the cameras and behave yourself. Leave the serious work to us journalists, pundits and captains of industry. We'll tell the politicians what to do, not you. Step out of line and you're history, step over the line and you never existed; we have the power! (Hee hee, no they don't).

I think you are right, our governments wouldn't know embarassment if it filled their pants, although I get the feeling that a good proportion of our backbench incumbents share the national shame we bear for the U.K. (sic) prime minister's appalling behaviour. It's a dichotomy. I want to wring his bloody neck for the lies and the recklessness at the same time as biting my tongue because there's an extrication issue now involving many many lives.

On the bright side I could have had my head chopped off if I'd said that a few hundred years ago; so things are looking up (as King Harold said at the Battle of Hastings...I know, I know).

I wrote in the Dear Friends No. 28 (February 2003) '...I think the proposed offensive action against Iraq is stupid and amoral'...and, '...How then, in the name of such civilisation and sanity itself, can our British government reconcile these pacific, domestic tenets with a declaration of war upon a sovereign state smack-bang in the middle of a geo-political volcano?'

These issues affect all of us in my country and we have to speak up (or write down) to give substance to the debate, rather than swallow the often tangled party lines. However I do pay my grossly excessive taxes in the country where I live. Perversely, and now a year in advance, I am forced to watch large portions of them being thrown down the toilet as well. So it only seems fair that I can freely amuse myself at the expense of the castle full of rascals. Being resident in such a glass house as the U.K. I travel with great respect to my hosts, when abroad.

One important thing to remember, these days there is no dominant personality in DP, and we tend to have quite disparate views on a range of issues, so you'll get a touch of euphemism when we deal with sensitive topics. I like that because the GGggrrrrrr!!! is normally one or two layers below the humour.

I'm hearing about Australia and New Zealand concerts being booked for April, we shall publish the dates as soon as they are confirmed. Watch this space.

Cheers, ig


Hi Ian,


Had tickets for the Concert in Munich on 31.Oct., but got sick the day before. My sons had been there and came home from the Gig totally thrilled. No I'm so sad, because this had been the first chance in 30 years, to see my favourites live! My question is, would there be a DVD or Video about the Tour? Would be a little comfort for me. By the way, I like Bananas, in every relation..... (this is probably a cruel & unusual practice - ed)
Have a good time and stay as you are



Hello Heidi,

Sorry to hear about you getting sick and missing the show. I hope you're better now.

There is no planned DVD of the tour. But...the AVO Session from Basel on 14 November, was filmed and is I believe available for viewing somewhere on the internet as well as being shown in Germany/Austria/Switzerland sometime early in the New Year. If you don't recognise the singer it's because I was full of cold and recovering from emergency root canal surgery the day before...I'm the guy that looks like a squirrel hoarding nuts and sounds like a goose coming in to land.

Maybe next time Heidi.

Cheers, ig

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