Deep Purple’s Gillan Not A ‘Classic Rock’ Fan

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As Deep Purple is touring the U.S. on what might be considered a classic rock tour, the band’s Ian Gillan does not seem to be too crazy about the popularity of classic rock here.

Gillan says that the popularity of classic rock here in the U.S. has minimized any interest in new bananas material that classic rock bands are coming up with. He mentions an interview with his fellow Deep Purple band member Roger Glover that was conducted by a radio DJ in Buffalo, NY, in which the DJ reportedly ignored Glover’s attempt to engage her in discussion about the band’s 2003 album called Bananas in favor of talk about the band’s material from the seventies.

I don’t know about other classic rock fans, but I am very interested in new material that is released by my favorite classic rock groups. For example, Rush, a long-time favorite of mine, released a new album not long ago that seemed to attract plenty of media attention and the band is currently on tour in support of the new album. A new album that I happen to think is quite good, by the way.

The popularity that is still enjoyed by classic rock band like Rush, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and others strongly suggests that some of them have managed to retain their popularity through the years and continue to sell new albums despite the fascination we seem to have with more classic “classic rock” here in the U.S.

I think that Ian Gillan may just be looking for a good reason to explain album sales that may not be as robust as they were about three decades ago. He really should look beyond a single interview to prove his theory that our love of classic rock is responsible for the cool reception that some new albums by some older groups have been receiving in recent years. Maybe those new albums just aren’t that great.


  1. Louis August 20, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    I have to respectfully disagree that DPs recent albums are sub par, esp. Purpendicular (1996) and Rapture of the Deep (2005?). Gillan’s point is well taken in that “classic rock” radio only plays ther biggies from the 70s. If you haven’t given the newer material a chance – please do. You might be surprised. This comment comes from an ole timer that was 18 in 1968 when Hush made a hit. I have loved DP since. Rock on!!!!

  2. RealRockNews August 20, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for your comments, Louis. I was actually hoping to see some DP fans come by and stick up for their band.

    I’m not going to dispute the possibility that the newer DP stuff might be good, but in this case, as it is with music or any type of art, “good” is in the eye, or ear of the beholder.

    I have never been a DP fan, so what I think of their newer stuff is probably not all that relevant anyway. That’s why I said “maybe those new albums are not that great” and avoided a more judgmental sentiment — that was my intent anyway. It would not be fair for me to trash them without ever hearing them.

    However, I do still wonder — as I noted above — why bands that have been around a few decades like Rush or the Rolling Stones seem to generate a good buzz when they release a new album or go on tour and don’t seem to suffer as a result of Gillan’s theory about classic rock radio.

    Are these other classic rock groups that much more popular than DP and as a result, get more respect for their new stuff from classic rock radio than a group like DP? I think the answer is yes.

    Look at this Van Halen thing for instance. Granted, they have not been around as long as DP and got their start in the late 70’s if I am not mistaken. Still long enough to be considered a classic rock group. Anyway, this reunion thing with David Lee Roth is all over the place. Van Halen certainly does not seem to have much trouble generating a buzz.

    Before I ramble on forever here, I’ll agree that the failure of classic rock radio to talk much about some groups new material may have an effect on its popularity, but perhaps the reason that is happening is there just isn’t that much interest in some of those groups these days in the first place.

    Radio stations are in the business to make money and I have to presume that what they play and what they talk about is based on what listeners want, since more listeners means more money.

    As much as fans may not like it, some groups are just not able to pull in the money from album sales and tours that they once could.

    As a famous president once said, “I feel your pain.” As a long-time fan of Max Webster, I never understood why they never caught on here in the U.S. like their fellow Canadians, Rush.

    Alas, Max Webster has not been together for a while, so I envy you in the sense that DP is still around and still rocking.

  3. Matt December 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    As for what Gillan said about classic rock I kind of agree and disagree with him. For one I am glad that classic rock stations still play the old stuff…. but I would also like to hear their new stuff which for the most part is not getting a fair shake.

    If you are suggesting that DP’s more recent material isn’t that great then you obviously never had a good open minded listen or I wonder about what you consider good music. No band can match the players that DP has (or had) in their lineup and their last 3 albums prove that.

    The Rolling Stones are in a class by them selves and they can generate a buzz by just falling out of a tree. As for Rush and Van Halen, what little buzz they created was only because they are home town. I know that DP creates more buzz in every other continent.

    If DP had LZ’s management they would have been bigger than LZ.


  4. Real Rock News December 15, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Perhaps if you read the original post a bit more carefully, you would have noted that I said I have not heard any recent DP stuff, and since I was never a big DP fan, who knows if I ever will.

    You can yell from the rooftops about how great you think the DP players are all day, but really, hearing stuff like “No band can match the players that DP has (or had) in their lineup and their last 3 albums prove that” is typical of the fan nonsense you can hear from a number of people in any group’s fan base.

    I make it a point to stay out of the “my band is better than yours” pissing contests, since they are pointless.

    You listen to what you like and the rest of us will do the same, but please spare us the “no band can match” crap. I suggest you stick on a pair of headphones and crank up some DP and enjoy.

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