Following news of Deep Purple’s nomination for the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, singer Ian Gillan says he is not a fan of the Cleveland-based institution or its organizers.
"I have no respect for them," Gillan tells Classic Rock. “They’re the kind of people that having seen A Hard Day’s Night decided that The Monkees would be America’s equivalent to the Beatles. They’ve no idea what goes on in the big, wide world outside of their self-arbitrating surroundings.
“To me, those people are bloody arrogant and rude. I’ve heard that somebody on their committee dismissed us as one-hit wonders. I couldn’t figure out whether that hit was ‘Hush’, ‘Kentucky Woman’, ‘Black Night’, ‘Strange Kind Of Woman’, ‘Child In Time’, ‘Perfect Strangers’, ‘Knocking At Your Back Door’ or perhaps even ‘Smoke On The Water.’
“I’m very grateful for the other bands and artists that stood up for us with a view to our induction – that’s nice of them. But I wish that the Hall Of Fame had had the discretion to ask us first. It’s now become a debate in which we are too late to have the final word.”
Deep Purple are under consideration among 14 other artists for one of five spots in the Rock Hall, alongside Cheap Trick, Yes, The Cars and Steve Miller, among others.
“I’m sure that my mom would have been pleased and it all sounds very grand, but just take a look at who’s in it,” added Gillan. “I once wrote a song called ‘No Laughing In Heaven’ which was about not wanting to go to heaven due to the company I’d be keeping, and with a few exceptions, the Hall Of Fame is pretty much the same thing.”
The singer won’t commit, at this point, if he’d even consider attending a spring 2016 induction if Deep Purple made the final cut when inductees are announced in December.
“I haven’t even given it that much thought,” says Gillan. “It wouldn’t change our lives one way or the other. That probably sounds petty but it’s not meant to. It's just an annoyance to be honest.”
Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse recently confirmed the band will enter the studio in the New Year to record the follow-up to 2013’s "Now What?!"
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