The Autobiography of Deep Purple's Lead Singer
by Ian Gillan with David Cohen
Blake Pub / ISBN 1-85782-320-6 / Released: November 1, 1998
Every second of my life is interesting to me. The most difficult job is finding bits which might be interesting to share with you, but I've done my best. Of course I'm most popularly known as the singer of Deep Purple - the band I first fronted on that tiny stage at the Speakeasy, July 10 1969, and with whom our new album, Abandon, is released thirty years on.
However I know I'd not be where I am now had it not been for the many fine people I've met along the way, and the other bands I worked with - The Javelins, Episode Six, Black Sabbath and Gillan. This book is dedicated to each and every one of them, to my fans and to rock'n'roll!
Ian Gillan is not known for being a friend of Ritchie Blackmore. Still they have been working together for several years. In the end, November 1993 to be precise, when Ritchie left Deep Purple it all came to an end. Before they already clashed with their personalities. So it was interesting to see what Ian Gillan should write about Ritchie in his autobiography. Ian is in most places in this book pretty mild about The Man in Black. It's not a slagging off Ritchie all over the place at all.
Although it's very clear that Ian is not too fond of Ritchie, there are some positive passages in this book. And there are some anecdotes, which are worth alone the just over 5 nicker I paid for this. For example there's the (true or not?) story of how Ritchie left after the Birmingham 1993 show (the water incident show, known from the "Come Hell or High Water" DVD).
I cannot begin to explain what Ritchie had in mind that night, whether he was aware of what was going on, or whether he was just hyper 'mind-fucked' and super tense, as he can be. Could the sight of some people with cameras really have upset him that much, or was it premeditated for his own inexplicable reason? I'm told (through Darker than Blue) that around midnight, the Badger's Den door opened, and he was seen being led out by a girl holding a lead, with a dog collar round his neck! He was dressed in his long black leather coat, and was wearing his roadie's witch mask which was sometimes used by the assistant on stage, plus a witch's hat! If that is true, it is also sad.
Whether you like Ian Gillan or not, this book is a nice and good read. As it has been released already in 1998 it's not up to date with the recent Deep Purple years. But who gives a damn about that here, it covers the more important years when Ritchie was in the band. And that's when Deep Purple was a lot more interesting than today. Short summary:
290 pages including discography plus 8 pages of Colour photos .
Rating: **** [4 out of 5]