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The Highway Star

Not great in geography

Simon McBride spoke to Colombia’s El Expreso Del Rock. Listen to the interview here:

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info.

54 Comments to “Not great in geography”:

  1. 1
    N95 Mask says:

    Happy for Simon…….Simon say’s!!!

  2. 2
    Noe Nunez says:

    Andres Duran ( the interviewer) is not that great in geography either, Mexico is in North America ; )

  3. 3
    vincent black says:

    Probably the worse guitar player in the Deep Purple history, which doesn’t mean he’s not good !

  4. 4
    Jumbo Glass says:

    Noe Nunez,

    I’ve always been told that Mexico is in Central America. I thought North America is the US and Canada no ?

  5. 5
    Custom Joe says:


    Don’t say that Simon McBride is the worse. Less talented maybe but the “worse”, it’s not appropriate !

  6. 6
    Reverend Harry Longfallis says:

    #1 Simon say’s??
    #4 It doesn’t sound logical, but I’ve always been taught (in many different countries) that Mexico is part of North America, so #2 is right. But as a Spanish-speaking country, it is part of Latin America.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Probably the worst guitar player in the Deep Purple history, which doesn’t mean he’s not good !”

    Are you sure? Technically, Simon can play circles around both Blackmore and Bolin – he’s after all from the post-EvH generation and has grown up with things neither Ritchie nor Tommy were ever exposed to when they were young (and still able to pick up new things easily). Jimmy Page once said that he tried hard to play like EvH and just couldn’t.

    As a guitarist, Ritchie peaked technically in the late 70ies; since then I have heard very little new from him (his venture into acoustic guitar playing with BN excepted); Tommy Bolin died too early to really judge how his development would have turned out, but I don’t really see him competing with EvH or, say, Randy Rhoads either.

    Saying that Ritchie is “better” than Simon is a bit like saying that George Best, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer could beat today’s star players in the Champions League – we all know that they wouldn’t stand a chance, the game has become so much faster and more athletic. Times change – that applies to the standards of guitar playing too, there are new teaching and training methods, there is constant media exposure to new things (and to most everything in the past as well).

    I’ve been playing bass since 1977, people say I’m a good bass player (I know my limits, but I’ve become good at hiding them!), yet I sometimes see 16-year-olds in a music store casually trying something out on a bass that is absolutely beyond my technical skills. I might know a thing or two they don’t know yet, but sheer technique? I stand no effing chance.

    Simon is likely not as technically adept as Joe Satriani or Steve Morse, but then who is? These two guys come both from a school of mostly instrumental playing, where fast sophistication is key (and where you can constantly shred all you want without getting into a singer’s way). Simon OTOH is a gritty Blues player, albeit one with modern day chops.

  8. 8
    Lukasz Slowinski says:

    Simon is a fantastic player. The only problem I have with him is that every one of the previous guitar players brought their unique style with them and they were very brave with their approach to the original arrangements. I could tell Steve Morse from any other guitarist immediately. Same with Tommy Bolin and Joe Satriani. I don’t think I can say it about Simon. He also follows the original lines much closer which I noticed is praised online by fans but I don’t think this is what DP is about. People who were never convinced about Steve Morse seem to love him. I was always more into Morse camp, so that explains it.

  9. 9
    vincent black says:

    Yes I said “the worst” but added “which doesn’t mean he’s not good”.

    I don’t think he leaves the same imprint on the music world compared to Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Satriani or Steve Morse, but I may be wrong. I agree thay he plays very well but he doesn’t that little thing which makes the difference between “the very good” and “the legends”
    Maybe in 100 years, people will say “Ah Deep Purple, the band with Simon McBride !!!”. Maybe…

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Tommy didn’t give a flying flamingo how the original Blackmore lines went. That was sometimes interesting/brilliant and often lackadaisical. Fans mostly didn’t like it, but that is what you get when you replace a very British player like Ritchie with a very American one like Tommy who was always proud of his own idiosyncratic, self-taught style. Dave Clempson would have knuckled down to it and learned the Highway Star solo by heart note for note even if that type of grand dramatic playing wasn’t exactly his preference. Not Tommy, he didn’t take the imposing Blackmore heritage serious (and paid dearly for it).

    Steve was very much a complete, faultless package. Precise, athletic, with a great rhythm guitar groove (as good as EvH in my book, who was ALSO a great rhythm guitarist) and exquisite guitar part arrangement ideas. What he didn’t have was rock’n’roll raunch and a sense of danger in his playing (some people never forgave him that). Steve played his solos like he flew his planes, well-prepared and diligently.

    Blackmore OTOH would have been kicked out of RAF flying school in the first few weeks OR (if he had found a superior to cover for him) perhaps become a fighter ace with regular disciplinary issues and a reputation of ruining expensive flying material – there goes another Spitfire!

    Simon has more grit than either Tommy or Steve. As a rhythm guitarist he is not as ridiculously sparse (or undisciplined) as Blackmore was with Purple (he’s a much more dutiful rhythm player with BN), but he neither dances around the groove like Tommy did nor is he a rhythm guitar orchestra like Steve. Simon is a choppy, meat & potatoes rhythm guitar player (you don’t really need more within an organ-based band like Purple) – hey, guys, when is it time for my solo?! -, I guess he has played with Don Airey long enough to realize that he doesn’t need to fill up room with a busy player like Don and his arsenal of sounds. He also has that Gary Moore’sque intensity and “clamoring-for-attention” in his solo playing (though not as obnoxious as Moore, who could be a real headache after a while), that has given Purple’s live sound a point-booted kick in the complacent butt and reinvigorated the band which with Steve in his latter days had become a tad bit too well-behaved and “just right” for my taste.

    For the next studio album, I think Ezrin’s key task will be to get Simon down as raw and as swashbuckling as he sounds live. Having produced the majority of Alice Cooper albums in the past, I’m sure he will be up to it. Putting the ‘garage’ back into Deep Purple so to say – In Rock always had a garage sound for my ears, that was a great part of its immediacy and appeal. And the early Alice Cooper Group was of course garage sound par excellence – with Bob Ezrin embellishments.

  11. 11
    Jumbo Glass says:

    I agree with Vincent and I have to disagree with Uwe.

    Technic is not everything. On YouTube you can find loads of guitarists that are brilliant technically. They can reproduce incredible solos for EVH for example, as you mention him Uwe. But it’s not what makes a great guitar player in my opinion. I think guitarists like McBride, there are heaps of them in Deep Purple cover bands.

    Maybe if Simon McBride does an album with Deep Purple, it can change it.

  12. 12
    Jumbo Glass says:

    Thank you Reverend Harry Longfallis for the lesson. I learnt something today !

  13. 13
    Tommy H. says:

    @ #8: Good point. However, a more unique style can be very challenging for an audience as well. A lot of DP fans could never really adjust to Steve. This is reflected in the fact that Steve has never really (or at least for a long time) seen himself integrated into the band too well (British idiosyncrasies aside). Nevertheless, Steve always was very highly appreciated by the other lads. Musically, I was blown away from the start with Steve and I agree that his performances/arrangements lifted the old material to previously unheard hights. Jon and Steve jamming together – what a killer combo that was. Yet soundwise, I always preferred Ritchie’s tone to anyone else’s.

  14. 14
    George Martin says:

    As far as comparing Deep Purple guitar players go, it’s probably better to not compare them with each other because it’s all a matter of opinion anyway and it will always cause disagreements. I’ve seen Purple with all of them except Satriani but I’ve seen him live on his own so I’ve seen them all. I won’t say who I think is the worst or to put it a little nicer at the bottom of the list but it definitely is not Simon! So there you go.

  15. 15
    Ben Hudson says:

    @Uwe Hornung

    “Saying that Ritchie is “better” than Simon is a bit like saying that George Best, Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer could beat today’s star players in the Champions League”

    I completely disagree with that.

  16. 16
    Gregster says:

    Yo, Simon has to get some hours & gigs in playing-time under his belt before stretching-out, & making his own authentic mark on the music…That’s why the band is making a new record, so you get to hear the new music being made & molded into a new sound, but without any comparison to, or need to play like others before him, since it’s “new”…

    Probably one of the most difficult & un-recommended jobs to take-on is being a replacement in a famous band, with historical classic tunes to play through. Some fans will expect in this instance SM & RB note-for-note replays, whilst others will expect new & interesting improvisations…Middle-ground & blending the two ideas is always a good safe-bet imo. And it’s a natural thing to do.

    In the end, no-one will be happy, but Simon does have the job, & all he has to do is keep himself happy, since if he can manage that, the band will be happy too, & likely a vast majority of the fans also.

    I’d be expecting a surprising & impressive performance on the new record.

    Peace !

  17. 17
    Georgivs says:


    To me, Ritchie’s golden era had been in the ’70s indeed, but in terms of standalone solos, I’d say he peaked with “Death Alley Driver’, ‘A Gypsy’s Kiss’ and ‘Dead or Alive’. Just in my very humble and uneducated opinion. And then, he started losing interest in fast soloing, as we all know.)

  18. 18
    Kris says:

    Why not just wait for the new Deep Purple album, hear what Simon’s contribution was to the record, and then make a judgment???

  19. 19
    Buttockss says:

    @ 7. If Chris Oliva wasn’t killed in a car accident in my own opinion would have been the greatest guitar player in rock, metal.

  20. 20
    Ole says:

    I agree both Steve and Tommy were good, but they were not the right players for the blues based and dangerous hard rock band I loved from the 70’ties. If you switched all players in Deep Purple to great Jazz musicians it might be great – but it would not be something I would like. I. Just. don’t. like. jazz.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ritchie was of course the most significant guitarist Purple ever had: It was his band (co-owned by others) and his era, (largely) his songs etc – he left (and had room to leave) a huge musical imprint. For the most part of the 70ies, he was also one of the technically most accomplished rock guitarists and – never a shrinking violet – he flaunted that ability. His Highway Star solo is a brilliant piece of music, but it is also a show-off solo designed to impress. There was always a show-off element in Purple’s soloing and improvisational excesses, it was a huge part of their appeal for male adolescents like we all once were! (And they caught a lot of flak from music critics because of exactly that perceived vanity in their playing.)

    But towards the end of the 70ies new guitarslingers appeared, many of them ironically inspired by Ritchie and he no longer retained a technical edge over them. He tried to compete for several years, even up to the early years of the Mk II reunion, but he came to his limits. In an effort to show younger shredders where it’s at, his playing lost musicality and flow, live it could sometime be just a noisy barrage of notes. So for me, it was actually a relief when Blackmore cut back on the fast soloing (it’s what I liked on Slaves & Masters which features a lot of tasteful guitar playing), I dig it when he plays slower and convinces via choice of notes rather than quantity of notes. Some of his most mature and beautiful solos of the 70ies are on Stormbringer, in fact I can’t think of a single weak solo on that album (even if they are very often shorter than before, but length isn’t – as it is in other areas of life! – always decisive), while Rainbow albums are filled with tracks featuring nondescript/phoned in solos by him (among his usual flashes of brilliance of course).

    Don’t get me wrong: I do not think that technical expertise is the key aspect to a lead guitarist’s playing, not at all. But Ritchie was always conscious of his superior abilities and did not spare his peers with criticism. He was after all the guy who said about Alvin Lee that “his playing is all wrong because he mostly uses downstrokes and a very low action (Uwe: = distance between strings and fretboard making left-hand hammer-ons easy and enabling fast playing)” or about Steve Howe “when I hear him solo, he always sounds like he is practicing scales”.

  22. 22
    Custom Joe says:

    For sure, McBride is the less brilliant name of all the players who have played for Purple, the most unknown for sure (maybe underrated I could agree).

    We all know how Bolin was chosen (he played on Spectrum by Bill Cobham, which is just fantastic really ! I really recommend if you haven”t listened to it). Of course he had problems with drugs but when he was in great shape, what a great guitar player and he fitted very well with the funky style DP was taking. Come Taste The Band is one of my favourites albums.

    We know how Satriani was chosen (DP was supposed to tour in Japan and Satriani was a huge star there)

    Steve Morse, well…Best Overall Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine for five years in a row !

    Simon McBride…well if he hadn’t been chosen for DP, who would have said : I’d like to see McBride in Purple ???

    I have the album by Ian Gillan recorded in Warsaw called “Contractual Obligation”. McBride plays on it, along with Don Airey. I must say I haven’t been particularly impressed by his playing. It’s OK but nothing exceptional in my humble opinion. He does not add anything.

    Anyway let’s face it, Deep Purple is coming to an end and it must be hard to find a great guitarist who wants to get involved in a project that can end in a year.

    For example, I would have love to see DP with Jeff Beck, which is now impossible of course. That, to me, would have been much more interesting and exciting than McBride.

  23. 23
    Ben Hudson says:


    If there is a new album from DP. We’ll see.

    I listened to a few tracks from Simon McBride on YouTube (for example “The Fighter”).

    I found it very boring and felt like I already heard the same song. Nothing new, nothing exciting.

  24. 24
    Marc Thomas says:

    Hello everyone,

    I read all your comments and it’s very interesting.

    In 2006, I saw Deep Purple in Cournon, in France. It was wonderful. The guitar player (it was Steve Morse I think) was fantastic. The venue was really on fire. They played all their hits. One of the best concerts I saw in my life !

    Last year I went again, in the same venue. I was very excited about it but I must say I was very disappointed. I didn’t like the setlist. Indeed many songs were quite obscure. The singer cannot sing anymore, the guitarist (I don’t know who he was, I think McBride ?) was ok but nothing spectacular.

    I should have stayed on my first impression of 2006. For me it was very expensive for what it was. And many people around me were telling the same.

    I saw Purpendicular last year with Ian Paice and I must say it was much better. It is a band who plays Deep Purple song. The setlist was great, they played all the hits from Deep Purple there was and much more passion on stage. I enjoyed it much more than Deep Purple with McBride. And I met people who were also at Deep Purple and who had the same opinion.

    Maybe it can help you in your discussions. I’m not a die hard fan as most of you I suppose. I try to be the most objective as possible. I loved 2006 but 2022 was very bad for me. I don’t know if it’s because of the guitarist in particular. I think it was a bit of everything, mostly the guitarist and the singer. He was like breathless all the time.

    Thank you for this great website.


  25. 25
    Rob says:

    Enjoying this thread. But why this determination to establish who is the ‘best’ or ‘worst’? When I listen to Steve, I don’t yearn for Ritchie. When Ritchie is in the grooves, no other matters. Tommy, Simon … soak it in, love it! Musicians are not like footballers trying to vie for top spot, so why do we try create these league tables? Whether it’s a note from Kossoff which complements Rodgers’ hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck brilliancy, or a cadence from Gilmour, the musicality is all that counts and the EvH eruptions can be enjoyed later this afternoon. Did someone say: it’s all music…?

  26. 26
    ivica says:

    Being a Deep Purple guitarist is not the Olympic Games. Faster, technically superior . All of them are excellent individuals and persons..
    However…one is Ritchie (old Ritchie from his analog rock era)
    Let’s say…Steve Morse is a technically perfect guitarist…brutal good , What did he contribute to the band by co-authoring .I love his playing that “gives new life “to old classics that were not performed in the Ritchie era like: Pictures of Home, “When a Blind Man Cries”, “Bloodsucker” etc etc, but in the song “Wasted Sunsets” (with PS) performed in concert, he did not get the feeling, technique, creativity of Ritchie from the studio.
    Simon McBride now has a chance to play in the studio new album , play quality … explosion like Erling Haaland !!!!… overshadowed by: George Best, J Cruijff ,Gerd “Der Bomber” Müller 🙂

  27. 27
    Gregster says:

    Yo, lots of interesting posts to read-through, & differing POV’s.

    Simon “is” a class-act, & I recommend bracing yourselves for some top-notch music to come through on the new album,( opportunity pending to do so of course).

    I base my POV on the little that I’ve seen him play on vids up-here, & as a guitarist myself that’s gone through the Berklee books, I guarantee you all he-knows-his-stuff, is well tutored, & yet he’s also able to comfortably stretch-out of position-playing too. This means he knows the fret-board equally well across it, and up & down it lengthwise.

    He also has superb tones coming-out of his rig.

    I’d say we have everything to look forward to !

    Peace !

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    Poor ole Simon McBride, out on a limb playing other peoples music. He would be clamming at the bit to write & record new music & then get out & play it live. He will hopefully gel with the songwriting side of Purple & I am not including Ezrin in that, keep him out of that side of things. McBride hopefully will be the spark & then get out & support the new album with at least 50% played live in concert, if not more. Then we can hear him in his glory, so to speak. Steve Morse had the luxury of recording a new album first up before going out live, from my memory. Also his experience & nous for that high end playing with quality musicians. McBride hopefully will do well & look back & be proud of what he was able to achieve. Keep Bob Ezrin at the console, not songwriting in any way & while he has had a knack of sorts collaborating with a few musicians in the past with songs, maybe it is time for him to sit back let it roll. Cheers.

  29. 29
    Uwe Hornung says:

    But Herr MacGregor, what’s wrong with Bob Ezrin as a (co-)songwriter, he’s done great stuff with artists as varied as Alice Cooper, Kiss, Hanoi Rocks, Lou Reed, Julian Lennon, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Berlin (that Top Gun song …) and, yes, Andrea Bocelli to name but a few.

    I think it’s almost romantic that so late in their career, DP have bedded with a name producer on a continuous basis (four albums by now, fifth is in the making as we speak) and if that means a writing credit for his input then I have no issues with it.

    And it’s not like his production or songwriting input has changed Purple beyond recognition. Considering his reputation of emblazoning his sound on the acts he works with, he has had a very light-handed touch with Purple. It’s not like we have discussions here like in some Kiss fora where they are still debating today whether the Ezrin-produced Destroyer was a true and fair depiction of Kiss as a band as it sounded like nothing that came before or after. But it became their most successful and famous studio album – unless you call ‘Kiss Alive’ another studio album of course (insert devilish grinning icon here!).

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    “But Ritchie was always conscious of his superior abilities and did not spare his peers with criticism. He was after all the guy who said about Alvin Lee that “his playing is all wrong because he mostly uses downstrokes and a very low action (Uwe: = distance between strings and fretboard making left-hand hammer-ons easy and enabling fast playing)” or about Steve Howe “when I hear him solo, he always sounds like he is practicing scales”. Another couple of Blackmore throw away lines. I cannot imagine he would have listened to too much Yes music, I could be wrong though. Howe is a much more talented soloist than that. Also wasn’t Alvin Lee dubbed ‘the fastest guitarist in the West’ back in the early 70’s’. Those comments sound similar to the ‘I think I could wipe the floor with most guitarists’ one. More humour from Ritchie, again. Agree with the Blackmore soloing too fast during the early reunion years in live performances. Annoying a lot of it was & I often thought he was doing it just because he didn’t give a toss at all about it. Just throwing anything out there for the heck of it. Cheers.

  31. 31
    john says:

    @24 2022-2006 = 15 years that have passed, 15 years they have spent recording 4 new albums and touring non-stop (except for the fkn lockdown due to the CV). And, still, they go on, Gillan’s voice still can sing slow and melodic ones brilliantly, and when it’s time for the classics… well, he’s singing is… nothing at all. The classics are there, and that’s enough.
    I remember cristal clear 1988, after THOBL and short before Nobody’s Perfect was relased, everybody saying This band’s over, that’s it!
    Well, here they are after 35 years, with a brand new guy on guitars and a superb producer who has had them giving the best of them for the last ten years, talking about a new album.
    IMH blablabla comparisons are… well, dunno, name it. DP is RB -I’m sure we all agree there-, but all the other colors of the purple rainbow are loved, appreciated and part of the infinite legend.
    All I think to say is Thank you guys. Thank you big-big

  32. 32
    MacGregor says:

    @ 29 – nothing wrong with Ezrin’s production inventory, a quality producer indeed. I just think in regards to songwriting it seems they have started to sound a little ‘familiar’ in some ways. With a new guitarist and a different sound, style & attitude this could be the chance to strip it back, keep it in the bands hands so to speak. A little rawer perhaps & as they are the guys who play the songs, let it roll. Did they ever need an outside helper songwriter all those years ago? We have heard plenty of historical stories of outside help from a producer with other artists & sure it has worked at times. However the too much help scenario is where the line gets crossed in some instances. It is a fine line indeed. Call me old fashioned. Cheers.

  33. 33
    N95 mask says:

    @6 , right he says it Simon…well done everybody on this post. You are all very knowledgeable about are favorite band. and all the reads have been very entertaining. I’m very fortunate to have found this site. 😀👍

  34. 34
    Gregster says:

    Yo, we all love RB & his contributions to our musical world, have no doubt…But it’s also unfair to list / label him as the best guitarist in the world, or even of his generation.

    He had a unique style & sound, that fitted well with the music at the time, & it that also carried-on into other realms of music & new bands etc etc. And in doing so, his limitations were revealed & quite evident too. And these are/were brought-on entirely by himself. ( At least with regards to what’s available in recordings to listen back to ).

    He also stopped-the-music supply for us, even after perhaps finding the right combinations of musicians to work with at least a few times in his career. And that’s OK too, life goes on, & if you’re not happy, it is best to move on.

    It’s OK to shift musicians & change-them-out for “better” ones, as at the very least, the opportunity to work with a top-tier artist was made available, & many a solid career was started, which is quite a gift to receive in retrospect.

    But imo, for all the chopping & changing, the only thing that remained constant, was a stagnating RB who couldn’t, or decided not to reinvent himself even after all the bollox, hence what I mean about him reaching his limitations, at least in the world of R & R. The fresh-blood may have helped the vibe-of-the-band for the moment, but didn’t help progression or advancement in RB’s playing style through the years, especially on the studio albums, where the input seemed to get less & less, with an odd spike here & there ( eg.Perfect Strangers ( this may well prove his best studio effort ever for guitar nuts )). And the odd 1/10 gig where it all happens 110%, wasn’t good enough. Perhaps the term “painting yourself into a corner” fits well here, especially since Blackmore’s Night has done just that.

    That said, the rest of DP musically advanced in huge leaps & bounds with Steve, & now, hopefully with Simon.

    Kick ass boys !!!

    Peace !

  35. 35
    MacGregor says:

    @ 34- Lets have a look at the ‘stagnating RB’ comment & look at the bigger picture. Most if not all musicians reach moments in their careers where they move onto something else for different reasons. Become bored with the situation they are in would be a common one, also certain people they work with is a very common situation, looking to downsize, over the incessant touring & all the bells & whistles that go with all that or even simply retiring. Blackmore simply moved on as he did in 1974 to do something else. Steve Morse joined DP & the band had a natural lift of creativity & excitement for a little while. Jon Lord resigns for similar reasons, ie, tired of certain scenarios & wanting to do something else more interesting. Don Airey joins DP & they kick on for a little while with 2 new albums then stagnate for different reasons regarding any new material for app 8 years or thereabouts. Then producer Bob Ezrin comes in & kicks their butt, for want of a better description & they get another lift & push on again for a little while recording 3 new albums. Steve Morse resigns for more important things in his life & Simon McBride joins DP for the final hurrah. Another lift will probably see another new album & we will see how that turns out. Don’t just blame Blackmore for stagnating or for the ebb & flows etc. It can happen to anyone & it has at different moments. Also I wouldn’t say that DP ‘advanced in huge leaps & bounds with Steve Morse’, it was up & down the same as with other lineups. It has been up & down by the look of it since, well since day one actually back in 1968. Musicians ebb & flow, songwriters stall & restart sometimes, people become tired, management make decisions good or bad, etc etc. Cheers.

  36. 36
    MacGregor says:

    The other thing I forgot to mention was the repeating style & technique that any rock or different genre guitarist has that is their own, a limitation eventually. No one is spared & I haven’t heard any that have changed a lot over many decades. It is the composition that needs to change even if only subtly at times. That is where working with different musicians helps but even that wears out eventually. Being a Steve Morse aficionado before he joined Purple I usually heard very similar playing within DP, it ‘changed’ or appeared to because he was in a different musical environment, writing, recording & playing with different people. For me Blackmore was still coming up with the goods most of the time up to his retirement from rock music. However we could hear very similar things from his past more often just like we would with other guitarists from other bands. They are only human. Cheers.

  37. 37
    Marc Thomas says:


    I read your comment.

    I know that 15 years have past. Just to give my opinion. For me 2006 was amazing and 2022 disappointing. That’s all I say. I knew that it would maybe not be as good in 2022 as 2006 but I was very disappointed. I didn’t think I would be that much and I found the guitar player quite dull compared with 2006, while I think he was younger.

    And the singer’s voice was quite bad compared to 2006. And I was not the only one who was disappointed, believe me. I’m happy I saw Purpendicular which was very good and made me forgot Deep Purple.

  38. 38
    Gregster says:

    @34…LOL ! I’m only being “super-critical” about RB in reaction to the quotes he actually made to the press all those years ago, that have been reincarnated here such as “I could wipe the floor with most guitarists”…And all I could say to that one, would be that he needed to listen to more musicians & guitarists…

    Attention grabbing quotes, & it got people talking, listening & comparing ! And it was likely just the thing the “filthy-press” wanted to print.

    At the time of the early – mid 1970’s, people like Page & Iommi were transforming their sound, & musicianship dramatically, meaning lots of light & shade, incorporating acoustic solo interludes & working out of their comfort zones…RB never really stepped too far out of his comfort zone, or expanded in the same way as the others. ( A further example of diverse musical development could even be found in comparing what Leslie West achieved with Mountain, & then WB & L & back again…Dramatic differences in approach & playing from one to the other )…

    I’ve always found it interesting that that RB would always indicate that he wanted to “Get into more melody, the melodic thing” with the music, & yet we got great riffs, lots of solid & complicated noodling / solo’s, but very little memorable melody-lines, that you can sing/hum back to yourself. I can’t think of too many that aren’t a riff to be honest.

    He perhaps not only painted himself into a corner, but also turned into a dart-board too lol ! RB was always an “on-the-night” type-of-performer, & hopefully you got him on a good night. This remained throughout his career. And certainly on a good night, you were rewarded with explosive & dynamic emotionally expressive playing. But not every-night.

    Perhaps also its the pressure from the fans to want the same / similar thing over & over, & it just doesn’t happen like that. Work is work, & there’s good & bad days.

    I suggest that RB was his own worst enemy at times, as Roger revealed a number of times in the interviews through the late 1980’s & into the 1990’s, where it’s indicated that “DP are a happening band, in the now”, where RB was of the opinion that “We’re an oldies nostalgia act, & that Perfect Strangers & the reunion tour should have been all that transpired”.

    Alas, history is history, & everyone is where-ever they are, doing whatever they’re doing, & all seem to be quite happy.

    Peace !

  39. 39
    Dr. Bob says:

    Guitarists can talk about who is technically the best. I care more about their sound and song writing ability. EvH may be technically great, but I never liked his sound or got into his riffs. Blackmore & Iommi are my favorites. Massive riffs and solos that convey emotion and take you on a journey.

    What we know if you’ve heard live recent material is that Simon is really good playing Blackmore’s & Morse’s DP songs. What we don’t know yet is how he’ll contribute to the composition of new songs with DP.

  40. 40
    MacGregor says:

    @ 38 – yes I agree totally regarding DP not being diverse enough at times. After MK I Blackmore wanted hard rock, remember the comment to Jon Lord ‘look Jon lets try this hard rock approach & if it doesn’t workout I will play classical music for the rest of my life’ something like that anyway. After that we didn’t get any orchestration did we. The Fireball album has some nice diversions at times (ironic Blackers doesn’t like that album) or acoustic guitar except Soldier of Fortune. With MK I there was more diversity than any other DP lineup I dare to say. Am I calling DP & Rainbow one dimensional, yes in that aspect I am. (I can already hear the dogs baying, if you don’t see me hear again you will know what happened). Rainbow did mix it up a little more than DP in certain ways, particularly the Dio era. Sabbath were doing diversity by SBS onwards, a little acoustic guitar here & there & orchestration, keyboards & even Bill Ward singing on 2 songs. Zeppelin were always great for different genres with acoustic & symphonic arrangements & compositions. Blackmore obviously had his way in that aspect & Jon Lord went ‘solo’ to do his classical thing. Roger Glover did The Butterfly Ball. Rock music it was with DP & I do like so much of it, however we use to discuss this scenario decades ago, why don’t Purple do any acoustic etc. As I have stated here before regarding Blackmore & the progressive rock bands, he wouldn’t last in any of those sort of bands. He wouldn’t want to do diversity like they do & he would be too impatient & obviously not in ‘control’ etc. Yes he was his own worse enemy in that regard. Those mood swings eh? Such is life. Cheers.

  41. 41
    Gregster says:

    @40…Good points there Sir…In fact, I’ve just read through the new JLT post, & have come to realize just how lucky we were at the time to get DP Mk-II to reform again in the mid-1980’s.

    There’s no-doubt that Rainbow finally found their audience & success in the US-of-A with JLT. One could have thought that they would have easily seen out the 1980’s riding a sure wave of success in the Billboard top 40, with or without videos for MTV LOL ! And maybe possibly matched Whitesnake too with their success in the later half of that decade.

    But Mk-II reforming was what we got, & arguably the right decision too, as we still have a solid working band to this day from those decisions made back then. Interesting to note that JLT suggested that “The Battle Rages On” was a poor effort & didn’t sell as well as “Slaves & Masters”…”TBRO” is imo the best of the triplet MK-II reunion albums…I don’t mind “S&M”, as it’s a little like “Stormbringer” in that its a soft option for when you’re in a more quiet listening mood lol !

    Poor Simon, I hope he doesn’t take too much notice of all these remarks lol ! I can’t wait to hear the next album, I’m sure it’ll be good. I actually hope that maybe Don dirties up the keyboard sounds through a Marshall, & we get some solid musical interplay between the two-of-them, where they’re both fighting for the spotlight, & helping the tune(s) out with some heavy, melodic, even progressive rock. Why not ???

    Peace !

  42. 42
    karim kassa says:

    hi there
    i love simon , he is better then morse.
    what did morse bring to DP
    Nada , nothing,
    simon is ritchie when he was young
    beside all the time in the world, morse was invisible
    good ridance and long life simon

  43. 43
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I’ve always found it interesting that that RB would always indicate that he wanted to “Get into more melody, the melodic thing” with the music, & yet we got great riffs, lots of solid & complicated noodling / solo’s, but very little memorable melody-lines, that you can sing/hum back to yourself. I can’t think of too many that aren’t a riff to be honest.”

    Yes, Gregster, that is ironic, Ritchie is always mentioning these Pop acts like ABBA, Asia (thinking man’s Air Supply), Blondie or Neil Diamond he appreciates. But when it comes to constructing chord harmonies for a song, Ritchie is very meat & potatoes, even predictable to the point of stodgy. Not at all the Lennon/McCartney or Andersson/Ulavaeus songwriting school with very often more than one chord change per bar – Ritchie tends to coast on a couple of notes/harmonies in most of his songs. That doesn’t really work with Pop once it reaches a certain sophistication, yet it’s ok for rock (but you likely won’t have an abundance of Top Ten material with it).

    The amount of chord changes in, say, Since You’ve Been Gone is well beyond what Ritchie regularly musters for his own songs (because he’s not really a Pop tunesmith); the verse of Man On The Silver Mountain is actually an exception to the rule as the chords jump around quite a bit in that (the chorus of course reverts to tried and trusted grand Ritchie riff-o-rama). But songs like Stargazer and Mistreated are as harmonically minimalist as a Delta Blues standard. Try singing a catchy tune over that. And a track like Street of Dreams always sounded mannered to me in its attempt to pack in a lot of (cheesy) melody – Ritchie just isn’t Albert Hammond who with his first two or three chords in “The Air That I Breathe” broke harmonic rules, yet wrote something special and memorable (so memorable that Radiohead nicked it for their “Creep” and promptly got caught because it is such an unusual chord change).

    And it’s true what the drummer guy says, Purple could have been more diverse at times (as they were in their early days). Once they found their hard rock sound with In Rock, they stuck with their “If Ritchie, Jon and Roger all play the riff in synchronicity and Ian Gillan doubles parts of it vocally, it’s gonnna sound real MIGHTY …”-recipe for so long, it overstayed its welcome with many critics. I remember a Supertramp album review where the critic observed: “The nice thing about Supertramp is that if they have one good musical idea, then they thankfully only build one song around it, not a whole album like Deep Purple do.” There was more than a grain of truth to that. Ritchie had indeed painted himself into a corner with his signature riffs serving as the central musical motif of perhaps too many Purple songs. But I freely admit: His great album intro riffs like Woman From Tokyo, Burn, Man On The Silver Mountain and Knocking At Your Back Door have always made me cream into my pants and still do.

    There were of course also more varied albums in the Purple canon, Fireball, Who Do We Think We Are, Stormbringer, House of Blue Light, Purpendicular, but none of them were the grand sellers like In Rock, Machine Head, Burn and Perfect Strangers, all four committed in a heads-bowed-down manner to overwhelm. So maybe Purple were just reflecting/anticipating what the public wanted from them, i.e. “Don’t stray from what you do best, knock us dead with your riffs!”

  44. 44
    MacGregor says:

    We wouldn’t have it any other way though, imagine life without Deep Purple. Well I suppose if we didn’t know we wouldn’t know what we were missing would we. They still nailed it in so many ways & I am sure glad they did back then as it was inspirational & life changing in so many aspects & still is to this very day.. Now about ‘the drummer guy’ saying. I was just re watching the Ian Paice story about how he met Blackmore. Back in England after the initial meeting in Germany earlier. He was of course with Rod Evans & Evans was on his way to meet or jam with Blackmore, Lord, Simper & Bobby Woodman wasn’t it? Blackmore says to Evans ‘do you still have that drummer with you’? Evans replies ‘Yes’. Blackmore says ‘then bring him with you’. He does have a name, we do have names, we may beat things with sticks & that is a primordial thing to do & all, but names can narrow it down a little, ha ha ha. Guitarists eh, cannot take them anywhere. Have to laugh. Talking of Superrtramp I was watching a few live clips from their heyday recently, they certainly did have a few classics back then, a mighty band they were. Talking of old favourites, check out this recently released Status Quo clip from The Midnight Special. April 1974 live playing Big Fat Mama, classic Quo. Cheers.


  45. 45
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Lieber Herr MacGregor, you are aware that when I wrote “the drummer guy” I was pulling/nudging YOUR leg and referring to what YOU had written @40? I didn’t mean Little Ian, but you as that greatest living Australian since the late Dame Edna lamentably left us, you possum!

    And you can all me ‘bassist guy’ anytime, honey, I’ve been called a lot worse! In my band we refer to each other via our instruments all the time “will someone please tell Mr Drummer (or Mr Bassist or Mr Keyboarder etc) that the song goes like this (or is in the key of such and such or goes faster/slower)”. We only revert to first names when when discussions get a lot more heated and serious.

    Thanks for the Quo link – man, whatever Parfitt and Rossi took (and drank) the night before, it was way too much, I’ve never seen Quo in such a dilapidated state before! And this being the Midnight Special, broadcast to tens of millions of US homes and they were still hoping to crack America. The mind boggles that they let Parfitt sing like that, but perhaps Rossi’s voice was even more shot on that night.

    Parfitt was always the party animal/blond rock god of the band and eventually, at a later stage in life, he paid the price for it. Knowing him, he probably said before this particular performance, “no worries mates, I can still sing that song no sweat”. Like hell he could.

  46. 46
    Gregster says:

    @43…Without doubt, & even now, more than ever, the music DP made from the reunion onwards has been a cut-above-the-rest, especially as the years are going by. Quality music stands the test of time, & you always want to go back & listen to it. As regards my comments on RB, I did say that he had a couple of great musicians behind him in a number of bands. Perhaps if RB had of formed a Power Trio of some sorts as indicated around 1975, his musicianship would have expanded substantially, as he would have to hold up his end of the tripod…Not an easy job, but now we’ll likely never know.

    RB treated DP as a platform to perform off, & DP had no choice but to let him, simply because it was the decade of the electric guitar, & they had a powerful force with RB in their ranks.

    @42…Steve Morse is a musician of such a high caliber, that it’s easy for some people not to see or hear him, yet alone understand his musicianship.

    @44…”Supertramp” had some crazy-good radio hits & memorable songs, but after acquiring a few or their LP’s & being unimpressed by them, they’ve become a band that has a super awesome greatest hits album lol !

    Peace !

  47. 47
    MacGregor says:

    @ 45 – no worries I was being silly about it also, that is why I remembered the Ian Paice meeting Blackmore moment. Blackmore would not have remembered his name from the earlier Germany encounter. Therefore we do as you have said, we all refer to them for the instrument that they play. It happens a lot. Yes the Status Quo performance was a little rough vocally, Too much singing, yelling & partying no doubt. Rossi looked off his face & they probably all were but they all still played their instruments well, I liked it. Cheers.

  48. 48
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Oh sure, Coghlan, Lancaster, Parfitt & Rossi in their mid-70ies prime were an unbeatable and idiosyncratic sounding rhythm’n’riff-machine with catchy vocal melodies. The albums Quo + On The Level + Blue For You are a Holy Trinity for me, much like Machine Head + Who Do We Think We Are + Burn.

    And then they got in Pip Williams as a producer to lead Rossi’s “I’d really like to do more pop than rock”-internal power conquest and everything went down, down, deeper’n’down pear-shaped from then on.

  49. 49
    Gregster says:

    Yo, it appears that the bootleggers have been busy, with a great bulk of the new bands shows being available via DiscJapan…Here’s a link to a 1971 show off the Fireball tour in Berlin, but no tunes from Fireball appear lol. Apparently the feature is the sound quality…And also a link to the March 2023 show in Hiroshima for those interested…



    Peace !

  50. 50
    Rock Voorne says:

    @ 48


    I regret never having seen them.
    First time around I was too young, second time around I could have but was focussed om other bands, third time they were on the way out I did let myself influence negatively anf skipped a good opportunity.
    The last time was insane, the reuniontour and I decided it was too far or something. UNFORGIVEABLE.

    Saw Rossie and friends around 2003, I suppose Parfitt was still alive but…….I always hated the replacing rythymsection.

  51. 51
    Uwe Hornung says:

    RV, the reunion gigs were bittersweet. It was great to see the Frantic Four one more time, but Alan Lancaster’s once so propulsive and muscular bass playing (a distinctive feature of Quo’s classic sound) had given way to a man playing an instrument with audibly severe MS. And as the tour went on, his health deteriorated further, though he denied it, but during the final gigs of the last leg he couldn’t even finish the gigs anymore as his bass dropped out more and more. As one of my teenage bass heroes (and I appreciate his style to this day) that was hard to witness.

    His voice was/remained fine though. The pinnacle of his singing, bass playing and songwriting (together with Parfitt) is this here for me, a riff of almost Purploid proportions:


  52. 52
    Rock Voorne says:


    I still feel I missed out. I could have seen them early 80 s but so much going on, little cash, just got into the going to shows mode, etc

    I personally feel Rossi made into a farce.
    But probably I m a sour puss here.

  53. 53
    janbl says:

    A show from Argentina 2023 has appeared on YouTube.
    It is professionally filmed, but a few songs are missing:
    Highway Star, Pictures of Home and Black Night.



  54. 54
    Gregster says:

    @53…Thank-you, I’m downloading the show whilst I still can !

    Peace !

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