I can’t fathom out in the labyrinths of my dusty cranium where I heard Deep Purple first of all. The cobwebs of time have sufficiently blocked any reasonable explanations, although I do remember buying “Strange Kind Of Woman” on 45 at a Record Fair, and remember feeling thrilled at the b side “I’m Alone”, complete with choppy Hammond riffs and funky bass geetar. Indeed it was this song that propelled me into the world of Purple, purely and simply because they sounded ten times different than bands like Motley Crud etc., and of course they ROCKED. Rather intelligently most of the time as it happened! The next stop was the “Perfect Strangers” album, although what really made my mouth drop wide open was “Son Of Alerek” on the 12″, again a more experimental jam than any cock rock band could ever hope to achieve. I guess at the time I was frustrated that I was not old enough to appreciate Purple in their prime, and that wasn’t helped by “House Of Blue Light”, plus “Slaves And Masters” both of which had good moments, but for me, didn’t really gell together as an overall Purple album.
However, I had much fun in searching out the back discography and seeing how different the meandering line ups fared. What struck me at first were the stunning instrumentals, namely “And The Address” plus the mighty “Wring That Neck”. I must admit form this era it was difficult (to cure?) to get along with Rod Evans’ voice, although he acquitted himself best on the third album.
Another wonderful discovery for me around this time was the “Come Taste The Band” album, which I thought stunning, totally different to what they had ever done, and to this day remains my favourite album outside of anything that has been fronted by Ian Gillan.
Which leads me to the perpetrator of the crime. The Gillan band in their heyday were a great form of good time rock and roll, and anybody who remembers them on TOTP racing along with the likes of “New Orleans” or “No Laughing In Heaven” will understand. It was, however the flailing hair and piercing screams of Ian Gillan that made my pre teenage hair stand on end and want to discover more. I always wanted to meet the chap, and have been very lucky to do so in recent years, so I guess Ian Gillan stands accused and is guilty of providing me with many hours of musical pleasure.
Thanks Ian, and thanks to all the musicians in the band.