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

86 Piratical concerns, love from Argentina, cojones concern, concert interruptus, new Sao Paolo Gillan's Inn, Grecian meisen pottery (from my collection of truly terrible puns - ed)

From: Petr Cejka

Dear Ian,

Im very sorry to write you just one question, but I would like to know your opinion as great worldwide known and respected artist - what do you think about ACTA thing, approved by never elected officers and settled without knowing of public? How artists see this contract?

I know that this is political issue, but I see this as very big issue for freedom of people, not pirates! And what´s worst - I dont think that the goal is to help artists, but to make more money to the people from business who has nothing to do with any art or creation!

Thank you very much for your answer,

Petr Cejka


Hello Petr,

Thanks for your important letter and your point of view.

Online Piracy - Where do I stand on this one?

Well, up until 1982 (the digital age, CDs etc.) it was easy to distinguish the difference between Bootlegging - which I supported…and Piracy - which I didn't.

The bootleggers were fans, sharing and adding live and rare stuff to collections that already had all the bought-and-paid-for legitimate records - so, in my book, no harm done.

On the other hand, Pirates just copied everything and sold them without paying anyone. They always were and always will be parasitic thieves.

So, against legislation would be the likes of Mr. Smith, the Texas Republican in the House of Representatives, who says '…it is clear we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal American inventions and products'? Foreign thieves? American inventions? Er, never mind we'll leave that for now but oh dear…In plainspeak that could mean 'I've been got at'.

Opposing the possibly got at Mr. Smith would be the signatories to ACTA - that's the multilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - and one of the parties supporting that is the EU - hmm, I remember very well the other more famous acronym EFTA…the European Free Trade Agreement…and look where that led. And unelected, undemocratic power? Yes, I'm with you all the way; as you would gather by dipping randomly into any of the political pages here at Caramba.

My mother used to say 'You'll be judged by the company you keep'.

I think I'd rather gouge my eyes out than side with either of them, but I have to make a decision…it's either Mr Smith or the EU Commission; the devil or the deep blue sea? OK now that's all squared in my mind I can concentrate on the issue.

The World Wide Web is quite a different beast from the somewhat altruistic network created by Tim Berners-Lee. It is now an all-devouring self-serving monster against which legislation is becoming nearly impossible unless you're in China or somewhere you can't use the word 'right'.

The 'right' to access everything, including music and movies (it will not have escaped your notice how smart the book publishing world has been in all of this) in the name of research and the concept of freedom of information gives license to thieves and parasites (anyone care to argue that definition?) who have been given the romantic soubriquet of 'Pirates', and carte blanche to plunder the treasures in every cultural corner of the world for nothing but gain (Wikipedia! I want my 100 Euros back!!!).

The internet must be tamed, pruned, cultivated, civilized or whatever you do to things when they are about to overrun you. Think of it as a wild rose growing in your garden on a framework of your choosing where the flowers can flourish within a controlled environment just like every other human resource that benefits our lives and distinguishes us from all other species on this planet. You hear a lot of passionate argument against censorship on the internet.

In simple terms we had a guestbook on this site when it started in the '90s' but soon enough it was taken over by violent or bigoted contributors who just wanted a fight. No matter how much I tried steering the topics to some sort of reasoned relevance the hatred and venom was back with a vengeance in no time at all. So we got rid of it and started a Q & A section instead, with the solemn promise that I would answer the tricky questions as well as the friendly ones and so far it has worked. Now would you call that censorship, or husbandry?

And, I can't agree when you describe the Act thus (may I paraphrase) '…it's not about the artists but only about the people who want to exploit them'.

I have had my differences with suits in the Music Business (or Industry as it has become) and I understand that artists have always been exploited since the days of patronage but we have a common interest and a mutual understanding; none of us stand a chance without a united powerful voice. If you take away the protection and ownership of copyright then you will impoverish and dismantle the whole business.

So where do I stand on this issue? Well, a stand against the Pirates would be the first real act of discipline for the Internet therefore I support the legislation.

Cheers, ig

P.S. There is a simpler but more flavoured version of this response on CTV, delivered by Garth in his usual no-nonsense style and ending with an ironic reference to lobbying or - as he implies - having his strings pulled.

From: Mirta Gaggero

Dear Ian,

Hi, I saw you and the guys in Argentina. The shows were SUPERB, we love you in this country.

Do you have any friend in Argentina? Do you like Buenos Aires?. I think that you have thousands of friends here.



Hello Mirta, Thanks for writing; I'm glad you liked the shows.

Yes I do have some very special friends in Beunos Aires. I enjoy seeing them when I come to Argentina and always feel welcome there. Did you know that the audience in B.A. is the loudest in the world? In my opinion equal only to Istanbul and Rome; what a fantastic country.

On the 14th October during the recent tour we played in Rosario which is the home town of Alejandro Faurlin who plays football for Queens Park Rangers. I am a lifelong supporter of QPR and would like to meet him one day.

I look forward to coming back to Argentina soon, after we have made a new record.

Cheers, ig

From: Jane

I found the new clip to be a bit one-sided and emasculating ... will Ian be doing soprano from here on?

Jane from the gold coast


Hello Jane,

Regarding the CTV clip from Rosario, it was strange how my yin and yang went on extra-dimensional walkabout when squeezed by outside interests.

I won't know until springtime whether they will return but in the meantime I'm grateful for all the high notes that come my way.

Thank you for your concern.

Cheers, ig

From: Martin Eder

Dear Ian,

sorry for my bad English - but I have a question: In the year of 1980 (?) you played a concert in Neunkirchen (Germany) with your "Ian Gillan Band". It was an open air concert. But after two songs you have interrrupted your gig. And I don't know, why. Can you tell me the reason please? Many thanks for your answer.

Best regards,

Martin Eder

From: Jesper Petrusma

Hey Ian,

My name is Jesper I'm 22 years old and I live in the Netherlands,

First of all, I want to thank you for the great time, you and the other members of Deep Purple gave me and my girlfriend this year on the second of December in the Netherlands.

Two of the Highlights for me where, Hard lovin' Man, and The Mule, two songs who stand high in my al time favorite songs list ;) . It was also my Girl's first big concert, and she fully enjoyed every single second of it, and so had I, the idea of bringing the Orchestra on board gave a whole new awesome sounding dimension to al the brilliantly played songs! A night to remember!!

But now my big question, I recently bought this concert I believe it was the Machine Head tour Anyway the concert was played in Copenhagen somewhere in 1972.

At the beginning of the concert you guys kicked off with Highway Star, but somewhere half way through the song, you started yelling at the audience and, what looks like smashing somebody on his head with your mike stand.

Now there are many rumors about what really happened that night, one of them stated that security staff handled the fans to roughly. Another one stated that fans where pushing other fans against the stage causing minor injuries to the fans who were standing close to the stage .

And then there's also another one that stated that a mad fan was trying to climb on to the stage, and that you stopped him from doing so.

As you can see a lot of rumors and speculations around this event, but what really happened that night is still unclear, so I thought to myself, 'Let's ask the man himself what happened that night. '

I also found the video on YouTube: It happens between 3:40 and 3:50.

This was my question to you, I know it's a bit long, I sometimes speak too much haha. Hey but it's not every day you type a email to your big idol, I might as well make something of it ;) .

And greetings from the Netherlands,
Jesper Petrusma.


Hello Martin and Jesper,

Thank you for your letters which are of a similar nature so I hope you don't mind me dealing with Concert Interruptus in reply to you both.

Martin I can't seem to find the Neunkirchen show at all in the Gigography here at Caramba. But never mind, it could only have been for one of a few reasons as normally I ramble on about nothing in particular between songs and generally don't like to interrupt the music for any reason. So, it was either a security problem, a security problem or possibly a security problem.

And Jesper, I've looked at the clip where you so kindly gave me the time slot and that was obviously a security problem.

I don't know what it is that makes these people so bloody annoying. They range from belligerent thugs to pedantic weasels and stop at all ports in between. It is very rare that you find a security set-up where the focus is as it should be; upon the safety of the crowd and a low profile so that everyone can enjoy the reason for being there. Where these real professionals appear I make it my job to congratulate them on a job well done and show my genuine appreciation.

I have tried everything to disarm the situations before they erupt, by having a word in advance and explaining that our fans are the most peaceful in the world. But when I see the one eyebrow lowering from its Neanderthal ledge and the pectorals dancing in my face I know it's a lost cause.

But I never give up hope and have a new idea for the next tour when we resume later in the year…watch out for the pink feather duster - Ha! That will sort them out.

Cheers, ig

From: Amauri Porto - Ventana Serra SAO

Hello Ian (sorry for this so close treatment calling you by your first name but I believe we your real fans have the right to be so close)

This is Friday afternoon in Sao Paulo, summer time, Deep Purple had a gig about two months ago. Fortunately I was there.

The main reason for this msg is invite you (hope the bar will last until next year, considering Deep Purple will be here - I hope) to be at GILLAN'S INN , Caio Prado Street downtown Sao Paulo (close to the former Hilton Hotel (where I met you in 1990 at the swim pool when you came to Sao Paulo together with Steve Morris (Naked thunder tour ???) ) the Bar was founded two weeks ago, there are many pictures of you alone or early Deep Purple years. The idea is have you there as customer with free access to all drinking areas (just kidding, despite we all know you are drinking athlete), You may sing if you want to, but be noticed that you should give the cache to humanitarian foundation, laughs !!! .

Be sure you are plenty of faithful fans in São Paulo, personally I think more than an outstanding artist you are the kind of person who has travelled most of the world and took a lot of fruits of political and humanitarian consciousness , I really enjoy to read Caramba Q & A and share you points of view.

God bless you and your family, thanks for the music (since the Javelins to Deep Purple nowadays (Sorry for me awful English.

Amauri Porto


Hello Amauri,

Thanks for your letter and the kind words. Glad you enjoy the contents of my site, it couldn't exist without the support of our great team of volunteers.

I am highly honoured by the naming of Gillan's Inn and must apologise for not being able to visit in October when we played Brasil, but I was a bit under the weather at the time.

I will certainly drop by for a beer during my next visit to São Paulo and in the meantime would like to send you a poster or two and some pictures to decorate the walls of your fine establishment. Please send your postal address to me at

Cheers, ig

From: louangiepurplefloyd

Dear Ian:

ln Greek mythology, muses inspired poetry, literature and many English poets i.e. Milton, Shakespeare, Chaucer. Milton wrote from Paradise Lost: "With Loss Of Eden, Till One Greater Man Restore Us, And Regain The Blissful Seat, Sing, Heavenly Muse". Ian, Do you have a Muse? What has influenced and inspired your songwriting? Peace, cheers and happy christmas!


Hello Angie,

What a good question.

I have been amused by a moose, misled by a mouse and lost in my Rorschach muesli, but a muse. A muse - hmmmm?

It would be untoward to reveal the truth in its entirety but yes I have muses, many of them over a lifetime and more than one at a time. If love and inspiration are not each of them mutually exclusive and jealousy is a common foe then transcendental euphoria can be quite a common and beneficial experience.

But you have to let them in or at least invite them to flutter around your weaknesses whilst you tend to theirs.

How can you not respond to the gossamer touch of a wise angel, or see clearly in that fleeting moment when the mist clears.

The best thing about these muses is the help they give with respect to focus in both spiritual and material aspects of subject matter, so that writing itself has become the reward for putting pencil to paper - yes I still do that.

Cheers, ig
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