Glenn Hughes: David Bowie helped Deep Purple stay on track

Glenn Hughes
(Image credit: Getty)

Glenn Hughes says David Bowie helped him through Deep Purple’s rocky lineup changes while they lived together in mid-70s New York.

Though former bassist Hughes was only in Deep Purple from 1973 until 1976, he helped the band through critical transitions after Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and then Ritchie Blackmore left.

He says Bowie, who was writing Station To Station at the time, encouraged him and keyboard player Jon Lord to stay and hire new-look guitarist, the late Tommy Bolin.

He tells UCR: “He was always telling me, ‘Keep fucking changing. Never stay the same. Never. Stay. The same. Throw those leather pants away. Throw those boots away. Let me cut your fucking hair.’

“He was all about forever changing, and I’ve always done that, really. Some people don’t get it, and some people do.

Hughes continues: “When Ritchie left the band, I gotta be honest with you, I wanted to go back to Trapeze and reform the band.

“Bowie was in my house, and he said, ‘You should go get a new guitar player who sounds way different to Ritchie, and maybe looks different.’ He kind of convinced me. I think Jon and I were going to throw the towel in.

“But then David Bowie drove me down in his Mercedes to audition Tommy. So Bowie had a lot to do with me going down there that day. And I fell in love with Tommy the moment I saw him, you know? I knew before he switched his fucking amp on that he was going to kick my ass.”

Hughes will be inducted along with into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame along with Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, the late Jon Lord and Ian Paice on with April 8 – though Blackmore has refused to attend after original members were excluded from performing at the ceremony.

Rock icons including Geezer Butler and Corey Taylor will honour Hughes’ entry into the Hall Of Fame at The Adopt The Arts benefit concert at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre on May 12.

Meanwhile, Deep Purple are back in the studio recording the follow-up to 2013’s Now What.

Deep Purple tour dates 2016

Apr 08: New York Barclays Center, NY
Jun 02: Moscow Olimpiyskiy, Russia
Jun 04: Saint Petersburg Ice Palace, Russia
Jun 10: Helsinki Kaisaniemen Puisto, Finland
Jun 11: Oulu Rock The North Festival, Finland
Jun 14: Stockholm Grona Lund, Sweden
Jun 15: Gothenburg Kanonen, Sweden
Jun 17: Horsens Fonden Faengslet, Denmark
Jul 08: Klam Burg Clam, Austria
Jul 09: Eisenstadt Esterhazy Palace, Austria
Jul 12: Genoa Arena Del Mare, Italy
Jul 13:Brescia Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Italy
Jul 15: Servigliano FM Parco Della Pace, Italy
Jul 19: Munich Tollwood Festival, Germany
Jul 20: Fulda Cathedral, Germany
Jul 22: Dresden Junge Garde, Germany
Jul 23: Krefeld Konigpalast, Germany
Jul 26: Slupsk Dolina Charlotty Resort & SPA, Poland
Jul 29: Tienen Suikerrock, Belgium
Jul 30: Sank Goarshausen Loreley Freilichttbuhne, Germany
Jul 31: Mosbach Neckarelz, Germany

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.