Dear Friends

DF 18 - Socks, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll (November 2000)

November 2000

Dear Friends,

Socks, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll

There I was meandering through the airport, en route to baggage claim, browsing in the shops. Something went 'ping' in the back of my mind. 'Socks, I need some socks' and there they were, right in front of me. Black socks with a small but distinctive logo woven into the ankle, perfect. So I grabbed six pairs and, holding them aloft, approached the counter. Willie Fyffe wandered by and gave me a quizzical glance. 'I need these socks desperately Willie'. 'Ah' he nodded sagely, 'Socks, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll, 'twas ever thus'. That's Willie for you. Who's Willie? He's a friend of Ronnie's and has known Gordon for a long time. We share a penchant for dance crazes from the sixties. Remember 'The Twist' and 'The Fridge'?

'Flying through the night in a beat-up wagon with a mike stand up my jacksie…..' The Romanian Philharmonic from Transylvania (mostly) must be congratulated for enduring the most arduous tour ever undertaken by an orchestra. They played their socks off every night, having arrived tired, hungry and dishevelled. I feel honoured to know them and hope our paths cross again one day; beautiful people. Actually I was tired and hungry too, but at least I was hevelled more often than not.

Paul Mann was the maestro. He played the major role in making it all work. His personality matched his musical brilliance and so his conductor's rostrum (or perch as I called it) became the conduit through which the two elements embraced each other. Ian Paice summed it up pretty well. 'Paul' he said 'you're a bloody genius keeping seventy musicians in time with one stick. I can't keep these four f...ers in time with two'. The audiences were incredible and sent down such waves of feeling that we were all lifted by a genuinely shared experience.

I read that half of one of the Canary Islands is about to fall to the bottom of the Atlantic causing a Tsunami that will race across the ocean at the speed of a jetliner. The entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States will be engulfed by a tidal wave half a mile high. That will put out a few cigarettes. I also have it on good authority (it was in the English Press) that we can expect an imminent meteor strike. As if that wasn't enough the North Pole is melting due to Global Warming. This is creating a great amount of fresh water in the North Atlantic and the resulting lack of salinity will end the cyclical pattern of the Gulf Stream, which delivers warmth from the Caribbean to the coasts of Western Europe. Even our Government (sic) admits that the next Ice Age is only months away. Secretly of course they are relieved, because nobody will expect the trains to run in temperatures of forty degrees below freezing. I was surprised to discover that, in a recent poll, a fairly healthy majority (99%) of English people think that our Government (sic) at Westminster is irrelevant; and I thought it was just me.

Shivering on this hot, calm, cloudy day, I glance up at the clear blue skies. The pouring rain turns the snow to slush and the howling gale makes the newspaper hard to read as I lay on the beach sipping warm flat beer. All the rivers are overflowing and so are the hospitals. None of the trains are running, actually two were operating yesterday but they crashed into each other. The sea has run out of fish and the cows have all gone mad. Everything, including home produced goods, is more expensive than anywhere else in the world. The education system is in ruins because nobody understands the effect of the 'Lowest Common Denominator'. All of the equipment used by the armed forces is either obsolete or unserviceable. Ships, planes, submarines, tanks, guns and radios; yes, even the radios don't work properly, they're using mobile phones. Everyone is suing everyone else for compensation and you now have to pay your taxes a year in advance. QPR is struggling in the bottom three of the 1st division (which is actually the second division). I suppose things could be worse. We could lose our sense of humour.

I wish you all a truly wicked festive season, may some of your dreams come true in 2001. Thank you again for your support it really does mean a lot, see you in the New Year. Does anyone know what's happening?

Peace & love,
Ian Gillan
Copyright © Ian Gillan 2000

Return to:
return to DF index