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Child in Time 2002

St.Petersburg, Russia, March 17, 2002. That Russian tour marked the official arrival of Don Airey as the new keyboard player and the last tour that Child in Time was performed live. Even though Gillan did a remarkably good job that particular night (help from guitar on the high notes notwithstanding), you can hear why it is highly unlikely he will ever sing it again.

51 Comments to “Child in Time 2002”:

  1. 1
    marcel says:

    the first notes from this song should be the first notes of the keyboard solo now a days… I never had a chance to hear a little note of it… just a tease would be great!

  2. 2
    McErwan says:

    I had already seen this video a few times… very great!
    But I don’t think it would be a good idea to put the first notes from this song into some solo: the audience would be too deceived not to hear the whole song, in my opinion.

    like lot of fans, Child in time made me fall in love with deep purple! But as I’m too young, I could never seen it live 🙁 !!! So thank you for posting such huge things!

  3. 3
    panos says:

    very very fantastic..

  4. 4
    Theo says:

    Steve’s riffing during Ian’s screaming is giving it a heavier feeling.

    Wish they would play it in Luik (Liege) in November. After it they could give Ian some rest by playing Steve’s or Don’s solo piece.

  5. 5
    Markus says:

    Theo, I absolutelly agree with you. I`m in Luik too with my son, let`s scream for it.

    I understand Ian`s reason not to play the song. But from my point of view they could play it without Ian`s screaming after the lyrics . It`s such a fantastic song, better to have it in the set a little bit modified instead of never hearing it live again.

  6. 6
    Robert Daems says:

    I do agree with Theo and Markus. Sadly enough I will not be in Luik, but I would really love to see and hear this live. Child in Time is my favourite song off all times.

    The video is very good by the way, so it is possible to have quality videos on Youtube, instead of al the flimsy, stutttering stuff.
    Well done Nick !!!

  7. 7
    Dominic says:

    For me there’s no reason at all to avoid the screaming part. It’s not the same as it was 30 years ago but it still sounds great. Ian’s a brillant singer even he’s not longer able to get the high passages as clear as he could some years ago.

    I’d be very lucky if I could hear that marvellous song once in my life live … even if Ian avoids the screaming.

  8. 8
    stoffer says:

    Good Job! especially by Big .Ian and Don Airey, I saw it played on the ’85 reunion tour, this version was good although much different

  9. 9
    Crazy Horst says:

    Basically, as it is, the tragedy with all post-reunion Purple, it suffers in comparison.

    Standing alone it is fine, but in relation to the original stuff from the seventies it pales substantially. It’s the sheer dynamics, frenzy and expressivity of the early performances that gives you goose pimples and shivers down your spine. It’s not only Gillan, it’s the whole band that urges forward, full-speed and ablast, always on and beyond the limits and yet obviously unable to get anything wrong. You can actually feel how thrilled every group member is and that directly translates into the performance.

    But how long can you sustain such a level? I suppose Rock was a much more physical thing back then, beginning from the technology and definitely not ending with the after show party.
    So what I lament is a reduction from superhuman to human. Times are changing, and the seventies are long gone in other areas of life as well.
    And with all the routine that goes along with it, it is still nice to see the joy in the guys’ faces when they earn their much-deserved respect.

  10. 10
    ormandy says:

    Great clip! The band rocked hard and Ian really sounded great.

  11. 11
    Jetze says:

    I’ve been to many concerts of Deep Purple and have one request for Mr.Gillan: Please do “Child in time” just for one more time. Maybe on the 19th of November in Luik???????????????

  12. 12
    Andy says:

    Child in time is a very ”heavy” song to sing.Once someone asked mr.Gillan how does he produce the very effective screaming in it.He said:”I haven’t the faintest idea how I manage it,although lots of people regard it as incredible and ask me how it is done.It’s simply a vocal effect and I do it every night on stage considerably endangering my health.I’ve never had any special training but I think it helps that I wear very tight trousers!”(from the CD Deep Purple in Rock,anniversary edition).

  13. 13
    George says:

    Child In Time has the best vocal performance of all time. That’s why i consider IG to be the best vocalist of all time (according to his 1970-1980 years carrieer). no Robert Plant (though he is amazin’) no Fredie Mercury (though he was amazin’) no DIO and no other is above IG.

    in 2006 IG said, that he could do Child in time again, but as he said singing this song is too painful, “during singing CIT i had such pain on throat and even on my stomach and chest, i thought i would die”. so, as IG added, if he try now to sing CIT on the highest notest, he will be brought to hospital.

    that’s sad 🙁

  14. 14
    sterling says:

    MOrse’s playing actually detracts from Gillan’s singing, suppressing the plaintive, sorrowful nature of the vocals. I’d almost rather have the song stripped down to its bare essentials, letting each player do what they do best.

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    When your voice is leaving, please close the door…..
    Because I can’t take it anymore………
    I m a sensitive man…..
    When your voice is leaving….

    O God, there ain’t no sadder tale…….

  16. 16
    George says:

    purplepriest1965, no, better version:

    My voice is leaving, closing door,
    Ican’t sing better, anymore.
    Hear me screaming, I’m standing on the stage.
    Whether I’m drunk or dead I really ain’t too sure.

    I’m Ian Gillan, I’m Ian Gillan and my voice is great.
    When Ian Gillan sings, Lord, you know there ain’t no better song.

    I’m a great man, I’m a great man, now my voice is old.
    When a Gillan screams, Lord, you know he feels it from his soul.

  17. 17
    T says:

    The introduction was faithful to the Lord era and the vocals to the opening verses had a timbre similar to the old days. The middle scream has always been Ian’s forte–ironically, better than the soft oo-oo-oo’s–and sounded fantastic. Morse started off a little slow in his solo and got better as he went along. The spirit of the song was maintained.

    As for the final scream, let’s not forget that Mr. Gillan is over sixty years old and has been singing this song successfully on an off since 1969. It was still good enough to be performed, and although he didn’t hit the highest register, the song worked and most of us would have loved to have been there to see this–despite the minor accomodation.

    To the naysayers, negative nellies and like-minded individuals, Ian didn’t nail this song every single night. Plenty of 70’s performances show this. The 1970 In Concert recording from the BBC comes to mind–and there are others.

    Therefore, although age is a factor–and let’s face it, you can’t stop the aging process–this performance is still remarkable for *any* date. If this song is never performed live again, then this is a historic video.

  18. 18
    big al says:

    awesome footage… well done ian. you never know with purple they may do it again. luckily for me I saw em do it 3 times with blackmore but I would love to see it played with morse.

  19. 19
    Joanna says:

    Many thanks. I never had any opportunity to hear this song live. Ian couldn’t sing it in Vilnius… I’m glad to hear how he managed to sing it nowadays. He did! Very well sung.

  20. 20
    Scratchplate1 says:

    Marvellous to hear this again…Well done Ian!! to all those people who underestimate his contribution to Purple and who give all credit to Ritchie (who is by the way the greatest) I heard the Bombay Calling song for the first time the other day and I’m afraid to say it is exactly the same in terms of verse chord structure and keyboard melody (not really sure how Purple got away with this one!!) But what makes the song so different apart from the solos, is Ians incredible vocal. He was definitely lagely responsible for there success in those days, because they were huge (I lived through it!) and his incredible voice and charismatic good looks made them so marketable.

  21. 21
    rascal says:

    Well ‘Priest’, Gillans voice might not be what it once was. Age has taken its toll on his mighty voice.

    But whats Blackmores excuse??

  22. 22
    purplepriest1965 says:

    For what should Blackers excuse himself?

    The fact that he left DP and their unprofessional singer?(Mind You, IG was one of my GODS!!!)
    That he’s playing music now which can bore the hell out of you, well sometimes……?
    I think he can STILL terribly well, even better than during 84-90, or do you think his playing has gone downhill?
    Or are you referring to his off nights during the years?
    Or that you really think he sucks now in comparison with Mister Morse?

  23. 23
    Rascal says:

    Unprofessional singer? Very amusing……………………

    Has Blackmores playing ‘gone down hill’? Difficult to tell cos for the last ten years he hasnt produced anything comparable with the previous 30 years!

    ‘Nights off during the years’? Playing with his back to the audience, not playing at all………mmmm I guess you could call that UNPROFESSIONAL!!

    ‘Sucks in comparison to Morse’ Two different styles, two different guitarists……… couldnt possibly compare the two.

  24. 24
    George says:


    again “BlackomreVSMorse conversation” ???

    So, DEEP PURPLE is band, which alwasy had the greatest guitarist of the temporary time.

    Ritchie Blackmore was greatest guitarist in his time: 1970-1980 and he belonged to DP, Ritchie is old school of guitar.


    now it’s 2007. The world was surprised by another GREAT guitarists and the GREATEST with them is Steve Morse. Steve is greatest among the new school of guitar, virtuous guitarist. Steve is the whole orchestra. greatest in temporary time AND Deep Purple again owns the BEST guitaris STEVE MORSE.

    So, Ritchie was greatest in old years, BUT nowadays, currently, greatest is NOT Ritchie, but Steve (Who was named as WORLD’s BEST GUITARIST for 5 times).


  25. 25
    Flying Wolf says:

    I was at this gig! we all were curious “who’s that technician behind the keyboards?” After the concert when we were going down in underground I was told that he was Don Airey. Some guy from Rainbow. At that time we didn’t know him well. I knew that he used to play with Ritchie. Ruturning to CIT I remember that I was amazed how good IG sang it. My father even told me that it was phonogram. I laughed.

  26. 26
    Rascal says:

    If youd bothered to read the above George you would see that I quite clearly typed ‘couldnt possibly compare the two’…………………………………

    Lets face it…………………everyone knows the answer to that!!!

  27. 27
    SEEK ! says:

    It sounded great, thanks…

  28. 28
    Ger, Assen, Netherlands says:

    Again and again negative comments (rascal ?). Anyone who could do better than Gillan or the other dp-members > please STAND up and perform for me !! And the comparison blackmore-morse : I’m getting sick of it. Blackmore is gone, his own choice, and not relevant for todays dp anymore.
    And Morse is in dp today and that’s relevant TODAY.

  29. 29
    purplepriest1965 says:

    First :

    RB irrelevant for DP today?
    You are nuts.
    If they would quit playing HIS songs, they would not draw these amount of people. People who, generally, are quite stupid themselves because they only want the Machine Head thing………
    Second, Morse the best guitarplayer of this time?!
    Yeah, right. ……..
    Third, you can’t compare RB’s playing with what he did before?
    What’s that nonsense? If you would have visited his shows, you could hear the SUPERIORITY still there while (there it is)playing on the ELECTRIC GUITAR.
    That’s the playing. You can’t serously be a DP fan and say Morse his ability to write songs equals that of RB’s?!
    I m not a musician, probably you are neither? So there is no such thing as a BEST…….

    (Just reminding myself to correct wrong thinking.Maybe you should as well….)

  30. 30
    T says:

    What is remarkable about Blackmore and Morse is their technicality of late.

    It’s been generally agreed on this site that Morse is technically superior to Blackmore.

    However, since playing in Blackmore’s Night, Ritchie’s playing has also become technically brilliant–more so than ever. The runs, arpeggios and solos in general are clear and consistant and extremely clean–and it is much more difficult to reach that clarity with an acoustic guitar sans all that sustain to hide behind. Hit a clunker on an electric, and you can make it work. It even sounds *good* at times. A clunker on an acoustic is just a clunker.

    As far as technique is concerned, Blackmore has never been better.

    But as we have seen, the “technical” sense does not mean as much as one might think. Many of you are disappointed in Blackmore for his new approach; others do not like Morse because he *does* tend to be so technically brilliant and lacks the chaotic crunch and unpredictability of vintage Blackmore.

    Personally, I enjoy them both and do not have a problem with either one. I consider myself “lucky” in that regard. I’ve made a Blackmore mix I call “Man in Black” and a best of Morse-era I call “Morse Code” and I can’t get enough of either one! Not more of the same…they are very different! I’ve even dug out my old Tommy Bolin stuff.

    But currently, the two guitarists have more in common in regard to technique than they’ve ever had in the past. We’ll never prove who is “better”.

    But we have our favorites. 😉

  31. 31
    Rascal says:

    If anyones in doubt as to whether they are a serious DP fan, go ask ‘Priest’, and let him decide for you!! (wrong thinking)

    Remember though, ‘Priest’ aint a musican, he’s just lives in a Blackmore Fantasy World.

  32. 32
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Well allright then……….what about some more spilled words on Mister Rascal………

    Right now I live in a world filled with music by RIVERSIDE, a great Polish band. I also like cats, travelling, photography, languages, women, wine, sunshine, gardening, philosophy, history, psychology and much more music by Lucette van den Berg, Kamelot……….

    DO YOU REALLY KNOW ME? I do not think so.
    Neither do I know you.
    And It seems we do not feel the need to change that anymore……..

    We are just blabbering about in this fishbowl…….


  33. 33
    Rascal says:

    ‘Priest’……………….’Blabbering about in this fishbowl’…………good analogy.

    You are right……….we dont know each other………………

    We obviously cant agree on Blackmore!!

    But we can certainly agree on ‘wine, women, travel, photography, sunshine, history, and gardening’.

  34. 34
    Ger, Assen, Netherlands says:

    Well, well, there’s a beginning of a romance between purplepriest1965 and
    Rascal. This blog is a superb one !!!! Nice, nice hahahaha.
    Cheers and bottoms up people ;)) And stay in love with DP please ……..

  35. 35
    George says:


    again Ritchie VS Blackmore?

    so, i’ll say shortly:

    RB was the world greatest in the 1970-1980
    Steve Morse is considered to be one of the world greatest in 1980-1990 and IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE GREATEST GUITARIST AFTER 2000. Steve was named as world’s greatest guitarist by the “Guitar Player” magazine.

  36. 36
    True Believer says:

    Anyway. back to the jist of this forum….Gillans performance and Steves Guitar work on this track is memorable. I have an old album at home called 24 Carrot Purple, its pretty old. It has a live version of “Sweet Child in Time” on it, probably lifted from “Live In Japan”, I think. That version is the best I have heard, better than the studio version on “In Rock”. Gillans voice and Blackmores scintilating guitar work sent shivers up my spine and to this day I can’t recall anything by Blackmore better than that performance and Iv’e listened to lots of his work. Blackmore is an old man now, well 63 is not ancient but we probably will never be blessed with seeing this genius strut his stuff, playing the kind of music most of us on this site are into. Steve is willing to do that for us and i’m gratefull for that.

  37. 37
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Sorry, I m only into women who are insane, not men……

    Comparing Steve’s version with the Live in Japan is beyond anything, just plain ridicilous.

    FUCK Guitar Player magazine.. It says much about theire integrity…….

    Every fule(…) should know that……..

    I m not in love with Deep Purple, my heart is broken………
    by a woman………

    Ger, please stay in Assen…far away from me……….

  38. 38
    purplepriest1965 says:

    And saying this BLOG/site/forum is superbe reminds me of something….
    Ian Gillan said that to the audience after an evening of hoarse singing, forgetting the lyrics and not caring that people were fighting in the front row before his eyes.
    The only irony was that it seemed to happen during the song The Battle Rages On(1993)

  39. 39
    True Believer says:

    Steve’s version is no where near as good as Blackmore,s on live in Japan. I dont think i said that in my comment!

  40. 40
    purplepriest1965 says:

    In other words : What kinda drugs are you on?
    Just coffee, like me? Or…..?

  41. 41
    purplepriest1965 says:

    True believer, go to bed?
    Don, t you have a job?
    A life?

  42. 42
    Rascal says:

    Priest…………………..youve broken my heart.

  43. 43
    Cranberry says:

    re: Purple Priests comment – ‘FUCK Guitar Player magazine’

    Surely Morse won this title (5 times) based presumably on readers votes, which I guess is a decision based on their opinions.

    No doubt you would have commented differently if said ‘readers’ had voted for Mr. Mandolin?

    Your comment says little for your integrity.

    Examine your ‘wrong thinking’.

  44. 44
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Was it not Frank zappa who said that most people would not recognise QUALITY even it bit them in their ass?

    He was probably talking about a mainly Americain audience?

    Like RB said : “Everything with the name tag DP on it gets their attraction, but when it, s called Rainbow, Whitesnake or Gillan they do not care. And…..IMO those bands play music like DP………”

    I must admit I admire a lot of Americain music artists, but generaly spoken they and their audienceunderline the impression(…) we have of them in Europe………..

    Never really wanted to identify completely with a bunch of mindless hardrockers or metalheads(even worse)at concerts.
    I ust admit to shame myself often when I see them. …….

    And still I fell in love(…) at the age of 12 with lots of heavy music………
    But that’s different……….
    I like a small percentage, the rest is garbage………

  45. 45
    Steve Brightman says:

    I too am a Purple fan from the days when they recorded for tetragrammation records. I loved their version Kentucky Woman and after that i was hooked. I owned a copy of ‘Made in Japan’ and too me the version of CIT on the studio album was far greater. Just like the studio versions to Stairway to Heaven and Lucky Man (Emerson Lake and Palmer) were superior to the live. I have seen Purple and they are wonderful even today. Give me version II of Purple any day though.

  46. 46
    Cranberry says:

    Brilliant version of ‘Child In Time’, and a song I imagine is sorely missed by audiences the world over. And not surprisingly a song that a 60+ can understandably no longer attempt.

    Fortunately I havent plunged to the vast depths of sadness, and therefore I am unable to select many ‘anecdotes & comments’ from opinionated rock gods (or should that be dogs). I am able to think for myself.

    I like a small percentage of what is termed ‘rock music’, the rest isnt to my taste.

  47. 47
    T says:

    That is an interesting assertion because I also listen to a very select list of rock music, and I know people who also mainly listen to DP and its related family without being able to stomach much of anything else out there.

  48. 48
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Graet loves of mine these days :

    Tracy Bonham



    Lucette van den Berg(Dutch singer doing Jiddish songs, also DUTCH songs)

    Ane Brun

    Lots of JS Bach

    Glenn Hughes rocks my socks off since the early 90’s

    Dead Can Dance

    And lots more……..

    But (Mainly Old…)DP and related is my core

  49. 49
    Ger, Assen, Netherlands says:

    About another great singer besides Gillan :
    ” Kaz Lux ” , a former (yes !) blues/bluesrock-singer.
    In earlier days frontman of Brainbox.
    Tip : album ‘Eli’ of Kaz Lux and Jan Akkerman (great dutch guitarplayer)

    So, I’ve laid my dutch egg, hahaha 😉 🙂

  50. 50
    T says:

    Glenn Hughes since the 90’s, oh absolutely.

  51. 51
    Jonathan Camio says:

    I think Gillan does an amazing job on that…it’s hard to believe that is was able to do that at 57!

    I’m sure he will do something great nowadays too…let’s hope!

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