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Water under the bridge

Bernie TormŽe, Red Lion, Gravesend; photo Trudi Knight, image courtesy of bernietorme.co.uk

Norwegian based webzine Eternal Terror has a new extensive interview with Bernie Tormé. The conversation covered a lot of ground, from Bernie’s latest solo work Blackheart, to his thoughts on the state of the music industry, to reminiscing on replacing Randy Rhoads in Ozzy’s band, to his time with Gillan:

I remember reading somewhere that while the Gillan band did really well in terms of touring and selling records and so on, the whole thing was in actual fact a financial disaster. Any truth to that?

BT: The Gillan band was total managerial and financial chaos. It ran well at the beginning when I joined. Colin Towns was running it then, but that all changed as soon as we got the Acrobat recording deal and it was taken out of Colin’s hands. We had no management up to when I left the band, and it was totally unclear as to where money was being spent. It was basically all being filtered through Ian’s companies by various dodgy people who may or may not have been working in their own interests more than Ian’s. Apart from that Ian also had big personal money problems at the time and was not averse to regarding all money as solely his and nothing to do with the band. It was a complete mess. There were also some people in the band just out for their own good at the expense of others. It was the worst run situation imaginable. Just before I left Ian appointed his agent, Phil, who had never managed anyone, as his manager. Not as the band’s manager, we were never asked, just as his manager (though some members of the band seemed confused about that). The blurring of the distinction between Ian and the band was something that was continually used to give reasons as to why there were no royalties as had been originally promised and agreed. Phil’s main skill to qualify as Ian’s manager seemed to me to be that he said ‘yes’ to anything Ian wanted. He was nice guy and did his best, but it was a complete joke; he would literally say one thing to us and the opposite to Ian. He’d make you happy for a very short period of time until you realised it was total complete bullshit. He was in truth completely out of his depth, up shit creek without a paddle, trying to please everybody and pleasing no one (apart from Ian, understandably enough, because Ian was paying his wages!). There was no management there running anything. It was stupid and short-sighted, but it is all a very long time ago. We all had lots of fun. I made a name out of it for which I am eternally grateful to Ian, so all of this is water long gone under the bridge now, and all the money is long spent and life is too short to be bitter. Who cares?! I have no hard feelings against anyone, and I consider all of Gillan my good friends, though I do see some of them more often than others, but I love ‘em all. It was a great experience, wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Read more in Eternal Terror.

Thanks to Jens Nepper for the info.

4 Comments to “Water under the bridge”:

  1. 1
    kraatzy says:

    … but LIVE … they where incredible awesome good …
    I ve seen them in Germany, Bremerhaven, Kraftwerk (LiveClub) at Feb. 1980

    wow 🙂


    LL Big Ian


  2. 2
    Arthur says:

    Well said, I liked Gillan (the band) but it did always look like it operated on a shoestring compared to other bands of the time, not least Rainbow and Whitesnake.

  3. 3
    Ivica says:

    Mr. Universe great album

  4. 4
    Moreblack says:

    Great band!!!English rock at its best!!!I miss so much that period.

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