Dear Friends

DF 4 - Orlando 1 (October 97)

Dear Friends,

It's been a long hot summer. I've been home for most of the year with Bron and Grace, now it's back to work. It never seems like work, not in the conventional sense, that is.

I'm in the studio, here in Florida, with Roger, Ian, Steve, Jon, Colin and Charlie of course. We've made a start on the new Deep Purple album and all I need now is about a thousand words and some time at the microphone..... if only it was that easy.

It is easy really, how could it be anything else. I walk around with a stupid grin on my face. There's something about Purple which cannot be described; but I'll tell you this, it is consummate. We're looking at a release next Spring (98) with the tour starting a month or two after that. No ships in sight, so far.

So, finally, 'Dreamcatcher' escapes on Caramba, ARK21, EMI on Friday 17th October (although the date may vary slightly in some areas). It's been a labour of love and I'd like to thank everyone who's been involved since the beginning.

Steve Morris, of course, Ken Nelson and everyone at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, Al Dutton, Lois James and Phil Banfield at P.A.N. in London and Steve Campbell at Caramba. My family and friends never expect a mention, but this is one of those times.

Special thanks also to Dave Corbett who, kindly, let me sing his song That's why God is singing the blues'. He's working in Germany right now and if you get the chance to watch him perform, please grab the opportunity with both hands. I'll track him down and post the info.

He is a singer / songwriter who touched me deeply with his spirit when I met him in the Algarve a couple of years ago. The eulogy rests here, with this thought ... there is another of Dave's songs that I'd love to sing, but I never will, because nobody could improve upon his delivery of 'Girls with their clothes on'. I spoke to Brett Bloomfield yesterday and he's in Chicago, thinking about getting back into the studio or on the road. 'Sugar Plum' and 'Day Late And A Dollar Short' (Hard Road and High Ground) are from the Repo Depo era, although they have been re-arranged, sort of.

I've got some mega demos at home and one day maybe, we can get Repo Depo back in a barn to crank out a couple more fxxk off, rock 'n' roll tunes ... stick out an album or something.


I'll take the flack for the skimpy booklet and the absence of lyrics etc., the reason for this is mycomplete despair at the stingy nature of the the medium itself. Some things are enhanced by technological enhancement (?) and some things suffer, none more so, in my humble opinion, than the packaging for music albums.

Just Introduce me to one single person who believes these crummy little bits of broken plastic, with their unreadable inserts, actually improve our appreciation of the Artiste and the Music.

However, on the bright side, all the lyrics will be published on Caramba's web site and copies will be sent to the fan clubs, no charge. Going back to the previous paragraph, it is my view that it's not worth wasting another tree, even a small tree (a bush, a bonsai) for the sake (I love Sake) of such piffling uselessness.

Well, I hope you enjoy it. The lyrics are more spiritually personal than most of the other stuff I have done. When I listened through the other day I felt quite naked and vulnerable, as opposed to my normal, naked and quite confidently confused approach to life.

For those of you who......
a. don't live near record store
b. live even further from a record store which might stock 'Dreamcatcher'
c. don't enjoy going into record stores, because you feel ill at ease, disoriented or insulted by the sales moron who defies you to buy anything other than that which is on the end of the string attached to the ring through its nose...

...there is good news. We have a mail order situation, international and very simple. Hard facts in a moment.

Glen Miller once remarked, I quote "Like I told you before, one thing I've always liked abvout your musical direction is your lack of it! It's all over the place" (modesty forbids his qualifications...IG).

Thank you Glen, I agree. If I was to serve up the same favourite dish every day it would probably suit the genre addicts and it would certainly suit 'the business' with its ridiculous and oxymoronic 'music' prefix. It's getting chilly. However, I'm a lucky bugger and I live in good company.

This brings me to Steve Morris. I was introduced to him by Phil Easton when I went along with Garth Rockett to a rehearsal in 'the' Cumberland for the Moonshiners tour.

A few weeks later he had the audacity (because he was 'in' with Garth) to send me a cassette in a brown envelope. The envelope was entirely engulfed in sellotape. The envelope, in its entirety, went into my bin.

A couple of hours later, whilst playing pool in my dressing gown (to be honest I was in my pool room). Squiffy, having recovered Steve's tape, played me some brilliant backing tracks, whilst giving me the usual thrashing (in a purely sporting sense, you understand) ... and three of those tracks ended up on 'Naked Thunder'. Gut Reaction was the first track on Steve's tape.

As only one friend can describe another (I do insult my friends, my friend. The rest can go to hell)..He's a banjo player, damn good too. He's as solid as a rock. He's a big man, has to be; he's an Evertonian. He's a family man and he's a composer. He likes a pint and he's a bigot.

When he's on stage just listen and you'll hear the real Steve, if you open your eyes.. no don't do that'll see something that makes the pyramids look lively. (Yeah, I know).

The thing is, I can relate to Steve, we share a lot in our roots, somewhere. We have a lot of squabbles and, I can tell you, he gives in more gracelessly than anyone I've ever known. When I lose a point, yeah, no big deal, hey, we've arrived at the right decision, think positive. But ... when I stick on a point y'know tempo, key or NO HARMONIES !!he says "yeh, you're right!" But I can see it in his eyes, he's lying in his balls...!

And he mostly gets his own way. I suppose the real point is that, more than anyone (and there have been many), Steve has been part of this, since the beginning of 'Dreamcatcher' in our hearts we know this is as much his record as it is mine. I'll post up some info on Steve's other work asap.

Write, phone or fax RPM Records for details of 'Dreamcatcher' and how to get it by mail order.

RPM Records
Aizelwood Mill
Nursery Street
S3 8GG
(0114) 2823116

Access RPM on the internet on

Payment can be made by cheque, international money order (in sterling) or Eurocard / Mastercard / Visa / Delta credit or debit cards.

Let's cut a long shory stort
I'm going to bed
See you tomorrow.

Peace & love,
Ian Gillan
Copyright © Ian Gillan 1997

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