Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Ian Gillan

Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan turns 65 today - wow, 65! I have loved Purple since I first heard them back in high school. I recall heading to the used record store (Streetlight Records in San Jose, California), coming home with In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and of course Live In Japan.

I was ultra fired up when the Mark IV version reunited in the 80s and put out the fantastic Perfect Strangers album and the pretty good House of the Blue Light follow up. I saw both supporting tours and was blown away each time.

Back in the 80s, Gillan had just wrapped up his short stint with Sabbath on the Born Again album and tour. I did not see that tour but that crazy album still holds a place in my metal heart. It's when the band started to jump the shark but Gillan's screech went over pretty well and who can argue the intensity of Zero the Hero, Trashed and the title track?

On those Purple tours, I could tell Gillan's voice was starting to give him problems. After Child In Time, he'd take a break while the guys did an instrumental, and he coughed a fair amount onstage. I am pretty sure he has not sung that song in years.

I was also stoked to learn Gillan played the role of Jesus on the studio LP of Jesus Christ Superstar prior to the movie and Ted Neeley's still-chugging-along-as-a-65-year-old-Jesus run at the role.

Anyway, what a great career and it's still going! Gillan just told VH1 Radio: “I think time, obviously, catches up with everyone, but it’s certainly not something we’re planning at the moment, everyone’s in pretty good shape. I don’t think we specifically try hard. We all had a pretty healthy life.”

Here's a nugget from back in the day. Happy Birthday Ian!

Child In Time:


VoxMoose said...

Very nice. I'd be dead after that first power scream -- or have a lung on the floor. He still kicks it up a notch after that. Flippin' brilliant. He is rubbing his sinuses after that last verse, though. Even vocal gods have their physical limitations.

Dr. John said...

Have Ian on the JCS soundtrack. Excellent job at the voice of Jesus: "Get out, they're waiting. Get oooooouuuuuuuutttttt!!!!!..." Pure bliss...