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Secret codes for buried treasure

Ian Gillan spoke to BBC Radio, which resulted in a very interesting, slightly off-the-beaten-path conversation.

The last time we spoke, we were talking about the dreaded aging process, and I remember you humorously said to me that you walk down the road and listen for a clank to see what’s dropped off next. How are the energy levels?

Well, there’s only so much you can do to prepare for a Deep Purple show, and fitness is one thing.

Of course, strength, it’s all diaphragm for a singer, it’s pretty physical, so we shall see when we get up there – when we get the stage running.

And throughout my life, it’s taken four or five concerts to get up to speed with the stamina for a show. I’m normally on my knees by the encore, but we’ll see.

Nothing else has really changed, so the voice is working in the studio, but that’s a different thing altogether. I don’t know, to be honest, we’ll see.

From a creation point of view, you’ve described Purple in the past as being an instrumental band. For this one, the pressure was off because you didn’t need to write any lyrics. Was that just made for a much easier ride?

Yeah, of course, I mean you don’t have to think about it if you’re not writing, so you don’t have to think, you have to play it.

The idea of these, I think the selection of the material was the stuff most suitable to Purple-ize, the word I use for what we’ve done on this album.

I think we will understand that you can never improve on the original, it is what it is, and it’s embedded in everyone’s mind.

But what you can do is have fun with the arrangements, and that’s what we did here because songs were selected on that basis.

Do you remember the first record that you bought?

I do. It was, I bought a record for my sister, it was a 45, and it was Bobby [Vee], ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,’ I think was the title.

I think it was Bobby Vee, and then the second record was when I shared with my friends, we couldn’t afford to buy many records, and we bought Little Richard record, it was ‘Good Golly Miss Molly.’

Listen to the whole thing here:

Thanks to Raised On Radio for posting the clip, to Ultimate Guitar for the transcription, and to Gary Poronovich for bringing it to your attention.

15 Comments to “Secret codes for buried treasure”:

  1. 1
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    Indeed, Good Golly Miss Molly is the ultimate rock’n’roll song. They say Elvis is the king of rock’n’roll, but compared to Little Richard he was quite lame and tame. Little Richard is the embodiment of rock’n’roll. Hugely influential too.

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Use it or lose it, was how Roger Daltrey described the issues facing vocalists, especially.as they grow older. The break to the touring ritual certainly will be a challenge for Gillan, Daltrey & others. As Gillan says he still sings in the shower etc & no doubt in other situations, good luck to them. Cheers.

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    Had a listen to the Bobby Vee song, have heard that quite a few times in my life, a wonderful example of clever songwriting & good singing. It is a shame Gillan didn’t get some of his ‘nostalgia’ songs on TTC, we might have had more decent songs, although as he said he had very little initial interest in the idea. Except for about 3, maybe 4 songs, the rest of the album is a poor song collection. As Gillan says, covers is a dirty word, he he he! Not to worry. Cheers.

  4. 4
    sidroman says:

    @ 2 Nice to see a Who fan here. Purple and The Who are my 2 favorite groups.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    @ 4- yes indeed, love Tommy, Who’s Next & Quadrophenia & many other songs from different albums. I went to see them in 2009 here in Australia, haven’t had many opportunities as they were banned back in the day, ha ha ha, government red tape eh. I knew they would be very good live, but they really were brilliant! Those songs from Tommy, Quad & Who’s Next, not to mention a few others, wow. I can only imagine what it would have been like with ‘spider fingers’ playing bass, bless him. That would take it even further into the stratosphere.
    I have just finished reading Daltrey’s book, a wonderful read & have lent it to some English friends who went to see them in the mid 70’s over there. Cheers.

  6. 6
    sidroman says:

    @ 5 I saw them several times over the years, the first in 1989, the last time in 2019. The best Who concert, and possibly the best ever show I ever saw was The Who in 2000. Entwistle was still alive, and it was only Townshend, Daltrey, Entwistle, Zak Starkey on drums, and John “Rabbit” Bundrick on keyboards. No horn section, backup singers, or extra musicians, and not too much of a stage show either. They just went out and played and they kicked ass.

  7. 7
    MacGregor says:

    @ 6- I remember taping from tv the 1989 Tommy gig with Simon Phillips on drums, I used to play that a lot back then. I have the dvd from the 90’s of them performing Quadrophenia and other songs. Yes John Entwistle was the master & Bundrick on keys, that would have been special indeed! I like Zak on the drums, he nails it big time! Cheers.

  8. 8
    sidroman says:

    The 89 tour was great and so were the Quadrophenia tours in 96. As much as I liked them, it really wasn’t The Who, it was kinda like The Who on ice. Now with Quad it made sense to have so many other people on stage with them because it’s a very orchestrated album. But Pete only played acoustic on those tours, I didn’t really rate him as a guitarist until the 2000 tour and after. In 2002 and following he still had Simon his brother in the band, but Pete was playing the solos, and for a guy mostly known for playing rythym he played great lead guitar.
    I saw the Stones twice in the late 90’s and Keith Richards was playing most of the solos while Ronnie Wood played rythym. Gimme Shelter was awesome. Anyway cheers, and I think later tonight I have some chores to do, I think I’ll listen to One of the Boys, Daltrey’s solo album. I particularly love Avenging Annie and Say it Ain’t So Joe.

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    @ 8 -It seems Townshend is working on the ‘lost’ Lifehouse project according to Classic Rock Louder. A possible 2022 release, it is an interesting concept, especially as it was revealed back in the early 70’s, much to other band members bemusement at the time. Regarding Townshend’s playing acoustic guitar back in the 80’s & 90’s, I remember reading about that. He was battling the tinnitus problem, trying to minimise the harshness of the live sound pummelling his already damaged hearing. Thankfully he sorted something out, the drums being shielded was one, also maybe better hearing protection, ear monitors etc. His lead guitar playing picked up after Entwistle passed away. I watched Townshend talk about that not that long ago in a video, he said that as The Ox played a lot of the busier fiddly widdly bits as he called it, he now found himself naturally trying to fill that void. Hence his brother Simon entering the fray as support guitarist & Pete could then up the ante in his wonderful lead playing. Regarding Daltrey & his early solo albums, I like those Leo Sayer penned songs, also Written on the Wind & a few others, wonderful. Cheers.

  10. 10
    sidroman says:

    Exactly! But also he’s using Fender Vibro Kings and not Hiwatts anymore either, although in 2007, he did bring one Hiwatt with him, along with the Fenders, but that was the only time, and it really wasn’t needed. There was also a Youtube video some years ago with his guitar tech, and Pete’s amps are only on 3! They still sound great and nowadays with everything going through the PA, walls of amps aren’t needed anymore. Cheers again!

  11. 11
    Dilligaf775 says:

    @9 ~ Pete already did Lifehouse about 19-20 years ago.

  12. 12
    stoffer says:

    The Who are awesome, they don’t get nearly enough respect!

  13. 13
    sidroman says:

    As for Lifehouse, I never cared for it or maybe never got the plot for that concept album, however I love Who’s Next the Deluxe Edition with the bonus tracks, I think Leslie West plays on a couple of them, and the live second disc from the Young Vic theatre. Actually I just looked at my cd collection and I think Leslie plays on Baby Don’t You Do It, but on the newer version of Odds and Sods he plays on a version of Love Ain’t for Keeping also.

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    Lifehouse has been & gone in many ways. The recent story is about a lost track I thought & a possible re release of sorts, in some format. I also own the wonderful remix, remastered extra tracks of Who’s Next, that & Tommy sound great on those reissues. I am nor sure about Leslie West though. I will have to dig around a little in regards to that. Cheers.

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    Leslie West indeed. I just found my Who’s Next reissue cd from the late 90’s, I don’t remember reading about that back then. Is my memory testing me, yes it seems it is. Also found more information online, the things we learn each day! Cheers.

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