This is a story from one of our writers and contributors Joe Geesin who also writes for Record Collector Magazine. It first appeared on our private Now Spinning Facebook Group but I felt it deserved a wider audience.
It shows what you can if you follow your heart! Phil Aston
Ian Gillan – A Story
After a couple of recent posts in the Now Spinning Community, and a nice rarity at the hands of Phil Aston, I thought I’d share this story as, without Ian Gillan, I probably wouldn’t be here now doing what I do.
In terms of hard rock bands, Gillan were my first love (before Deep Purple), and the first band I started collecting. While at University, I started reading Record Collector Magazine and I wrote to them pitching a feature, I had a passion and a lot of rarities, and they’d already covered Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath. They liked the idea and within a month or two of finishing Uni I got a phone call from the editor with the commission.
I made enquiries with Gillan’s management and next thing I know I get a phone call from Ian Gillan saying he was on tour but was interested in doing the interview!
So there I was, 1990 (maybe 1991), 21 years old, and I was in a bar in Soho sharing a pint with Ian Gillan and discussing his solo career!
He was out of Deep Purple then and I’d recently seen him on his Naked Thunder tour at Brighton, where I also got to meet Ted McKenna and Chris Glen (I’d seen him at Edwards No 8, Birmingham, on his Garth Rockett tour).
A year later his manager gave me a free ticket for his London Marquee show on the Toolbox tour (met Janick Gers in the audience, and spent ages talking with Mick Box from Uriah Heep about a very drunken Japanese tour).
The feature appeared in 1993, by which time I’d been commissioned for a Nazareth feature (and we all know where that led).
I’ve since worked with Bernie Torme and John McCoy, I first met them (with Colin Towns) at Paul Samson’s funeral, and Mick Underwood is a drinking friend whenever I visit London. John once asked his record label for me to write the sleevenotes after he’d liked a few of my reviews.
Pictured here are two promo only 12″ singles, both cost me 50p each at a market. The first is a sampler for the Ian Gillan Band Live At The Budokan album, a UK promo for an album not issued in the UK at the time (although a catalogue number was assigned), and a promo for the Mr Universe album.
The only reason Mr Universe didn’t sell more was that the label went bust after the album hit #11 in the charts on its first week of release.
This is how my passion started.
Joe Geesin | Now Spinning Magazine