Ian Gillan Bids Farewell To Wife Bron With Deep Purple’s ‘Above And Beyond’

Ian Gillan lost his wife, Bron, to heart failure last November. Because it took a while to pull himself together, Gillan hadn’t made any public statements since. The Deep Purple icon finally found the right words and said goodbye to the love of his life with a letter he wrote on his website.

“I’m pulling the arrow from my eye whilst trying to follow the light and getting back on my feet whilst struggling to walk with half of me missing,” the musician said poetically, describing how he felt after losing his partner. “My darling wife, Bron, died of heart failure on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Exeter Hospital.”

The singer continued, “It’s taken some weeks until I could find the words to dignify her publicly. Publicly, because our life together (forty wonderful, happy years) was mainly private. But, I don’t think she’d mind if I said out loud that ‘I love you, my sweet B, we are forever entwined. The wrench of bereavement is softened by your continued presence. Thank you for your love and guidance. See you later.’”

Gillan wrote ‘we are forever entwined’ in his letter to his wife, probably as a reference to Purple’s ‘Above and Beyond.’ Gillan had scribbled these lines upon the news of yet another death. The band members were writing the track in Nashville when they heard of Jon Lord’s passing, and Ian wrote the song in honor of Lord after he heard the news. He had shared the story of this song on his website.

The vocalist explained, “After a period of quiet reflection, we shared some old familiar anecdotes about Jon, and before long his spirit filled the room. I scribbled the line, ‘Souls, having touched, are forever entwined.’ And then he sang these words to us all.’”

The frontman dedicated two more songs to his wife during his lifetime. The first was ‘Keep It Warm,’ which appeared on Black Sabbath’s only album with Ian, ‘Born Again.’ His then-girlfriend Bron was honored in the song. Years passed; they celebrated their love in marriage and lived a really beautiful life.

Just a year before they married, Bron had a heart condition and underwent risky surgery. This is how the second song dedicated to Bron was born, written with the emotional toll of that incident. Eight years following Bron’s heart surgery, in 1991, Ian wrote the track ‘Don’t Hold Me Back’ while he was a member of Deep Purple.

We know about their love and long years together: two songs and a last letter. Bron and Ian lived a quiet and private life in Dorset near Lyme Regis, never enjoying being in front of the camera. They have spent almost 40 years together in their own space. Bron was 67 when she died.