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In 1978 Ian Gillan claimed that he was "Bringing Joanna back". Well, she disappeared again and was not found until the Deep Purple Web Crew brought her back from the kitchen in Rosa's Cantina. We rescued her and dubbed her "Miss Joanna - The Cantina Goddess". From now on Joanna is in charge of all the juicy Deep Purple related gossip.

NOTE: This is gossip. Talk to the news crew for the latest news.

She's finally made contact! Upon filing her last report in 2001, Joanna announced that she "really needed a daiquiri" and left our offices, presumably heading for the regular THS watering hole. But when the rest of the editors trooped down there for the end-of-the-day pint lifting contest, she was nowhere to be seen. Now, after an absence of over two years, we were wondering if she would ever be coming back (and how large her bar bill must be). Finally at the start of February, out of the blue, an envelope was received at The Highway Star and with it, our truant correspondent had resurfaced!!

April 25, 2004

Well, the U.S. and Asian tours are now complete, and Australia's is soon to join them. I managed to avoid "the Donald" during almost the entire affair. In Albuquerque, I met a dashing Russian immigrant, who shall remain nameless. The show was flawless as usual (no keyboard mistakes get by me), and the Russian and I had a lovely après-show in my suite. Never challenge a Russian to a vodka-drinking contest!

The next day, we drove round and round looking for the Oklahoma City show. We never found it, but did stumble over the most charming B&B. It's just as well we missed it, as the local paper gave the show a bad review.

There's just one more U.S. tour highlight to report. In Galveston, I had some unexpected bad memories emerge around the Wurlitzer player, and in a hissy fit I tossed my best string of natural pearls at him. Well, before I knew it, all of these cowboys and metal heads were throwing their own beads at the band! I was torn: I hated seeing the guys getting pelted, except, of course, Mr. "I just want to be friends" Airey. *Plonk* Nice shot, JR!

Then it was off to Asia. I don't speak any Asian languages, and tend to stick close to my hotels in countries like Japan. Of course, I couldn't attend the shows in China, my overpaid and underworked assistant having forgotten to get the paperwork in order in time. I'm also no longer permitted to visit Indonesia -- they apparently take a very dim view of swimming in fountains and singing Wasted Sunsets at the top of one's voice. I also had no way of knowing my, uh, singing companion was an underage student from a local religious school. They don't carry ID cards, you know! Well, I mean, strictly speaking, they do, but they're written in *Indonesian* or something. What is a girl to do??

Anyway, I caught up with the boys in Australia. Ah, Oz. Land of AC/DC, Vegemite, and -- Living Loud?? Now I can't go to the après show! :-( I swear that Don makes every decision possible to ruin my evenings! So no Living Loud shows for little Joanna. But I *can* go to New Zealand! Never having been there I am *so* looking forward to it! Lars, my Australian, er, guide, is insisting on joining me, so I might need to make a hasty exit with the band. I want to eat kiwi fruit and see the sights (not to mention concerts) with a real local. Vegemite with Lars -- kiwi fruit with ...?

So, again, ta! I will of course be doing summer festivals in Europe, where I *do* speak all the languages), and where I can disappear into the crowd when certain ARP synthesizer players walk into the bar. See you all soon!

February 21, 2004

Hello again! Well, in my career in gossip, I've often needed to appear places incognito, and I've "crawled back into costume." No one should recognize me at the shows (not the least of which, the Harpsichord Player, who spurned me).

The shows have been fabulous, I cannot tell a lie. I've sneaked backstage but once, and got close enough to the Clavicord Player to smell the deceit on him. My companion insisted it was patchouli, but I know betrayal when I smell it.

Whilst I was olfactorily distracted, someone from the Purple organization handed me a gift bag, and, putting his lips close to my ear, said, "compliments of the organization." Had I been spotted?? I ducked into the loo and secured a stall. Opening the bag, I discovered an electric banana. That is, it is an banana made of plastic with a battery terminal -- it must light up or something. The package says, "personal massage device." Okay, then.

So get to the concerts, and buy one of these banana flashlights...what a buzz!

February 2, 2004

Oh, dear me... where to start? Well, when I last shared my whereabouts with you, my faithful readers, the Lord of the Hammond was finalizing plans to move on. I was inconsolate. Add to this the fact that his replacement and I had -- oh, this is so indelicate... a *past* -- and my devastation was complete. Thanks to the benevolence of an older gentleman friend, I was able to travel to the South Seas to pursue my dream to bring Aboriginal objéts d'art to collectors on the U.S. west coast. I was disappointed to find that there were no aborigines in the South Seas, but there were young men and cocktail lounges, so I managed to cope.

After a time, I had amassed a reasonable collection of wood and bone carvings of the indigenous peoples of the island of Belly Belly, and decided to make my way to the west coast. The only loose end was the lovely Swedish lad who had been sharing the villa with me. He was a delightful toy, but not for long-term consumption. I vowed to return, but the lad was having none of it, returning to Sweden "where the lutefisk is always baking," as he would wistfully tell me. My rock and roll Midas touch is apparently intact, though, because he's wandered back to Sweden and had a major hit with "It's Been Hurting All The Way With You Joanna". Lovely.

I wired ahead and secured a cozy bungalow in Malibu, near a gallery where I could display the deliciously primitive and erotic pieces I had gathered, intending to call the show "Objéts Inspired by Living Conditions not unlike Aboriginals." Preorders mounted.

Meanwhile, at a favorite bistro, who should walk in but my old paramour. Generously mustachioed, my mind instantly flashed back to the glory days of Rainbow, my special ivory tinkler and I laughing at a certain Man In Black's attempts to assault him with pasta and sauce -- my man was too quick; fast reflexes and the singer gets it again! Ah, but things didn't work out for us back then, and I didn't have the loved-and-lost hardened husk to my heart yet -- I'd wept for days afterwards. Years of healing and a Deep Purple reunion finally mended my heart, but the scar was there. And now, here he was! I put on my sunglasses and hid behind my Jackie Collins.

I discovered they were recording, and even sneaked by the studio a time or two. However, I hadn't the courage to go in. Now there is a tour, and my All-but-Aboriginal art has been very good to me. Of course I have tickets, of course I have good seats, for most every show. The question is -- do I have the courage to see the man who broke my heart performing with the band that owns it? And can I possibly make contact with the other band members, risking the possibility of encountering... *HIM*?? Stand by for updates, dear readers...

Love, Joanna
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