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Ian Gillan Slams Royalty Payments: ‘How Many Albums Have Deep Purple Sold? About 11 or 12’

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Ian Gillan recently said that his royalty payments suggest Deep Purple have sold “11 or 12” albums throughout their career. The dry comment appears in the first of a new video series titled About the Band, which was launched to promote the group’s latest album, Infinite, which arrived last month. In the same clip, other members of Deep Purple compare being onstage to having children, while bassist Roger Glover reveals his worst-ever performance moment.

Asked how many albums Deep Purple have sold in their long career, singer Gillan says, “No idea. Not a clue. According to the royalties I’ve received, I would say 11 or 12.” Keyboardist Don Airey offers a slightly more helpful answer, noting, “My publisher tells me they think it’s close to 150 million – which I found slightly ludicrous. But if it’s true, it’s pretty amazing.” “More than 10,” chimes in drummer Ian Paice, “and less than 500 million.”

Glover is asked if there’s anything he would never tell his bandmates, and he says that the members are “pretty open with each other, after all these years. There’s not much to hide.” Gillan then takes the opportunity to accuse Paice of having “cultivated” smelly feet “so he could have his own room” on tour.

Glover also recounts a moment onstage that took place when he and Gillan were members of Episode Six, before they joined Deep Purple. “We used to do ‘Light My Fire’ with a dramatic slow-motion fight,” Glover recalls. “I’m Everyman and I die, and Gillan was the god who raised me up again, and I reached up from the stage, held by guitar like a cross, came to life again and did a big scream, and the music thundered back in.”

Except, that is, at a show in Manchester around 1966. “Just before the scream everyone was looking at me and laughing,” Glover remembers. “I had these flowery bell-bottoms, very tight, and the zip was undone. So all the drama went out of it. I realized, I looked down and saw myself hanging out. Fortunately I had underwear on.”

In the second clip from the series, the band members discuss their first steps into music and their hidden talents. Paice reveals his favorite untrue story about himself — a YouTube clip called “Drunk Ian Paice.” “It makes me laugh,” he says.

You can watch the second clip below.

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