A Breath of Fresh Air Apr 2

Written by on 04/01/2024

A Breath of Fresh Air With Sandy Kaye
Tuesdays 1pm EST
and Fridays 8pm EST

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an Gillan was one of the foremost vocalists of the heavy metal style of rock that emerged in the ‘70s, earning his greatest celebrity as a member of Deep Purple despite the fact that he also led his own bands. Ian began singing while still in his teens and was a member of several pub rock bands.  It was in one of these that he met bass player Roger Glover, and the two were invited to join Deep Purple in 1969. They debuted with the band in London of the same year. Ian Gillan’s voice was the making of Deep Purple and he was featured on a series of hugely successful recordings including Fireball, Machine Head, Made in Japan and Who Do We Think We Are. He also starred on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s concept album Jesus Christ Superstar where he sang the title role. That album topped the U.S. charts in 1971.

Ian Gillan recorded and toured the world relentlessly in those days until he was hospitalised for exhaustion in 1971. He decided to take leave of the band and, just as he left, “Smoke on the Water” from Machine Head began making its way up the U.S. charts, where it would peak in the Top Five and go gold, becoming Deep Purple’s biggest ever career hit.

These days Ian Gillan remains at the helm of Deep Purple and the album “Machine Head – Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition” has just been released. Despite all the nostalgia and the loss of his wife a couple of years ago, Ian Gillan is again looking forward. He is currently living on the coast in Portugal and is at work on the band’s next studio album – number 23 – with his long-time band mates Roger Glover and Ian Paice. The 78 year old is getting set for yet another Deep Purple tour that’s about to kick off in Australia.

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