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December 2001

        First of all thank you for all your birthday greetings in November. I couldn't reply individually but I had a lovely time, thank you.
        This has been a tumultuous year on many fronts, backs and sides - but here we are, the survivors, like pawns dangling at the end of it with no choice but to get dragged inexorably towards the festivities, and on with mathematical certainty, and probably a hangover, to the new year, fighting and clawing all the way trying to grab a little piece of the old one before it forever and incontrovertibly becomes history - fodder for future TV documentaries, to be analyzed, dissected, and mythologized.
        2001. The very number has had such a ring to it in our lives, ever since Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick turned it into an icon before its time. It is still one of my all time favourite movies, probably number one. The numbers also add up to three. That's my number. Lucky for some. However, the year was a tough one.
        2001 started out as a paradise but we didn't know it. After the horror of September, we knew it.

        So, the world saga continues, as does Deep Purple, and next year will see us touring the UK. We are all pretty happy about that, though some are prettier than others. We're looking forward to it like hungry dogs (I never considered DP in canine terms but hey, who could have known?).
        A few too many weeks ago the band got together in Steve's country retreat and had a spanking good time writing some stuff in his studio, which will get recorded sometime soon under the guise of an official long playing record - in stereo if we play our cards right. We're all looking forward to that.
        On a personal front I've finished my long vaunted solo album. Some wisecracking smart-arse with a glass of wine and an expensive but tasteless suit asked me the other day if it was called a solo album because I was the only one on it. I politely laughed at his feeble joke but in my head I was calling him a wisecracking smart-arse with a glass of too-expensive wine standing like a parrot in a tasteless suit - in no uncertain terms!
        In No Uncertain Terms. What a great phrase. I have to thank my wife Les for that one. I will use it one day, with her permission.
        Anyway, I digress, as IG says often.
        My solo album has fourteen (14) songs on it at the last count. I really don't think it will get any longer although I wish it would. I want to do another one right away. There are some great musicians on it the names of whom you will be made aware in good time, when it is your turn to know (would you like a drink while you're waiting, sir?) Suffice to say that Randall Bramblett is the main singer, keyboard player, sax player, right hand man and musical handyman. We wrote some songs together, he helped finish some I had started and he wrote one himself. Joe Bonadio is the drummer, poor chap. He's so gifted no one gives him any presents at Christmas (drum roll, cymbal splash). Peter Deneberg is my engineer and main man in the studio. These people are the hard core of the proceedings, which took place at Acme Studios in Mamaroneck, New York. They like being called hard core. So far the title is going to be "snapShot" (I know it is the title of a Tommy Bolin collection but despite the odd coincidence it shouldn't stop me.) I don't know why I've been spelling it with the second 's' being a capitol instead of the first, or maybe having no capitals at all, but it's become a habit I can't stop, I've tried meditation and acupuncture but all to no avail. Snappy sort of title don't you think? Snappy. I'm feeling snappy. Snap out of it. Don't snap at me! Snap your fingers. ........Silly card game. Maybe I'll call it something else. Or not. I have other ideas.
        I don't have a release date yet - with good behavior it could have gotten out earlier but that didn't happpen and so it has to serve its full term. Sorry, I don't make the rules. I'd like to meet the person who does. If I did though, I'd be sure not to ask them, "why?" because I'd worry that they would turn out to be like one of those people at parties who think they know it all and bore you for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours on end, wasting yours and everyone else's time, like this.
        I'm still at the party but I've managed to move away into another room where there's a bit of peace. Peace. I raise my glass and propose a toast to 2001, to the victims of hate, the builders of hope, the guys on hostile ground in Afganistan and elsewhere, my band mates, musicians all, our great crew, my cat, my family large and small, Colin, all of you who are reading this, my friends here and there, George who is no longer with us and yet is with us more than ever, and above all, my wonderful wife Les and our children Gillian, James and Paul. Count your blessings, I do.

        Peace. It's a strong word.
        So is love.
        Good luck,

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