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Didi Zill photo book
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Catrin Wiegand
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Thank you for twenty years

By Didi Zill, Munich, autumn 2002

Jon Lord and Ian Paice with Didi Zill - click to enlarge

Of course the story of Deep Purple didn't end with my last photo of the Mark 7 line-up. I lived to see another change with Ian Gillan back in the band again. Joe Lynn Turner couldn't replace Ian Gillan, and I always thought him to be too colourless, on top of which his voice was never comparable to Gillan's anyway. As the record company insisted on getting Gillan back it was natural that he rejoined the old line-up in 1992, turning it into what was always the only genuine Deep Purple line-up to me.

I visited the band again on their German tour in Munich, and drove to the concert in my car together with Roger. It was a great show as always, with Gillan at his best. I hadn't seen them like that for years. There was a lot of criticism that he wasn't the same anymore, but it was all proved wrong by Ian that night. He was the same again.

The announcement that Ritchie had left the band during the tour felt like a tragedy to me. I knew that this time it was the real end - and also that my time as a photographer with the band had come to an end. After that, it almost didn't matter who joined Deep Purple. First Joe Satriani and then Steve Morse, both of them first class guitarists, but the aura of Deep Purple was gone. I phoned Roger several times afterwards and also met Ritchie once again, but amazingly enough we never talked about the band.

I once received a phone call from a producer who wanted to use Child In Time for a movie. He hadn't gotten far and phoned me as he knew that I knew the band. I tried for him and finally asked Roger in person. And it worked. Roger is a wonderful person, always willing to help and I think, if hadn't been for him this group would never have come back together again. But for me as a photographer it was over with the end of Mark 7.

I have taken pictures of a lot of bands but I can' t remember any other that influenced my life as much as Deep Purple did. I always had the impression that I was a member of the band. There were lively goings-on but I was always treated fairly and for that I say Thank You to Roger, Ritchie, Jon, Ian, Ian, Bruce and Colin.

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