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

Nobody is happier than Simon

Simon McBride; photo: © Ueli Frey

An outfit called VWMusic spoke recently to Simon McBride, and that resulted in an interesting interview.

Andrew: Can you recount the initial call you received to fill in for Steve Morse?

Simon: Well, there was talk of me stepping in for Steve temporarily towards the end of last year in 2021, but I never really thought much of it. I never thought much of it because it was always a case of, “It may happen, or it may not happen,” because it depended on Steve’s wife’s condition as to whether he would be able to tour. But it just got to the stage where Steve decided enough was enough, and he needed to look after his wife, which is an amazing thing he’s doing. So, I knew it was possible, but I didn’t know for sure; I only really found out recently that I was being confirmed as a permanent replacement.

Andrew: I chatted with Ian over the summer, and he mentioned that Deep Purple may start working on some new music in early 2023. Are there any updates in the way of new Deep Purple music?

At the minute, I’m just focused on the tour. As you said, there’s been whispers of new stuff, but we haven’t done any writing or anything yet, so we’ll have to play it by ear. I take things as they come to be honest, and my main focus of attention right now is these shows with Deep Purple and having an amazing tour. But I’m always writing stuff on the road; it can be for me, or it can be for Deep Purple, so we’ll see how things unfold in terms of new music.

Read the whole thing in VWMusic.

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info.

33 Comments to “Nobody is happier than Simon”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:

    Yo, the interview sounds promising indeed, with no shortage of new music on the horizon. Kudos to Simon, thanks for keeping the DP flame burning !

    And we all hope that Steve & family are coping as best as possible !

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Tony says:

    See you next week Simon ( for the second time)……

    ……. but big thanks for Steve …..saving Deep Purple 28years ago……you are always on my mind (would Evis Presley say ) .

  3. 3
    Tetragrammatony says:

    This guitarist manages to have less charisma than SM, if that’s possible….

  4. 4
    mike whiteley says:

    Simon sounds appreciative and enthusiastic, but, at this point, he’s a hired gun to help with tour commitments
    A new album would change that.
    Here’s hoping……

  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I’m sure the new kid will do good. Variety is the spice of life.

  6. 6
    George Martin says:

    So in your mind, what does he need to do to have more charisma? Give some examples. You’ve got to know he’s not going to do anything to try to upstage the rest of the band.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I think he has an image already. He’s the gritty young punk in the band. And being Irish, there is a certain Bernie Torme gunslinger attittude in his stage demeanor. Anodyne he ain’t.


  8. 8
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Gone the days when the guitarist charisma was the talking point.
    If you are good at what you do then the charisma is just a worthless distraction.
    People are not that stupid to be tricked by fake acts on stage.
    Besides charisma is just an act anyway and DP is all about the music.
    Peace ✌️

  9. 9
    janbl says:

    I think you mistake the word charisma with choleric…

  10. 10
    stoffer says:

    @3 Steve did way more than he was hired to do back in ’96, he helped save the band after the guitarist with “charisma” left them for dead. SM was never going to replace Blackmore’s presence on stage but the band rallied together and lasted 28 fucking years with him (and put out some damn good music) NOT TOO BAD!! Thank you Steve and good luck to Simon!

  11. 11
    Tommy H. says:

    Simon is one hell of a guitar player. However, I do miss Steve. I hope he’s doing fine and his wife is getting better with her husband at her side. All the best!

  12. 12
    Matti Alakulju says:

    I think he should smash his guitar into a TV camera, take a fist fight with the singer, refuse to come out for an encore… you know, the sort of stuff that would make him a STAR!

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    Still not sure as to why some here say that Steve Morse ‘saved’ the band DP. If Morse had not joined DP, they would hunted down another guitar slinger & continued on for a while. @ 3 your comments on charisma, I know what you mean. That word has many definitions & yes you may be right in that regard. Lets see how good this new guy is at the riffs etc. He is on a hiding to nothing & good luck to him, go for it while it lasts. Cheers.

  14. 14
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    Steve was onstage with Chuck Leavell and Duane Betts, not HD and cannot make out who the other musicians are. For some reason I can’t copy and paste YouTube just within this site. : : All In Festival – Allman Brothers Dream Set – “Jessica” – 9-3-22

    P.S. Brothers and Sisters a work of art….


  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Purple could of course found another guitarist after Ritchie, but I rule out that he would have stayed with the band for 28 years and co-created the body of work Steve did.

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    For that ultimate litmus test on the overabundance or dearth of charisma, as the case may be, have we yet determined what Simon wears underneath? He has snake skin shoes, fishnet stockings and garter belts to fill!


  17. 17
    Gregster says:

    @15 Yes, there’s no doubt that Ritchie has always followed the original “Chris Curtis” grand-plan for a band, with the idea of “Roundabout”, & it being a vehicle for musicians to jump-on, & jump-off whenever they like…

    Ritchie himself had 7-8 years with Mk’s I & II in the 60’s & 70’s, followed by another 7-8 years of Rainbow, & then another 7-8 years with the reformed DP…It seems that Blackmore’s Night has proven a vehicle he’s happy with, worked hard to achieve, & lasted by-far the longest. ( But he’s also painted himself into a corner, that he’s happy to be in imo )…

    It’s also fair to say that Steve Morse’s musical versatility has contributed immensely, along with the other band members wanting to grow & develop musically, with the longevity of DP, especially since the mid-1990’s of course.

    This is why I’ll maintain that all the musicians in DP over all the years have had their influence & input, but in time, Steve’s efforts & input as “the” guitarist of DP for so long, will be at the least remembered & respected as much as RB’s…Tommy was awesome too, but one can’t help feeling that his life’s tragedy is why he’s revered so much today…( That said “Private Eye’s” & his other solo efforts are quite good, & well worthy of owning ).

    Long live DP, & I hope that Simon gets a fair go, & some respect too.

    Peace !

  18. 18
    Adel Faragalla says:

    You know sometime you just have to say things as you truly feel.
    I am so pissed off with Ian P, IG, Roger and Don as they never really arranged a decent respectable exit to guy that severed DP and and was a vital member for 27 years.
    Look how they honoured Jon Lord and how the crowds greeted him on his last concert when he joined Don Airey in stage.
    Come on guys you can do better than nice words to thank him.
    Sorry if I put down it very rude but I really feel bad about the exit of an amazing guitarist that served an amazing band with all his heart and soul and contributed on 8 studio albums yes 8 studio albums.
    Plz if you feel the same you can join me and write about it so maybe someone will take notice and see sense. As this exist is more of a shamble than respectable in my humble opinion.
    Peace and love always wins ✌️

  19. 19
    George Martin says:

    I think when Purple tours America, they will have Steve join them on stage when Steve is able to. Steve made a decision to leave to be with his wife who is very ill. I don’t think you can compare when Jon left the same as when Steve left. When Steve left, all of Purple’s upcoming shows were over in Europe somewhere. It’s too far away for him to be with them at that time. He needed to be home. It’s up to you but I think you should give the other 4 guys a break. Trust me, Steve was, is and will always be loved by all of them. Including me. Peace.

  20. 20
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Your comments are balanced but only time will tell if it materialize.
    I hope the fans will get their chance to thank him on stage and give him an outstanding send off just like Jon Lord.
    Peace ✌️

  21. 21
    stoffer says:

    @18 It would be nice if DP could honor Steve somehow, just not sure how that would work?? As far the exit being a “shamble” ….. I think not, “unfortunate” is a better word. SM did what he had to/needed to do and so did the band. Really gonna miss Steve and his immense talent and professionalism, I’m sure Simon will make us happy on stage (in the US as he already has in Europe) and in studio as well.

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Adel, when Steve left, every current DP member made a statement regretting his decision, thanking him for his past contribution and wishing him well. Steve’s priorities lie currently elsewhere and they have to: His wife Janine suffers from stage 4 cancer – we all know what that statistically means and have most likely all lost loved ones to it.

    Steve must have a lot of things on his mind and at his hands right now, but not commemorative celebrations regarding his departure from DP. The greatest gift for him would be that his wife pulls through eventually and – with the US healthcare system being what it is – that the spouses’ bank accounts are filled to the brim from Purple days for him to afford the best available treatments and care for Janine. Yes, sometimes it comes down to basics like that. Dixie Dregs and Steve Morse Band royalties don’t pay oncology bills.

    I’m happy to see that the DP community misses Steve dearly and that there seems to be some belated reappreciation of his contribution to the band, but Steve did what he had to do and, more importantly, also the right thing. Everyone, the band included, would have been happy to see the end of Purple as a touring and recording entity in a few years with the VIII line-up still intact, but life sometimes intervenes.

  23. 23
    Mike Airey says:

    @adel faragella (18) You have absolutely no idea what went on behind the scenes. I would advise you keep opinions like that to yourself and wind your neck in.

  24. 24
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Oops, I think I just saw Mike’s dad in Stuttgart …

    I’m glad I went (though the Autobahn had congestions going there and heading back). It was a good gig, the band have gelled more since the Summer open air concerts (and I prefer concert hall gigs to open airs in any case, open airs are never loud enough for me!), Simon is even cockier than before and it warms my heart to see someone in Purple legs planted firmly apart in classic Rick Parfitt pose! I like all the little noises he does, he doesn’t play a quiet guitar, there was a bit of Bernie Tormé to him tonight, all those dive bombing-harmonics …

    Mike’s dad was in fine form too, very witty and inspired in his solos. And Big Ian sang well and with lots of feel, he struggled a bit with Highway Star and Space Trucking, but made up for it on all the other songs.

    Simon is a more dominant guitarist than Steve was especially in his later days. In some of the more recent Mk VIII gigs I saw, Don began taking the sonic lead to an extent where I say it was 60:40 in favor of him compared to Steve (not that it bothered me, I like how Don drove the band). But tonight was 50:50 again.

  25. 25
    Uwe Hornung says:


    First Roger, then Don’s son/DP’s stage manager … next thing we know Ritchie himself or Carole Stevens will show up, crowned by a post by Rod Evans “they towed my car so I couldn’t make it to the RRHoF in time …”.

    The Highway Star really needs a new caption: “Where the stars and their next of kin mingle!”

    Incidentally, Simon Mc has now been photoshopped into the mock-In Rock-look iceberg projection on their stage screens. It’s not especially skillfully done – I’m sure that Simon Robinson would have a word or two to say -, but Simon Mc has now really arrived in the family.

    Oh, and Ian G rambled about Mitzi Dupree and the way she could sink canoes with her good aim “making the canoes too heavy to float” on stage last night. My heart almost stopped because I thought they might play the song, but unfortunately they didn’t.

    Now I sit and wonder how many ping pong balls it might take to sink a canoe? And where they all would come from of course.

  26. 26
    Tetragrammatony says:

    To Mr Uwe: Just remembering that if Blackmore didn’t exist, Gillan and Glover would still be playing in bars in Beirut…. Have a nice day!

  27. 27
    Moreblack says:

    Purple will rock again!!

  28. 28
    Uwe hornung says:

    Tetragrammatony: Yup, and without those Beirut buskers, Ritchie is pretty much back where he was prior to DP, playing smaller venues in Germany, except that he has swapped the Hamburg night clubs for castle yards. It works both ways.

    Rainbow’s chequered career is not exactly living proof that anything he touches turns to gold.

  29. 29
    MacGregor says:

    A ping pong ball manufacturer I would guess or maybe a sports store or even a very keen ping pong (table tennis) player. There are many out there who could supply the ping pong balls to suit any endeavour. I suppose the question still remains, it’s what you do with them that counts, isn’t it, he he he! Cheers.

  30. 30
    George Martin says:

    Mike, any word on a US tour next year?
    Also, any new releases like live recordings before the end of the year.
    Don Rules!

  31. 31
    Charles says:

    So, when will there be an official group photo? I haven’t seen one yet.

  32. 32
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Me neither, just the “In Rock” inspired iceberg backdrop at the beginning of their gigs where they have – rather badly – photoshopped Simon’s facial features over Steve’s.

    You’re right, it’s about time for an official promo pic. The official site has at least a decent live shot now:


  33. 33
    Rock Voorne says:

    ” without those Beirut buskers, Ritchie is pretty much back where he was prior to DP”

    I seem to recall DC was lurking around as well ….

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