Don’t rule out a Ritchie Blackmore reunion with Deep Purple — for one show, at least, if Blackmore has his way.
Though the guitarist stiffed his former band at its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last year, he says in a new interview with RocknRoll Reporter that he would be game to play with Purple again for one special show:
“I think if they were interested, and our dates would not collide, I would be for a single show because of the old times. But I don’t believe Deep Purple are interested in it. They have their niche. We are friends. I have been doing my music for 20 years, they’ve been doing it for 20 years. It’s probably not likely. Management — and I’m not talking about my own — would not like it, even if we were only interested in a single show. Their management would not allow it, I’m sure.”
There’s certainly animosity between the two parties over the years, both on the business side and owing to Blackmore’s two acrimonious departures from the band, the latest during 1993 in the midst of a tour. Bassist Roger Glover tells us that the group really didn’t expect to see him at the Rock Hall ceremony, either:
“We knew from the outset that wouldn’t happen. He expressed his thoughts on that months before, said he’s not interested, so we never thought Ritchie. But then again Ritchie’s unpredictable; There was a thought he might show up. It’s not beyond him. But we didn’t ban him. I think it would’ve been right and proper for him to be there…We didn’t actually ban anyone, even though Ritchie later on claimed that we did.”
Deep Purple is currently on the road promoting its new album Infinity, with a late summer North American leg with Alice Cooper and Edgar Winter starting August 12 in Las Vegas; The group has also released a new video for the track “Johnny’s Band.” Blackmore took Rainbow on the road for four dates in the U.K. during June, with no more shows on the books as of yet.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.