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Kungshamn, Sweden, July 4,1996.

Kungshamn, Sweden, July 4, 1996.

Dear friends,
I find myself on a bus again, I tyr not to cross on the stairs but it's tricky. These long tours send me slightly crazy but that's alright; I'm travelling in good company. I get one hot meal a week and that I have to say, is because I work at inconvenient times. When I like to eat, in mid-afternoon, most places are closed or we're on the move, and I'm too worked up to eat after work, and when I'm not worked up anymore it's too late and nobody's working.

The "Purple Boot" award for the worst hotel in 96 goes to the SAS Viking Radisson in Stockholm. We left after 3 days, numb with tiredness and bankrupt from the telephone charges, so outrageous that I ask myself "are these corporate crimes or merely crimes against musicians desperate for some sleep?" Which reminds me of the low esteem in which people of my calling are held in some countries. The hotel rules on the door of my room in Monterey, Mexico read : Rule No.3 It is strictly forbidden to bring into the hotel a) Guns b) Animals c) Musicians. Well!!

On a serious note, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of all the English people I know, who were very upset by the apalling muck in some of our tabloid press regarding the England-Germany football match. I have many good friends in Germany who will understand my embarrassment. We have hooligan elements in every society but the uncouth jabberings of the Daily Mirror contained sentiments that I, and most English people, want nothing to do with. Congratulations Germany on a deserved victory in Euro 96.

I'm off now to recover some strength and sanity on the family holiday in Portugal. Then it's back on your head (that's an old English joke about Hell which is too vulgar to repeat here). Europe in September, Japan in October, USA in November (fingers crossed on this one!) time off for good behaviour, then the Pacific Rim, South America, Pluto and Uranus.

Finally, "Dreamcatcher" is escaping!!! "Gunga Din" is getting away, whoever spots it first will get a reward. More to come very soon as the enigma unfolds, but you are the very first to know, if only you knew it. Bye for now.

Ian Gillan

Photo by Tord Isaksson © 1996

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