Much energy has been expended, not least by this site and others, on the subject of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Now they have finally condescended to offer Deep Purple an induction, let’s expend a little more!
Many people feel there has been more than an element of snobbery about the selection panel, with Deep Purple “overlooked” and belittled about their musical achievements (‘One-hit wonders’ was a jibe which showed their ignorance last time.)
Now that they have got around to the band, the fun and games will probably start. As sole remaining founder member Ian Paice spoke to Billboard magazine about the honour.
“It’ll be interesting, won’t it? It’s a somewhat complicated situation. The personalities that are involved didn’t always get on terrifically well, so that has to be taken into consideration. I don’t think there’ll be anybody swinging at anybody else – I think there’s a possibility that some people just won’t be there. We may all turn up and be happy on the night and it’ll go wonderfully well, or two or three people will be studiously ignoring each other.”
“If they ask us to play there, who’s gonna play what? Who’s prepared to play what, and with who? As we’ve been blessed with so many virtuoso players in the band over the years, it might have been easier to take us individually to be inducted rather than as a band. It’s not a band of four or five guys who have stayed together throughout their career and are asked to do something. It’s more complex than that. So we’ll just have to make a decision of what’s right for us, not what’s right for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
The situation gets more complex as the induction ignores the Mk 4 line-up, and all reunion era musicians. So it’s not even a recognition just for the original era, as without Tommy Bolin how can it be? I certainly listen to Come Taste more than Burn or Stormbringer.
It also seems a huge snub to Steve Morse in particular, who has been with the band longer than Ritchie now (I think, I just tried doing the maths!). Ian Gillan in particular has reacted to that, and posted on his website.
“Putting the past shenanigans to one side, the induction is not – in clear fact – for Deep Purple. It is an arbitrary selection of past members, which excludes Steve Morse and Don Airey; both of whom have been with the living breathing DP for a very long time. Obviously this is very silly, and so my response is quite simple: ‘Thank you very much’.”
“And what a coincidence… This morning I got an invitation to a wedding from some dear old friends. Unfortunately my family was not invited and they said that I would be required to sit next to my ex (we divorced decades ago) at the wedding feast.
They were shocked when I called to thank them and decline the invitation.”
Using my Gillan Thesaurus this sort of suggests he doesn’t want to do it without Steve and Don, but might reconsider if they get invited. But it could also mean he doesn’t fancy sitting next to his ex-guitar player! Still if the inductors can forgive him calling them ‘arrogant and rude’ a while back, maybe the inductees can sort something out in time.
Meanwhile Glenn Hughes has already booked a cab, and cranked up his positive waves:
“There’s a lot of mumbo jumbo from other members, but I’m excited. I don’t have anything to say negative about this. And more importantly this is really important to the fans of the band Deep Purple, the four or five decades this band has been around making music. It’s a grand step in music history for anyone. There’s only so many people who get into the Hall of Fame.”
The ceremony takes place on April 8 ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. We’ll leave the last word to Ian Paice: “I haven’t seen [Coverdale] in a long time, but I don’t have any problem with David. And after all this time, I don’t have a problem with Ritchie. I really hope he’s happy in what he’s doing. At the end of the day we’re far enough along in our lives now that I just hope everybody’s having a good time. The crap that went on before, that’s what it is – it’s before.”
You can read Billboard’s take on it all here
Simon Robinson. Thanks to Tim Summers and Stephen Clare.