Posts Tagged ‘Gillan’

On display

October 22, 2019

John Spiers spotted Ian Gillan in the National Archives at Kew recently… not visiting, but on display!  They have an exhibition about the Cold War up at present, and devote a cabinet to the subject as reflected in books and music of the time. So “pop artist” Gillan’s 1981 Mutually Assured Destruction 7″ single is included. We know we’re getting on when stuff like this begins to turn up in public archives but it’s interesting to see curators paying attention to it.


Men In Black

June 7, 2019

Deep Purple Ivor Novello award 2019.jpg

Ish. One of the nice things about Deep Purple having a bit more time off this year is it means they can do other things, and some of them have been treading various red carpets over the last couple of weeks, albeit not getting quite the coverage in Grazia that others do as a result.

Deep Purple Mk 2 were given a nice International Achievement Award at this years Ivor Novello Award ceremony in late May, with little statues for the five (Jon posthumously), and three of the band (above) were able to go along and accept these. Thanks to Tom Dixon for the heads up.

Ian Paice Rod Stewart.png

Ian Paice has been busy at his Buddy Rich Ronnie Scotts gig but apparently the buggers would not allow photography so nuts to that.  Ian Gillan was in the audience and Russell Taylor who went along says it was a great experience being so close to the world’s greatest drummer on stage. This photo was taken backstage and shows the current Rich Band drummer on the right, Rod Stewart, Paicey and Buddy’s daughter.  I have to say Rod has gone up in our estimation after sending a decent donation to that model railway club who had their show smashed up by twats a few weeks ago.

Lastly in our celebrity red carpet round up, Ian Gillan, posing by the open-air Marine Theatre not far from his house in Lyme Regis. He’s not nicked an inter-city 125 sign off a train, but to mark the 125th anniversary of the theatre, IG, a patron, sponsored their web site overhaul.  Nice to see him looking so well and what a cracking spot it looks to be. Thanks to Geoff Quade, who is on their mailing list, for the information.

Ian Gillan Marine Theater 2019.jpeg

Record Store Day 2019

March 25, 2019

A bit of an uninspiring selection on the Deep Purple front again this year for Record Store Day it has to be said, with only three offerings appearing on April 13th.  Demon are doing Gillan’s Mr. Universe, the pretext being to mark the 40th Anniversary of the album (which just makes us all feel old!).  Collectability is boosted by “split coloured vinyl” (rather than split kneee loons) which sort of looks quite neat. But whether it’s enough to tempt people is debatable.  The Demon web site does not show how many are being made.

Friday Music are shoving out their rather lacklustre Tommy Bolin CD sampler Come Taste The Man on vinyl in a run of 1,000 copies, this is for the US but shops here seem to be listing it.

Lastly there’s a 2LP release of Butterfly Ball, with the original album plus the demos and such which appeared on the CD reissue and I don’t think have been on vinyl before.

You can check out all special releases on the Record Store days website

Thanks to Mark Maddock for his help.

Here’s a snap of the Gillan disc.

Mr Universe colour vinyl 2019.jpg

Bernie Tormé

March 18, 2019

Sad to learn that Bernie Tormé has lost his battle with Pneumonia.  He died on Sunday 17th. Bernie of course featured in arguably the classic Gillan era, and cut the albums Mr. Universe, Glory Road and Future Shock (both of which were top three releases) and sneaked onto a bit of Double Trouble. Few who witnessed those album tours will forget them. Certainly to me they were some of the most enjoyable post-Purple live shows thanks to their anarchic energy which derived in no small part from Bernie’s own Punk era career dating back to his days playing at the Vortex Club. Bernie had numerous post-Gillan projects (including a trio with John McCoy for a time) and was always busy; his last solo album came out in 2018.

The photo below shows his guitars on stage in 2014 before a special concert for rock promoters Mundell Music…

Bernie Tormes guitars.jpg

Message In A Bottle

October 7, 2016


The death of Steve Byrd reported earlier this week, first by a social media message from bassist John McCoy, was something of shock to say the least.  Sheffield born, we might have been in the same class at school.
Steve’s long career reminds us how a musician with only a relatively small role within the Purple universe can have a huge impact. If pushed to list my favourite Gillan albums in some sort of order then the Japanese Album (as it tends to be known) would always come a safe first, while I would probably juggle the rest depending on when I was asked. I was more than proud to be able to work with Ian on the first ever (and only authorised) reissue of the album (on RPM), and listening to the tapes in a studio only strengthened my admiration of the record and the band.
Steve was offered the job when Colin Towns spotted his new-wave group Neo recording in Kingsway (my younger sister had their single!) and his contributions in 1978 helped define Ian Gillan’s new sound after the dalliance with jazz-rock. And while the album was never actually issued outside Japan, Australia and New Zealand, it acted as the best possible calling card and enabled the band to get a new deal in Europe and embark on a very successful few years both on the live front and in the charts, starting with the Mr. Universe album.
We were lucky enough to catch the Steve Byrd line-up on a wintery day in Salford in 1978 when they played there before an indifferent crowd of uncomprehending students and some hard core fans, and still remember it well (I would show a photo from the gig, but had my camera confiscated after five minutes before the dry ice had even cleared…). Others may have caught them at the Reading festival in August that year. By early 1979 though the moment had passed, Byrd went and Bernie Torme arrived to complete the best remembered Gillan line-up.
Steve eventually ended up working with Kim Wilde for over a decade (and can be seen in some of her videos) and she has posted a great photo of Steve from those early days on her website which I’ll show here, but he also played with many other big name acts in a session capacity, as well as worked on film and tv music.
Steve was in recent years getting back out there doing his thing on stage, working on his own production company and label, and connecting with fans regularly. He was always trying to get me to connect to his Linked In profile (I had to explain I’d joined that particular social media group early on but left almost as quickly!), and I know others he was regularly in touch with too (he and my brother were even discussing trying to get a gig going in Steve’s hometown of Sheffield earlier this year.)
I hope Steve took some pride in his contributions to the Gillan story and the fact that we should all recall the album so fondly almost forty years on. RIP.

The DPAS family tree gives more information on this part of the Gillan story

New album scheduled?

September 19, 2016

It looks like the new Deep Purple studio album has been scheduled for February 2017 according to Ian Gillan, and he expects them to be touring to support it from then onwards “for two years”.  I assume they have sensibly decided to hold it back into the new year in order to let Ian Paice have a damn good break; he has been relaxing down at his villa, so hopefully will be fit and well.  At least this gives us something to look forward to after some of the less than crucial releases this year.
Talking of which, Ian has actually been doing a number of phone chats supporting the new Gillan vinyl box set, one of these heavyweight hard-cased affairs which are currently all the rage (I was trying to lift the Rammstein boxed LP set up only a couple of weeks ago and decided I need to break the vinyl reissue habit, and started right there!)

Gillan vinyl box set 2016
This is the fourth or fifth UK vinyl edition for many of these albums; Demon themselves did them as picture discs not many months ago.
IGB are not included, one assumes they’re preparing another set for them, and most of us who still hang on to their collection will have at least one vinyl copy and quite likely the original first pressings as well, so I’m not sure who they expect will want this. At least those nice vinyl hardback editions from a year or so back tried something new and put a bit of effort into the pressing, packaging and presentation.
The set consists of LP1: Mr Universe, LP2: Glory Road, LP3: For Gillan Fans Only, LP4: Future Shock, LP5: Double Trouble., LP6: Double Trouble, LP7: Magic) and is out early October, coming in at around £80 – £90.  Needless to say the artful dodgers Amazon have got the world by the throat (or somewhere) and if you go to them you get a hard vinyl pressed 7″ version of the old flexi disc Spanish Guitar (which they couldn’t even be bothered to do a picture sleeve for) not available to anyone else. Nice one Demon, why not personally go round and shut every remaining indie record shop in person while you’re at it? Talk about turkeys wishing for Christmas.

do it yourself

March 25, 2015

bernie torme

Always a bit of a maverick, Bernie Tormé has embraced the DIY ethos made possible by the web, and is working on a second album to be funded through his fan base. It’s a great way to get things done, especially in this day and age of disappearing record shops, disinterested labels and monolithic web retailers.  You can read all about the new project on his pledgepage (plus be able to listen to some cuts from the last album – the guitar / harmonica duetting sounds great) and people who join up get all sorts of extras, bonus bits and pieces, right up to the chance to actually get involved in doing the backing vox!  On top of all that 10% of funds raised after the goal is reached go a teenage cancer charity.
To be fair, Bernie probably doesn’t need us to plug him – his last CD was funded four time over – but he is one of the good guys.
Thanks to Lee Worrall.