Ian Paice read out this message from Jon:
I very much wanted to be there this evening to stand with these fine chaps – my musical companions of more than forty years and indeed my friends for a lifetime – but, although my progress is really good, I am finding that the treatment I am undergoing often leads me more towards a cup of cocoa and an early night than to a bottle of red wine with it’s accompanying table-full of wonderfully scurrilous gossipmongers and joke-tellers.
May I add my heartfelt thanks for this award and for recognising that what we did – when we were just five brave lads with no regard for boundaries but with an abiding love of writing and playing music – was indeed innovative. It was also loud, down and dirty, subversive and dangerous, intricate and yet often blindingly simple, very exciting to play and above all else it was astonishingly good fun – and yes we did “dance and sing and stand on a mountaintop.” Didn’t we just.
My heartfelt thanks too to the gentlemen on the stage for being part of changing my life and for playing like heroes. Oh, and please don’t forget who first bullied them into playing with an orchestra!
I’ll see you down the road somewhere.
Photo: Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Roger Glover at the Classic Rock Awards, © Foruli Publications