73 - name calling, set lists, life as a changing entity, youthful scrapyards,
From: Michael Melander
Dear mr Gillan! (if this mail in fact makes it all the way to you...)
My name is Michael, and to quote you from Mitzi Dupree, "I'm a siiiinger in a band". We've got this little problem, that perhaps you could help us out with: Thing is, that we can't seem to come up with a good name for our little ensemble, and since we play quite a lot of Purple-songs, I thought to myself, why not ask the man who made me wanna sing rock'n'roll himself: If you were to start a new band today, which name would you chose? (And could we please borrow it?)
Take care, and please let the word hear a lot more from you and Purple - I love "Rapture"!
As you can see your letter did make it all the way to me; they all do. It's the last part of the journey to Q & A on the Website that is the hard part.
Now that seems like an easy question but a name is something you have to live with for a bit. If you want something for short term impact then 'Acid Drinkers' or 'Chocolate Brains in Hell' are two of the better ones that I've heard over the years. So think along those lines and you'll probably come up with a self-effacing cliché like 'Here Today Gone Today'. That would be quite suitable if you entered American Pop Idol or The X Factor.
You could nick a Purple song title of course, and what could be more suitable than Mitzi Dupree; there you have it - perfect!
Or maybe not, supposing you developed into international superstars; then you would need a more dignified name according to your status. My pal Steve Morris once had an outfit that's name had to be refined to The DB's - for the more sensitive promoters - but you should have no difficulties on the road to fame with my final choice for your new name - Les couilles du chien.
From: Brendan Jacobson
I have been looking for the set lists that Ian and his solo bands played over the years , and one song in particular. Do you know if they ever did the song "Men of War"?
This song really rocks and can imagine being played live would have been great.
A Huge Ian Gillan Fan from Milwaukee , Wi.
Thanks for your letter. I'm sure it was played during my time with the Gillan Band but I can't miss this opportunity to point out that a new version of 'Men of War' appears on 'Gillan's Inn'. The lyrics could have been written tomorrow and - who knows - there's every chance that it may get a live performance in the next year or so.
Firstly just wanted to say I love the band's current incarnation - 'Bananas' and 'Rapture' are two of the best albums of your career, IMO.
I wanted to ask - what are the advantages/disadvantages of growing older and (maybe) wiser in your universe? I ask because I often reflect on what I have lost, and what I have gained as I move through my 40's....I often think that one of life's ironies is that wisdom comes at a time when the physical self is no longer able to perhaps do the same things to the same degree as it used to.....perhaps that is a causality?
In any event, I tremendously enjoy your site, and your music.
The young bull says to the old bull 'See that herd of heifers over there? Let's run over and surprise one of them.'
The old bull scuffs the ground and snorts 'Nah, let's walk over and surprise them all.'
In other words - as I learned from an early age - where there's a willy there's a way.
From: Iain Marjoram
I hope you're well. Firstly, great website, secondly, great new Rapture album and thirdly what a absolutely brilliant show the Astoria gig was on Tuesday (17th Jan). My girlfriend and I came down to see you guys and it was the most fantastic show I've ever been to (and probably ever likely to go to). You guys were great. And that's the truth!
Firstly a boring question - The Astoria is your only gig for the UK this year (I think?) Are you planning to do a few more shows here later in the year or in 2007? If not, will there be any solo dates?
Secondly, did you really sleep in cars in an old scrapyard on your way back from the pub when you were younger?!
I hope you and the rest of DP continue to produce brilliance.
Thanks for your letter and the kind words - they are much appreciated.
There is not much planned for the U.K. this year; we normally kick off with a home tour but this time we're doing it back to front. The only Purple appearance this year will be at the Monsters of Rock festival at Milton Keynes on 3rd June - how ironic that 6 weeks later we are doing The Montreux Jazz Festival; that's DP for you. There will be a proper Deep Purple tour of our Home Islands next year - 2007.
Deep Purple is my priority and our schedule is as intense as ever, but if there's a chance to squeeze in any solo dates then I will surely do so.
In reply to the second part of your question, yes - many times. I was particularly fond of an old scrapyard in the White City, where amongst all the other rubbish there was a great choice of vehicles. They were piled two or three high and it was a tricky exercise to negotiate the swaying heap and climb into the backseat of a wreck. You had to get high to avoid being spotted from ground level. One I remember well still smelled like new and I slept royally on the expensive leather. The mangy old dogs would wake me at first light and that's when the fun began. It's hard enough getting out of a normal bed whilst nursing a sore head, but when the hounds of hell were keen to tear my throat out it was amazing how quickly the endorphins kicked in; enabling me to break every record that had ever been set at the nearby athletics track.
On a side note, I once competed at the White City Stadium - Southern England Schools Championship or maybe London Schools, can't remember. I was in the pole vault and came last; nowhere near as good as my hung-over performance a couple of years later in the adjacent scrapyard.
From: John Coleman
Saw you at Crans Montana in the middle of our honeymoon in March 2005 and saw you again in The Astoria on Tuesday night. Two great shows with one major difference! You appear to have lost a great deal of weight and now look far trimmer and leaner. Has this new figure been down to a fitness regime or nutritional diligence?
As a personal trainer it interests me greatly and do you think your driver of the 1st White minibus (Steve?) should consider something similar for the sake of his health?
Also I was an innocent bystander at the back of the Astoria as you got mobbed by fans on Tuesday night including the loon who we had to endure for far longer than you did before you lot appeared! Does this scare you when fans may be over oppressive?
Loved the set, great mix of songs and went down a storm. Best of luck touring over the next 2 years. Hoping to see you backstage in Paris on Tuesday.
Thanks for your comments and questions. To be honest I'll eat anything that comes my way; I can't afford to be fussy or in some countries I would starve. Yet strange as it may seem I probably end up with a balanced diet. I must also credit Meghan - the Border collie who lives with us - for the improvement in my shape. She takes me for walks every day - a couple of long hours along the coast. We cover some rough terrain and the exercise has great aerobic benefit; most of all though, I remembered that a healthy body brings a healthy mind, and I was beginning to feel sluggish in both courts.
Regarding the so called 'loon', it does get scary sometimes but I'd hate to have minders. You just have to stay alert that's all.
From: Ben (translated by Akiko Hada)
I am 18-year old, and you are my absolute favourite singer. Your screaming vocals on the earlier DP albums, as well as the explosive shouts on Gillan albums, are fantastic. I also sing in a band, and we did "Highway Star" at the school festival. I tried shouting like you, and it went down very well.
My question to you: did you used to do any special training to keep your voice in shape in the earlier stages of your career?
Thank you for your letter and interesting words. I never did anything to train or care for my voice apart from sing all the time; I suppose that helps to keep it in shape. I've had the odd scare over the years - most notably when recurring tonsillitis threatened my career in the early eighties.
However, after an early career spent outdoors imitating animals and birds - with a bit of moon-howling thrown in for luck - I started singing as a boy soprano in the church choir and maybe got the hang of natural delivery during that period. Fortunately things are still working well.
1 The other trainer will write in later.........
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