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Steve is taking a hiatus

Steve Morse, Toronto, Feb 12 2012; photo © Nick Soveiko cc-by-nc-sa

The following message have been posted today on the band’s official site:

Today, Deep Purple announce that due to a family matter, Steve Morse will be taking a temporary hiatus from Deep Purple live shows but remains a full member of the band.

Steve’s replacement for the upcoming live shows in May, June and July 2022 will be guitarist Simon McBride, who has previously toured with both Ian Gillan and Don Airey amongst others.

Statement from Steve Morse:

Hello, everybody. I’ve just done a few gigs with the band, after years (!?) of not playing live. It’s a bittersweet, wonderful time to get together.

However, my dear wife Janine is currently battling cancer. At this point, there are so many possible complications and unknowns, that whatever time we have left in our lives, I simply must be there with her.

I am not leaving the band – I hope that after she gets a clean bill of health, I can re-join the tour. However, I am not seeing any likely situation which would allow me to do overseas touring in the immediate future. I continue to be privileged to be a part of the Purple family tree, and also to get to feel the amazing support of so many loyal fans and the rest of the band.

There’s a certified world class guitarist ready to take over for the live shows whom everybody will surely be happy to hear.

I appreciate all your sincere prayers for Janine and thank you all.

Steve Morse

Statement from the rest of the band:

All of our thoughts are with Janine during her fight against cancer and also with Steve while he supports his wife at a very difficult time.

We hope that Steve will be able to join us back on the road later this year.

Ian, Roger, Ian and Don

Statement from Simon McBride:

I’m deeply honoured to be asked to stand-in for Steve and play for such an iconic rock band like Deep Purple. They are amazing musicians and amazing people… I’m very excited to get out and play all those iconic songs and rock the stage with such legends. My thoughts are with Steve and Janine and their family.

There will be no further comment and we kindly ask to respect the family’s privacy and keep them in your prayers at this time.

Simon McBride with Ian Gillan and Don Airey:

Simon McBride with Don Airey & Friends:

47 Comments to “Steve is taking a hiatus”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Get well Janine and strength & endurance to the Morse family! What bitter news. Right and extremely commendable decision to get off the Purple tour juggernaut for the time being.

    For those of you who haven’t seen/heard Simon yet (I have twice with Don, he also played along Laurie Wisefield on the second Snakecharmer album), he’s flashy and gung-ho, there is even a a touch of Gary Moor’esque energy and intensity in him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he once listened to a lot of Gary Moore. He’s totally up to the job. (When I saw him at a Don Airey gig more recently, I even wondered to myself how his style would sound within DP.)

    Simon will only be turning 43 next month – as such he will be the first DP (guest) guitarist to have grown up with the influence of EvH, Malmsteen, Moore, Sykes, Satriani, Vai etc – and you can hear that in his playing, he has the edge and the ferocity of a younger player. This will be, ignoring the sad circumstances, another interesting chapter in Purple’s journey – all aboard …

  2. 2
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Here he is, anybody playing with the great Laurie Wisefield can be no slouch:


    Yeah, you guessed it: I’m a card-carrying Wishbone Ash nut as well.

    Will there be backing vocals? ; – )


    And I told you about the Moore influence!



  3. 3
    David McCrory says:

    My thoughts are with Steve and Janine, hope all goes well and God speed for a full recovery

  4. 4
    Michiel Blijboom says:

    Seen him numerous times with Don. Best man for the (hopefully part-time) job.

  5. 5
    Kalle says:

    Of course, this is cruel news, especially for Steve. All the best to him, of course.

    I’ve seen Simon McBride live with Don Airey several times – and to be honest, I was blown away. A crazy good guitarist. The second and third time I went to the concerts in Hamburg because of Don AND Simon.

  6. 6
    timmi bottoms says:

    As long as he is on the next album i’m okay for it. Maybe Ritchie can fill in for him. LOL!!!!😂🤣.

  7. 7
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    Thoughts and prayers to Janine and Steve! Hope she gets well real soon!

  8. 8
    Merlijn says:

    Sad news to hear. Steve did loose his mother recently as well. Let’s hope his wife will conquer this. Wish them all the best. And good luck to Simon!

  9. 9
    AndreA says:

    Janine, be strong and you’ll win. I spent the same experience years ago and now I pray for you. You live to win! Ciao

  10. 10
    AndreA says:

    Simon McBride is a great hard rocker.
    I like how he plays.

  11. 11
    STOFFER says:

    best of luck Janine and Steve, thoughts and prayers are with you!

  12. 12
    Fabio says:

    L’Amore prima di tutto. Forza Janine e forza Steve.

  13. 13
    bburgg says:

    He knows his classics.

  14. 14
    aireight says:

    Very sad to hear. Anyone who really knows what kind of person Steve is, should have compassion. Get well soon, Janine.

  15. 15
    Georgivs says:

    My prayers go to Janine and Steve. And how about bringing Steve Morris to sub for Steve Morse?

  16. 16
    Jeff Carollo says:

    Prayers to Steve and his family. One of the most down to earth ‘rock stars’ ever. Did a bunch of meet and greets on the past few tours and couldn’t believe how gracious Steve was that we took the time to be a part of the DP fan base.

  17. 17
    James S Gemmell says:

    Jesus, please place your healing hand on Janine and your comforting hand on Steve.

  18. 18
    Jim Sheridan says:

    Steve Morse is a true gentleman, one of the most decent and hard-working artists out there. What a sad turn of events.

  19. 19
    John M says:

    Sincerely hope Janine gets well soon and Steve stays strong for her and the Family.

  20. 20
    Michael Kearns says:

    Hope all goes well, I wish the very best for you both and a successful return to good health for Janine.

  21. 21
    Lukasz S says:

    The family is the priority in moments like this. I hope Janine will get well soon.

    Regarding Simon McBride I can see him playing Blackmore material without any problem. I am curious how he handles Morse stuff. There are not many players out there that could cover that. I guess they will alter the show to a more traditional hard rock sound. Ian Thornley is one of the less known guys who I always though could pull that off.

  22. 22
    Geno says:

    Cheer up Janine and Steve with such a tough test. Everything will be fine. a lot of strength

  23. 23
    Kidpurple says:

    Family First. God be with you!
    Let’s welcome Simon to the Purple family tree.(Seems he’s already a member !

  24. 24
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    James S Gemmell@17,

    Amen. Thank you for being a witness to Faith. :>

    This stings in many ways. I lost my Dad 22 years ago to the evil disease. He was 67 years old. And many other family and friends over the years including very recent. I’ve liaised with Steve countless times over the past 40+ years. It feels like family. When this news came out, tears. And then more.

    My best to all on the board! :>


  25. 25
    francis says:

    est-ce vraiment deep purple avec ou sans lui?

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Flash thought and note to self: DP now have a touring member who’s 20 years younger than I am – gulp.

    I really should have paid those guitar lessons in the mid-seventies more attention and not switch to bass early on. I would have had a head start!

    Is Mk IX already an official term? : – )

  27. 27
    Andy says:

    Wishing Steve and Janine well.

  28. 28
    LeonR2Z says:

    Wishing Steve and Janine all the best and a full and speedy recovery.

    I was lucky enough to see Simon in action at a PRS demo in Newcastle about 15 years ago and he is an excellent player.

  29. 29
    GAVIN MOFFAT says:

    Wishing Steve and his wife all the best for her treatment.
    No problems accepting Simon standing in for Steve at this time. IMO Steve saved Purple “No Steve Morse, no Deep Purple’ is probably an accurate assessment. Don was a perfect keyboard player for the band too.

    Steve is such a nice guy. He took time at the end of a gig, to aim a few of his guitar picks at the 10 year old standing next to me, with his dad. I managed to get one too. 🤩

  30. 30
    william norman says:


  31. 31
    Marcus says:

    Steve needs to stay strong for Jannice, who will need him. It will be tough. I hope she makes it through.

    Don’s band is by far the better version of Rainbow out there, sorry Graham. Simon will do well.

    News coming in, there is a third band playing Rainbow material. I suppose they could have asked the guitarist in that one, but maybe not. 🙂

  32. 32
    George Martin says:


    I think I speak for everyone when we say we hope and pray that your wife wins her battle with cancer. We will all miss you but I know we will see you again. Thanks for being a major part of this band for so many years. It would not have survived without you. God bless you and your family.

  33. 33
    Alfredo says:

    Ánimo Steve. Tu fortaleza y la de tu esposa van a sacarla adelante y con bien. Eso es lo que en realidad importa.

  34. 34
    Nijam says:

    Steve is a great guy and all the best to his wife to recover from this soon.

    I’m not sure about the new guy taking over but DP should hire someone alike from the style of the early rock culture type for a instance like Blackmorized guitarist Stuart smith he was once an RB student got that looks and he got that charisma.

    Check out the video below


  35. 35
    Adel Faragalla says:

    I hope she will be clear of it and make good recovery.
    Did Ritchie submit his CV to get a chance.
    Peace 🙂

  36. 36
    Albania says:

    This is such awful news.
    I met Steve’s wife in Phoenix, AZ, during the Perpendicular tour. She came backstage with a friend and introduced herself while we were chatting with Steve and Roger. She commented on how welcoming the band had been to Steve and, if I recall correctly, shared with us how at a prior show the band had surprised her by bringing out a birthday cake and singing happy birthday to her. She seemed super sweet and down to earth.
    Wishing them all the best during these trying times. Goodspeed!

  37. 37
    Rick says:

    Strength and hope, fight the good fight.

    @17 Amen James!!

  38. 38
    Andrew M says:

    Sad news indeed–and I speak from experience. I wish Steve and Janine courage, whatever the future brings. In the meantime, let us hope for the best.

  39. 39
    Joe says:

    God bless you, Janine and Steve…

  40. 40
    Tommy says:

    Steve, you are so loved worldwide and the millions you’ve touched with your music and your kind, genuine smile are sending wave after wave of healing energy right back at you for Janine. Love and warm wishes to you both.

  41. 41
    Stathis says:

    Sincerest, warmest wishes to Janine and Steve. Love.
    On a lighter note, anyone notice that this will be the second time a person named McBride will have played with members of the Purple family tree?
    /trainspotting mode on

  42. 42
    nupsi59 says:

    Best wishes to Janine & Steve.

  43. 43
    Heyward says:

    Awful news, praying for Janine & Steve. May God in Christ heal Janine & comfort both of them.

    I hate to be that guy but McBride is a jazz oriented blues guitarist. I love Gary Moore & I really don’t hear the influence that much. Adrian Smith was heavily influenced by Moore & Blackmore & McBride does not sound like that. McBride is a fine guitarist but he is not the right fit or sound for Purple. The reality is Purple needs a legacy guitarist & shredder or some unknown kid who can shred on Purple tunes because Morse will be gone awhile for the future.

  44. 44
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Purple have never replaced any singer or instrumentalist with someone who even sounds remotely similar. That is for me a huge part of their appeal.

    Jon —> Don
    Nick —> Roger —> Glenn
    Ritchie —> Tommy —> Joe —> Steve —> Simon
    Rod —> Ian —> David/Glenn —> Joe L.

    Purple live is not so much about recreating their various studio sounds of the past, but creating an atmosphere of improvisation. They hire gifted people with an individual style to replace other gifted people with a different individual style.

    A Purple line-up with some guy slavishly copying Ritchie’s riffs, licks and solos would be a nightmare for me. Hence I’m looking forward how Simon will turn out, much as I will miss Steve’s style which for me has become an integral part of the trademark sound of DP.

  45. 45
    Rock Voorne says:

    “It might sound something of a contradiction to say Ritchie,” says Lord.

    “But I think if anyone is identifiable with what drives Purple along, it is him.

    Ironic to some people perhaps because they are always reading about him leaving or ‘growing out of the band’, but he says things like that on impulse and changes his mind next day.”


  46. 46
    stoffer says:

    Best of luck to Janine and Steve again! Thoughts and prayers are with you, hoping for a speedy recovery and Steve’s return to the band.
    I have been listening to to Simon McBrides’s work and I really look forward to seeing his style meld with Purple, for the short term👍

  47. 47
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’m listening to Mc Bride’s “Rich Man Falling” album as I write this and you know what? It doesn’t take too much imagination to picture most of his songs as played by Deep Purple. There is a lot of Robin Trower as well as Free/Bad Company in his music. And when he gets jazzy, even a little Tommy Bolin.

    Those of you who think that Steve is just a little too Prog & American for Purple should be very pleased with the Blues infusion our old warhorse is getting now.

    And he really is a very fluid lead and rhythm guitarist, but retains a certain earthiness – darn, he just sounded like Tommy Bolin again!

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