DEEP PURPLE Frontman Talks About 40th Anniversary Solo CD

DEEP PURPLE frontman Ian Gillan recently spoke to's Garry Sharpe-Young about his upcoming album "Gillan's Inn" — a celebration of Ian's 40th year on the road, featuring remakes of tracks spanning Ian's entire career. An excerpt from the chat follows: Ex-SCORPIONS man Uli Jon Roth, a genius on the guitar but not one to usually step outside of his own bubble [makes an appearance on the album]. How did you come to work with Uli?

Ian Gillan: "That one was just down to good timing actually. Uli came down to see us playing in Plymouth and, as often happens, musicians say to each other, 'If ever you need me…' Most times these conversations don't go anywhere beyond the pleasantry, but this time I could fire straight back and say, 'Actually, Uli…' So, Uli gave me two marvelous solos for the record. Wait until you hear them, they are just wonderful." I was going to ask you if you considered any of the DEEP PURPLE catalogue too sacrosanct but that question became redundant as soon as I saw "Smoke on the Water", "Speed King" and "Demon's Eye" listed.

Ian Gillan: "Well, 'Smoke on the Water' is a big, big part of my history and a big part of why I'm here and able to do what I do. I couldn't really ignore that, but at the same time, you have to recognize that a lot of those songs, [like] 'Smoke…', 'Child In Time', 'Highway Star', etc. are snapshots in time and cannot be improved. They are what they are. It would be foolish to try and recapture that magic, because you can't. So, what I did with 'Smoke on the Water' was to treat it respectfully, it's a fairly regular version, but use it as a showcase for some of the guitarists to work with. On there you have Jeff Healey, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani… The talent there is incredible." Now, with BLACK SABBATH's "Trashed" I sense your wicked sense of humor coming out. I remember distinctly the 1983 "Born Again" version of BLACK SABBATH, which you fronted, quickly being branded "Black Purple" by a scathing media. Now, two decades later you’re having the last laugh by truly creating "Black Purple" with yourself, Tony Iommi, Roger Glover and Ian Paice.

Ian Gillan: "How could I resist? Look, I love that record and have nothing but great, great memories of my time with BLACK SABBATH. Tony was really busy but got his solos to me at the last minute as he promised and they are just fantastic. I think BLACK SABBATH fans will be over the moon when they hear what he's done. As for Roger and Ian, well, they just sound great on this song so it really did become 'Black Purple'. Personally, I love the irony of it all."

Read the entire interview at


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