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Tuesday, 04 August 2009 20:54

1. What do you remember from the Sheffield live in 1983?

Honestly not much. I toured a lot in those days, so all the gigs melt into each other in memory! That particular tour was pretty stressful, since the line up of Colin Bond and Ron Rebel was only decided on a couple of days before the tour started. I remember we arrived late at the Sheffield gig ( we got lost and there was bad traffic) and did not have much of a soundcheck, which was worrying to all of us. I had a lot of friends/fans in Sheffield (Gillan had been very big in Sheffield and most of the north of England), and there was a lot of signing autographs  and hours of saying hello to people. I'm afraid I don't remember the gig at all.

2.  Have you changed anything from the original recordings , or add
any overdubbs?

No overdubs, you couldn't really match the sound, even if you wanted
to! Some of the links between songs have been edited, you know where
I did a bit of tuning up on guitar, or if the space between the songs
was too long. Nothing else has been changed. No audience was added,
the audience there was pretty good, so good in fact that I think some
of the audience was used on "Bernie Torme Live", which was recorded
about a week later than the Sheffield gig and was first released in
1984! Live Sheffield is the entire set in the order we played it, with
about 4 minutes of tune-ups and delays cut out. It was re eq'ed and
remastered, which improved the sound.

3. You' ve been both in Punk and Hard Rock scene, which elements
from these  music kinds attracts you more?

I love the energy of punk, and its rawness and honesty. I love its
attitude. I did a cover of the Sex Pistols "Pretty Vacant" on my last
CD "Scorched Earth". My current bass player John "JJ" Pearce, who's
been with me for 10 years, also plays with the Anti-Nowhere League. I
love the guitar playing in hard rock, also the energy ( which mostly
came from Punk anyway). I'm a rocker with Punk roots. I'm very proud
of my punk roots. But I love rock.

4. You are a Blues oriented musician and tried to base your music
around it , whatever you decided to play , right ?

I would not really call myself a blues player. Like my fellow
Irishman Gary Moore, I was brought up on Irish music and later,
rhythm and blues. That was bands like the Stones, Animals, Yardbirds
etc. Then I heard Clapton and Green with the Bluesbreakers, and later
Cream and also Hendrix. None of these were just "Blues" though, it
was a mixture. It was later on I heard real blues people like BB King
or Muddy Waters, so with the exception of BB King, I don't think the
real blues players had a lot of direct influence on me. But I do not
think that rock or hard rock or metal or punk could have existed
without the background of the blues. The chord progressions, scales,
melodies, band line up and instruments all came from blues. So we are
all blues orientated. But for example Whitesnake are much more blues
orientated then I am! I think it is all folk music and we are all
folk musicians. Also being Irish, stuff like Thin Lizzy and the Irish
stuff that their music grew out of is also a big influence.

5. You are known for your career in Ian Gillan Band , let us know
about how did it happen?

I knew John McCoy, we had played together in '75 in a band of mine
called "Scrapyard". That disintegrated, and years later I met John
McCoy after he had joined Ian. At that time I was in a punk band
called "The Bernie Torme Band". John offered me some gigs as support
band to Ian at a couple of University gigs. I did those gigs, and Ian
asked me to join him about a week or so later, I could not believe
it, I must have impressed him.

6. Why did you leave the band , what made up your mind about your
career then?

I left Gillan because it had ceased to be a band. When I joined we
had very little money, and we all worked very hard to make it happen.
The agreement was that there was going to be an equal share for
everyone. This never happened. To this day neither me, John, Colin,
or Mick have seen a penny in royalties from Ian or his manager.
I left because I did not think that Ian or his manager had any
intention of keeping their word and their side of the bargain, for
whatever reason. This was a feeling which was shared by John and
Colin. But they had children, and were worried about leaving. I felt
I would earn more out of the band than in. That turned out to be
true, and while money is not everything, it did help to pay the bills!

Because of the problems in the band at that time the music was also
starting to suffer. My leaving and Janick Gers joining was the best
thing that could have happened to Gillan at that time.

7. So, what's happening after Ian Gillan ?

The highlights are: First a band called the Electric Gypsies, which
was really a three piece punk Hendrixy sort of thing, where I could
play lots of guitar and enjoy myself, then I stood in for Randy
Rhoads in Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz following Randy's very sad
death. I also did Atomic Rooster with Vincent Crane and Paul Hammond,
which was a gas. Then a line up called Torme with Philip Lewis (Girl,
later LA Guns), and then after that I went to the US to work with Dee
Snider and Clive Burr in Desperado. After that I got very ill, and
took some time off that turned into about five years off! I then
started recording again, and released "Wild Irish" and more recently
"White Trash Guitar". These were 100% NEW albums. I also have
recently done two Silver albums with Gary Barden and Don Airey. I
also started gigging again about five years ago. But I'm not a

8. Do you prepare a new album?

Yes, but I'm still messing around with the songs. I'd like to do
something a bit different.

9. Do you plan to tour?

Not at present, I've done quite a lot over the last three or four
years, I think maybe again in a year or so. Maybe.

10. Do you feel a guitar hero ?