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There were no goodbyes

Couple of weeks ago Team Rock did a small feature focusing on Big Ian talking about the truly sad state of affairs in the band surrounding his departure in 1973. Here is the quote:

It was bizarre, actually. Because I had actually handed in my letter of resignation to the band months earlier, while we were in Dayton, Ohio. I told them in this letter that I intended to leave Purple at the end of the next tour. But, at the time nobody said anything at all to me about my decision. We just got on with making the new album Who Do We Think We Are and then we went out on the road.

We went to Japan in June 73, and the last date was in Osaka on the 29th. That was the end of the touring schedule, and therefore my final show with the band. Still no-one said a word to me. We got onstage, did the gig, and… well, that was it! I left the venue on my own, and went back the hotel. There were no goodbyes from anybody connected to Purple. None of the other four in the band, none of the crew, nobody from the management. It was almost as if it had been swept under the carpet. As I said, the whole thing was bizarre. I never expected a farewell gift or an emotional outburst from anybody, but just to ignore the whole thing was really weird.

I never said anything after the gig. It just didn’t feel right that I should say something. The atmosphere at the time in Purple was just horrible, and for me it was just such a relief to have it all done and dusted. To understand what was going on in the band you’d need to be a trained psychologist. Everyone in the line-up at the time behaved like an asshole – and I am including myself here. I was as bad as the rest of them.

What wasn’t helping us at the time was that a lot of other people got involved, and they had agendas which meant we were worked to the bone. If we had been able to take a break, then maybe it could have been worked out. But we were on a treadmill, and I got to the point when I just had to leave. Which is why I gave in my notice by letter.

Maybe none of the other guys knew what t say to me, and I certainly didn’t know what to say to them. So that night in Osaka we all acted as if nothing was going, and everything was fine. Which it clearly was not.

The next day, I left for the airport by myself, got on the flight alone and came back home. It was as if the moment I came offstage, I was no longer regarded as a member of the band. Therefore, I was left to fend for myself. But that was no problem. Once back in England, I half expected somebody from the band to phone. However, nobody did. They’d moved on. Eventually, Roger Glover did call some time later, to tell me he’d been fired from Purple.

Thanks to the Deep Purple Tour Page for the heads up.

15 Comments to “There were no goodbyes”:

  1. 1
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Weird time for sure…. still hard to fathom this situation when the band was at their highest point. This does bring me back to a point I tried to make here a long time back. Gillan left in 1973. The Movie “Jesus Christ Super Star” came out in 1973. He should have taken the opportunity to take the Lead Role as Jesus since he was no longer with Purple. He just disappeared up until Roger invited him to sing at the LIVE show of the Butterfly Ball in 1975. What a shame he didn’t hook up with movie producer and take that role to the Big Screen.

    Well Big Ian, you are now and have been “Captain of the Purple Ship” since 1994. You are a good steward and have kept it alive and well with help of the rest of the band and “WE TTTTHHHHAAAANNNKKKK YYYYOOOOUUUUU!!!!!”


  2. 2
    Wiktor says:

    The thing with Purple, and by “Purple” I mean Mk II, was that they were such good musicians… but not very clever… (compare to Led Zeppelin..LOL) To hand in a letter of resignation when the band is about to break BIG i America and around the World and the money is finally pouring in… is a little bit stupid no matter how tired of touring you are… And to wish for a new sound, a new direction, a new singer/singers like the man in black did at the time just shows how righ Ian Paice was when he said; “Be careful what you wish for”….. A year and half later with the new singers and the new sound
    Mr Blackmore said; “I had enough!!! Im leaving!!” Yes it was all bizarre… Gillan begun to release “bizarr” music that nobody (including Gillan) understood… The “new singer” formed Whitesnake… a kind of “keep up the spirit boys” kind of band…. The man in Black saved the day and his selfrespect by releasing “Rainbow Rising”……… An album thats up there with “In Rock and Machine Head”.
    “There were no goodbyes” Gillan says….. well.. at the time… I cant blame the band…………………………………………………….

  3. 3
    michael mazur says:

    If only they could have had some down time. This line up could have really ruled the music world for a long time.

  4. 4
    Purpoz says:

    Weird indeed!

    Given the timing of Glover’s phone call to Gillan, I wonder if he (Glover) knew he was leaving the band at the time of the Osaka gig or if he found out later. I always thought both the guys knew the Japan gigs were their last…

  5. 5
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Emotions are fragile…. but you turned out alright Ian!.

  6. 6
    kraatzy says:

    Yeah, that is (PURPLE-)buisiness … only MORE money make the (PURPLE-)world go round …
    When you are out, you are out …

    Why you wonder about that ??

    The same happend with Ritchie some years later …
    Oh stop – nearly the same … do you remember ???



  7. 7
    nupsi59 says:

    A very sad time…

    After spending 6 long weeks in Rome in July and recording “Woman from Tokyo” and “Painted Horse” for WDWTWA it’s amazing how astonishing the performances in Japan were, just one month later.

    It’s so sad that nobody spoke to Ian. Horrible politics…

    Anyway… have a nice Day!

  8. 8
    Milan says:

    You know, this is interesting. He says he handed in his resignation letter when they played in Dayton, Ohio. They played there twice in 1972 once in May and again in December. Now while December would sound more like it the part where he says they recorded the album after that (which was done in July and October) would suggest the May date.

    Now to think that not only the whole thing was carried with them and in silence among each other for over a whole year but also that Made In Japan was recorded knowing he practically already left the band and was only there to fulfill obligations makes listing to that album feel at least a little bit different.

    Can anyone confirm this? And do we know how early the rest of the band started looking for replacements (ie first Rodgers then Hughes and Coverdale?)

  9. 9
    The Mechanic Ted says:

    Sounds like he was expecting people to weep and beg him not to leave. Which considering how at that time everybody hated everybody had zero chance of happening. Like if I hate my boss and he says he is leaving in 3 months, what would I do on his last day? Would I say anything about him leaving? No, I will quietly wait till he is finally gone.

  10. 10
    Les Hedger says:

    In most interviews I’ve read, his resignation was handed in during the month of December 1972. Glover said he found out he was going to be fired from the band during the middle of June 1973 so he handed in his resignation at that time.

  11. 11
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    ZERO THE HEROOOOOOOO….. Gillan was and still is the VOICE of DEEP PURPLE. The Drama that existed back in their hay day is not too different from any other band of that time. The Record companies and Music Biz had their way with them. As with many others. Purple were great musicians and didn’t get the situation and their management didn’t come to their backing. LZ on the other hand did figure it our and played the game. Better management and promotion for sure…..

    Hey, DP is Here and NOW. LZ is DONE and OUT.

    Thank GOD for the actual musicians of DP keeping it ALIVE and WELL!!!


  12. 12
    Jeff Summers says:

    One of the great enigma’s of rock music. Not Ian leaving at such a crucial time in the bands career – we all know why he decided to leave, but the fact that the management allowed him to leave at this time. Do you think that Peter Grant would have allowed Robert Plant to leave Zeppelin within a year of the release of Led Zeppelin 4? Even if Jimmy Page insisted he would leave if Plant didn’t? No, he was too good a man manager and knew the golden goose would lay no more eggs without either of them. Why did the Purple management not do more to sort out the problem? The band members collective state of mind was obviously very unwell at the time and the two Johns should have appreciated that and acted in the right way on behalf of these young men. Edwards/Colletta were definitely to blame in my book, along with the ever unsettled Mr Blackmore of course…

  13. 13
    Karlos says:

    Blame the management, they flogged the band to death due to non stop touring and recording .If left to rest for 12 months Mk 2 would have survived for much longer, a shame!

  14. 14
    Michael says:

    @ 9.. How about try to save deep purple mkII..? What do you think..? Ted

  15. 15
    Rock Voorne says:


    Blackers did not fire Gillan in 1972.
    Ian did quit on his own accord.
    Later on he mentioned he felt they were stagnating musically.
    He said so in 1976, so I can hardly imagine that it was something else. After 3 years people tend to calm down emotionally and speak more objectively.

    I cannot imagine people in a band not speaking about this for 12 months!
    On the other hand, I ve experienced bizar episodes in my own life as well .
    I always felt that she and I could have dealt with it but I was wrong.
    Maybe Ian is wrong to think they d have managed to deal with it as well?
    Blackmore did not fire him but gillans behaviour got up his nose and he probably gave Gillan the evil eye.
    Blackmore at that moment, we ofcourse feel that hard to grasp, bored with Gillans voice.

    I cherish everything that came after, things like BURN, CTTB, but still think they were on their peak in 1972/1973.

    Yes, a wise management might have done some good.
    Probably thinking bands did not last that long way back, maybe just milk it?
    Now they exist very long and they are milking it as well.
    Well, ahhhhhhhhhhhh

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