In a recent interview with of Tales From The Road, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan talked about his relationship with later singer Ronnie Jmes Dio, saying the following:
“Yeah, we were close. We were very close.
“It was Ronnie Dio, Klaus Meine [Scorpions] and myself; we were on a tour together. And, of course, as you probably know, Klaus and Ronnie are diminutive figures — they’re not very tall — and I’m just over six foot. And so we had a photograph taken together with me in the middle and the two little ones on either side of me. And it was hilarious. And we got the picture pinned up in the dressing room, and it was called ‘the three fivers’ as opposed to ‘the three tenners.’ It’s an English joke.
“When I was buying some socks in Munich airport, [Ronnie and I] were on the same charter plane together, and Ronnie was opening for Deep Purple, I think. And I was in the shop going, ‘I’ve gotta buy some socks.’ And they had packs of three pairs of socks hanging on the rack. So I was just looking through them, seeing which ones I want. And Ronnie‘s head appeared through the socks, and he said, ‘Ah, socks, drugs and rock and roll.’ [Laughs]
“Yeah, we were lovely mates. We were good mates.”