Ian Gillan

ARTICLE ABOUT Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) FROM Record Mirror, May 27, 1972

To someone who didn`t know better at the time it would seem as Mr. Gillan was a Christian. First he starred in a very central role in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and then he produced the band “Jerusalem”. Funny business for a man who later composed a song called “No Laughing In Heaven”.
Oh, well, this is a treasure from those golden days at the start of the 70s and I`m off to a concert tonight with some other fans of Gillan`s main band Deep Purple, namely the incredible musos of Dream Theater.


Svengali Ian Gillan tells of his first Purple Production


James Craig chronicles the progress of Jerusalem

POP MUSIC as someone once remarked is well left in the hands of youth and as some of our super stars totter towards the thirty plus signs it might be as well to offer some encouragement and help to those on the starting line.
Certainly that is the thinking behind Deep Purple`s vocalist Ian Gillan`s helping hand to four young men from Salisbury in a band with the unlikely name of `Jerusalem` with an even more unlikely titled single `Kamakazi Moth` (Decca) and an album just released.
Ian has just formed a new production company ‘Pussy Music’ and ‘Pussy Enterprises’ to which Jerusalem have become the first signings and last week he introduced me to half the group in the forms of Bob Cooke (lead guitar) and Paul Dean (bass) over a flagon of ale while he explained his involvement.
“My interest has been in an advisory capacity,” said Ian. “I didn’t so much produce the album as simply advise on a few technical problems and make some suggestions. I came across the band at a time when they were trying to get a record deal together and were in a state of confusion.
“In some ways its a nostalgic thing for me because I see them going through the same kind of problems and transitions that I did in the early days, before Episode Six even, when I was playing with little local bands in Hayes, Middlesex. I’ve always regretted that I never had any record of those early efforts because there was something about the brash enthusiasm of an early musical birth that you never recapture.
“I don’t want to give the impression that these boys are novices because they are not. They started playing almost as infants at school five years ago when Paul met up with Ray Sparrow and got a band together and later at college they met Bill Hinde and Bob Cooke.
“More recently they`ve brought in a new singer, Lynden Williams, and he has just the right kind of dramatics and vocal ability that convinced me that he had what it takes.”

Originally they started out as a `mean dirty blues band’ and moved through a phase they like to forget which was vaguely progressive which means everyone who came to see them sat on the floor like in-animate blobs and soaked up the vibes.
“Young people have just naturally got more energy than that and we want to see them moving about and enjoying themselves,” says Paul.
“Personally I feel that the ‘flashier’ a band is when they come on stage the better they look.
“I think people like Bolan have got it right – young audiences want to see something a bit exotic on stage. We are a flash band in that sense — a bit vicious and a bit sensual. We use a lot of volume but not as a cheap way to generate excitement.”
I think it was Paul who mentioned that the band had got a recent touch of ‘the support band blues’ playing second string to such formidable talents as Curved Air and Manfred Mann.
“Manfred has really got a very good little band together now,” said Paul. “He’s gone back to a basically pop format and it seems to be working. ” He was most impressed to witness the star playing chess in his dressing room prior to his appearance.
“The problem with playing in support of big name bands is that you know that they have come to see the headliners and you’ve really got to play your arse off to get any attention.”
Ian interjected to blow their own trumpet for them.
“Mind you,” he said. “I don’t care what anyone says it is the sole aim of any support band to blow the top of the bill off the stage and if anyone had got a ‘clapometer’ together I think ‘Jerusalem’ would have taken a few points off some of the bands they’ve worked with recently like Medicine Head.
“I don’t think we should give the impression that we go in with that attitude though,” said Paul guardedly. “I mean we found a group billed below us on a recent bill and I felt just a little embarrassed. It’s competitive without being cut-throat.”


Paul Dean – Jerusalem

Jerusalem have already suffered at the hands of word-slinging record reviewers who like to discourage new rock bands before they have managed to make their first tentative steps but overall they are winning recognition for their musical exuberance and crowd pleasing performance.
Ian hit out at some of those critics who do not seem to care about anything formative or cannot necessarily compare to the technical proficiency of more experienced and qualified musicians.
“I really feel some of these critics who cannot accept the fact that so called ‘heavy music’ has now become pop music by virtue of the fact that it is popular are writing with their heads in the sand,” he said.
“Why is it that some writers seem to adopt this postion that nothing can ever be any good if it is widely accepted and why is it that some bands like Black Sabbath seem so anxious to put down the young people who come to their concerts and refer to them disragingly as `teenyboppers’.
“How would you like to be called a ‘teenybopper’ just because you happened to be young and like bands that retained some essence of vitality. That’s just something else I can’t understand.
A band is hungry so it becomes good out of that hunger. It gets recognised and successful then throws the acceptance back in the faces of the people who made them. It just doesn’t make sense.
“Critics who are not prepared to encourage new talent and make some kind of allowance that no band becomes as good as those who are on top immediately are doing no good to themselves or the business that feeds them. They slam a show which maybe 5,000 people dug and the unfortunate thing is that maybe a quarter of a million people read the review!”
All bands like ‘Jerusalem’ want is a chance to prove themselves and Gillan is doing his bit to lend a hand. More established artists with his attitude would be no bad thing.


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ARTICLE ABOUT Ian Gillan FROM SOUNDS, March 13, 1976

A really great interview with Ian Gillan this one. As a bonus you get a little talk with Roger Glover and you get to hear a little bit about that famous “man in black” Ritchie Blackmore.
Pete Makowski is another one of those journalists that are almost as famous as those people he writes about. Actually, when he writes about some of the newer bands, he may indeed be MORE famous than his objects.
He has written for, among many publications, Sounds, Kerrang, Metal Hammer, Q and Classic Rock. I guess he will be involved with that spanking new magazine called “Planet Rock” too! (I have bought it, not read it yet, but it looks terrific).


Ian Gillan left Deep Purple to start a mini-cab firm but found that…

Rock and roll`s in Gillan`s soul

By Pete Makowski

“We all came out to Montreaux, On the lake Geneva shoreline.
To make a record with a mobile, We didn`t have much time.”

The immortal words above, as y`all probably know, are from one of Deep Purple`s most successful toons – `Smoke On The Water`. It tells the true story of the great Casino disaster which occurred when the band went to Switzerland to record `Machine Head`.
Apart from being a pretty slick crap joint, the Casino was also a highly respected European venue and was going to be the location the band were going to record utilising a mobile unit. I say `were` because just before they got there disaster struck.
It was on the night that Uncle Frank and the Mothers were playing there that, as the Purps put it: “some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground.”
“Smoke on the water, a fire in the sky!”
Purple ended up recording the album at the Grand hotel. The casino had to be completely rebuilt, which brings us to the story.

Montreux is essentially a retiring home for rich persons. Like Brighton only a bit classier. It`s a place where a millionaire can spend his last years in the healthiest of surroundings before pushing off to that great Swiss deposit account in the sky.
It`s also the home of the Montreux jazz festival which, so the city`s tourist officer informs me, is overtaking the legendary Newport jazz festival in popularity and repute.
Montreux is also now the location for a new venture. The Mountain recording studios which have been installed into the brand spanking new casino building and is run by Jack Grod and his attractive American singer wife Anita Kerr.
Although it started business last July in time for the aforementioned Jazz festival it celebrated its official press opening only a couple of weeks ago which is how I got there.
As it happened Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were present there at the same time on business. Gillan was completing work on his new album with Glover acting as producer.
Almost three years after the Casino incident the ex Purple vocalist and equally ex Purple bassist find themselves at the same location that acted as a catalyst for the album that broke Deep Purple worldwide. Could this be more than fate?
On with the story…

Since his departure from Purple, Gillan has remained fairly anonymous, apart from the occasional press release advertising his various new business ventures which included a motorcycle factory and a minicab firm.
There were sporadic reports of projected solo albums but nothing ever actually transpired and it seemed that we had lost our silver throated screamer to the world of high finance until one day, about a month ago, it was declared that Gillan was making his return with a new band and album.
Now it was obvious the guy really meant business!
Fortunately Gillan and Glover were residing at the same hotel as myself. Both parties had spent a heavy session in the studios the night previous to my arrival so I didn`t expect any contact with them until later that evening. Surprisingly enough Glover managed to submerge from his well-earned rest quite early on in the afternoon.
Since he left the ranks of Purple, Glover has involved himself in quite a lot of production work, so lack of sleep and late nights have become a part of his daily repertoire. Eyes glazed and looking generally fragile he ordered a pot of tea and we sat ourselves in an unassuming corner of the hotel lounge for a chat.

Roger Glover is a nice guy. He`s one of those people you could spend all night talking with about anything and everything. He`s a great observer of the music business and he`ll always have an interesting answer for any question you care to confront him with.
When I asked him what he had been up to over the last few months he revealed that the Gillan project has taken much longer than expected as there had already been one album recorded about a year ago.
“It was a good album”, said Glover, “but it was too much of a solo album and in the end Ian decided that he wanted to get a band together and he wanted to record something that would be much more representative of a band effort.”
Gillan and Glover have been close friends for quite a while now, even before their days with Purple they were playing together in a band called Episode Six. In fact it was the band`s drummer, Mick Underwood, who inadvertantly got Glover the job in Purple.
Glover explains: “Mick used to play in a band with Ritchie (Blackmore) and Ritchie phoned him up and said `we`re looking for a singer` and he said `why don`t you listen to Ian Gillan`. So they set up an audition and I used to write with Ian at the time so I just sort of tagged along with him `cause they were also looking for a bass player.
“They must have decided that it would have been a good idea to get two guys who had written together because they were looking for writers.”

I asked Glover how it felt to be producing an old colleague.
“It`s quite enjoyable really. I learned a lot of production from Purple. I used to do a lot of mixing with little Ian (Paice). The way Purple used to record was to do a backing track first then the vocals. Ian (Gillan) would get most of the lyrics together, but having done that he would be lost for an idea, so it would be the pair of us who would decide what`s to go on top.
“I virtually learned production by producing Ian. So doing it now in a way is almost like stepping back in the past.”
Has Gillan`s sudden revival given Glover any inclination to get back on the road?
“No, I`ve been through various stages of wanting to be back on the road. For two reasons, one because I miss the life to a certain extent for all the bad things you get on the road it is quite exciting. And the other reason is that I want to write in a group format `cause writing on my own doesn`t come out the same way. If I`ve got nothing to write for then I write rubbish. If I`ve got direction then I`ll drag something out of the depths.
“Looking at the economics of getting on the road and looking at the things I`ll have to give up I don`t think I want to go back on the road. Before Deep Purple I had been on the road since 1965 professionally, that`s a fair while.
“It was hard to settle down at first but now that I have settled down I find that I`m more creative in all directions. If I went on the road then I`d have to give all that up.”
Even without the roadlife Glover is one of those people who has an endless source of energy and channels it in as many directions as possible. Although production probably supplies a major part of his income (he also co-owns a studios in London with Gillan), he certainly has no plans to make a future out of it and still feels that his talents are more musically inclined.

He has already displayed his versatility with his musical interpretation of William Plomers book of poetry entitled `Butterfly Ball` which has already seen one extravagant charity performance at the Albert Hall. There are plans for it to become a cartoon series for which Glover will provide incidental music.
“What `Butterfly Ball` did for me was to make me strong enough not to reject my past, but not to emulate it. When I first did `Butterfly Ball` I thought what`s everyone going to expect of me? I`m not a household name I know. Everyone`s not going to be waiting for my album with baited breath to see finally what the master`s done. At the same time there is an awareness of me, somewhere along the line, and I don`t want to let people down.
“It took quite a few months for me to get the courage to say `I don`t care what the people are going to think I`m going to do it the way I see it right? Now whatever I do in the future I`m not going to care whether it`s rock or classical, I don`t care what it is as long as it means something that`s all that matters.”
At this point a medium sized figure wearing a grey army type coat, looking slightly unshaven strolls up to the table to greet us. Why, it`s Ian Gillan looking mucho less business like than indicated in recent photographs which showed him to be sporting a matching suit and paunch.

Next to him is a tall skinny guy with long black hair who looks as if he`s been on the road all of his life. This is John Gustafson and he probably has been on the road for the whole of his life. He is the bass player and vocalist with the Ian Gillan band.
The Ian Gillan band are as follows: Ray Fenwick (guitars), Gustafson (bass/vocals) and Mark Nussyef (drums/percussion) and Mike Maran (keyboards).
Both Gustafson and Fenwick are guys who have done excessive mileage on the road with musical histories as long as Elton John`s optician bill. The former spawning from the Liverpudlian scene playing in such legendary units as The Big Three and the Mersey Beats.
In recent years Gustafson has played with Quatermass a brilliant trio who almost achieved the recognition they deserved, and more recently he has involved himself in session work like Fenwick whose most recent success was in a band called Fancy who released a hotted up version of `Wild Thing`.
Nussyef is an American drummer, he`s also a tutored percussionist and has toured with quite a few bands including, believe it or not, the Velvet Underground.
All parties have been associated with Purple in the past. Gustafson played in a short lived outfit called Hard Stuff who recorded on Purple records. Fenwick has been involved in various projects on the same label including some work on Jon Lord`s concertos. While Nussyef played with Elf for a short while, playing on their last album `Trying to Burn The Sun` before they split up to become Ritchie Blackmore`s Rainbow.


I introduced myself to Gillan and we arranged to meet after the studios reception (which I shall delve into at greater length shortly in the more technical pages of SOUNDS).
Later that evening…
Glover and Mac (all the way from Munich`s Musicland) set up the desk. Click! the tapes were rolling and the music began to surge out of the studios four powerful high quality speakers.
First impressions – the band sounded tight, straight to the point. Gillan certainly hasn`t lost any of his vocal form, he can still sustain his banshee screams longer than any vocalist I know. The album has more depth, light and shade than I expected with some very nice slow tempo material. There`s one number which Gillan shares some vocal
interplay with Gustafson.
The only song that registered with me immediately was an interesting new interpretation of `Child In Time` (which incidentally is the title of the album) which features some beaut soloing from Fenwick. It sounded like one helluva an album and an cassette version that`s been rolling on my machine since I got it confirms this.
The Ian Gillan band are going to be one shit kickin` band to reckon with and if they sound as hot as they do in the studio live will undoubtedly become one of the big bands of `76.
Gillan and I sauntered back to the hotel leaving Glover and Mac with the rest of the songs that had to be mixed, they had an early deadline to meet and needed all the remaining hours that were available.

Gillan, looking slightly worn, sat himself down and began to pour countless cups of tea as we both proceeded to stabilise our heads which were suffering from the evening`s celebrations. He had been out for a meal with Glover, they had been reminiscing the old days, toasting them with cognac coffees which took their toll, the mixtures of wine and spirit I indulged didn`t do me that much good either.
After being cut off from the music scene for so long Gillan seems to have renewed amount of energy.
“I`m like a kid again”, he announced with unhidden glee, “I feel like an animal”. Which is the exact opposite to the way things were when he left Purple.
“When I left Purple I was completely dissilusioned, I lost interest.”
“Do you want to know why I left Purple?”, he asked. I told him I thought it was basically through differences between him and Blackmore.
“No that wasn`t it”, he replied firmly.
“We did have our differences but that wasn`t it. In fact I`ve just spent a very pleasant weekend with Ritchie. I better get the record straight and tell you exactly why I left Purple.
“I left Purple because it was stagnating, that`s why Ritchie left Purple too. The Purple I was in got into a formulated pattern and it was great to start with but then it started to be like… it was nothing to do with people, it was like being in the civil service. I left Purple for the same reason I fell out of love with Elvis Presley when he left the army and started doing `Blue Hawaii`.

“I decided I`d never come to the point where I would have to compromise my artistic feelings, it was getting to the point where Purple records were being churned out. We started off as a progressive rock and there was no way we were a progressive rock band by `Who Do We Think We Are?`.”
Was this due to the output demanded from the band due to their success?
“No, I think it was laziness, fear. There was a difference in thought and attitude. There was a discrepancy in thought. I thought that `Fireball` was a great progression. After `Fireball` I felt we lapsed back into formulated music.
“Machine Head` was like harking back to `In Rock`, everything was the same formula. It was a shame really because there was so much talent in that band. I left Purple because I was bored, I was bored with the same old thing. I found myself pacing the shows.”
I asked Gillan what his immediate feelings were when he left Purple.
“Horrible, I didn`t even want to listen to their next album. I felt so horrible that I decided to leave, I refused to buy or listen to anything… I wouldn`t even turn on the radio. I think it was a bit of sour grapes actually, `cause I had been a part of it. I didn`t want to leave but I had to.
Was he wary of singing again?
“Yeh, there was no direction at all, like the first solo abortive attempt I recorded. That was two years after I left Purple. But then I started working with Roger and the band and it all came back to me just like that! I`m singing better now than i ever sang with Purple.”

Glover in fact played quite an important part in getting Gillan to return to the studios.
“I trust Roger implicitly, he`s forced me into all the good things in life.”
But what`s really given Gillan his confidence is the band who he can`t compliment enough. He even admits that at one time he thought: “I`d never be able to play with musicians of such high quality again… and I have!”
The whole band seem to have committed themselves fully to this venture with the same enthusiasm as Gillan, and you`ll be able to appreciate that fact when you hear the album which should be out at the end of February.
“It`s a fucking good line up”, said Gillan, complimenting himself for his choice.”
“They`re a bunch of shitkickers. John (Gustafson) is great, he thinks the same way as I do. He`s got a great voice, he pushes me.
“I`ll tell you an interesting story. There`s this song on the album called `Down The Road`. I sung that for about ten hours and I just couldn`t get it together. The other songs I did in one or two takes – great. Then Ray (Fenwick) said `why don`t you and John sing it together`. So we sang it together and did it in virtually one take. We drank twelve bottles of champagne, the two of us in about an hour and a half and the third verse sounds really drunk, it`s really great, way over the top. I`m singing `ahhhhh` with a really slow vibrato and John`s going `RAHHHHHHGGGG!!!` anywhere. And it came out really good. It means something. It`s in your stomach, not your hair. I`m not interested in head music. It`s shivers down your spine all the way down the line, that`s what influenced me.

“Listening to Jackie Lomax, The Big Three, Cliff Bennett a million other people, Jerry Lee Lewis all these people who shivered my spine when I was a kid, they really knew how to sing, really singing with power not just warble, warble, warble. I think that sensuality has so much to do with rock. One of the first bands I saw live was Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages and the guitarist used to hold the axe next to his groin like a phallic symbol and I thought `wow, cock music!`.
“I like quiet music too, it doesn`t have to be raving, any sort of music that has earthiness to it. Even something like Solomon Burke`s `Down In The Valley`. And it`s sexual, rock and roll is very sexual, if music hasn`t got something that appeals to my animal instincts then I don`t like it.
“Anything that I record has got to have some earthy quality, basics, the lyrics on this album are all to do with sensuality, sexual connotations, everything is basic.”
A good description of Gillan`s music-basic, straight down the line. Having such a powerful line up around him is going to cause a lot of creative electricity. After playing in a band with as much individual talent as Purple Gillan obviously wanted equally potent musicians around him. I asked him if he liked competition in a band structure.
“Love it!” was the immediate reply, “Ritchie said to me, one day at the end of a series of rehearsals before Purple started going on tour, he came up to me and said `if you start putting on a good show, really doing well then I`m going to try and blow you out. That`ll make you do better and it`ll make me do better.` So me and Ritchie had a great threatening hold on Purple, the music never suffered. There was a great sense of competition between us.
“It`s the same with this band. I set the band up I`ve chosen the people I wanted and that`s it. I want them all to really entertain the people, I want them to come through. I don`t want people to just come and see me, I want them to come and see the whole band. And if anyone in the band starts to shine through then it`s going to make me work that much harder.”

Straight after the album`s finished the band are all going to meet up in Paris and begin rehearsals in preparation for their onslaught on the world. Gillan has already thought of some interesting visuals for the show, which I won`t reveal, but he basically wants to keep the whole thing straightforward, although he`s very concerned that the audience get their moneys worth.
“I mean, if we just played the music, then the kids could sit at home and listen to the album, they`ve got to be entertained.
“By now the Swiss birds (of a feathered variety) were beginning to chortle their dawn chorus (the bastard things get up at four o`clock in the morning out there) and we were slowly beginning to dissolve into our seats. Before heading for our sleeping quarters I finally asked Gillan about the re-recording of `Child In Time` the song that used to be a showcase for the man`s amazing vocal delivery.
“The reason I recorded `Child In Time` was because people told me it was a song that people would remember me by. Roger tonight said to me `that`s the best lyrics you`ve ever written`.
“I would say that `Child In Time` is a connection. There`s a certain amount of logic behind using it, because I suppose out of all the Purple songs, if somebody was to pick out a song which was my particular thing in Purple then I suppose they`d pick out `Child In Time`, `cos I suppose it was more me than anything else I did with Purple.
“I was listening to some of the tracks earlier today and the only connection between this album and Purple is my voice, `cause that doesn`t change… maybe it`s got a bit better since I left Purple. Ray doesn`t play anything like Ritchie, Mike`s keyboards don`t sound anything like Jon and the same goes for the rest of the band.
“The whole sound is different, the whole attitude and approach is different. But you`ve got that connection, a link. So when I make my re-entry which is what it is after two and a half years since leaving Purple for those people who would like a link, something to relate to, then that song is there.
“I`m taking the same attitude I did with Purple: if people like it then I`m really pleased and I`ll do everything I can to pursue the particular things they enjoy. If they don`t like it then I`m really sorry, it`s a shame, tough shit `cos I`m really enjoying it.”


I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Evelyn Thomas & Ian Levine, Shaun Cassidy, Jimmy Page, Cate Brothers, Julie Tippetts, Adam Faith, Pat Travers, Yes, Jesse Winchester, Phil Collins.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog. If you really like this sort of thing – follow my blog! Thank you!

Once again, a great edition of the NME with many fine artists interwieved. But I really had no other choice than to publish the interview below, as Deep Purple is one of the bands that I dearly love. Such a fine musical legacy – such fine musicians! Enjoy!


Purple battle against ill health
By Julie Webb

After a bad patch towards the end of `71 – when lead singer Ian Gillan was ordered to rest, and the band had to cancel an American tour – Deep Purple are back again. They`ve completed a short tour and almost ready is their next album, `Machine Head`, expected to release in March. This week NME`s Julie Webb spoke to bassist Roger Glover – a lesser-known quantity in Purple, because he does few interviews, but an interesting and articulate person just the same…

Q: How has Ian Gillan`s illness affected Purple: I understand he now has to rest considerably.
A: “Ian`s illness, hepetitus, was complicated with jaundice. His only cure is rest. We layed off for four or five weeks, and now Ian`s got to take it very carefully. He can`t lift anything now – not even a suitcase. But as long as he gets rest, he`ll be fine. Apart from that the band is very happy together.”

Was it ever suggested you bring in a temporary replacement?
“No, we never even considered getting another singer in – no one suggested that. Mind you, a few people outside the band suggested we do some gigs without him. As it was, they almost had to force us on stage in Chicago without him.
“I think the rest period was very important, in that when you rest you think much more clearly. The resulting album, “Machine Head”, was 100 per cent better as a result.

Was there any special reason for recording the album in Switzerland, which I understand to be the case?
“No – we chose Switzerland to record the album simply for business reasons. It wasn`t cheaper, or anything like that. We hired the Stone`s mobile, and that isn`t cheap. And by the time you add up things, like hotel bills, it works out pretty expensive. I`d hazard a guess at £8,000 – as compared to the last one, which cost around the £6,000 mark.
“Getting the Stones` mobile was our idea – we`d heard it was a good one, and it cost us around £5,000 for the time we had it. We recorded the tracks from December 6th to 21st, working at least twelve hours a day, and the whole thing was mixed in three days.
“You know, it`s a bit sick how people spend thousands and thousands of pounds building a recording studio, when we got the right sound in the corridor of a hotel. We hired a whole floor of the place. And had mattresses up in the windows to avoid people outside from complaining about the sound.”

Why write most of your numbers actually in the Studio. Surely it must work out expensive.


“When we make an album we`ve got to be happy and relaxed, and if you`ve got hassles of getting equipment in from a rehearsal room, it doesn`t help. It`s worth the extra money we spend in studio time, just to be able to avoid the hassles.”

Is it always a joint group venture, writing a number?

“Officially it`s a five-way split when we write, but different people contribute different things to different songs. We know who wrote what, but I don`t think it`s apparent to the listener.
“For example, `Fireball` was written mainly by Richie, John and Ian. The basic ideas usually stem from Richie and myself.
“On the new album I got most of my ideas during the four weeks off, just because I was able to take time off and listen to some music and also drive around in my car and relax.
On the lyrics side, sometimes Ian Gillan will do them on his own, or we`ll get together. With one particular track on the new album, `Smoke on the water`, that particular phrase just came to me. My first thought was to write it myself as a folk song.
“I mentioned the idea to Ian, and no more was said until we came to write the lyrics of a song in the studio. So that`s how that number came about.”


Isn`t it annoying, for those of you who contribute more than others`, to still have this five-way-split on the songwriting side?

“Sometimes I feel I`d like more credit for some of the stuff I do, but the decision to split it five ways was made ages ago before “Deep Purple In Rock.”
That`s because our music is basically the result of a jam session. I think it avoids friction this way, though I can`t say it won`t in the future. As soon as money comes into it, people change. Some for the better – some for the worse.”

So many groups split because of personality clashes, and as a group you all seem of incredibly different personalities. How have you managed to stay together so amicably?

“We`re pretty polite to one another, although I admit that can be a bad thing. Bad in that if you have a grudge against someone else, you don`t always come out with it.”

Do you socialise with each other?

“The only one I socialise with is Ian Paice, simply because we live together. Certainly we`re the two best people in the group to live together, the bass player and drummer. More in sympathy with one another.
I`ve learnt a lot from Ian. He`s forever practising, and he`ll play records of drummers and players that turn him on, and I`ll buy records by people who turn me on. So we both hear all kinds of different music and musicians.”

You said earlier that the new album was 100 per cent better. How then does it compare with `Fireball`?

“The feeling in the group is that `Machine Head` is the best album we`ve ever made. When you look back, `Deep Purple In Rock` was a good album that said everything we wanted to say – it also had a lot of fire. `Fireball`, was made in between tours. We didn`t have a month off before, like we had with this album, and at times we`d be sitting in the studio desperate for ideas. The end result was technically better than `Rock`, but it didn`t have that inner spark.
“Machine Head` is technically one step further than `Fireball`, plus it has that inner spark.”


Have you any thoughts for the immediate future of just becoming a recording group, as opposed to a band who tours most of the time?

“I don`t know how long we`ll go on for, but speaking personally I couldn`t be happier in the band than I am now. We still enjoy playing – and when we go on tour, the most enjoyable thing is the actual playing on stage. Sure we drink, and go to clubs and bars, but we try not to drink too much before we go on stage. You`ve got to look after yourself.
“We always have one drink before we go out there, just to loosen us up and take any worries away we may have. But heavy drinking – if at all – is done on a night off in a club.”

Obviously health is an all important factor, certainly since Ian`s illness…

“Oh yes – and six months ago there were some rumours circulating around about me leaving the group because of illness. Every time we went on stage. I had a bad pain where my appendix scar was. I spent a lot of money going to various doctors to find out what it was, but none of them could tell me.
“It got to the stage, in fact, where I was seriously thinking I`d have to leave the band because literally the pain was so bad I was doubled on stage.
Anyway, my doctor suggested hypnosis, and after several treatments it worked, I`ve never had any trouble since.”


Being part of a band like Purple must obviously have it`s financial advantages. Do you know how much you, or the band is worth?

“As a group we`re probably one of the best paid. For an English gig we get around £1,000, and although that sounds a lot, you`ve got to realise it costs us that a week just to run our business. The expenses are enormous.
“We all pay individually for our own instruments, and every six months we go and see our group accountant and he tells us how much money we have. We started off in the red – our management put £20,000 into the group, and it took us till the end of `70 for us to pay it off.
“My only thoughts are how incredibly lucky I am. I buy a lot of records, and I have good stereo equipment, but I haven`t really spent that much money. If I`m in a restaurant somewhere, I always want to buy everyone I`m with a meal.
“The most expensive thing I`ve bought is my house in Iver, which I`m hoping to move into soon, Ian Paice is the only one who hasn`t bought a house now – I think he`s waiting for somewhere like Buckingham Palace.
“Obviously, money invested in a house is well spent, but apart from that I like to paint – not very often, just for a few days in bursts – so one of my bedrooms is going to be a studio. A studio come darkroom actually, because I`m also interested in photography. I`ve recently bought a good camera. It`s something I want to take up seriously.”

You were going to take up a career in art at one time – do you ever regret your decision?

“No – not at all. Whilst I was at school I made my decision to be an artist, and towards the latter end of my schooling, after two years at art college, I became pretty disillusioned. I gathered I couldn`t become an artist simply because I was told I didn`t have enough 0 levels.
“As it was, I had to do a vocational course, and I started doing interior design. After a while I decided to sling it in favour of being in a group, but everyone else said I`d be an idiot to give it up. Whilst I was deciding. I had a nervous breakdown.
“I remember there was a woman teacher at college who helped me a lot by saying `don`t do what you think you ought to do – do what you want to do. Then if it turns out wrongly, you won`t have any regrets.`
“So I took her advice, and I`ve always gone by what she said then. I`ve learned that whatever happens, whatever I do, regret never changes anything.
“I seem to have found happiness within myself. No matter what goes wrong, it never affects my happiness.”

This number also had an ad for Wings latest single over a full page. It was written in response to “Bloody Sunday”  in Northern Ireland on 30. January 1972. This single sparked a lot of controversy and were banned by the BBC and also Radio Luxembourg. 


This number of the NME also contains articles/interviews with these people: Roger Daltrey (The Who), Tina Turner, Neil Young, Steve Miller, Bread, Frank Zappa, Marc Bolan, Faces, Chuck Berry, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Don Kirshner, Ron Wood, Captain Beefheart and Elton John.

The NME this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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