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

82 Armenia & Azerbaijan, Who's responsible? Own up!, setting the record straight

From: Barat Agaev

Hi mr.Gillan,

i am from Azerbaijan.though i am 18 years old,i am a very big fan of yours.i like and listen to your songs with Deep purple for hours.especially Child in Time,from 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock.very good very genius song against war.yeah war...but today i was shocked by something new for me.i was trying to learn some information about you and sadly,saw a very bad thing that made me cry.u said that Armenia was your spiritual motherland.i hope that u are a very kind and humanist performer of a very big and one of the most influental band in rock history.but...probably you don't know anything about Armenian agression and terrorism in my motherland,u dont even know what they have done in my motherland.they burned Azeri people alive,they cut their heads,scalps,they occupied our therritory called KARABAKH.they still inform foreigners about Karabakh wrongly.please be fair don't believe their lies,speculations.i just invite you to Azerbaijan.come and see everything and be sure(and i'm looking forward for your concert with Deep Purple in my motherland).and please look at these sites if you want to be informed about the truth.(i swear i wrote only truth


Hello Barat,

It is with some trepidation that I embark upon a response to your letter; I fear it will cover more ground than you imagined when you put pencil to paper.

I am not competitive and dislike confrontation so normally will gravitate towards areas of comfort for work, rest and play. But even in these spiritual oases it is hard to avoid conflict; belligerent intrusion has to be resisted.

But first to the inaccuracy…Child in Time is not a song against war, it is about stupidity. One is inevitable, the other is not. A missing comma from the title gives a false impression and - as happens so often - rhyme defeats reason...

Sweet Child,
In time you'll see the line,
The line that's drawn between good and bad.
See the blind man shooting at the world
Bullets flying, taking toll
If you've been bad; lord I bet you have
And you've not been hit by flying lead
You'd better close your eyes
You'd better bow your head
Wait for the ricochet

…If it wasn't so clumsy as a lyric, I could have written a more illuminating and prosaic version, such as, 'Innocent youth, sooner or later you will form an opinion; that is expected, but are you destined to shoot blindly at anything that moves, in the vain hope that you will destroy all those who oppose your ideology and with the sure knowledge that you will destroy all those that don't?'…Clearly that…is stupidity.

So, what does that mean when it's at home? And what do I mean when I say war is inevitable but stupidity is not? Well, it goes back to my theory that the driving force of humanity is (extra-Darwinian) supremacy, not survival. Supremacists are inflexible from the outset - though may appear otherwise whilst preparing to pounce, whereas mere Survivalists are adaptable and consciously pragmatic - until the crunch.

Supremacists would rather face obliteration than allow a competing strain to succeed in anything that undermines their version of human life, from land ownership, financial control, breeding, political or religious ideology; whatever you like across the spectrum of existence resulting in war - when all the talk is over.

Every day of my life I discover
Someone murdering my sisters and brothers
In the name of some god or another
What do you know?
(Before Time Began - from the DP album Rapture of the Deep, DF #38)

And so on - and on - as mentioned many times de previous in other Places du Caramba.

The worst case of racism I have ever experienced - shocking overt hatred - was delivered spittle-mouthed and out of the blue from a junior doctor in a Plymouth hospital just last January. And, some years earlier than that, I was stunned to receive similar froth from a good friend in Scotland, who turned against me for no other reason than I was born in England of a Glaswegian father and a Hounslovian mother and therefore had committed personally in a vicarious distaff action some heinous crimes against his ancestors and mine. My look of bafflement in both cases was taken for arrogant superiority and so they will kill me one day in order to right the wrongs done unto their fathers, and thereby set new spiked wheels in progress.

You may wonder about the relevance of all this to your question, which was to do with ancient horrors inflicted by one party to another through the course of history in the name of supremacy and of course my spiritual home.

For the first part and the most part we are moving on from the anachronistic nature of vendetta, as many old scores have been settled or forgotten and History is no longer being taught in English schools. There will be of course some unavoidable and imminent wars fought in real time by ideologically committed protagonists but it remains to be seen how big a part will be played by stupidity such as M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) during the action, or how long will remain the bitterness of defeat and memories of savagely inflicted wounds.

Of course if the king was really dead (checkmate) we'd all shake hands and adjourn to the bar - or whatever place of refreshment and leisure might be permitted by the victors.

For the second part, my spiritual home is any place where my soul has been touched, any place where I have been humbled graciously or given shelter - it's not about the scenery. Parts of Poland come to mind - particularly this week; Bavaria, Thailand, Russia, Scotland and England, as well as Armenia, where the circumstances of my first visit were quite profound. If I were to continue the list its value would be diminished, but you'll be glad to know I don't need to explain that.

Peace and Love,

Cheers, ig

From: Zoltan, Toth

Hi Ian,

First of all, thank you for the music - I hope you don't consider this as an insult :)

I think you and your musician friends have been giving a lot to the music lovers for a long time.

I'd like to ask who writes actually the DP songs ? I see everywhere "Airey, Gillan, Glover, Morse, Paice", but I guess that it's not all of you who is involved in writing each song.

I'd guess that's only a generosity of the real composers towards all members of the band.

Zoli from Hungary


Hello Zoli,

Traditionally - in the world of music publishing - the credits went to whoever came up with the words and the tune. Sometimes that would be one person - like Bob Dylan - or two - Lennon and McCartney. Additional contributions like riffs, solos, chord sequences, arrangements and performance were never rewarded in the same way until Deep Purple (we may have been pioneers in this respect) agreed at the time that these things had become integral parts of the song, so the credits (and royalties) were thereon divided equally.

Which is why - even though I write the lyrics and the tunes - Deep Purple credits show the whole band.

Cheers, ig

From: Andy

Hi Ian.

Before I go any further , just wanted to say I have been a fan from the day I bought my first album.................when I was in short trousers back in 1977...............the album was Made in Japan. I still have that album, although have replaced it with CD now. I have followed you ever since and seen you in concert in DP, Gillan, Black Sabbath, Garth Rockett...............I think you get the idea. I own every Gillan album I have be able to lay my hands on,as well as every DP album. I have seen you on your current rapture tour 8 times and have tickets for the Hammersmith gig later this year and have met you a couple of times at gigs and book signings. In a word I am a big fan.

So to the reason for me sending this email. In one of your responses to an email you describe the police in England to be the enemy of the people and no longer a part of the community they serve. I was very disappointed that you feel this way. I am a serving police officer with 16 years service. I have worked within the community where I live for all of that time. I have always made sure the good decent people get the best service I can offer with the restraints put on me by our government. I also make sure the people who want to destroy peoples lives breaking into their houses, assaulting them, raping them, killing them get what they deserve to the best of my ability. I do not ever see myself being the enemy.

I am looking forward to seeing you again in London and wish you, your family and all the band the very best of health and happiness in the future.




Hello Andy,

Oh dear, I've already been told off about this by one of my old mates. Of course it's not personal, so before I start apologies to you and all the other men and women that look after us and take it in the neck while we sit at home and complain. It's not your fault, any more than it's the fault of the armed forces that our MOD is tragically inept and seemingly corrupt.

I played in goal - on and off - with Pangbourne Police (Thames Valley) for a few years, late '70s early '80s. It was during this period - as a result of many serious conversations with all ranks, yes even the imminently erstwhile gods - that I became aware of their concerns about fast-tracking and consequent politicisation of officers. To the annoyance of many in the job, university graduates of apparatchik ambitions would spend a year as woollies before promotion into plain clothes, back and forth quick as you like up to DCI and then away into the stratosphere having learned nothing about proper policing or the people they served.

Enemy of the people - What does that mean and should I say it even if true?

It means that the police are bent, in the same way as the BBC is bent.

I'm not worried about Racism, Misogyny, Homophobia or Political Correctness, these are pendulum issues. Sure enough when gravity prevails and we accelerate to a foolish standstill then some other concern will fill the void. We all know that left and right will then square up.

I mean politically bent.

I'm sure you do have restraints put upon you by government, but I'm equally sure they are applied with socially fragrant interpretations by senior officers entrusted with responsibilities beyond their collective intelligence and guided by the honourable rules they adopted when selling their souls to the devil of rapid career advancement.

Not your fault Andy.

I know about the sergeant who was drinking in uniform, until the tears ran down his face and he collapsed on the table. Against all the rules eh - but even the Station Inspector turned a blind eye, I wondered why. 'He had to give the bad news to a young Mum about the death of her little girl - got run over on the way home from school.'

Hell of a job; not his fault.

I've explained my political leanings many times but - to encapsulate - they are random. I really don't give a monkey's about commitment to bigotry or ideology. But I do get pissed off when those who are supposed to be even-handed are dragged along the path of self-righteousness.

That's what's happened. From the very serious concerns of real coppers all those years ago to the manifestation of a considered policy that has betrayed the public in so many ways. So, with all the reservations and dignified respect I can pull together for people like you, I still maintain that the police are doing virtually nothing to fulfil the hopes of the general silent majority. Maybe 'enemy' is too strong a word, but so is 'friend' in my humble opinion.

Thanks for your good wishes and the kind words in the rest of your letter.

All the very best to you and yours,

Cheers, ig

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