Joe Lynn Turner claims former bandmate Ritchie Blackmore wants to return to rock music – and says the guitarist deserves the acclaim that’s waiting for him if he does.
Blackmore has immersed himself in folk rock since quitting Deep Purple mid-tour in 1993, then splitting Rainbow four years later. His band Blackmore’s Night released their ninth album in 2013.
Turner fronted Rainbow from 1980 until 1984 and was a member of Purple from 1989 until 1992. In August he suggested plans were being made for a Rainbow reunion, adding that he wasn’t supposed to talk about it.
Now the singer tells Rockin’ Metal Revival: “I’ve been in touch with Ritchie’s camp. Hopefully we’ll get something a little bit further in the talks in December. Now is the time – 2015. Everybody’s sitting there waiting for this to happen.”
Turner reports he’s had positive reactions from industry bodies including Live Nation and Universal Music Group and adds: “All we need is the nod from Richie to say, ‘I’m ready to of it.’”
He continues: “I know he’s got a trigger finger itchy to play some rock. Then he can go back to Blackmore’s Night. He’s different guy than he was but at the same time he’s still Ritchie Blackmore and he needs to do this.”
The vocalists says his own ambitions come second to the guitarist. “I believe Ritchie deserves this,” he argues. “Truly, my best intention is for him. He deserves to go out in a big blaze of glory like the rock guitar icon that he is.
“He deserves that respect – he’s one of the greats. And I think the fans deserve it. Everywhere I go, everybody wants a Rainbow reunion. It’s one of the main things they ask me about, so I’m out here sort of championing the cause.”
Turner is currently working with Rated X, featuring drummer Carmine Appice, bassist Tony Franklin and guitarist Karl Cochran. They launched their self-titled debut album last month via Frontiers Records.