Wow!! DeepPurple.com would like to thank all the fans out there who spent their time to show their love for Deep Purple. You are all very dedicated, which made it especially difficult to pick out a winner. However, one special story touched our hearts and we couldn't resist.
Congratulations to Mic and Carrie from Illinois! Carrie sent in a wonderful write-up detailing her, her husband's, and even their son's love for Deep Purple:
My husband Mic, is the ultimate Deep Purple fan. As long as I've known him (30 years) he has loved Purple and Ian Gillan. Music is something that has always been top priority in Mic's life. He's been singing since he was a little kid. He currently performs with a classic rock band. (I love it when he sings "Hush").
We even chose Ian as our son's middle name in honor of Ian Gillan.
Mic has never missed a show when either Purple or Mr. Gillan have performed in Chicago. We were fortunate enough to get two sticks from Ian Paice at a concert at the House of Blues. It only cost my husband a few cracked ribs when he jumped to grab them and was crushed up against the stage.
And music has been a great bond between my husband and our son Mikey. He started playing drums at the age of 3 and was self taught. At the age of 19 he is a drummer in an alternative punk/ska band. His nickname is Machine Gun because of his killer style hitting the kit!
But over the years my husband has added to his collection of Purple/Gillan items. Many times he has purchased 2 of an item so that one can be used and enjoyed while the other stays in wrapping for "the collection", as it's referred to. I just got this email so I didn't have time to take pictures but I will try to list some reasons why Mic is the ultimate Purple fan!! Our wedding anniversary is tomorrow - Valentines Day (21 years) - and I couldn't think of a better gift for Mic than to tell him he won this contest. I promise I could even follow this up with a picture of all his items. I'm attaching pictures of Mic and I because that is all I have right now.
ALBUMS, PINS, PROGRAMS FROM CONCERTS, CDS, DVDS, VHS TAPES, T-SHIRTS, BANNERS, JACKETS, PHOTOS, AN AIRBRUSHED JEAN JACKET OF THE ALBUM "THE BATTLE RAGES ON"; Mic's favorite color is purple; our son's middle name is Ian in honor of Ian Gillan; I myself have a Jesus Christ Superstar logo inspired tattoo on my back - it was my first tattoo and I'd be happy to show it off; Mic is a singer in a classic rock band and sings many Deep Purple songs; Mic has been to every Deep Purple and/or Ian Gillan concert in Chicago since 1979; Mic changed the spelling of his name from Mike to MIC in honor of microphones - a singer's symbol; our son is a self-taught drummer who listened to MANY hours of Ian Paice for skills; on my wall at work I have a picture of Ian Gillan wearing dark pants, a white pirate style shirt, on a boat, with short gray hair looking off into the ocean - YUMMY!!!!!!!
Thank you for the story, Carrie! In return, you and Mic will each be receiving a $45 gift card to the DeepPurple.com store. And also, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Congratulations again!!
But it doesn't stop there! Be sure to check out the following runner-ups. We received entries in many shapes and sizes, and all were fantastic. These few show off just how diverse and talented the Deep Purple fan community really is!
RUNNER-UP FOR BEST AUDIO RECORDING... Armando from Italy, for his spot-on cover of "Smoke on the Water":
RUNNER-UP FOR BEST PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE BAND... Rick and Eleanor, who were both members of the Mississauga singers featured on Gillan's Inn. Here they are in the studio, and Ian Gillan himself posed between the two of them in the second photo:
RUNNER-UP FOR BEST PERSONALIZED MEMORABILIA... Harry from Washington. He has an impressive collection of shirts, coffee mugs, and even postage stamps featuring photos of him with Deep Purple:
RUNNER-UP FOR BEST TATOO... Ger from the Netherlands, for his amazing Ian Gillan tat: