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Pulling out all the stops

Metal Hammer Germany, July 2024

German version of the Metal Hammer magazine has an interview with Ian Gillan and Simon McBride in their July 2024 issue, done on the occasion of the new album =1. Quote of the day:

Like its four predecessors, created under the sound direction and with the co-compositional skills of Bob Ezrin, the band around singer Ian Gillan pulls out all the stops and delivers — certainly also thanks to new
guitarist Simon McBride — in a class of its own on all levels.

Thanks to Tobias Janaschke for the info.

68 Comments to “Pulling out all the stops”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    Sound like a very good & honest review, by someone with their ears open, & open mind to listen to other current music to compare with. Well done all past albums with Mr.Ezrin it would seem !

    Let the good-times-roll !

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Simon says:

    I still think Bob told him to play like Steve… 🙂

  3. 3
    Thorsun says:

    Simon, show me a guitarist with personality and attitude who accepts being told by anyone what to play… Really, you think Simon would? I say ‘no’. Our Simon is too clever for that – he’s slowly working on his on stamp to form in Deep Purple. He’s a clever listener – takes bits and pieces from both Steve and Ritchie and mixes it in with us own likings on how to play. And I like it a lot. I’m confident he surely will not sound “like Steve” on new record. Dots of resemblance are only dots, and tasteful ones are they as for what I hear, may I add. He will prove his own claw on the soundstage, I am sure.

  4. 4
    Tomek K says:

    Bob was not seen to like all elements of Steve style. I thinks he gave Simon more freedom…

  5. 5
    QuelloCheHaRagione says:

    Even wanted.. Simon can’t sound like Steve. This things makes no Sense.
    They swap to this guy insted of slowing a bit.
    Steve take the band After Ritchie and everybody was like “no Ritchie no purple”.. he Is a Guitar god so he made it possible. He fit in a band for almost 30 years, now this goofy guy came from nowhere sit on his chair and people are like “he play like Steve and like Ritchie”..”he Is good”..come on..for shure he play Better than me..buy he can’t replace 2 guitar gods..
    What does It mean to hire a guy to play 2-3 years insted of keeping Steve and slow down?! Instead of respecting the guy that took they’re band and give It future. They now this thing’s going to end someday.
    In my opinion they step on a shit this time.
    Maybe i dont have a open mind.. but I mind what I listen

  6. 6
    Harold Sorensen says:

    I agree Ezrin restricted Morse ,even when he was in Kansas, when Ezrin arrived you can immediately perceive the restrictions on his playing.

  7. 7
    Thorsun says:


    Quello, you do forget one important thing. Gillan, Glover, Paice and Airey might not be here in few years, they are 75-80. As Freddie once sang, “time waits for nobody”. Also, to widen your perspective – find yourself an interview of Rick Beato with Steve. He might have been for 28 years with the band but even after he left – he expressed still and on not feeling totally comfortable in that role. Plus he was ignored in his stance to require a slow down. All this, and the circumstances with Janine, might have made him want to go his way. I love him as a human, most lovable and humble person and a genius musician. I adore many of his solo things and many he has come up with in DP. Still my purple sense of hearing had some “beef” with some of his preferred elements of playing style. They do belong on Morse records, but not necessarily blend with DP sound. Hence – I prefer Simon to get the fold to carry on and I like what he does. With no disrespect to all Steve’s achievements.

    Was it all played in the bad manner by the members of DP? Who are we to tell? One could say the same was done by Chris Squire and Steve Howe in Yes circa 2010 when they didn’t wait for Jon Anderson to recover for anniversary tour. Before long Mr Squire was not with us anymore… They all sense the clock ticking and maybe it informs their decisions. Who are we to condemn that?

  8. 8
    Tommy H. says:

    @ #3, Thorsun:

    It really depends if you want to have a producer because that guy will interfere with your playing to a certain degree. If you don’t want one you can do whatever you like. It doesn’t necessarily mean that people want to hear it.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Simon says in one of his many Purple-related interviews in the German mags that if you want to pin him down to two influences then these are Gary Moore and Steve Lukather – as you would expect from someone who learned guitar as a child in the 80ies. If you want to make it three, then add Joe Satriani, he says. Neither Ritchie nor Tommy nor Steve were guitarists he patterned himself after, but he did grow up in a household where his dad listened to the Brit Trinity of Heavy Rock frequently, i.e. Zep, Purple & Sabbath, so that left a mark too. And playing with Sweet Savage as a very young adult gave him a heavy metal influence though he followed that immediately by playing for six years for ex-Commitments Andrew Strong, which gave him a Rhythm & Blues foundation.

    Simon is from a different generation (even Steve Morse will be turning 70 this year!) and has different influences to all his DP-predecessors, isn’t it rather a moot point to now determine whether he’s the new BlackMor(s)e? Even Blackmore couldn’t really be the Blackmore of the 70ies today anymore, he’s unfortunately proven that.

    Also in one of those lengthy German interviews, Gillan observed that one big difference between Steve and Simon is that Steve in essence approached any song as an instrumental and that he (Gillan) wasn’t even sure whether Steve listened to his vocal melodies. He hastens to add that Steve wasn’t DP’s guitarist for almost 30 years for nothing and that he often created magic with his approach of weaving intricate musical arrangements, but that Simon has a more singer-focused way of songwriting (Uwe: perhaps from all these years with Andrew Strong?) and that his riffing and rhythm guitar is more propulsive.

    I’m just quoting, don’t shoot the messenger!

    Oh, and unrelated: Little Ian calls Come Taste The Band a very important album for the development of Purple – even though the Bolin era was so short – because it showed them how much they could deviate from the tried and trusted formula with DC and Glenn bringing in Blues & Funk while Tommy contributed Soul influences. Plus that Tommy was great at recording in the studio, but incredibly fickle and easy to be distracted live which made him unreliable on stage.

  10. 10
    Thorsun says:

    #5 and one more thing Quelle

    You cite people who said in 1994 “No Ritchie – no Purple”. And now YOU go “No Steve – no Purple”. Where’s the consequence in that? What’s the logic?

    Either you accept that it’s the collective sound that makes the name and trademark or… You have the war of lineups. IG himself refuses to acknowledge MkIII to V and on and eat cetera… You don’t like the sound now – you have 3 decades of recordings to cherish.

  11. 11
    Fla76 says:

    #5 :
    Simon is not a phenomenon like Steve, that’s for sure….but it’s equally true that in the last few records Steve had lost freshness, while Simon has reinvigorated the sound and made the songs more immediate and digestible, this is a great point in his favor even if he is a “Mr. nobody”

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    @ Uwe #9:
    I read the same interview and was quite a bit surprised about the things big Ian had to say. Wasn’t he saying for years, if not decades, that Purple is an instrumental band first?

    I get all the PR bla they have to go through with the new album ahead, because “new is new” and so there have to be exciting new things to praise. But to assume Steve wasn’t listening… don’t know. Doesn’t sound fair, does it?
    My point is: there’s no need to belittle the past to be excited for future…

    @Fla76 #11:
    Yeah, I get your point. The last records seemed a bit more tame on the guitar side. I always wondered if it had something to do with Ezrin producing…?
    While within the same period Steve contributed to stellar Flying Colors records…
    Guess we’ll never know.

  13. 13
    Gregster says:

    LOL !

    There are countless amazing musicians out there, that can do amazing musical expressions that identify themselves, & plenty of these people are guitarists.

    The hardest part in playing in a band, is getting-along with everyone, & typically with all the love & effort poured-in, 18-months, maybe 2-years is about the amount of time before everything turnes-to-shyte, & people move-on, or a band dissolves…

    DP have been there & done that, & all this they’ve gone through before, so give them some credit & a dash of wisdom in selecting Simon, & deciding to continue on as a band.

    Steve made an important decision, & will be honoured for his decisions & contributions for ever. Quite a difficult set-of-circumstances to have to deal with, but he did make the right choice obviously…And so did the band…Both are happy & still playing music.

    Let’s look forward to the next few albums at least. The band may have another 10-years left in it, who knows ?…But Simon is the right-guy, have no doubt here. He’s one of countless capable guitarists, but what he has seems to be the chemistry needed to get along with everyone, & not be a “useless bitch” like some other members were before him.

    We have everything to look forward to. Relax, & enjoy the music !

    Peace !

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    What’s a phenomenon? Some people would say a 12-year old kid that plays like this is:


    I doubt Ritchie and Tommy played like this at age 12, Joe S and Steve might, but likely not any better.

    Is Simon an early stylist and innovator like Ritchie? Nope, those days are gone and 50 years of rock since Ritchie left everyone gaping has seen guitar playing develop technically, but perhaps become less idiosyncratic as individual players go. Is Simon as technically impeccable as Steve was in his heyday before his arm started acting up? No, but then who was/is?

    I think the kid from Belfast is objectively pretty darn good. It’s hard to imagine in this day and age someone of his generation who plays considerably better and would be a better fit for Purple. I would also assume that someone like Don Airey who has played with Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden, Ritchie, Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Michael Schenker, John Sykes, Brian May, Uli Jon Roth, Glenn Tipton and last but not least Steve Morse should have a pretty good idea what makes a good guitarist.

    BTW, I liked what Simon said in one of the German interviews about age and how it affects other Purple members: “I’m 45 and can no longer do some of the shredding stuff I used to do either. Who cares? I play like I play today.”

  15. 15
    Kos says:

    Steve was a borinh guitar player.This record will proove this…

  16. 16
    Ivica says:

    Wrong energy here, welcome Simon to the DP family,we DP fans can be blessed in 20 days, the new DP album will be released
    I remember… in 2003, the “Bananas” tour, four of us big DP fans drove 700 kilometers by car to see DP because maybe it was the last album, the last tour? maybe the last time we see them and listen to our favorite band? because Gillan and company were in serious old RnR years then,….21 years ago!

  17. 17
    Reinder Dijkhuis says:

    The complaints that people have about Simon McBride are so weird to me, because the first time I heard Simon, he was playing Deep Purple material on the CD version of the Contractual Obligation album by Don and Ian, and I was like “Who is this guy?” And it wasn’t about flash or technique or about him pushing the right buttons for me, or even about his stage performance, because I couldn’t see him. Hearing him just felt right. To me, most of the time, even very good non-Purple players still sound like a one-dimensional, flattened interpretation of the original, like they get one aspect of the part right but at the expense of everything else. Simon, on that recording, sounded like the whole package.

    Then came the rumor, which may or may not have been true at the time, but the rumor was definitely there, that Simon was to be Steve’s understudy in case Steve was unable to perform. I could imagine him in that spot and the idea was delightful. As, it turned out, the reality was for me. If I ever go see Deep Purple live again, Simon will be the main attraction for me.

  18. 18
    stoffer says:

    @15 You are entitled to your opinion but Steve was/is not a “borinh” guitar player!! I’m looking forward to the new release very much, I will miss SM but look forward to SMc with the band. Morse had a life changing tragedy and had no choice but to leave otherwise I think he would still be in Purple. I’m looking forward to August to see them and hope Gillan is sounding better!

  19. 19
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I know how most of you guys here don’t give a rat’s ass about the rhythm guitar work of a DP guitarist 😁, but I’ll say it: He’s the best rhythm player Purple have had since Tommy Bolin.


    And that is something because Bolin was just great on rhythm. And Simon’s rhythm playing attracted me to him even before even his lead style (which took me some getting used to since I don’t generally worship at the altar of Gary Moore though I have tried). DP lost some of their rolling groove when Jon – that Keith Richards of Hammond rhythm playing -, called it a day because Don has a jazzier, more angular approach. Maybe now with Simon in the band some of that “roll” returns, that would be a nice thing.

    Steve was an incredibly precise and creative rhythm player too, but he didn’t really entice you to move your butt. Simon does. And while Ritchie could set highlights with his terse and sparse rhythm style, “rhythm guitar” was really defined by him as “the thing I sometimes have to do between taking breathtaking solos and throwing awesome rock star shapes” 😆 (I’m putting words into his mouth, he never actually said that).

    For all you Ritchie acolytes: In one of the German interviews (there are by now so many in various German music magazines that I get confused, never read as many DP interviews in as short a time span as in the last two weeks or so), Simon stated that without a doubt Ritchie was the most influential player for what DP stands for. And he added how the interplay beteween guitar and Hammond defines the band plus that it worked best between Ritchie and Jon and also Steve and Jon, but perhaps not quite as well between Steve and Don – he tries to get some of that sparkle back now.

  20. 20
    Rock Voorne says:

    Ritchie was 50 doing the STRANGERS IN US ALL album/tour.
    He seemed on fire.

    So Simon is getting prematurely old?

  21. 21
    Terry says:

    Good luck to them all, but even though i am looking forward to the new album , i think the tour is too long and big Ian won’t last it out. I hope i am wrong but I will give Manchester a miss. The long good bye tour was a great night and that memory will stay with me, for the first time my love for the band as lessened.

  22. 22
    MacGregor says:

    Electric six string guitarists are a dime a dozen in this world, just like so many other musicians. So many that never get any recognition in the main stream. Simon McBride happens to be in the right place at the right time. A very good guitarist & good luck to him & he more than anyone is very well aware of his situation, grabbing it with both hands etc. To imply it is anymore than that is pointless. A child prodigy musician, so what, how many more were & are still out there? There could be someone living around the corner who could ‘wipe the floor’ with any other guitarist, where does this end? Let it be. Cheers.

  23. 23
    Daniel says:

    DP were at their best when they weren’t perfect. Simon is indeed great at rhythm, so much so that he overplays the rhythm part to HS, which was very effectice in the first place. Not to mention Anya, where the same precise execution is applied (and not to great effect). These are very minor complaints in the big picture. More concerning is the way he plays his solos note for note from one night to another, leaving very little room for improvisation, which used to tbe band’s biggest trademark. I don’t think it’s because he’s not able to, but for some reason this is the approach he has chosen. If Airey would have been a little more adventurous, maybe this would have rubbed off on Simon too. Hopefully it will change over time.

  24. 24
    Alessandro says:

    I will always love DP, they are my favourite band ever, so I welcome Simon to the band, I drove a long way to see them in Italy last year. However, I second QuelloCheHaRagione, Steve deserved more respect in his family situation. Steve made possible the band to keep being a credible Rock actor with fresh and original music, walking in very difficult shoes for years. Slowing down was more than an option. Age matters, I know, but human feelings do as well. In any case, Long Live Deep Purple. I do not have the impression that Mc Bride is at the same level of his predecessors, but I will be happy to say I’m wrong.

  25. 25
    Gregster says:


    Rock asked…

    qt.”Ritchie was 50 doing the STRANGERS IN US ALL album/tour.
    He seemed on fire….

    So Simon is getting prematurely old ?…


    No, not at all…As a guitarist now in my 50’s, I suggest that Simon is referring to giving each musical moment its “worth in time”…This means that as much as we all love shredding (*which is often musical venting & searching for the right note / phrase btw ), giving the full value of a targeted-note over a specific chord has much more merit, & carries more musical weight & correctness, plus sits better, than the other possible “x” amount of notes you could have played in there instead.

    There are no rules, simply choices, & as you get older, melody becomes more important sometimes than a shred…(I still like to shred, & in my recordings, often the solo is the end result after 6 or so shreds through the passage, so that “better” phrases are timed & used).

    Peace !

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I can tolerate a little shredding, but I don’t miss it if a guitarist eschews it totally: David Gilmour, Mick Ronson, Francis Rossi, Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons and Mark Knopfler can all entertain me plenty fine. I’m not really the type to admire athletic feats. Was Alvin Lee’s intro to Goin’ Home shredding? If so, then that was a case of shredding I like(d), but the guitar playing in, say, Dream Theater puts me to sleep. I was at a gig once, it was a real chore to listen to it all. Playing fast gets boring quickly to my ears.

    BTW: I don’t think that Ritchie was still at his peak in the 90ies. Already come the reunion in 1984 he was to my ears no longer as naturally fluid as he had been on Made in Japan. He sometimes attempted to play even faster than in the 70ies, but it didn’t really work, too many stops and starts, maybe he began overthinking things, Don Airey has often mentioned that Ritchie’s overthinking of his solos sometimes stood in his way when compared to Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker or Gary Moore.

    In any case, being fast was never the reason why I adored Ritchie’s playing, even in the majestic Highway Star solo I prefer the melodic runs of the first and middle parts to the twiddly-twiddly neo-classical end (which is still entertaining, tasteful and of course well-executed). The way Ritchie bends notes and his vibrato + his slide playing are all way more important to me than his pick going back and forth at 200 mph. I guess I cannot listen as fast as some people like to play.

    Steve’s occasional shredding was always the part of his guitar playing I cared the least for.

  27. 27
    Doug says:

    Terry has hit the nail on the head.

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Martin wrote @12:

    “@ Uwe #9:
    I read the same interview and was quite a bit surprised about the things big Ian had to say. Wasn’t he saying for years, if not decades, that Purple is an instrumental band first?

    I get all the PR bla they have to go through with the new album ahead, because “new is new” and so there have to be exciting new things to praise. But to assume Steve wasn’t listening… don’t know. Doesn’t sound fair, does it?

    My point is: there’s no need to belittle the past to be excited for future…”

    Yeah, I remembered Ian’s line about DP being essentially an instrumental band with him adding a little singing too. I believe he meant to say in his new interview that while DP’s instrumental prowess is key (it was always something that set them apart from, say, Uriah Heep, while Box and Hensley were good players, they were instrumentally not nearly in Ritchie’s and Jon’s league – and would be the first to admit it, see below***), he still needs some room and a foundation for his vocals. But Steve comes from a predominantly instrumental music background – it’s a choice he made, neither the Dregs nor the Steve Morse Band succumbed to record company pressure to improve their commercial reach with vocals – and his intricate guitar arrangements often substitute for what a voice would do. So I understand it when Ian says that some of Steve’s material wasn’t as immediate to him as a singer and perhaps had him sometimes wondering “what am I supposed to do here?” As the fate of the Ian Gillan Band amply showed, Ian is not a fan of too complex a music (yet I love it how he sings unorthodox stuff over more elaborate music).

    Doesn’t change the fact that Steve gifted wonderful pieces of music to DP. But he was by nature NOT a sparse player, Steve doesn’t stop painting until he’s done.

    I remember a Jon Lord interview where he said that in hindsight he is thankful for how much room Blackmore left his organ playing in the rhythm department: “He is a very accommodating guitar player.” Blackmore in return once said around the reunion that “most people don’t understand that the Hammond is first and foremost a rhythm instrument, Jon does and he’s excellent at it”. When I read Jon’s “accommodating”-remark about Ritchie I thought that those days were irretrievably gone with Satriani and Morse because they were both guitarists who fill the space you give them whereas Ritchie would often retreat into the musical shadows to then make his spectacular forays from there as musical surprise attacks, pouncing on the band. Ritchie essentially played guitar like a dive bomber or a raptor bird with DP (and I always appreciated that, but none of his successors opted for that style). I believe that Jon shaped Ritchie’s approach to rhythm guitar playing quite a bit, he must have realized already in Mk I days that he doesn’t need to fill space (anymore) because Jon’s mighty Hammond work keeps the band cooking. Remember that before he played with Jon, Ritchie had never played with a Hammond player/keyborader nearly as dominant and self-assured (or as technically excellent). They were a great match. I don’t believe that Jimmy Page and Jon Lord would have worked as well as a team, Jimmy would have likely found Jon’s organ playing too intrusive and dominant for his own guitar-based aural landscapes.

    I’m also not sure whether Steve ever saw the appeal of Ian’s more abstract lyrics, perhaps too English? The lyrics to “Fingers To The Bone” (a number I very much like) came about when Steve ASKED Ian to write something about a farmer facing foreclosure (a topic very much near to Steve, being a farmer himself), it is certainly one of Ian’s more straightforward lyrics, but is it really him?

    ***”Jeb: Would you describe Ken Hensley as a Poor Man’s Jon Lord?

    Ken: Whoa! You’re not afraid to step out on thin ice are you! I don’t
    think I can be compared to Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman, Graham Bond or Keith Emerson.

    The fact of the matter is that I only became a keyboard player
    because I couldn’t get a job as a guitar player. The only reason I ever
    picked up an instrument in the first place was to put music to my poems.
    We had a piano in my house as both my parents were musicians. I
    started picking out melodies and learning chords just to find a way to
    turn poems into songs. The result of that was that I learned to play
    in a way that was totally unorthodox. Even now when I try to play
    something that is formal I can’t do it. On the other side of that is
    that nobody else plays like me – and god forbid they should! I was
    totally self-taught, so technically what I play is wrong but I found a
    way to make it work.

    When I get compared to those guys in polls, I think it is nonsensical.
    Rick Wakeman can play more notes in one song that I have played in my
    entire life. I just found a way to broker that ignorance into something
    successful. I am quite comfortable with who I am.”

  29. 29
    VD says:

    IMO, Ritchie really tapped into some godly energy during the mid-90s. His playing on that Rainbow show in Germany is unmatched — fluid, tasteful, and frighteningly flawless. I don’t care much for the songs he wrote at the time, but his playing, man… Truly magical.

    About time too after 10 years of ~meh~! The 80s were a lost decade for Ritchie’s guitar playing (the 2nd solo in Knocking at your Back Door excepted — every rule has exceptions).

    On topic: I’m frustrated with Ezrin for the restraints he put on Steve. Will he do the same to Simon? His guitra work sounded pretty wild to me on those Gillan concerts of 2016. To be heard if Ezrin managed to tame him too.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    @ 28 – agree with most of your comments Uwe & loved the Ken Hensley comments you placed there. Pretty hard to beat self taught musicians & composers in that aspect. Also the Blackmore & Lord comments, excellent. However (yes their usually is one at least) he he he. The Dregs did go that ‘commercial’ way in a sense with vocalists Alex Ligertwood (Santana) & Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers). Both rather commercial AOR type songs on the Industry Standard album of the 1983 era. Also on Morse’s Stand Up album from 1985. Alex Ligertwood again & also Eric Johnson on vocals on two songs & one of those co written with Peter Frampton.. AOR sounding again. Whether it was record company pressure or Morse simply being fed up with not being ‘accessible’ as such to the more main stream music end of things, who can tell. And of course we are very familiar with his foray with Kansas & the many vocal songs there. So in that aspect, he was well aware of the song based themes. I have also stated the ‘instrumental’ aspect to Morse’s music many times before, that is what he excels at no doubt. To me he seemed to ‘get it’ more with Kansas. That could be as you have said regarding the origins of the musicians involved perhaps. A British influence and a USA one. Sure there are a few Purple songs here & there over the years. Take out Purpendicular & there isn’t much left in the tank to my ears. Although there may be other reasons as to the songs of later DP. It isn’t only Bob Ezrin’s production that can be annoying, it also is his ‘co songwriting’ that seems to be getting in the way. To my ears anyway. Having said that perhaps the old Gillan & Glover recipe has become a tad stale. Time will tell with this new album. If we could just get someone in there at studio time & simply tell Ezrin, ‘no Bob, leave that for someone else’s music”. McBride perhaps could have sorted Ezrin out a little. Hmmmmmmm. Cheers.

  31. 31
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I knew of the vocal tracks on the Dregs album, but that was a half-assed attempt with indeed the record company bending their arm towards the end of the Dregs‘ existence (discounting reunions). What point is there putting two or three songs with vocals on an otherwise instrumental album of a chiefly instrumental band and how are you gonna project that live?

    Steve was/is a prolific writer, but the fact of the matter is that he doesn‘t really need vocals to express himself. I remember an early Steve Morse Band gig in the 80ies where an audience member (there were no women there and also no one who did not play an instrument) yelled “Get a singer!” and Steve stepped up to the mic and said good-naturedly “Naw, we tried that with the Dregs, didn’t really work. No singing here.”

    And in Kansas the role of lead vocals – with Steve Walsh’s and Kerry Livgren’s mutual penchant for hymnic/anthemic vocal lines with little rhythmic movement – was quite a bit different to what Gillan does.

  32. 32
    Martin says:

    @Uwe #28
    Thank you for elaborating, much to be agreed upon!
    I think I mostly got confused about Ian saying “… ich bin mir auch nicht sicher, ob er jemals wirklich auf meinen Gesang geachtet hat.” (Reverse translation: “… I’m not sure either, if he ever really paid attention to my singing.”)
    That’s quite a thing to say, isn’t it?

    Anyways, Steve described himself lately as a composer who happens to play guitar, so that’s totally in line with his approach to writing more on the instrumental side. But to me his rhythm playing (or should we say his accompaniment to the singing parts) always seemed pretty clever and sometimes surprising – and as a guitarist myself – often times inspiring.

  33. 33
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Steve was a great and inventive guitar parts arranger, no argument from me. Not as potentially dangerous and therefore exciting as Ritchie and not as enchantingly carefree as Tommy, but I never heard him play anything mundane or ill-fitting while Big Ian was singing

    Simon has more Belfast street kid raunch in his rhythm playing, it’s gutsy. That seems to enthuse the others too. Steve was a much more controlled player.

  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    @ 31 – “What point is there putting two or three songs with vocals on an otherwise instrumental album of a chiefly instrumental band and how are you gonna project that live”? A bit surprised you ask that Uwe. PR & the fact that The Dregs were not as we know ‘mainstream’. The chit chat with the presenter in between the two mimed tracks says it all. Bands like the Dregs (progressive & or fusion etc) didn’t get that sort of exposure on the tv at that stage. Anyway, it was obviously a choice that someone seemed to think would be good for them. As I mentioned Morse went a little bit more ‘commercial’ style on the Stand Up album 3 years later & then joining a revamped established band in Kansas, ensured Morse didn’t have to deal with any of the business end of it & he could work permanently with a lead vocalist composing etc.. A similar scenario when he joined DP. Cheers.


  35. 35
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The (Dixie) Dregs were a pure musicians’ musicians band – more so than even Weather Report or Return to Forever. I’ve never met anyone who did not play music himself that was acquainted with their material. And for all their chops, there was relatively little improvisation going on which is why they had more of a guitar clinic than a jazz rock/fusion audience.

    Steve is a very skilled ornamental composer and a great technical guitarist, but his very structured annd controlled approach never allowed him to be a Jeff Beck. Or Jimi Hendrix.

  36. 36
    MacGregor says:

    Yes indeed Morse is a mechanical & precision player. Anyone who practices as much as he has done over the years would end up that way me thinks. A relentless & disciplined attitude to everything being ‘perfect’ I guess. The new ‘breed’ of guitarists that emerged at that time. Although having said that, Robert Fripp has that ‘mechanical’ nature to his playing, precision etc. Certain articles I have read over the years & other guitarists say those sort of things, “it is too rigid, too mechanical” etc etc. I appreciate their comments & agree in that aspect. Especially when the 1980’s was taking hold. There are a few drummers that exude that rigid discipline to their approach as well. Cheers.

  37. 37
    Gregster says:


    Some people are talking bollox, & missed-the-boat again it appears…

    @35 qt.”Steve is a very skilled ornamental composer and a great technical guitarist, but his very structured and controlled approach never allowed him to be a Jeff Beck. Or Jimi Hendrix”.

    *** Perhaps he achieved more than that, since his playing, solo’s & riff’s are instantly identified, more so even than Satch. Jimi & Jeff were busy doing their own thing, learn from them, but why copy ???

    @36 qt.”Yes indeed Morse is a mechanical & precision player. Anyone who practices as much as he has done over the years would end up that way me thinks. A relentless & disciplined attitude to everything being ‘perfect’ I guess”.

    ***Practice make perfect indeed, that’s why people do it… Do you want to employ a person who takes 6-days in a $5,000:00-per-day-to-book studio to record a tune, or 10-minutes ?…The competition is good, really good, & you have to be better remember. That’s why DP employed his services.

    Peace !

  38. 38
    Rob says:

    Ik had nog nooit van Simon gehoord toen ik hem jaren geleden voor het eerst hoorde spelen in de band Don Airey and Frends. Ik was meteen diep onder de indruk van hem en vroeg mij toen al af hoe het zou zijn als hij ooit in DP zou spelen. Mijn gevoel was toen dat hij daar perfect in zou passen.
    Ik dacht dat deze gelegenheid zich nooit voor zou doen, maar door trieste omstandigheden is hij nu, en misschien wel het meest tot verbazing van hemzelf, de gitarist van Deep Purple.
    Ik heb hem inmiddels twee keer live zien spelen in DP en vindt hem geweldig. Dat brengt mij bij alle zinloze discussies over de gitaristen in de band. Ik heb DP vanaf 1971 inmiddels 52 keer live zien spelen en heb daarom alle gitaristen ook daadwerkelijk live gezien en gehoord. Ieder van hen heeft op zijn eigen wijze invulling gegeven aan de gitaarpartijen.
    Ik heb werkelijk genoten van elk concert en elke gitarist.
    Vergelijken heeft geen zin, want elke gitarist die in DP heeft gespeeld heeft het op zijn wijze geweldig gedaan.
    Laten wij blij zijn dat de band nog bestaat en gewoon
    genieten en stoppen met die zinloze discussies over de verschillende gitaristen. Voorlopig heb ik al weer kaarten voor oktober in Amsterdam en kijk ik daar nu al naar uit.
    Vindt je het helemaal niks met Simon daarbij, dan blijf je toch gewoon lekker thuis.

  39. 39
    Gregster says:


    I couldn’t have said that any better !

    Peace !

  40. 40
    Uwe Hornung says:

    @38: Das war Niederländisch.


    A remote medieval German dialect, but you’re not allowed to say that! 😇

    @38: Lieber bilingual Gregster, I know that you are fervent with conviction that Steve Morse is God’s gift to guitar playing. That’s alright. Allow me to cast doubt though whether his cultural and music-historical relevance outside of guitar player subscriber circles and NAMM show guitar clinic pilgrims (and some Mk VII and VIII fans) really eclipses Jimi Hendrix’ or Jeff Beck’s.

    I never claimed that Steve doesn’t have his own sound and style. He does, I’ve seen the man live around 30 times. I’m grateful for what he did for Purple and he was a dedicated performer. But no one in his right mind will say that Steve’s guitar playing ever incorporated an element of danger like Hendrix’, Beck’s or that other guy who can’t improvise … whatsisname …

  41. 41
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Rob, lamentably my Dutch (though it will be one of the languages of my soon to be grandchildren) is not good enough to understand everything in your post, but Apple Translate helped!

    So bedankt for your wise words, I agree, all DP guitarists have contributed in one way or another, all had strengths and weaknesses:

    Ritchie: What Oppenheimer was to the nuclear bomb, Ritchie was to DP. No one can take that away from him, he has been responsible for both the best and the worst DP gigs I saw. But that is Ritchie for you, the full package and baggage.

    Tommy: I have admittedly a soft spot for him. In terms of sheer technique, Tommy was perhaps the least stellar of the DP guitarists, but he had an inherent musicality in him. As everyone knows, his performances too oscillated between gifted and mundane, with even less consistency than Ritchie’s.

    Joe: When I saw DP in Kassel with him I was bewildered by all the “new” guitar parts that had cropped up – Blackmore having given up playing them years ago with his rhythm guitar austerity concept. But I also to this day remember Joe’s brilliant and lightning-fast arpeggios during Knocking On Your Back Door.

    Steve: Highly individual style, impeccable technique, an absolute role model of a band member, decades of service, a load of memorable compositions, always gave his best on stage and delivered. No, he wasn’t the wild man of rock and “didn’t want to wear leather”, but everyone knew that when he was hired.

    Simon: Brit grit returns. Technically as good as you can expect someone to be who had talent and learned guitar in the 80ies and early 90ies. Accessible songwriting. The gung-ho attitude of comparative youth. Is he a wild improviser or more of a Bernie Marsden who sticks to a concept and embellishes it? We’ll have to see. All guitarists that had a longer tenure with Purple saw their style undergo changes.

  42. 42
    Gregster says:


    Leiber Uwe assumed…

    qt”@38: Lieber bilingual Gregster, I know that you are fervent with conviction that Steve Morse is God’s gift to guitar playing”.

    This is incorrect my friend. There are many, many great players, & DP happened to land one that was not only gifted in his craft, but shared it with everyone, & gave the band a near-30-year new lease of life, of which the music made will prove to be mostly timeless, & always appealing.

    And for the record, I’m not actually a SM fan per-se, but have vast respect for the integrity & love he has for music, & shared with DP, making them a better-than-ever-before band, eclipsing what preceded hands-down, with the exception of Mk-IV.

    Possibly my 3 x favourite guitarists today-as-I-write, that have impeccable musical skill & delivery, in no particular order would be Uffe Steen, Robin Trower, & John Scofield.

    Peace !

  43. 43
    Uwe Hornung says:

    One might say then you have a penchant for Americans in the band, lieber Gregster! That covers the arc from Tommy to Steve.

    I only remember Tommy coming up once in an interview with Steve where he dutifully said that he “liked Tommy Bolin, but not with Deep Purple” which even in 1975/76 was a common statement from the fusion fans and musicians’ brigade who loved Tommy for his work on Cobham’s Spectrum, but saw his work with James Gang and even more with the in theses quarters regularly derided DP as a vile sellout (interestingly, I never met one among them who had actually given CTTB a real listen).

    At the time (after Mk IV’s demise) Little Ian said in an interview in the NME that having an American in a Brit band had created issues “it’s the way we grow up and the way they grow up, there is much more difference than the common language would suggest”. He’s said something along these lines again after Steve had left and why the Belfast boy slotted in so nicely and quickly (though more than a generation removed from the rest of the band). It was probably no coincidence that Tommy bonded with the one Brit in Mk III the most who had inhaled (no pun intended) the American way of life the deepest: Glenn. DC took ten years longer to make the move. Jon already said in an interview at the end of his Whitesnake days: “Whenever I see him, Glenn has become very American.”

    Given the choice of playing with Ritchie or with Tommy as a bassist, I think I would after some deliberation prefer Tommy, I have a hunch that playing with him would be more conducive to creative juices flowing. Sans his drug issues of course, but maybe those were just as much part of the overall package as Ritchie’s mood swings?

  44. 44
    Gregster says:


    Herr Uwe, Tommy’s fans that have yet to discover his contributions to Mk-IV DP are in for an extraordinary surprise I think, as most DP fans are. CTTB is a fine example of what focused musicians can put together, & the positive energy that abounds. Each track on the album gets better & & better as it goes along, too bad it ended all-too-soon.

    As for the Americans joining a British band scenario having difficulties, there is some substance in that comment, but the answer is obvious, & no-one’s fault, at least within the band. The answer is England got bombed-to-pieces in WW-II & had to rebuild amongst much suffering, the US-of-A didn’t. (One could argue about Pearl Harbour, but Hawaii to this day, is one of many illegal occupations, but that’s another story beyond the scope of this thread).

    Over the many years, RB time & time again has proven himself to be an ass-hole. And no matter how much one tries to accommodate or balance his ass-holeness against his noodling ability, he always goes on to make himself a bigger ass-hole, with no effort from anyone else. Why would one even want to hang-out & jam with him ?

    As for GH, “Phoenix Rising” explains all, if you can get through it without tiring of his over-the-top self indulgence. A sad, sad, disturbing tale, that’s ongoing to this day.

    Tommy would have been way-too-busy in those days to jam with anyone Herr Uwe, but yes, he’d I’d guess be easy to get along with for sure !

    Peace !

  45. 45
    Uwe Hornung says:

    There is a difference in how Yanks and Brits approach music, not in a sense of better or worse, just different. If you want to boil it down to one criterion, I’d say that Yanks are more versatile and broader-oriented, it must be the melting pot at work. Brit musicians excel at doing something doggedly with great dedication and determination. If Blackmore had grown up in the US of A, he might have ended up being a Nashville guitar virtuoso or done California Jazz, who knows?

    DP were of course always a very Brit animal. Which is kind of ironic given that Mk I had a hard time at home and met instant success in America, but in part that was because their perceived Britishness gave them something exotic to US rock and pop fans. Sometimes, Americans find Britishness appealing, it explains why a band as quintessentially English as The Kinks did better in the 70ies and 80ies touring the US than Old Blighty.

    Whenever DP had an American guitarist, their music sounded more American too, just listen to CTTB and Purpendicular, it even applied to singers, Slaves & Masters is an American-sounding record by DP standards. And Americans would also bring a certain lightness to the proceedings, not in a sense of being insubstantial, but in a very literal sense: To me, CTTB, S&M + Purpendicular (and what followed) all sound “sunnier” than anything else from Purple (that doesn’t make them bad records by any stretch).

    And now we have young Simon from Belfast (kinda in between England and America! 😉), weaned on a diet of Joe Satriani and Gary Moore, and to me DP sounds again a little darker than it did, say, on Infinite or Whoosh!, but not as dark as in the Blackmore days of yore.

  46. 46
    Thorsun says:

    The Americans in DP surely must be given credit fir their extraordinary, unmistakable sound, that each of them had. Tommy sounded like no one else and so did (and does) Steve. And they both donated long lost gems to the repertoire, as much as IG might want to ignore it. “Drifter” to me will always be the greatest Bolin rocker – gritty riff, cocky gung-ho crawl like tempo, racous solo and this middle take down that takes the mood down to dreamy, mellow roll out, but deceptively. As it grows – it starts to soar and in the end the closing crescendos are like earthquake. It’s pure genius. The same applies to “Loosen My Strings” – where aerial contemplating passages interpolate with gritty, rising cadenzas with guitar and Hammond soaring, almost threatening to bite your head off. At the same time the chords and melody course is beautiful. To me – the best “Purpendicular” track – totally overlooked by all but Roger who drives this with this beautifully wicked bass line. “It’s beautiful, oh yes it’s beautiful… Beautiful.”

  47. 47
    Gregster says:


    Leiber Uwe suggested about this moron…

    qt.”If Blackmore had grown up in the US of A, he might have ended up being a Nashville guitar virtuoso or done California Jazz, who knows “?

    ***ROTFLMAO !

    Somehow I doubt this scenario…He’d have likely gone to Hollyweird to participate in the “Lord of the Rings” episodes, perhaps playing mandolin for the musical score…

    Peace !

  48. 48
    Thorsun says:


    Gregster, you seem to have more beef with the RB’s musical choices than we all here have with all DP’s banjo players here… Endless poking at TMIB. Do you have the same with Robert Plant, who is done with Zeppelin’s legacy and copying it and beating to death on endless farewell tours? Our man, Blackmore, with the scale of his arthritis is now at least having an option to play something he’s capable of, rocking out already wasn’t in scope when he reconvened Rainbow in 2016. The results were mediocre to bad, but those of us who went for the trip at least were given one last shot to see these unique two hands playing these things the way we miss them.

    The artists have to be let doing what they want, not what you think they should. Ritchie and Robert at least have their balls hairy enough to come out and say “I know what I want to do and the reaction of masses to it doesn’t bother me.” Fair enough. Find any other acts of their stature to pursue this kind of route. Do you prefer sell out to the audience expectations or being authentic?

    You say things at people (moron is up above there) but actually what you say and how – also probably tells a fair bit about you yourself, too.

  49. 49
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Robert Plant – never one of my favorite singers, I just couldn’t relate to his singing style and still really can’t – is for me a role model in how to conduct a solo career in the aftermath of a behemoth like Led Zeppelin. Admirable.

    He’s also a very thoughtful interview partner, irrespective whether he is talking about the inner workings of Led Zep or the loss of his son Karac.


    The guy is erudite.

    Calling Ritchie names misses the point I think. Like most of us, he was/is caught in his upbringing and life experiences too. I have a hard time taking Blackmore’s Night serious as a musical venture (it’s too nostalgic, backward looking and the cosplay thing is frankly cringeworthy), but Candice has given him solace. I don’t know how their relationship works, but it does. Blackmore has done inane things (and also shown great artistic nous), but why the character and ability assassination? I don’t worship at Ritchie’s altar, Rainbow was largely a disappointment for me, but there would be no DP without him today, there wouldn’t even have been an Mike IV line-up because Tommy would have hardly formed a band with ex-Artwoods, Maze, Trapeze and Fabulosa Brothers members. Ritchie was pivotal – a source and force of causation, good and bad.

    And the same applies to Glenn who has no doubt contributed to enough shit shows in his life (and paid dearly for it), but how long are you going to continue to blame a +70-year-old for something he did 50 years ago coked out of his mind?

  50. 50
    Thorsun says:

    Listen guys, if we really wanted to call names on the musicians that irks us – in Deep Purple tree of guys – we could lash out lists of invectives for most of the men involved, for one reason or another and with few exceptions. I, myself, don’t like one of the leaders of the gang, but I don’t lash it out here for two big reasons. First being, that I listen to the music from all the bands he’s been in and it excites me, it’s my life. Since I never had a chance to meet him but I listen to him – I keep my ramblings to myself. Not to become “a stumbling idiot”, to cite his own words. Second reason is the fact that Highway Star forums are rather special place in the internet. We have managed to resist becoming a filth pond in the way we conduct our discussions here. The arguments may be, heated or not, the opinions will be fierce, sometimes dictated by emotions, but what we also bring here – is that they are informed by our passion and love that is DP. And to this kind of subject we really don’t need to get rude and filthy. Or personal. Let’s keep it a bright place, bringing ourselves a joy of heated but mannerly discussions and showing class. This is why I reacted to Gregster’s post and I am putting period here. No need to miss the point, as Uwe says. Wiseheads don’t need to be reminded of conducing themselves more than once.

  51. 51
    MacGregor says:

    @ 48 – ‘Do you have the same with Robert Plant, who is done with Zeppelin’s legacy and copying it and beating to death on endless farewell tours’? With respect Thorsun, what planet are you living on? Plant has NEVER copied & beaten to death Zeppelin material during his solo career let alone so called ‘farewell tours’. Meanwhile back on earth. Cheers.

  52. 52
    MacGregor says:

    @ 48 – apologies Thorsun, I have taken your comment re Percy the ‘other’ way, the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, still half a sleep. Still on planet Earth. Cheers.

  53. 53
    Gregster says:



    I don’t call RB names, I simply state the fact that he is an asshole…Its a description & forewarning, rather than a childish remark. In every interview, magazine or other, it shines through, like he’s mooning everyone that takes interest in his concerns, & then laughs behind your back.

    Some people don’t see or understand it due to the nostalgia of it all, myself once included. But having spent 10-years or so in here from time-to-time, & in the last few years more often, (namely from IP’s stroke ), it becomes quite clear that TMIB has spread his unique shyte so thick, that it’s like paint & won’t fully come off…

    All this to say, that there are many threads of many & varied topics in here, & yet this asshole keeps popping-up. This means brainwashing is apparent. He has officially not been in the band for over 30-years now, & has spent more time out-of-it than in it. His music is tired & predictable, so it always sounds the same. Anyhow, he has his own web forum, why don’t people visit there ?…

    I’m simply trying to remind people that he did his best to break the band on a permanent basis, & that fact needs to be remembered. And that act alone proves him an asshole.

    As for myself, call me what you like, I could care less. Messengers of the truth are the ones who are often targeted by those blinded by bollox. At the least I’m being more authentic than our long departed Hobbit / likely Orc in disguise.

    qt. Ian Gillan from Fireball…( Like a prophesy come true, people hear the lyric, yet don’t grasp the content )…

    “Someone said what’s he gonna turn out like ? Someone else said never mind…Hey, where’s my Robin Hood outfit” ?…

    And this was back in 1971 when troubles first started brewing from guess who ?…


    @49 said…

    “Calling Ritchie names misses the point I think. Like most of us, he was/is caught in his upbringing and life experiences too. I have a hard time taking Blackmore’s Night serious as a musical venture (it’s too nostalgic, backward looking and the cosplay thing is frankly cringeworthy), but Candice has given him solace. I don’t know how their relationship works, but it does. Blackmore has done inane things (and also shown great artistic nous), but why the character and ability assassination ? I don’t worship at Ritchie’s altar, Rainbow was largely a disappointment for me, but there would be no DP without him today, there wouldn’t even have been an Mike IV line-up because Tommy would have hardly formed a band with ex-Artwoods, Maze, Trapeze and Fabulosa Brothers members. Ritchie was pivotal – a source and force of causation, good and bad”.

    As stated in my reply above, the brain washing is incredible. Once again, calling RB an asshole is not “name calling”, it’s a descriptive fact.

    Ask yourself this, why are we even discussing an “ancient ghost of the past”, when the thread is all about the new album “=1” ???…

    Uwe is correct however, without RB & all his bollox, (& there’s more than a hefty truck-load here) we would not have had the last 30 & ongoing years of musical prowess to enjoy, of a top-notch timeless band, finally full of serious musicians, led by themselves & not a self imposing single-child-spoilt-brat, who always got things his way, to the point of destruction rather than creation to get it. Facts are facts yo !

    Peace !

  54. 54
    Thorsun says:

    #52 McGregor – I was surprised at #51. You are a lucky sod (pun and reference intended😄) that coffee does anything for you. For me not, besides of pleasure of taste and smell.

    Certainly Robert has walked away from his heyday band and created his own sonic universe. The more far off from LZ – the more enjoyable for himself it always seems. I’m not really a preacher of it, but I love few of his albums. “Mighty Rearranger” might as well be his best – it has such a grit, authority and insanely good songs on it. I also always did dig his spin on “Hey Joe” a lot. Very clever use of the M
    Jimi’s cadenza closing the guitar solo. It revamps and lifts the track nicely and the kicks after the quiet parts and the build ups really kick the head in a big way. Leaves you really well done.

  55. 55
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Oops, Gregster just gave Ritchie some – albeit grudging – credit (“without RB & all his bollox, … we would not have had the last 30 & ongoing years of musical prowess to enjoy!”), what more can you ask for?!


    “a self imposing single-child-spoilt-brat”

    For fact’s sake though: Ritchie wasn’t a single child, but had a (meanwhile late, RIP 2018) brother Paul …


    From Wikipedia:

    “Blackmore was born at Allendale Nursing Home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, as second son to Lewis J. Blackmore and Violet (née Short). The family moved to Heston, Middlesex, when Blackmore was two. He was 11 when he was given his first guitar by his father on certain conditions, including learning how to play properly, so he took classical guitar lessons for one year.”

  56. 56
    Thorsun says:


    Uwe, this is not giving credit to RB, now I see how much he’s completely off against him. And calling people speaking up here brainwashed just because we refer to the man, who created the greatness of this band along with Jon and Paicey, certainly shows no signs of being polite or respectful. But I won’t be calling him names. He says that “facts are facts”, but he drops from agenda this important one. Not only Blackmore’s behaviour pushed the band into the last 30 very interesting and creative years BUT it was Ritchie who was substantial in creating the trademark of Deep Purple, making them unique and what we love so much. It was his approach to playing, improvising, creating sonic scales no other guitarist ever could. 1968-75 and 1984-93. I know that people like IG, Gregster and their ilk would like to cut off RB from history just on the basis of his behaviours. Still his creations live on and continue to inspire and excite, and that’s why we call him back as reference even now in 2024. We differ the player from the human. He can’t. So, who’s brainwashed here? Ritchie did compose and played trucks of great tracks and concerts and you won’t have it cut out of the picture just because you fancy it like that. It’s etched IN ROCK and forever. And Simon gets us a little bit closer to the sound we got so used to with, before the spoiled brat walked out. To those of us who had issues with Steve’s approach – it’s happy times. And I won’t be down to trashing Steve in any way. He’s a giant, a hero, someone impeccably embedded in the history of this band, but just as much as Ritchie is.

  57. 57
    Gregster says:



    Thank’s Uwe, I didn’t know that he had a brother…And even more interesting is the fact that RB’s brother is not mentioned once, or a photograph of them together shown within the “RB Story” DVD that I can recall, as that’s something that I would have noted in the back-of-my-mind. But then again, you also presented facts about him being now on his 4th marriage which was unknown to me…Perhaps he was beaten-up quite often by his brother in childhood, & that’s why he’s an asshole ?…

    I do give RB credit when deserved, as he has been quite funny at times, like nearly being blown-off the stage at the Cal-Jam whilst nearly having his bollox caught on fire LOL !

    And the throwing of the water incident during Highway Star circa 1993 is quite funny too I thought…

    Perhaps the funniest moment is when IG tells us that RB qt. “Stated that Eric Clapton can’t play the guitar” LOL !

    He has his place, but that address isn’t a DP one, & hasn’t been for a long, long while…And once again, people need to place things into perspective & remember that if Rb had his way, we wouldn’t be conversing together right now, or have another record-album to look forward to.

    Only around 1-week & 3/7 days to go ….

    Peace !

  58. 58
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ample evidence @51 & 52: It’s something we lamentably need to discuss here, we can no longer shut our eyes to it: Herr McGregor’s steep cognitive decline … This man was once a spark of ingenuity and cerebral reflexes, a beacon of intellect in our community, but look what he has become. Sad.😈

  59. 59
    Thorsun says:

    #57 Gregster, I still feel like you only mimic giving Blackmore any credit for his positive achievements, but it’s OK, you want it like that, let’s leave it like that. RB was, is and will be a sort of benchmark musically that we look to. And it doesn’t mean disrespect to anybody else or his successors. I love Steve – I think that the long standing testament of his musical Purple prowess is the fact like this. If you had asked me to construct a 2 hour set for a Purple tribute band to play with all but encores consisting of Morse era tracks – I would easily do it and moreover, I believe it would be a blast to play and apply Purple live treatments (twists and improvs) to it without a big problem. The concert like this would be a joy. And that’s telling to how much the always smiling banjo player gave us. And Simon is bringing us the intricacy of the unknown, but also a hint of retro in his play that puts deep back into purple. And Gregster, hate me if you will, but trust me, Equity is worth waiting for this last 10 days. We all will have a blast with the album. Not much more there left to ask for.

  60. 60
    Stillofthenight says:

    First post here since the forum days arouns the year 2000. Using the same name as well, hehe.

    Anyways: speaking of Blackmore – Tim Pierce (session player legend) is a fan, and has done a couple of videos on him, and postes this a few days ago about the note usage in Lazy (the studio version). Really interesting to see the outside notes he uses (especially the flat nine, i.e. F# in an F minor pentatonic context is jazzy and cool sounding.).
    Video here: https://www.youtube.com/live/rEjbJTKcxY0?si=TmdI6WQmEdMvTKjS

    PS: thank you for great post and discussion all who contribute – really fun to read.

  61. 61
    MacGregor says:

    @ 58 – ha ha ha, Uwe, thanks for the ‘steep cognitive decline’ analysis. Or should that have been ‘sleep cognitive decline’ or indeed both. “This man was once a spark of ingenuity and cerebral reflexes, a beacon of intellect in our community, but look what he has become. Sad”.😈 Have I slipped that badly, I must sharpen up then, if that is possible. I have waited a few hours from the initial coffee ‘hit’ this morning to ensure I am fully awake to reply. Best be on my guard from now on then. Cheers.

  62. 62
    Gregster says:


    @59 said…

    qt.”#57 Gregster, I still feel like you only mimic giving Blackmore any credit for his positive achievements, but it’s OK, you want it like that, let’s leave it like that. RB was, is and will be a sort of benchmark musically that we look to. And it doesn’t mean disrespect to anybody else or his successors”.

    Sir, RB achievements are well noted, & for decades I’ve appreciated his contributions, & his mannerisms have taught me a great deal. And yet, for all the successes of 2 x stints with DP, it was always puzzling to me ( & likely most people ) why there was no happiness or security within the band… Especially when we remember that they were riding the gravy-train a second-time-around…

    Anyhow, after watching many DVD’s & reading books plus posts in here, it became quite apparent what the issue was, & in fact, Ian Paice sums it up perfectly when he told us in an interview circa 1993…

    qt.”He can be the easiest man-in-the-world to get along with, but if he wakes up in the morning with a problem, & it stays with him all-day-long, we’ve got a problem”…

    Anyhow, once again, I’m only trying to remind people that thankfully, that problem did go away, over 30-years ago, & things have never been better 🙂 ! But I wonder in amazement, how this guy becomes the point-of-focus on DP’s new about-to-be-released album ???…I’m simply reminding everyone that it’s not what he managed to do with the band in his time with it, but that we have a far better & more musical band without him in it.

    Plato once said “I wise man will always have something to say, but a fool will always say something”…

    ’nuff said, 1 & 2/7 days to go…

    Peace !

  63. 63
    Thorsun says:

    Gregster, you’re messing up things and your perspective is skewed. Blackmore is not point of focus here, regarding new album. Only a point of reference and ONLY music-wise. You clearly don’t get the difference and you carry on throwing potatoes at people discussing. We enjoy what and how we do here. If you’re frustrated with the courses of the discussions here – it’s your problem – not ours. People here are not off merit. Contrary, we are here ’cause we know and respect what we talk about. And we respect ourselves, regardless of opinion differences. I don’t find you respectful – you’re mean and in a bad way. ‘Nuff said. Peace. And I don’t use it as an empty phrase.

  64. 64
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I have to stick up for my ole friend Gregster a little though we may never agree on Glenn Hughes. So he’s not a great fan of Ritchie and not especially in awe of his playing. I don’t agree with him on that either, but there have always been people – shock, gasp, horror!!! – who have been rubbed by Ritchie’s character the wrong way and do not rate him that much as a guitar player. Even back in the 70ies there were people that thought Blackmore was a samey riff merchant and his eastern tinged solo playing repetetive, pretentious and somehow uncool. I argued with them constantly, but never really convinced anyone. To this day my wife can set me off by saying that she finds Ritchie’s guitar playing “unremarkable” (I then proceed to break all her David Gilmour CDs in pieces!) and “largely unrecognizable” (a good marriage has to endure a lot I tell you!). My son says things like “Blackmore is refined (“raffiniert”) and clever in his playing, but totally asexual and devoid of mojo” to then play some crap Jimmy Page lick just to annoy me. 🤣

    Gregster is instead what I would call a Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse fan boy (which he will of course deny) and that is ok too. They are both Deep Purple as well and have written their own chapters. There must be room here for preferring Tommy and Steve over Ritchie, we’re thankfully not a Rainbow/Blackmore’s Night forum. If truth be told: Most Ritchie devotees/fanatics I have met are a bit on the weird side, there I said it …

    Now if Gregster could cut back a little in his zealous frenzy spilling over to sometimes bumping people who hold a different view a bit too hard here …

  65. 65
    Thorsun says:


    Not to be casting words to the wind, here is my vision. Create yours if you want, dare I say, here is the gauntlet 🤠

    Morse Era Celebration

    1. Ted the Mechanic – 6′
    2. Weirdistan – 7′
    3. Loosen My Strings – 7′
    4. Pictures of Home* (with middle jam) – 10′
    5. Keyboard Solo – 5′
    6. (segues into) Never A Word – 4′
    7. Rapture of the Deep – 7′
    8. Cascades including Guitar Solo – 10′
    9. Fools* – 9′
    10. Above And Beyond – Step By Step – 10′
    11. Watching The Sky – 7′
    12. Fingers To The Bone / Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming (interchangeably) – 8′
    13. Picture of Innocence – with jammed intro and middle – 9′
    14. The Surprising – Birds Of Prey – 11′
    15. Nothing At All – 7′ (improvised middle with quotes from Bach)
    16. Clearly Quite Absurd – 8′
    17. ’69 (with extended Mandrake Root jam) – 13′
    Main set circa 138′
    Encores – circa 25-35 minutes
    18. Perfect Strangers – 7′
    19. Bloodsucker – 5′
    20. Speed King with jam – 10′
    21. Black Night / Strange Kind of Woman – 9′

    *) Pictures of Home and Fools are MKII tracks, but the way they were revamped – they belong to Steve Morse achievements.

  66. 66
    Gregster says:


    @64, Thank-you lieber Uwe !

    I’m an album person, & listen to the whole thing before I give it a thumbs-up or mehh…

    And as a working musician back in the days prior to say 2005-6, I struggled to remember the names of any tunes, yet alone the 150 + I was playing across 2 x bands…It was easier to recall an album title, & what emotion that brought. And with that said, I say…

    1. Come Taste the Band.
    2. Private Eyes.
    3. ABandOn.

    And as for memorable quotes from the “Man in Black” to help paint a picture that he himself painted…

    1.”Steal, just steal from everybody”…

    2.”All you have to do to be successful in this business, is be able to fake being sincere…Yeah, that’s it, once you can fake being sincere, you’ve got it made”…

    3.”Ok, if you want me to stay, I would expect Roger to go…But that’s not fair, Roger hasn’t dome anything wrong”…

    4. “My favourite band is Abba”…

    5. “There’s something psychological there, even my mother at age 5 couldn’t get me to smile in-front of a camera”…

    Peace !

  67. 67
    Uwe Hornung says:

    You just wait Gregster! Ritchie is gonna shoot you down


    or run you over!


    Be fair to the man, your quotes 1 and 2 are obvious caustic Ritchie being his ironic self, quote 3 is at least honest, if not exactly self-flattering, quote 4 a matter of taste (lots of musicians appreciate ABBA, so do I) and quote 5 … Ritchie is so fast you just never catch him smiling! 😁


    Private Eyes is btw among the top ten of my extra-curricular Purple albums too. That album is incredibly varied, yet Bolin through and through. And Reggie McBride’s bass playing is awesome on it. As is Norma Jean Bell’s beautiful sax.

    Funny that Bolin never caught David Bowie’s eye, I think he would have been interested/enamoured with him and I can imagine Tommy’s guitar very well on Station to Station (the album). Not that Earl Slick didn’t do a great job on it.

    Speaking of whom … an interesting life:


  68. 68
    Gregster says:


    Leiber Uwe suggested…

    qt.”You just wait Gregster! Ritchie is gonna shoot you down…Or run you over” !

    LOL ! He might shoot-me-down with black-berries & a sling-shot perhaps, but didn’t he only recently obtain his license ??? He’d still be on restrictions I’d think, & unless he drives a McLaren or similar, he’d be hard pressed to catch me on the Hayabusa…

    I think after the messy departure of Mick Ronson, Bowie was much happier as proved with Earl Slick than he may have been with Tommy. They possibly would have either clashed or died together, & it’s likely Tommy would have left once electronica entered Bowie’s sound, but you never know, & we’ll never know either lol.

    I’ve always liked Earl Slick & his taste-full, if understated playing…Plus he apparently knocked around with Richard Steel of Spacehog too, & proved to be a good mentor per-se, as the solos & playing in Spacehog’s albums proves. Great band. More consistent in quality music, tune-for-tune, on every album than most bands I can think of…

    Peace !

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