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

81 Armenia, confusion clearance corner, the Orkut grilling, the enjoyment of Euclid,
still going.....apparently

From: Neil

Hi no idea if this is the right place to send this but

Don't know if its possible but is there any way of re releasing the rock aid version of smoke or a new remix in aid of the Haiti earthquake.



Hello Neil,

The new re-mixed version of 'Smoke on the Water' Live Aid Armenia will be re-released soon - watch this space.

After twenty years we are still working towards rebuilding the school and concert hall in Gyumri, which - like Spitak - suffered devastation with at least 25,000 killed and god knows how many injured and left homeless.

During my visit there in May 1990 (see gigography in the Caramba basement archives) the Mayor of Spitak introduced me to an old lady standing at the door of her temporary home in 'The Italian Village' (excellent self contained modules designed with imagination).

She was holding a framed family portrait of her extended family; husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. There were twenty nine of them and twenty eight were dead - all gone. The photograph was all that was left; she was the only survivor.

Things are moving on quite well with a lot of support from politicians and businesses.

I was able to raise a decent amount for the cause with two benefit shows in Yerevan recently.

Also, I'm working on an idea with Tony Iommi.

On the flight home from Armenia we decided to write a song or two and form an ad hoc band - specifically for use on fund raising occasions - called 'Who Cares'. Any live performances would be with a nebulous line-up and those plans are still on the drawing board, but we have made a move in the right direction by getting started with the writing. I visited Tony recently and we came up with a couple of songs that aren't too horrible. Hopefully we can knock them into shape in the near future and raise even more money to help the program.

I think your idea to help Haitians is admirable and of course we are all shocked by the tragic aftermath of their cataclysm.

However I think it's best to direct all my efforts where they are most effective.

I see plenty of fantastic energy and awareness being put into Haiti, but after twenty years there is still work to be done in Armenia.

Cheers, ig

From: Martin Burton


I'm emailing you to try and clear up some confusion I have about Ian Gillan's "Smoke This!" book.

Was the book ever released as a book and CD (disregarding the current version available with the Gillan's Inn dual disc)?

I ask because I have seen it advertised on Amazon as an audiobook. I ordered it but no CD arrived, just the normal paperback. On the DPAS website it is shown as having a CD but no track listing is available. Their online shop say they "have not been able to get anymore (copies) since the distributor went bankrupt in Dec 2008." And they cannot say whether there was a CD with it or not.

So I'm really confused!

Was it always just a book? Or perhaps a limited edition with a CD?

I would be very grateful if you can let me know.

Thank you,

Martin Burton


Hello Martin,

It was always just a book - there is no audio or CD.

However I can understand the confusion as Amazon advertises it '+book'.

Don't really know what that's about, but don't worry you're not missing anything.

Cheers, ig

From: Renato Franša

Dear Mr. Gillan,

We the community of Deep Purple in Orkut want to ask some questions to you. Most of us are from Brazil.

Rodrigo's question
- Mr Gillan, who will one day we will have a live album with songs that were never recorded live?

Marcelo's question
-what's the meaning of the lyrics of When A Blind Man Cries'.

Roberto's question
What were the reasons why Jon Lord out of the Purple? They said it was retirement, but we all know that, then what the real reason?

Bruno asks
-One day will have some live dvd Deep Purple recorded in Brazil?.

Aurelio's question
-Why do not you sing Burn?

Renato's question
-The songs Loosen my Strings''and''Fingers to the Bone have some reference to the Blackmore?.

Thank You

Renato Franša


Hello Renato,

Thanks for the Orkutian questions, I'll answer them sequentially.

1) Hello Rodrigo... A live album with songs that were never previously recorded live is most unlikely. Mind you, stranger things have happened- I have recently signed CDs that I never knew existed. Not illegal - official! And not just one - oh no, there are two or three (thousand?) bits of product out there about which I know nothing - nada!

Now this I am sure is a result of my dreaminess (Gillan pay attention!) And, as everything is now recorded in shaky sound and vision at every show and available to everyone on their devices, I'm sure that every new addition to our repertoire will not go unnoticed, except possibly by me.

2) Marcelo... When a Blind Man Cries tells a story of the blues (a state of mind) felt by a disadvantaged (blind) person brought - finally - to tears. The observation made is that perfectly capable people (generalisation) can moan and whinge about every inconvenience around which they are expected to step, whilst those born with disability (generally) tend to get on with life - they are less complaining. Ironic isn't it.

If you want to delve into the meaning of this kind of thing you should navigate your way to the Wordography section in the Basement Archives section here at Caramba. Number 66 will give you a slightly more colourful version of the above.

Regarding Dear Jon, I don't know what you're aiming at, but he really did have enough of the intense touring and is having a wonderful time catching up on all his own music. That is the real and only reason. I am still very much in love and awe of this musical gentleman.

3) Bruno... Generally speaking I am not a great fan of live albums; very few capture the moment and the thrill of the shared experience at the performance itself. That's because they are listened to or viewed remotely by one or two people instead of the thousands who were there at the time. This is obviously a minority view and if we ever did another official live album then why not Brasil...

4) Aurelio... I think I've answered this a thousand times, but let's put it this way...would you like to make love to the boyfriend of your ex lover?

5) Renato... Goodness me, what an idea - no of course not.

Loosen my Strings is about two things...first of all the title came from an unfortunate experience I had when failing to loosen the strings on my Takamine guitar when I checked it in on a flight. It turned up with a bent neck due to the strings shrinking. Then I got thinking about my own body before and after a good massage.

Fingers to the Bone is an old expression relating to very hard manual work (I worked my fingers to the bone) and was directly inspired by Steve's story about farmers having their land taken away in hard times by money lenders.

Cheers, ig

From: Gary Spencer

Hi Ian

My Son George and I had the pleasure of meeting you backstage and were blown away by DP in full flight If you could have met any historical figure who would it be.

ps looking forward to another fantastic album soon

Gary Spence


Hello Gary,

I would have enjoyed meeting Euclid of Alexandria.

I was once asked with whom I'd like to share a desert island.

I chose Vladimir Putin, Robert Mugabe and Britney Spears (nearly forgot her name but found it on celebrities flashing).

The idea was that I would have an enlightening chat with Mr. Prime Minister of Russia (erstwhile and future president) whilst Britney and Robert could find a distant palm under which to sit and explain themselves to each other.

Sorry, I thought you said hysterical.

Cheers, ig

From: Dave Tuting

Welcome to 2010 and may it be as good as the last god knows how many years!

Having just caught up with Caramba after a few months absence on my part, I have a couple of questions/observations for you.

First, what the hell is Giransanvellybadamellicatobrame which crops up in Via Miami? Or have I missed answer in a previous Q&A?

Secondly, to Tovisi Eniko in the recent Q&A, I can confirm that what you (Ian) say about the srogs is true. My daughter, now 22, is constantly raiding my vinyl after listening to all the usual teenage crap in her formative years. Yes, they do finally appreciate 'proper' music!!!

Thirdly, why are you described as 'Ian Gillan, previously known as the singer for Deep Purple, Ian Gillan Band and...' (absolute radio). What are you know as now?

Fourthly (a real worm?, sorry, word) I also send my love and best wishes to Ronnie at this difficult time. I saw him with Rainbow at the first ever Monsters Of Rock back in nineteen hundred and frozen to death!

And lastly (fifthly?) Did your female offspring ever take up the offer of employment at that nice (relatively) new fish restaurant just down the way from home? I ask as I installed the till system there and have heard that you have eaten there once or twice when not on tour. Maybe I'll write a book, 'Ian Gillan, My (Miniscule) Part In His Gastronomic Delights'!

All the best to you and yours and also DP.

Kindest Regards

(PS. About time you returned to the Pitz in MK. It's been a while since Toolbox and I have only had the chance to see you at the Astoria a few years back since)


Hello Dave,

Some interesting question there.

Giransanvellybadamellicatobrame can be broken down as thus:

Ah, but first an explanation of the song Via Miami...I had lost countless pieces of luggage in Miami Airport en route to other destinations:- That hub of ineptitude, second only to London Heathrow as a despairing example of public service in the travel industry. I haven't flown through Miami in a long time so it may have improved, but my daughter set off from LHR yesterday and arrived in Havana sans baggage; so no change there then.

The lyrics tell the story of lost bags and where they might have been on their journeys, inconsistent with my itineraries; one terminus being imagined as Japan.

In Japan, on my first visit, I was addressed very politely by the people at Toshiba/EMI as Gillan San.

I have since progressed through the graciousness of age to being Mr, Gillan.

It's a well known fact that the Japanese can say their Ls and Rs very well, but through some quirk in the early learning of English they get them the wrong way round. So Gillan San as I heard it was Giran San.

So back to 'thus'... we have the first part of the puzzle, and if you follow that train of thought you'll see that we end up with the Japanese blaming the Americans at Miami Airport for the non-appearance of my accoutrements...and all the time I was in Montserrat.

Translation - Mr. Gillan (Giransan) We're very sorry (vellybad) But it's the Americans at fault (amellicatobrame).

Make any sense to you?

After doing a big UK tour, not sure which, could have been the one with Lynyrd Skynyrd, I was having a drink with a pal in The George, Axminster. We happened to be talking about the phenomenal underground buzz that was going on with DP and how amazing it was that after all these years we could be touring so much and attracting so many people to the shows, many of whom were so young.

I said to my mate 'It's unreal, the music press haven't attended or reported on any of these shows. If you hadn't been there yourself you wouldn't have known we'd been in the country.'

At this point in walks Steve's friend. We are introduced and another round is bought.

His eyes light up as he's a great fan of Deep Purple. We shake hands and he says 'So, are you guys still going?'

I had to I said - you had to be there.

So, when a radio presenter or his ilk describes me as 'previously known...' I take succour from the feeling that, of all the crass compartmentalisations that we've endured over the years, my favourite is 'Underground'.

Cheers, ig

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