Deep Purple’s Steve Morse open to Ritchie Blackmore return

Steve Morse
Steve Morse (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse has responded to Ritchie Blackmore’s comments that he’d welcome a return to the band for a one-off performance.

Blackmore left Purple for the final time in 1993 and in a recent interview said: “I think if they were interested and our dates didn’t clash, I would perform a single show – for old times.”

Asked how he feels about those comments, Morse, who permanently replaced Blackmore in the Deep Purple lineup in 1994, tells Billboard: “Well, he’s one of the founding members. Fans would love it. It would be nice, I think, to see closure with everybody involved and the bad feelings put aside.

“I think they’d all get a kick out of it if they could get past the psychological barriers. I am a fan of music, I’m a musician. I am not a politician.

“Now, a lot of people would feel intimidated, to have somebody come who’s likely to play over them, standing in front of them and stealing the spotlight or whatever. But I thought, ‘A lot of people would love to see this.’

“And at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction, I thought Ritchie Blackmore was going to show up. He could’ve played three songs, but I ended up doing them because he didn’t. That was up in the air.”

Morse says for any sort of reunion to take place “the ice has to be broken” after years of negativity, but adds: “I think that once that’s done, they’d all have a great time. But I don’t know how to go about doing that.

“Anyway, as far as I am concerned, all members, past and present and future of Deep Purple, are welcome.”

In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan said it would be “unconscionable” to think of bringing Blackmore back into the fold, while drummer Ian Paice reported there would be “no point” considering any sort of reunion.

Deep Purple released their 20th studio album InFinite in April this year and are about to embark on their The Long Goodbye tour, which gets under way this coming weekend in Las Vegas.

Find a full list of dates below.

Deep Purple The Long Goodbye tour 2017

Aug 12: Las Vegas The Cosmopolitan, NV (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 13: Los Angeles Greek Theatre, CA (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 15: Phoenix Ak-Chin Pavilion, AZ (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 16: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheatre, NM (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 23: Bristow Jiffy Lube Live, VA (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 24: Camden BB&T Pavilion, NJ (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 26: Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 27: Mansfield Xfinity Center, MA (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 28: Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ (With Alice Cooper)
Aug 30: Noblesville Kipsch Music Center, IN (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 01: Burgettstown KeyBank Pavilion, PA (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 02: Toronto Budweiser Stage, ON (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 03: Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 06: Tinley Park Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, IL (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 08: Maryland Heights Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, MO (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 09: Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center, OH (With Alice Cooper)
Sep 10: Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center, OH (With Alice Cooper)
Nov 17: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
Nov 18: Manchester Arena, UK
Nov 20: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
Nov 22: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Nov 23: London O2, UK

Deep Purple: 50 years in, where will the adventure take them next?

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.