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Date Posted: 19:03:21 06/01/03 Sun
Author: Blu
Subject: All about Ray Gillen...

I seriously doubt Ray abused drugs; somehow that just doesn't fit--tho very little of the man's real and private life is known. I've tried to find info on him online, but even when people are asked about him in interviews, no one says much except "great guy," "phenomenal talent" or just "I knew him, RIP." I've never had so much difficulty finding information on someone before.

Ray commented in a late-80s interview that while he drinks his share, he's not excessive and doesn't party because "I want to stay healthy" (he was dead about 5 years later). Glenn Hughes has said that Ray was in serious denial about his disease and would always tell him he didn't have it, he said they both watched the tribute to Freddie Mercury together and Ray told him again he didn't have AIDS. Hughes said Ray once showed him bloodwork to prove it, only later Glenn found out it was actually Ray's brother's-in-law--not Ray's. Even Ray's mom denied it was AIDS.

I do think it's short-sighted to presume he may have been gay or a drug user to contract it. While men are less likely to contract AIDS from a woman than they are to transmit it to either sex, it is entirely possible. Ray was gorgeous, charismatic and gifted. I have no doubt he had his pick of ladies. He may have experimented sexually, been promiscuous or tried drugs in his younger days and contracted it, long before anyone even knew what AIDS was. He could have had a blood transfusion and gotten it. He could have been bisexual. No one's talking, so we may never know.

If Ray was in such denial about his disease, as all reports seem to suggest (Glenn commented that Ray "left a lot of unanswered questions for people," and also mentioned that Ray and his girlfriend would visit Glenn's house before Ray died--you have to wonder if Ray transmitted the disease to anyone else. Badlands saw their share of groupies. Someone had suggested he dated the chick Susie Owens from the "Winter's Call" video; she was a Playmate and he was a rock star, so you can assume that if it's true, they slept together. He also has a daughter, Ashley, who'd probably be about... 20 now I guess. I get the impression he contracted the disease after her birth.

That's about all I know and there aren't any answers, but I hope some of that helps a little with all the Ray questions on the board.


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