The Hall of Fame

One question which has vexed Deep Purple fans a lot over the past few years is the band’s non-appearance in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. While it is very obvious that the committee behind this event work very much to their own musical agenda, Ian Gillan has shed light on the situation in a new interview done for Rolling Stone (and it must be said when did they last cover the band? Probably not since the days of Cameron Crowe!). It also throws some light on recent stories from Blackmore about him and Ian Gillan being in touch which has surprised some. The full interview is linked at the end of the story. My thanks to Peter Judd who flagged this up:
There was a lot of controversy this year with Kiss’ current members not wanting to play with their original members at this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Would you be willing to play with the group’s founding guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, who had a bitter split with the band in 1993, at the ceremony if you were inducted?
Well, we are the living, breathing Deep Purple. This is the longest that any lineup has ever been together in this band.
And it would be unconscionable to think about bringing Ritchie in. I don’t have an issue with Ritchie, nor does anyone.
I’ve been in touch with Ritchie recently and everything’s cool, so there’s no bitter, personal problem. We’re too old
for that and everything’s in the past, but no. That would be out of the question. How insulting that would be to
[current guitarist] Steve Morse, for example? So if that’s the stumbling block, fair enough. Never the twain shall
Why do you say that?
I’m saying what I’m about to say not to wind Ritchie up, if he’s reading this. He knows that we’ve got to talk about
these things. So I say this with no rancor, and let’s get the record straight: I was just as much of an asshole as
Ritchie was. But Ritchie carried it on for a little longer. Had Ritchie stayed with the band, it would have been all
over. It would have just ended. Without any doubt in anyone’s mind – it was all over. So the day he walked out was
the day we had to rebuild. We had Joe Satriani for one year, and he got us over the crisis, and then we got Steve and
started to rebuild. Within a couple of years, we started playing arenas again, and it’s been fantastic ever since.
It’s good to go through those crises. It doesn’t do your heart any good, but that was the spirit of the band. So to
go back to the question of “Would we do the show with Ritchie?” I think that would be hugely disrespectful to what I
call the living, breathing, Deep Purple. There’s always been a living, breathing, Deep Purple, good or bad at any
stage of our evolution, and how it is now is particularly healthy and it wouldn’t be right.
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30 Responses to “The Hall of Fame”

  1. IAN DOUGLAS Says:

    YES MARK ONE! Definitely for starters and what a good start. The opening brilliance and sound of And The Address. I loved the first album – and Hush – fantastic!

  2. Les Hedger Says:

    Maybe they should just induct the 1980 Rod Evans version of Deep Purple as they had no line up changes. :)

    • simon robinson Says:

      Liked this so much I even left your emoticon in Les! They did after all have the first hit, and laid the foundation for the band, and the best trousers.

  3. Rob Beck Says:

    Why don’t they just induct the Ian Gillan Band – job done!!

    • simon robinson Says:

      Indeed, who could forget that smash hit of, er, Mad Elaine wasn’t it? So massive it doesn’t even make the official discography on the man’s own official website!

  4. IAN DOUGLAS Says:

    I was absolutely amazed at Gold Edition of Now What and on the live disc there were only a handful of Morse or even recent tracks – I took the promo to mean it was a live version of the album? So blow it, I kept only CD1 that had an extra version compared to the normal one; and much less tacky packaging anyway!

  5. The Demonseye Says:

    Ritchie, Steve? Jon, Don? Steve, Ritchie..? Fred, Barney..? As one of those “silent majorities” I always read these oft arguments and debates with interest and great amusement, but can never be bothered to comment or get involved because we know it’s a case of “que sera sera” right? However, just to follow on from the last point made by Ian Douglas is this…

    Dear Mr. Gillan,
    As a fan of your group Deep Purple past and PRESENT, I wonder if you’ve ever considered how insulting it seems to appear that your guitarist, the brilliant & faithful Steve Morse gets to play a set-list that only ever consists of 4 or 5 songs (if we’re lucky!) that involve his hand or era of composition..? Surely after 20yrs and 5 albums with the band these songs deserve more from a living, breathing Deep Purple. I would like to congratulate you all on your last cd “Now What?!” becoming a No.1 seller by the way, but I note in less than a year your opener “Apres Vous” has been replaced by “Highway Star” robbing some audiences yet again of hearing a great song by the longest serving line-up in the band’s history? I read your interviews and comments with great interest and enthusiasm; “audiences are getting younger”.. “great spirit and belief in this line-up”.. excited and wanting to “build on the success of the last album” so you’re going to record again… great! I guess my question is will any of the songs stay in the set long enough for me to hear them? Seriously, I say to you with a lot of respect if your belief in this line up is so strong and this IS the living breathing Deep Purple then surely your set should balance the other way, leaving us with only 4 or 5 “historic” staples ? C’mon! give us a Morse era tour please, put your money where your mouth is… My money is ready to buy a ticket.. AND I don’t think I’m alone (!?.. er, that not a suggestion by the way..), tho’ sometimes I feel like screaming…

    • simon robinson Says:

      Love the idea of a Morse era tour and set, wonder if they could ever be that brave? Sadly the time to do it would be this year to mark his twenty years in the group, which now means he’s been with them longer than Blackmore. But time is running out. Just a couple of nights in London would be something.

      • The Demonseye Says:

        It would indeed Simon. Wasn’t it someone like OMD a few years back that did a general “best of” tour backed up with a couple of shows where they played ‘lesser tracks’ to the “hardcore”? And I thought how strange in reading your comment the word BRAVE should pop up? For as we all know, ‘brave’ in all it’s derivatives was a word frequently used to describe the young carefree Mk2 Deep Purple that many people here are putting forth for reward. Those qualities seem sadly lacking in our living breathing Deep Purple.. Thanks for all the hard (DP) work you & Ann do Simon, much appreciated!

      • simon robinson Says:

        I think OMD did a couple of shows where they played a different complete album through for fans, and announced these shows as such. Sparks have done consecutive nights each with a different complete album as the focus. Yes it requires a bit more work but I think the fans really appreciate these specials.

    • purpledaniel Says:

      I´ve felt for the last 8 years that DP was indeed not far form the “stagnant” band that IG claimed to have left back in 73, having played from 2005 to 2013 almost the same set list and encores over and over, which by the way I experienced four times. A revamped set list, with only Morse-era tracks is much needed for the breathing DP!

      • simon robinson Says:

        If we can get 10,000 signatures our Government would have to debate this in Parliament, now there’s an idea for a flash-mobbing happy slappy social media type challenge!

  6. chiptarbuttonChip Says:

    Ian’s biggest hang up on this seems to be hurting Morse’s feelings. Has anyone asked him how he feels about it? I don’t pretend to know Morse’s heart, but I would think he would be the first person to embrace players from the different eras of the band. If Morse is OK with a reunion gig at the HOF…then what other excuse is Ian going to use?

  7. jamie williamson Says:

    Well, I suppose I should preface this with the confession (with no offence intended to those who feel differently about such things) that I couldn’t care less who is or isn’t in the R&RHoF, or who is or isn’t covered in Classic Rock Magazine, though maybe the ambivalence gives a certain objectivity. But suppose DP were to be admitted to the Holy of Holies, it would be on the basis of Machine Head, In Rock, Made in Japan, Burn, etc., not Bananas, Rapture of the Deep, etc. Without Blackmore, the former albums would not have been made, and the “living, breathing” DP would not have a large chunk of their live setlist. This should not be “insulting” to Steve Morse (an extremely good guitarist, needless to say), but a plain and simple recognition of fact. Of course, I wonder what Blackmore’s interest would be anyway, recalling an interview where he said (pretty close to exact words) of the R&RHoF issue, “There’s too many people in it who have nothing to do with R&R for me to even care. Plus it’s pretentious.” And anyway, to take George Harrison’s response to a question about a Beatles reunion in the 90s (!) and change the proper nouns, “There can’t be a ‘classic’ Deep Purple reunion. You see, Jon Lord is dead.” That said, it is nice on a human level that RB and IG can talk to each other again.

  8. Les Hedger Says:

    If it were to happen, it would be great to see all past and current members of DP there. When the Stones were inducted they made sure to have Mick Taylor there. Each line up could play one or two of their songs. Of course this would make for a very busy Ian Paice!!

  9. IAN DOUGLAS Says:

    I realise comments here will attract controversy no doubt but here goes! I would think the RHOF for what it’s worth (does anyone know or care?!) nomination would relate to or be sourced from the “original” Deep Purple era, ie from 1968-76; the reunion/s (various since then from 1984 or so) albums might be fine per se but hardly the stuff of nomination I would think, but others might feel otherwise. So it makes little real sense for Gillan to say he wouldn’t perform with Blackmore given the latter is probably 99% associated with that first “era” hence probably most important or integral to the sound and the songs they did (and with two or three or four – if you count the singing bassists) vocalists other than Gillan. He most certainly does not own the first era in my view, as I can enjoy Mks 1 3 and 4 as much if not more so. And whilst the current audience probably doesn’t like being reminded, much of the show remains from the Blackmore originals. International courts of law anyone?!

    • simon robinson Says:

      I did have this conversation with a few people on email this week; had Deep Purple only been formed in 1984 would they still be classed up there with the other great rock bands? And could anyone at RHOF even name any reunion track titles? I guess we know the answer, and yes the reunion has produced some great material but times have changed and rock music just isn’t as cutting edge as it was in the late 60s / early 70s. For my money, unless Rod and Nick get invited it’s a non-no, and they must bring those trousers and that bass strap with them…

  10. cee_Bee Says:

    DP do NOT need the RRHOF… most of the recent inductees are talent clowns, ie, Kiss. What will they gain by being inducted?
    Apparently someone connected with it says DP should not be inducted as they are “one hit wonders”. I think that says it all really.
    The only reason anyone thinks they are one hit wonders is because the goons on the radio stations can only play one of their songs, that one being “Smoke”.

    • simon robinson Says:

      One hit wonders? Ouch! What a load of tosh, and clearly showing a lack of elementary rock history as well.

  11. Danny Fox Says:

    Hi Simon, I have to say I agree with Ian, but… A thought, what about having two guitarists attending, Ritchie and Steve? After all the awards are about the band, not the individuals. Sum of the parts etc.
    A further thought, I recall Jon mentioned in an interview that he had a dream of bringing the various Purple line ups together over one night to perform in its different carnations. So why can’t they get together in Jon’s memory. If they get nominated, bury the differences of view guys and get on with it!

    • simon robinson Says:

      100% spot on; really they ought to ask everyone, certainly from the classic era and the current line-up. If Blondie could grin and manage it…

  12. Alan Taylor Says:

    Of course, it’s not only the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame… I recently wrote to Mojo magazine questioning the lack of coverage of Purple. By my reckoning they had featured Led Zeppelin on the cover nine times and seem willing to cover in depth any Jimmy Page reissue or Robert Plant statement that he won’t play ball. And it’s not that I don’t like Zeppelin but they have done nothing new since 1979. As Gillan says, Purple are a living, functioning band and as for history. Your recent ‘Ricochet’ book sent me back to the early MkII bootlegs and I was amazed again at the music they made night after night. If a magazine like Mojo, which thrives on that sort of music nostalgia, doesn’t get it, what hope for Cleveland?

    • simon robinson Says:

      We had this debate about Classic Rock magazine for years, who also neglected to feature Deep Purple on the cover, despite having several other bands on repeatedly, topped of course by LZ. Mojo long ago decided on their roster of artists and stick fairly rigidly to it.

  13. Danielz Says:

    I read the above comments from Ian Gillan with great interest. Although I can understand his views and sentiments, I believe that most die-hard fans would agree that the line-up that would appeal to most people would be MKII and that is also the line-up that music fans outside the Purple camp would adhere to. I appreciate what Ian is saying and loyalty is something that should be applauded, but it’s like saying if Slade were asked to perform at the Hall of Fame, everyone would expect Noddy to be fronting the band (I give Slade as an example mainly because they still play as ‘Slade’ and haven’t had Noddy for over 20 years), the same as many bands who are remembered for one particular line-up as the most successful. Ian should know that if Purple are to be inducted, it is certain that it is because of the MKII line-up and not the because of the present one.

  14. Aleksey Says:

    On this site:

    Blackmore said:

    “You know, for some time I communicate with Ian Gillan, and we agreed that at some point I can play with Deep Purple 2-3 concert to please the fans, bring back memories. But I don’t promise anything, because we are so lazy and so far we have not decided anything specific. I have the impression that they are very busy, and I’m happy doing what I do. But still, we would be happy to play 2-3 concert of Deep Purple. For fans, for nostalgic reasons.”

    • simon robinson Says:

      There have been discussions informally which did lead to that spate of stories a year or so back, but at present it’s sort of calmed down again. I can’t see Purple agreeing to this until they have decided to call it a day themselves, and might then wrap it all up with a few shows with the man.

  15. Henry Sobieski Says:

    I’m sorry and I don’t mean to offend anyone, but the hard work attributed to the original lineups (Mark I, Mark II, Mark III) is the core reason why Deep Purple should be in the RnR HoF. With all due respect to the living, breathing Deep Purple, it is not the lineup that is in recognition of achievement worthy of the HoF. In all fairness – and Ian Gillan said this was for the fans more than himself – all living members from any formation of Deep Purple should be able to play together at the HoF induction for their fans. That is what us Deep Purple fans want to see.

    • simon robinson Says:

      It would certainly be the biggest flipping audience Cleveland has ever seen! Can you imagine it?

      • staromestska Says:

        “It would certainly be the biggest flipping audience Cleveland has ever seen! Can you imagine it?”

        That’s what people said if Kiss would have reunited. Still, you’re right. A DP reunion would pack a lot of very enthusiastic people. But although Mk2 did have the bulk of “hits”, it gets me to wonder just which tune makes them a “one hit wonder”. Smoke or Hush? Hush and Woman From Tokyo are played more on classic rock radio than Smoke. But what bothers me about Ian, is that he acts like he owns the DP franchise now. Sorry pal, but Mk1 and 3 are just as much of the legacy as 2, and the RHOF (which I don’t give two S}{!T$ about) is about the influence 67-76 DP had on music culture. All members should be invited (maybe we’ll finally see Rod!), and Hughes can steal the show (again), … but seriously DP has always been about the original lineups as an evolution of one band. Oh how I’d miss Lordy, but all members should be there and be able to play together in any lineup they choose. Would love to see Rod, David and Glenn with Ritchie again. That’s what any HOF is about. It’s the glory years, the influential years that are being celebrated. And Ian does not represent that by himself. Yes Ritchie, one for the fans. I’d be there for that!

      • simon robinson Says:

        I assumed the disparaging comment was aimed at Smoke but…

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