Archive Anecdotage

11 Purple People Eater (*)

I was with Roger Glover at the 'Power Station' studio in N.Y.C. We had transcribed the lyrics to the song(*) from Sheb Woolley's original recording. All except the third line of the first verse. We tried every trick in the book - slow down, speed up, EQ the tape etc. Couldn't make any sense of it. Roger got on the phone. We were determined to get the words right. He called a friend at BMI (or ASCAP) who gave him a number for the publishing company down in the South somewhere.

"Hi", says Roger, "no wonder we couldn't figure it out. Could you tell me if Sheb Woolley is, I mean still working?"
"Oh yes", says the friendly voice, "he's out on the road right now, probably singing 'Purple People Eater' at this very moment."
"Well thanks for your help", said Roger, "I must say I'm impressed; I can't imagine another publisher in the world could give me the third line of the first verse of any of their songs just like that, you know, without referring. Well, got to go, I'll send you a copy when we've finished. Who am I speaking to?"
"Ah'm Mrs Woolley."

© Ian Gillan 1996

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