Ian Gillan wrote a letter of resignation to the management of Deep Purple on this day in 1972.
At the time, the band were on tour in North America. They performed that night at the IMA Auditorium in Flint, Michigan. Gillan has since spoken about tensions within the band and the intense isolation he felt at this time in his life, pointing to these reasons as to why he ended up leaving.
Gillan ended up playing his final show with the group about six months later on June 29, 1973. The show was also Roger Glover’s final show, though he didn’t resign, but rather was fired. The two of them proceeded to take hiatuses from their work onstage. Gillan even took a hiatus from show business as a whole, attempting several business ventures. Thankfully, he was coaxed back by Glover for a live performance of The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast; he began a solo career not long after.
Gillan would reunite with Deep Purple in 1984 when the Mark II lineup was brought back together. They would work together until 1988, when Gillan was fired. He returned to the band in 1993, this time for good; as of this writing he is still with the band.
- Highway Star: A Journey in Rock (Affiliate link)
Edit on 2020-06-27: Added information