AN AMAZING STORY - Helsinki April 5, 2000
Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Steve Morse had just left the Free Record Shop in Helsinki where they had signed lots and lots of records, photos, posters, one guitar etc. Me and my friend Hurricane packed our things there in the shop that was again almost empty. It's difficult to find place in your handbag for your camera, posters, a video tape and many other less important things, no matter how big your bag is.
At that moment a young man came to us and asked if we were from Gillan fan club. "No, we are from the "Perfect Strangers of Finland", the Finnish Deep Purple fan club." The young Finn was interested to hear more of the club and we answered his questions. Then he told us that he had got Ian's harp back in 1993 as Deep Purple played in Helsinki, the last gig with Ritchie.
"What!? WHAT!? That was your harp, Hurricane!" I cried. Yes, yes, yes. Ian wanted to throw the harp to Hurricane. He pointed a finger at Hurricane and threw the harp that landed a bit too far from her. And a guy with longer arms took it before her nose. I have blamed myself during these years that I didn't take the harp, but took a step backwards to let Hurricane take it herself. Or to try to take it.
Now the "thief" was in front of us. No, don't think we were ready to beat him there in the music shop. No, it was too unbelievable to meet the "thief" after seven years. And how could we be sure that he really was the same man? We didn't recognize him.
The "thief" himself wasn't surprised at our story. Not at all. And guess what he said! He told us he came to the music shop only to find us! He wanted to return the harp to the one it belonged to!!! I have heard sometimes that we Finns are honest, but it was hard to believe this man. However, he was serious.
We showed him some old pictures I happened to have with me where Hurricane and me had Gillan stickers on our t-shirts. Yes indeed, at that time we were members in the German Gillan Fan Club (hello to all our German friends). The young Finn believed that Hurricane was the real owner of the harp. He took the harp from his pocket and gave it to her.
You can understand that Hurricane was in ecstasy and she wanted to give the young man something in return. Well, a chocolate egg was the only thing she had to thank him for his honesty and effort to find us. That was not much, but at least the young man won't hear Hurricane's voice in his head crying "What idiot took my harp!" anymore.
We were all happy and wanted to share this story with our friends in PSOF (who we met in the bar soon after), with Ian (who said that was an amazing story and signed the harp) and with you. Believe in miracles! Fairytales might come truth one day. That happened to us the fifth April in the year 2000.