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Ian Gillan Explains Why Deep Purple Reunion With Ritchie Blackmore Won’t Happen

ian gillan ritchie blackmore
Theo Wargo, Getty Images / YouTube

Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan has revealed his reasons for refusing a one-off reunion with former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.

Blackmore recently said he’d like to participate in a single show with his onetime bandmates that would mark his first appearance with them since he quit mid-tour in 1993. Even his replacement, Steve Morse, voiced his support for the reunion.

Emphasizing there was “no great animosity” between them anymore, Gillan told The Vinyl Guide podcast, “Ritchie was a difficult character – there’s no denying that. Ritchie and the band got divorced. He walked out in the middle of a tour, and the rain stopped and the sun came out for the band. It was like that. Ian Paice came alive again; he was a happy guy. And Jon Lord regained his gravitas, and Roger [Glover] came out from under a rock. Everyone started being a normal person again.”

You can listen to the interview below.

Gillan described Blackmore’s presence toward the end of his time with Deep Purple as “a big cloud on the social, musical and professional scene. As Ian puts it best: Why would I go back to that misery again? It’s like somebody saying, ‘You’re happily married now, but we want you to get back together with your divorced wife, with which there’s been much bitterness over the years.’ Just for the sake of the fans. It’s not gonna happen.”

Deep Purple are currently on the road with their Long Goodbye tour, which may or may not mark the beginning of the band’s end. They released their latest album, inFinite, in April. Blackmore, who put out new Rainbow recordings earlier this year, is reissuing Blackmore’s Night’s 2006 Christmas album, Winter Carols, with three new recordings.

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