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Humility and respect

Ian Gillan, Quebec City, June 4, 2011; Photo © Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

Earlier this month MyGlobalMind magazine spoke to ian Gillan. The interview now appears online.

What has been the biggest lesson that being in the rock and roll business for so long has taught you?

Well one of the most important things, that I enjoy because we love performing live, is the touring and the travelling. I was just talking about different cultures, and the effect that has had. We have been lucky people. I remember absorbing all these things and thinking “my god we don’t do this back home like this..”These people believe in doing it that way and this way. You learn very quickly first of all to try not to offend people by behaving in a crass way. Just because you don’t know about it ,is no excuse. There are a lot of things that are offensive to other people that we take for granted., that is just normal behavior. You learn about the more subtle things too, like humility and respect and those sort of things. Just a quick example, you know what people think about bowing. I have heard people saying I would not bow to any man. I have heard Americans say that and I have heard English people say that. Yet when you understand what bowing means to Japanese people. It’s not a question of subservience, or anything to do with that its all about personal dignity and self respect. The fact that you bow to somebody develops your own sense of humility. I have found that to be an absolutely fantastic quality to develop. If you put humility into your life it takes away so many of the other things, I have been struggling with through meditation and other things. I used to be a pretty wild kid before I got into music, and I realized that I could not continue that way if I wanted to be a musician. My early attempts to break free from my rage and my anger was meditation and that worked to a certain extent. When I saw a lot of these other cultures, I realized what humility could bring to you in terms of equilibrium and balance. It was just a fantastic thing. I would say travel and absorbing other cultures. That is just one in a long list of influences that has affected me over my life. I would say that the travel has been the single most important aspect of rock and roll life.

Read more in MyGlobalMind.

Thanks to BraveWords for the info.

11 Comments to “Humility and respect”:

  1. 1
    Béla Takács says:


  2. 2
    al says:

    a great humble man !

  3. 3
    stoffer says:

    good advice for real life (non rock star people) as well, I believe Ian has come to be at peace with almost everything and everyone ; ) good for him

  4. 4
    Wiktor says:

    A great man? Absolutely! Humble? Uuuhhh I dont know about that, but then everything is relative these days…lol

  5. 5
    Bob says:

    Humble towards Blackmore yet?

  6. 6
    cyclone says:

    I would like to read or hear about all the goofy stuff that happens through out DP’s travels around the globe…I have read some of the jokes played on one another back in the old days..wonder if they continue to this day?

  7. 7
    Finn says:


  8. 8
    Finn says:

    Have to ad, that my respect will be 100% the day he can accept Blackmore and accept that other people has be a very important part of Purples life. Like Coverdale and Hughes.
    Why can it hurt to do a few concerts with members that is still alive to celebrate your fans and first of all Jon Lord. When Gillan can do that, he deserves 101% respect. Not before.

  9. 9
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Who will publish Rogers Deep Purple diary’s?

    Will we have have to wait for the time he is dead and his family can earn money with it, like the Dio ” family” appearantly does now?

  10. 10
    Susy Creamcheese says:

    Well, why don’t the Temptations play Every~Night, with all of their players, then?? I do not believe I. Gillan holds anymore grudges against any former members of Deep Purple. (Mr. Finn, are u saying maybe DP should do a “Tribute to All Our Former Players” Some of the past guitarists were just awesome, but it is that guitarist’s ego, that stinks up the whole room. HOW, could DP play with a “professional performer” that WALKS off stage??

    Nobody should get paid for a job done that way….to disrespect the audience is the worst taboo. Even if band members, or actors (ppl. on stage) can only stomach each other for the performance, hence a person may only be there for the paycheck…or to “show them” At least be professional about it.

    Hey DP is still going strong, AND a lot of things do happen in 45 yrs. (Unfortunately some are irreversible….at least a Wise Man, knows His Own Limitations.)

    I hope DP go strong for another 45 years. 🙂 Love and Peace to All….Susy 🙂

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    Susy Creamcheese @ 10 – I sincerely hope that name is a pseudonym, my mind does wonder! But seriously, Ian Gillan ain’t no saint! Both Gillan & Blackmore always came across as arrogant, ego tripping & selfish sort of individuals. I have not really ever seen the other 3 appear like that over the decades!
    It ‘takes two to tango’ as they say! Or, ‘there are two sides to every story”. Cheers.

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