August 21, 2006

Deep Purple frontman tries new writing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British singer and songwriter Ian
Gillan, the frontman of the rock band Deep Purple, is trying
his hand at a new form of writing -- a novel.

Gillan, 61, said he had already lined up a publisher for
his novel, which is a political thriller titled "Wessex."

"This is my one and only novel. This really is a labor of
love. It's the only idea I have ever had for a book which has
inspired me to write it," Gillan told Reuters in an interview
on Monday while on a solo tour on North America called "Smoke

"But writing is a hobby. I write every day. One of my
greatest pleasures is writing on my Web site."

Gillan said he expected the book would be controversial.

"A lot of wrong things have become the law and this affects
people very deeply," he said. "This book is based on my own

Gillan said he also signed a deal last week with a British
company to remaster and re-release the five solo albums that he
produced during the 1970s and 1980s. This should happen later
this year.

His latest solo album, "Gillan's Inn," was released earlier
this year to mark his 40-year career. Its title is consistent
with the theme of "Gillan's Inn" being a roving pub band where
others come out to jam with Gillan.

As part of this theme, Gillan launched an online contest in
which people can record their own vocals and/or guitar for a
new version of Deep Purple's song "Smoke On The Water" which
was first released in 1972. The winner gets a trip to Las Vegas
to perform with Gillan.

"Am I sick of that song? I have never been fed up with it,"
said Gillan. "When you get a song that has become public
property we just become the backing group for the audience."