[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

A bitter-sweet emotion

Simon McBride; photo © Martin Knaack CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Louder Sound has profiled Simon McBride, including quotes from a recent interview with him:

[…] McBride was always going to be the obvious candidate. He’d already played in the solo bands of Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Don Airey, knew how to wrangle Smoke On The Water and all the rest.

“They are quite fussy about how that song should be played,” he says with a laugh. “And there are certain Ritchie Blackmore solos, too, like Highway Star. You can’t get away with playing anything else. But I don’t try to copy how Blackmore or Steve played. You just take the concepts they used and put your own thing to it.”

Morse has described McBride as “a certified world-class guitarist”. Any word from Blackmore?

“It would be lovely if Ritchie gave me his blessing,” McBride says. “But am I worried if he doesn’t? No, I’m not worried. Joe Satriani gave me his blessing, so that’s good enough for me. That’s my childhood hero, so it’s like the hand of God saying: ‘You’re okay.’”

At last, after a career of ebb and flow, McBride seems to have found the win- win scenario his talent deserves. “Y’know, it’s Deep Purple,” he says, grinning. “Who would not want to play with them? They’re all still shit-hot players. On the other hand, I can look at this and think: ‘Well, it’s probably going to help my solo career a little bit too.’ It does feel like I’m living a quadruple life right now. But I’ve become an expert plate-spinner over the years.”

Read more in Louder Sound.

Thanks to Gary Poronovich for the info.



17 Comments to “A bitter-sweet emotion”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I can attest to the fact that Simon is not obsessed with sounding either like Blackmore or Morse most of the time, instead he sounds like Gary Moore!

    He really shone on WABMC, Lazy and SOTW. And I liked his gung ho rendition of the Highway Star solo which sounded a bit like Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) doing Ritchie Blackmore. He has an intact ego and is not overawed by the looming shadows of his predecessors.

  2. 2
    mike whiteley says:

    Simon is doing a fine job.He certainly has fit in seamlessly.
    I send a ton of good thoughts to Steve & his wife..Hopefully, she is getting better.

  3. 3
    Adel Faragalla says:

    To be honest as long as there isn’t a new album with DP to judge his credentials then I hold my thoughts.
    Steve Morse was a great riffs engine machine that DP used very well.
    Listen to Perpendicular and enjoy it.
    But he is doing a great job on stage filling in for Steve.
    Peace 👍

  4. 4
    Krister Adolfsson says:

    Mr McBride is a fantastic guitarplayer – really great fun to watch and hear those recent Youtube recordings from concerts lately…and they are all playing fantastic and Ian Gillan sounds really good too!

    It would be a blessing if Deep Purple released a live record named “Alive and well with banjoplayer McBride” …. or something like that 😉

    It would be nice also to know what mr Blackmore think of this newest incarnation of Deep Purple…….

  5. 5
    Hristo Yankov says:

    I see a bit of egoism and disrespect to RB in these quotes. Is it right to use shithot when you speak about DP? Hmmm, not sure he has great personality to fit the band’s members manners. Pay him and let it go.

  6. 6
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @6: If he didn’t have the personality to fit with the band members, he wouldn’t have gotten the gig. It’s not like he was unkonwn to them when he joined the band.

  7. 7
    al says:

    @ 6 I think you are reading a little bit too much into the lines.I don’t get your annoyance with him?! how would you come to such a conclusion that “not sure he has a great personality to fit the band” I hope the band would not ask you for permission about the personality of the guitar player. The problem with some fans is that just don’t accept anything aside from Ritchie Blackmore.Just chill dude

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    OMG, since when aren’t you allowed to be a little cocky if you play lead guitar in a rock band? I thought it came with the job description. Ritchie sure was. But then he is allowed to do and be anything, while his successors are not.

    Pile up the heap for Simon’s burning on the pyre: He even committed the deathly sin of wise-cracking in another interview that he didn’t find any of Ritchie’s/the deity’s parts difficult to replciate. HOW DARE HE !!!

  9. 9
    Reinder says:

    I have not been to any of this run of shows but I’ve watched a lot of fan-shot videos on YouTube and I’m 100% on board with Simon McBride’s cockyness and he’s fast becoming a favorite guitarist. He may play the notes his predecessors wrote but he is his own man, adding his own distinct energy and commanding the stage. It’s refreshing to have him there, I would love to have a live album with him even if it’s just a brown cardboard release, and I’d even like to hear him do some new creative work with the Purps. Maybe another interim project?

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I find Simon entertaining. His cockiness, his youngish energy, his “I know you all came to see me do Blackmore and Morse, but my two favourite guitarists are Moore and Satriani, so there!”. He doesn’t leave me openmouthed like Blacknore, Bolin and Morse all sometimes could, but he’s good fun and has infused Purple with some grit and energy they haven’t had in a long time. And I’m writing this as someone who can only listen to Gary Moore in small doses.

    Seeing him (and the band) again tomorrow in Mainz, secong gig for me on the running tour.

    But if the band performed, say, six songs off Whoosh!, I’d very much prefer to see the Floridian with the awful T-shirt taste do it, I like Steve’s intricate rhythm playing and his creativity (Simon’s rhythm playing is more meat & potatoes, but so was Blackmore’s, if he could be bothered to play rhythm guitar at all that is). If you ask me, Simon does a better Blackmore than he does a Morse. That is not down to his technical skills but to his feel and temperament.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Simon does little things like this (as witnessed by me in Bonn):

    He walks energetically to the front and middle of the stage, assumes a plant-your-legs-apart-“Iron Maiden guitarist”-position/throws a shape, exchanges a quick mischievous sideways glance with Roger who laughs and gestures him to continue (Simon is by now laughing too) and then proceeds to play the SOTW riff in slightly faux earnestness, but with a nice kick-ass-attitude, even a touch sloppy. Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek, but Simon is in that moment also the little kid again, practicing the SOTW riff at his bedside for the first time (and driving his parents mad, I know what I’m talking about, my son played the Lenny Kravitz “Are You Gonna Go My Way” riff for about two weeks in a constant loop until he had it note- and groove-perfect). In a way that is the nicest reverence you can ask for a song known to hundreds of millions.

    And why not?! I cry. Yes, humor does belong in music, and a little Spinal Tap never did nobody no harm. Simon doesn’t need to be overawed by the Purple legacy.

  12. 12
    Woodman says:

    Simon McBride steps up on the intro to Uncommon Man. At about 00:25 there’s an “almost” quote of Anna’s Theme from “The Red Violin” (at least to my ears.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs9pIjNUwUs

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I saw him yesterday in Mainz for the second time on the German tour. The audience really bonds with him. My little brother was with me and he wouldn’t be able to tell Blackmore from Bolin or Morse visually (I know, I failed in sibling education, but he liked Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five so what could I reasonably do?!), but he really dug Simon’s stage presence and guitar playing going even as far as to say that he found him more impressoive than Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach (which he had seen – also with his older brother, I’m making amends in his musical education! – a couple of years ago with ole Cov’).

    The band in Mainz was more on fire than they had been in Bonn, Big Ian was a little less fresh though. They played Wring That Neck/Hard Road as part of the encore medley, that was a nice surprise. A good version of Anya continued to be in the set at the expense of Time for Bedlam which they had played in Bonn.

  14. 14
    Marcus says:

    A couple of geeky videos

    Simon nattering about practice and techniques
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4sdj9erf6U

    Simon’s new pedal board
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvMSv4tOAWE

    I note he name checks Don a lot, especially Colosseum II,with his fellow Belfast born guitarist.
    He also name checks a former purple guitarist – especially Surfing with the Alien.

  15. 15
    Mark Sutcliffe says:

    I can hear more Blackmore in Simons approach. Personally I like that. Some of those solos are part of the absolute bedrock of rock/metal music. My dream would be to play with Purple. Simon is living that dream!

  16. 16
    Marcus says:

    On Simon’s recommendation, I dug up the Colosseum II on BBC Sight and Sound from a video streaming site. Don looks so young.

    It was such a great band. Don, Gary Moore, John Mole and Jon Hiseman. Unfortunately, Don is the last man standing.

    Don and Simon played some C2 stuff on the last tour.

  17. 17
    GeofOK says:

    Morse is a brilliant player, from the Dixie Dregs albums through Kansas and up to his many Purple releases, but McBride adds some aggression to the songs due to his influences being guitarists like Gary Moore and Steve Lukather. It would be very interesting to hear a new studio album with him contributing to the writing and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit reminiscent of the heavier In Rock or Machine Head era, but in the meantime, a live album and/or video from the recent dates would be very welcomed. I don’t know if anyone noticed them videotaping any full shows with multi-cameras, but I’m sure they have at least audio soundboards of some shows…

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2022 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star