Sunday, December 20, 2015
Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan is slamming the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for excluding longtime members Steve Morse and Don Airey as part of the band’s 2016 induction.
The April 8 ceremony at New York’s Barclays Center will honor most of the group’s first three lineups, including Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Rod Evans, Roger Glover, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.
“Putting the past shenanigans to one side, the induction is not - in clear fact - for Deep Purple,” writes Gillan on his website. “It is an arbitrary selection of past members, which excludes Steve Morse and Don Airey; both of whom have been with the living breathing DP for a very long time.”
Morse has been the group’s guitarist since 1994 while keyboardist Airey joined the lineup following the 2001 retirement of founding member Jon Lord.
“Obviously this is very silly,” Gillan continues, “and so my response is quite simple: 'Thank you very much'.”
“And what a coincidence,” the singer adds, “This morning I got an invitation to a wedding from some dear old friends. Unfortunately my family was not invited and they said that I would be required to sit next to my ex (we divorced decades ago) at the wedding feast.
“They were shocked when I called to thank them and decline the invitation.”
Gillan has voiced his displeasure with the Rock Hall over the years and held nothing back upon word of the band’s nomination in October.
“I have no respect for them,” said Gillan. “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 will be inducted as part of the Class of 2016 alongside Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Chicago and N.W.A.
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