Roger Glover On Deep Purple's Complex History With Ritchie Blackmore


Deep Purple's longest-serving members have been unified in recent years on one thing: their career with Ritchie Blackmore isn't due for a reprise.

It's no secret that Blackmore tends to rub people the wrong way. The guitar hero's brusque personality is part of his legacy.

So much so, that in a joint interview given beside his wife Candice Night, Blackmore once said that "smiling" is "not a normal thing" and he admitted that he deliberately gives people the impression that he's annoyed in order to be left alone.

Bassist Roger Glover, who worked with Blackmore in both Deep Purple and Rainbow, says the guitarist's sullen act is a known trait among those close to him. But that knowledge doesn't make Blackmore any more pleasant to be around.

"I think he is wired that way, but then enjoys it — he enjoys putting people on edge and people not quite knowing what he's up to," Glover explained to Eddie Trunk. "That's his personality, I guess. But he's first and foremost a musician, and you've gotta take the music away from the man. 'Cause the music alone is brilliant — he was an incredible player, an auteur, an instigator. He was on his road, and we were with him on that road for a while."

Glover admits that out of all five members of Deep Purple, he got along with Blackmore the best in their heyday together. He probably has the most remaining affection for Blackmore all these years later.

Frontman Ian Gillan once said Blackmore "saved" Deep Purple by quitting the band in 1993. The singer noted that the band was in drastically waning in both patience and popularity when Blackmore exited. The opening allowed Purple to hire virtuoso and all-around good guy Steve Morse, who's occupied Blackmore's place for over 25 years.

There's no question that Morse's presence reinvigorated the band and eventually led to it recapturing its status as one of the biggest live concert draws in rock.

Last month, Deep Purple released, Whoosh!, its seventh album with Morse and third new album in seven years.

Despite his own lengthy history with Deep Purple, Morse has all but offered to step aside to facilitate a reunion, but classic-era members Glover, Gillan and drummer Ian Paice aren't having it — even now that Blackmore has admitted he's interested in the nostalgia.

Deep Purple doesn't know how much time it has left, and the band members don't want to spent any of that time with a sourpuss, like their band's former mastermind.

"We have a wonderful feeling within the band, everybody's very friendly, and all we have to do is go on stage and make the music; there's no other considerations to worry about," Paice said in a 2017 interview. "I think Ritchie's life doesn't work like that. I think it's a little more complex...I like it to be clear and crystal and know that it's gonna be fun. I love Ritchie to death, but I can't guarantee every day with him is gonna be fun."

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