DEEP PURPLE vocalist Ian Gillan says that a reunion with former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would be a “circus” and “it would be no fun at all.”
Blackmore, who co-founded the group, hasn’t performed with DEEP PURPLE since his 1993 departure. Guitarist Steve Morse took over Blackmore’s vacated spot in 1994 and has remained with the band since.
Gillan spoke about his longstanding feud with Ritchie Blackmore in a new interview with Tales From The Road. Asked if he is still in contact with Blackmore and if there is any chance on a reunion with the guitarist and DEEP PURPLE, Ian said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “No. The answer to your question is yes, we are in touch. Tensions eased quite a lot after we got hold of our business affairs and sorted everything out. There were previous managers from the past who had not done things exactly as you would like. I didn’t get paid for 10 years when I was with DEEP PURPLE — in the big years — and goodness knows what happened to all that. And there were other tensions too. And needless to say, it was all pretty nasty when we finished and Ritchie walked out. But we’re too old for that now. We’ve both written some pleasant notes via our managers. I can’t write to Ritchie or phone him because he doesn’t have a telephone, he doesn’t have a computer. He lives in a world of greensleeves — he lives in a medieval world, and he has messages given to him and that sort of thing. But he’s sent some pleasant words to me, and I’ve sent some pleasant words to him. There are still issues; there are still bones of contention. I’ve seen a lot of rubbish being spoken — it’s not worth even rising to the occasion — but I hear [former DEEP PURPLE singer] David Coverdale and others talking about what happened at the Rock And Roll Of Fame. Well, we were very kind to everybody, the current band. And we did invite Ritchie to play ‘Smoke On The Water’ with us at the ceremony, but he declined. So, [those] are just opportunistic remarks from the others.
“We’ve never had any antagonism towards Ritchie,” Ian clarified. “He has his own interpretations, and the rest of us have our interpretations, so it’s really not worth being fired up about it. But I think probably this late in our career, and with things moving along so pleasantly for the band, it would naturally enough — we discussed this years and years ago when it was first talked about — it would be a circus and it would be a distraction to everything we’re doing, to be honest. It would be no fun at all, because we don’t work that way anymore.”
Blackmore previously stated that it was DEEP PURPLE’s manager that had blocked him from joining his former bandmates onstage during the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, which is why he did not attend the event.
Listen to the full interview at this location.