Ian Gillan Band

The Ian Gillan Band was an English hard-rock/funk group that released the album Child in Time on Polydor in 1976, followed by the 1977 Island releases Clear Air Turbulence and Scarabus. Their namesake frontman, once-and-future Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan, retained the services of keyboardist/co-writer Colin Towns in the followup act Gillan.

Members: Ian Gillan (vocals), Ray Fenwick (guitar), John Gustafson (bass), Mark Nauseef (drums), Mike Moran (keyboards, 1975-76), Colin Towns (keyboards, 1976-78)

Ian Gillan (b. Aug. 19, 1945) shot to fame as the frontman of Deep Purple, where he replaced original vocalist Rod Evans (later of Captain Beyond) in 1969. Between 1970 and 1973, he released four studio albums and a live double with Purple. His masculine tone and resonance on numbers like “Child In Time,” “Highway Star,” “Smoke On the Water,” and “Space Truckin'” helped raise the bar for a new generation of male rock vocalists.

After his June 1973 exit from Purple, Gillan delved into non-music business ventures, including his purchase of Kingsway Recorders in London. He took a second shot at music after his well-received performance at the Royal Albert Hall in October 1975 as part of Roger Glover‘s Butterfly Ball. Gillan deputized the studio role of Ronnie James Dio, whose membership in Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow forbade him from the live event.

For his new band, Gillan recruited guitarist Ray Fenwick, bassist John Gustafson, and keyboardist Mike Moran, all participants in the Butterfly Ball, plus drummer Mark Nauseef (b. 1953), Dio’s ex-bandmate in hard-rockers Elf.

Fenwick (b. 1946) had done stints in The Syndicates (between future Yes guitarists Steve Howe and Peter Banks), the Spencer Davis Group, and Dutch pop-psychsters After Tea. More recently, he played on albums by Ann Odell (A Little Taste), Jon Lord (Windows), and Fancy.

Gustafson (1942–2014) was one-third of Quatermass, an organ power-trio with journeyman keyboardist Peter Robinson (later Brand X) and drummer Mick Underwood, Gillan’s one-time bandmate in the pre-Purple harmony-pop outfit Episode Six. After the 1970 release Quatermass, Gustafson joined Hard Stuff and played on albums by Shawn Phillips, Lynsey De Paul, and Swedish jazz-rockers Ablution. Between 1973 and 1975, he served the longest tenure of any bassist in Roxy Music, playing on their albums Stranded, Country Life, and Siren.

Moran (b. 1948) was a veteran sessionist with credits on albums by Accolade, John Kongos, Guy Skornik, Dana Gillespie, Rick Springfield, and the pre-Strange Days combo Travis.



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