Dear Friends

DF 43 - Through orange tinted spectacles & GI tour retrospective

11th October 2006

Dear Friends,

I noticed that North Korea tested a baby nuke yesterday morning. The Americans have been quick to point out that the New Cooler bombs they dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were huge by comparison; much, much bigger!!!!

It seems that N. Korea's President PingPong is worried. He did not understand what President BushBush meant when he said - no doubt prompted by the most existential Donald H. NukonNukon - '…We do not reward bad behaviour with peace treaties.' This in reply to President PingPong's generous offer to drop all work on nuclear development; in return for a guarantee of consistent oil supplies, which had been stopped under sanctions imposed by America and its Allies in 2002 (as seen in the November 22, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review) - and a non-aggression pact.

So let's get this right '... all we have to do is sell oil to these folks and promise not to bomb them and they will close their nuclear plants right this instant?'

Now President PingPong wants direct talks with America. That is really a provocative move and I think we can all see the mess ahead if we allow the proliferation of talking to go unchallenged. So, quite rightly in my humble opinion, he has been told to bugger off!

All the major players condemn this provocative act as a threat to international peace and security. Of course they are right. We know for a fact the North Koreans have built an enormous trebuchet that may be able to hurl the missile needed for delivery - of their new weapon - at least four hundred metres. They are just waiting for delivery of some weapons grade elastic from Teheran's atomic-knickers factory.

Meanwhile Britain's President BlahBlah, in a desperate attempt to shrug off his recently acquired image as a PoodlePoodle has announced - after a robust and detailed two minute debate during President's question time in the regular Wednesday meeting of the British Council at Westminster - that Britain is to go it alone and send 200 Territorial Army troops into North Korea to diffuse the situation, liberate the population, reunite the Koreans and bring peace and democracy generally to the whole area before using our newly acquired domination of the region as a base for an invasion of Burma because they've got it coming to them.

It did not go un-noticed at the Ministry of Belligerence that the new generation of war reporters are all completely trepid. And so - because Kate Adie and John Simpson have been phased out as spearhead weapons - the TA troops have been issued with the very latest and most powerful carbon fibre catapults. Also, and most terrifyingly, they now have marbles as ammunition, to replace the dried fruit that served so well over the centuries but is now ineffective in the face of modern rhetoric, irony and hyperbole.

When asked about Darfur, BlahBlah said 'I have Gen Sec. BonoBonoGeldolf on the telephone as we speak and I can't say more than that, can I! The GanjaWeed army is trembling in anticipation of a terrible mouthful and the limbless refugees are wildly applauding this courageous move - about bloody time too!!!! Well done BlahBlah.

Now I am refreshed and back at work after a fabulous summer break in North America. A change is as good as a rest they say, and I say what a joy it has been; sharing a bus and a nightly stage with Michael Lee Jackson, Dean Howard, Joe Mennonna, Rodney Appleby and Randy Cooke. What a band!!! Thank you guys I have loved every minute. We shall be doing it all over again in January and February 2007 starting in Australia. The OZ dates will be announced next week here on Caramba and all affiliated sites. Also thanks to all at immergent but particularly Stacy Paris who did such sterling work every day and got nearly all of it on film.

One day I noted: Diagonal rivulets race down the bus windows outside my private office in the back which is abaft the twelve bunks, nine of them currently occupied. It's raining outside and it's more than a little wet inside too. But the galley is closed now; we hurtle through the night. Our bus, our flag ship; commanded by Admirable Les through wind and storm, night and day, dangerous cross currents, urban aliens and border posts where the scrutineers - mindful of his 'Vietnam Veteran' status - wave us through with rare accommodation.

Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Stony Plain, Pocahontas, Jasper, Blue River and Hope, wherein resides the other leg of Hard Rock Pete. If you remember - whilst I was having my guitar stolen from the backseat of my car - the old eccentrodextrous silver miner had his house built on a slope. They say one of his legs lives in Calico and there was a rumour going round that the other one lived in Hope. So I kept my eyes peeled - that is sooooo painful - but I didn't see it this time through, although it may have passed invisibly to windward.

The purpose of taking the captain's cabin in the stern of this fine vessel was not to remain distant from the band and crew - for all of whom I have developed a great degree of affection and respect - but to make use of the spare hurtling hours; those precious times when I am not required to function professionally. I have started work on my book, the political thriller (we'll see about that, Ed) that has been blossoming in my cluttered mind for about ten years since the seeds were sown, in good company, during the consumption of an uneven number of crispy and aromatic half-ducks at the China Beach restaurant in Quarteira. I never could really feel at ease with the concept of a half-duck, that's why it has taken a while.

So far on this exquisite little Gillan's Inn pub-crawl we have been blessed with visitations from Jeff Healey (Toronto) and Roger Glover (NYC) as well as plenty of talented local musicians; the most notable of which was the Theremin player in DC - only bettered in my humble opinion by the Mongolian Nose Flautist I once jammed with at a zoo in the Bangkok hinterland, and of course Yvonne the Tigress in Argentina, who did a bizarre version of 'Smoke' to a rhythm that I never fully understood.

I have no reason to doubt the unexpected appearances of Lars Ulrich in San Francisco. And in Los Angeles there is a distinct pissabolity that my old mucker Ronnie James Dio and DP's producer and musician par excellence Michael Bradford, may favour us with a quick warble and strum.

When I was a kid I would jam myself up to the stage at the local hot-spot to watch Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and other suchlike killer groups. I would have given anything - even a figurative right arm - for the opportunity of getting up to sing one song, a backing vocal or anything really, just to be amongst it…'it' being that indefinable, seemingly unattainable place that would take me some years to reach by conventional methods.

So, as if by logic, the thought occurred to us - 'us' being 'them' really, the very bright people at immergent records in L.A. - that there might be some unknown players out there who would like to appear with my band for a few minutes. But how would we find them? A competition of course…

At the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco with its exclusive pool that may not be captured on camera - even in the background of a filmed interview - except for a payment, I spoke to Don Sanchez from ABC. He seemed to be well researched and it all went smoothly. A few days later I was copied a circulated, strangulated diatribe from the most worthy D.K.Tedds at immergent. Sometimes it happens; a forgotten word changes the entire value of the interview.

I agree with DKT, that describing the band - probably carelessly, not maliciously - as jerry rigged, was an unfortunate choice of words and spelling. Senor Sanchez obviously had no idea of the serendipitous plane upon which we exist and was possibly confused with the concept of guests jamming on a regular basis. The trouble with these things is that once they are written they are rarely corrected. You may occasionally stumble across two column inches at the bottom of page five by way of an apology to a banner-headline-front-cover slander, but the damage is always done.

More dangerous than a perceived insult is the journalistic crime of lying by omission. What I said was something like '…in TV shows like the X Factor and American Idol, characters such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Keith Moon and so on, would not get past the village hall auditions because they didn't fit the required profile, weren't 'in tune' or failed in some other inane requirement ordained by the blithering idiots on the panel. What Sanchez printed was……."but last night, at Slim's in San Francisco he performed with a gerry-rigged group as he looked for local musicians to take with him to perform in Vegas." And "Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan. These guys would have got past the village auditions on these shows."

In the careless ordure of things that takes some beating, but I don't mind at all because it has given me something else to noodle on about in this DF. However, please consider some other - much greater - historical errata; just a misplaced word or quote here and there... 'Hitler was such a cutie…' According to Eva; 'Joe Stalin had malevolent body odour …' but apart from that; 'Ivan the Terrible…' That was just a typo, see what I mean? He was actually known at court by the soubriquet 'Ivan the Terrific', great bloke apparently; 'Our old friend and ally Saddam …' All you have to do is compare the condition and infrastructure of Iraq and the shape of Baghdad when he was the boss, to the state of it now - since Blur and Co. liberated the lucky bastards and introduced democracy. At least SaddamSaddam had the decency to restrict his massacreeing to those who were a clear and present danger to his wellbeing. This is chaos in action.

The Admirable Les was hosing the bugs off the front of our galleon. Our ex-helicopter-machine-gunner folded in half with mild hysterics when I pointed out the big sign on the shop window at the Flying 'J' service stop in the Utah wilderness.

Homeland Security Threat Level Today


Please see cashier for details

Hey Guys, get a grip.


Ian Gillan

Copyright © Ian Gillan 2006

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