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Across the divide

Ian Gillan; photo © Jim Rakete; image courtesy of kayos ProductionsIan Gillan sends a message about Deep Purple in Cyprus scheduled in May:

Dear Friends
There’s a bit of a hoo-ha going on about our forthcoming show in Cyprus, so here are some thoughts on the issue.

As it says in the Caramba disclaimer, my views are not necessarily those of the rest of the guys in Deep Purple. So, please take this as a personal opinion; IMHO as I used to say.

We – DP – have never been on one side or the other when it comes to performing music. I remember – during the cold war – hearing about visits to London by the Bolshoi Ballet and the top football teams from Moscow, also the Cossack dancers, and many other cultural exchanges between The West and The Soviet Union. The diplomatic and cultural side door was always open for art, entertainment and sport, no matter how frightening and confrontational all the rest of it was.

Continue reading on Caramba!

Backgrounder: the gig is to take place in Northern Cyprus.

Thanks to Andrey Gusenkov for the info.

19 Comments to “Across the divide”:

  1. 1
    Henrik says:

    What’s the fuss?

  2. 2
    Morten Overgaard says:

    The Man puts it on the spot! Let Rock ‘n’ Roll make the difference! I’ll think about getting on a plane to be there. 🙂

  3. 3
    Giorgos BeeGood says:

    Rihanna delayed the show jenifer lopez too…and various other artists…Read first the history,the facist use you if you play live…

  4. 4
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    I think he hits the nail on the head here. You can’t make the people suffer for what they have no control over. Most people in these countries are pawns themselves, and Music is one outlet that brings happiness and escape to those that are stuck in the turmoil. Though I do disagree with his view on Tony Blair, I respect his approach to the situation and the Band Played On. Good to see they didn’t ‘abandon’ the Brits due to politics. Some outstanding concerts have been performed since then and the fans would be the only ones to suffer by boycotting anywhere.


  5. 5
    Ian Grant says:

    I’ve been to both parts of Cyprus and can honestly say, if they were playing in the South of the island, the Northerners wouldn’t make any fuss about it. Both sides lost in the conflict that divided the island, so the current arrangement seems to be the best solution.

  6. 6
    Dimitris Dtg Georgiadis says:

    North Cyprus is an occupied land as a result of a military invasion. Cyprus is divided as divided were Berlin because of the walll

  7. 7
    James Gemmell says:

    Gillan’s position is understandable; when you start mixing music with politics the people you hurt are the fans. As he says, there are strong bonds on both sides of the pond between the fans, and citizens at-large. Governments grapple all the time, but music is about harmony – in more ways than one.

  8. 8
    Henrik says:

    But Cyprus was divided many years ago. So why can’ t Depo Purple play Cyprus these days?

  9. 9
    Simon says:

    Wise words, my god. That sums up what should really happen in politics these days.

  10. 10
    josh says:

    @ Nr. 3 : They play for the PEOPLE, not for government, political reasons and so on ! Please understand… Music really moves the people in a good way.

  11. 11
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    @4 Tracy,

    I need not lay out thoughts. I am in agreement with yours on every count.

    I’ve been meaning to ask, what is the meaning behind !Ch-BeerZ?(?) :>


  12. 12
    HardRockPete says:

    I’m with Gillan on this one. Don’t mix local or global politics with music. Only the fans, who can’t do much about the politics anyway, will loose in the end :-/ Maybe Purple can give the people a much needed, great musical experience?

  13. 13
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Hello MacGregor,

    Nice to see we agree on something for a change…. 😉

    It’s my sign off of salutations. I grew weary of saying Cheers all the time. I love Beer (and pretty much all other spirits). Then NOW WHAT came out and it blew me away. The symbols !? came to mind when I decided to throw my own spin on my sign off which is a combination of all 3. Cheers, Beers and !?.

    So Tip Thy Cup and,


  14. 14
    Rascal says:

    what country hasn’t been at war/conflict, or has some faction of political extreme?

    Non I can think of.

    Boycott one country then boycott the lot IMHO

    Why it needs stressing that a band are or are not playing a particular country is just ridiculous. Maybe they think it adds some kudos to their actions. It doesn’t.

    Im not interest in political opinion – just play the music and entertain the fans

  15. 15
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    @12 Tracy,

    I think you may have missed a detail. It’s Ted, not MacGregor. I don’t think there has been a post of yours I wasn’t in full agreement with!

    A Tip O’ The Cup to Ya,


  16. 16
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    YO TED, don’t kno0w how I got you and Mac mixed up…. either way, point made. My Cup Runeth Over…. gotta go. 😉


  17. 17
    johny stone says:



  18. 18
    fred says:

    The writer of this news post was kind enough to provide us with a link to wikipedia for those of you who don’t know exactly what’s going on in Cyprus and want to find out.
    Unlike any other place our favorite band has ever been to, Northern Cyprus IS NOT A SOVEREIGN STATE. IT”S A MILITARY OCCUPIED PART OF CYPRUS and IT IS NOT RECOGNISED BY THE UNITED NATIONS AS A SOVEREIGN STATE. That is because the military occupation of a foreign country is a no-no according to international law and a direct violation of human rights. As a result an international embargo has been imposed on the local regime. Is the united nations and the international community such heartless bastards that have imposed an embargo over there?
    No. It is strictly intended as a means of pressure to the local authorities in order to lift the occupation and seek the reunion of the island, ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW. That is why nobody does business with Northern Cyprus and every high profile artist has refused to appear in this part of the island.
    Unfortunately, Ian’s opinion on the matter is based on very poor arguments. He claims that the “historical position of the band has always been to perform anywhere we are invited, regardless of local difficulties/conflict, wars, earthquakes, riots etc.” Does this mean that if Deep Purple were invited by a blood thirsty dictator to entertain their subjects they would do it? What i want to say is, even if you want to stay out of politics, sooner or later politics are going to find you and you better be on alert for attempts to exploit your name and your fame.
    As for the claim that the band is playing just for the people not the governments and the people deserve to hear DP music i’m all for it. However for those of you who have been observant this is a free concert. So, no it was not the overwhelming demand of the local people that brings our favorite band to the Northern part of Cyprus (although i’m pretty sure many will go to a free concert) but a desire of the local authorities to stage a show that they believe is going to start legitimizing their illegal regime to the eyes of the international society, at the direct cost of the legacy of Deep Purple.
    So as far as this issue goes, it is not matter of opinions, sides or conflicts. It’s a matter of INTERNATIONAL LAW. You either respect it or not, but you can’t go on claiming that it doesn’ t concern you. IT CONCERNS ALL OF US.
    Sorry for writing all this lengthy post but i believe that this is a very serious matter and any fan who is concerned about the legacy of the band should voice his concerns to the management as i have already done.
    Peace and thank you for reading this

  19. 19
    johny stone says:


    Wake up mr.Gillan!!! And read fred’s post…..

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