1977: Ian Gillan’s turbulent year
Detail from the cover of the Ian Gillan Band's Osaka 1977 live album
Following the demise of Deep Purple Mk II in 1973, Ian Gillan retired from music to pursue outside interests, including a racing motorcycle business and a hotel.
Coerced back on stage by Purple band-mate Roger Glover for a guest appearance at the Butterfly Ball in 1975, the frontman elected to make a comeback.
He formed the Ian Gillan Band and released a formative album, Child In Time, the following year.
In 1977 the IGB put out not one but two albums: Clear Air Turbulence (April) and Scarabus (October).
Babylon might’ve been burning, but Gillan stood defiantly above the gob-spattered hordes and decided to play… jazz-rock-fusion instead!
The IGB: Colin Towns, Mark Nauseef, Ian Gillan,
John Gustafson, Ray Fenwick
Why the jazz-rock-fusion direction?
I don’t know exactly, it was all a bit chaotic. To start off with we didn’t really have any direction at all, because nobody knew what they were doing.
Of course, my hero Johnny Gustafson was in the Ian Gillan Band. I didn’t know him as a bass player at first; I just admired his incredible voice. He was in the Big Three and The Merseybeats; he was a bloody awesome singer. We also had Ray Fenwick on guitar and Mark Nauseous [Nauseef], the drummer.