Gillan took his first steps on the path to fame when he became a member of the band Episode Six in 1965. The group certainly learned from some big names, too; they even hit the road with Dusty Springfield. However, they didn’t enjoy much commercial success. Then, in 1969, Gillan and his Episode Six bandmate Roger Glover jumped ship to join Deep Purple as vocalist and bassist, respectively.
Deep Purple had actually been formed two years previously, and the group was at one point going to be called Roundabout. Who knows what destiny might have been in store for that proposed iteration of the band? As it was, though, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore mooted the name Deep Purple – reportedly because it was the title of an old track favored by his grandmother.
Now whether what transpired boiled down to the band’s name change, its new recruits or both, the 1970s were certainly the breakout decade for Deep Purple. In hindsight, then, Gillan and Glover’s move was rather fortuitous – and the reason why so many people know of them today. Indeed, the pair are household names among rock fans and the wider music-loving public.