Prior to his impressive career as being the frontman of legendary Deep Purple, Ian Gillan played in some smaller bands. One of those was called The Javelins.
The singers states: “Who’d have thought it?! In the early 1960’s, you might have seen The Beatles doing Chubby Checker’s ‘Twist and Shout’ at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, or The Rolling Stones doing Chuck Berry’s ‘Come On’ at the Station Hotel in Richmond, and The Javelins doing Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Smokestack Lightning’ at Wistowe House in Hayes.
Nobody started off doing their own material; we all went through the process of paying our dues, learning the trade, absorbing influences, copying our heroes, soaking it all up and trying to put our own stamp on the material we borrowed unashamedly from American Pop, Soul, Country, Jazz and Blues artistes from across the pond.
Ray Charles, Buddy Holly, Lazy Lester, The Coasters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Sam Cooke almost certainly had no idea that all these English kids were soaking up their music and putting their own energies into it all.
Certainly, that is how I ‘found’ my voice in 1969, after years of copying Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Marvin Gaye, and so many others, including Arthur Brown. Yes, he of the amazing operatic voice first heard on ‘Fire’.
I owe a lot to Arthur Brown; he gave me the confidence to come out of my shell, so to speak. In other words, let it go, banish my inhibitions, forget about formulaic deliveries, loosen up and be myself.
Fortunately, this all coincided with my induction into the ranks of Deep Purple. The timing was perfect, the chemistry was alchemic; all we touched turned to gold. I was bringing my early influences to merge with those brought along by Jon, Ritchie, Ian P. and Roger.
Of course, none of us recognised it at the time, but Elvis was mingling with Beethoven, Chopin and Jimmy Smith, Big Jim Sullivan, Gene Krupa and Lonnie Donegan to name some of the most significant contributors to the Deep Purple identity.
These contemporary recordings (2018) by The Javelins are drawn from our set lists, circa 1963, when I was 18 years old. Now, a few years later, I have the privilege and joy of working with my old mates from the original group; Gordon Fairminer (Lead Guitar); Tony Tacon (Rhythm Guitar); Tony Whitfield (Bass Guitar); Keith Roach (Drums), as we make a long overdue L.P.
This is where it all started.”
Check out ‘Do You Love Me’, being a first teaser and bridge for the wait. ‘Ian Gillan & The Javelins’ will be released on August 31st and comes via earMUSIC.
01. Do You Love Me
02. Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
03. Memphis, Tennessee
04. Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)
05. High School Confidential
06. It’s So Easy!
07. Save The Last Dance For Me
08. Rock and Roll Music
10. Another Saturday Night
11. You’re Gonna Ruin Me Baby
12. Smokestack Lightnin’
13. Hallelujah I Love Her So
15. What I’d Say
16. Mona (I Need You Baby)
Photos: Dennis Dirksen (Promotion)