Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson is often praised as one of the best in rock music and in interview with Music Radar back in 2014 he revealed his favorite guitarist of all time and explained why he thinks he is great and “underated” in his opinion.
Rush’s Alex Lifeson said about his favorite guitarist of all time:
“I’ve come across many players over the years and I’ve learned a lot from a lot of players. But I think one of the most underrated players – and he’s respected. But he just didn’t get the recognition he deserved – is Steve Morse (Deep Purple guitarist).”
“I remember when we were playing with The Steve Morse band and he’d be there when we were there at soundcheck, at three or four o’clock in the afternoon. I’d just watch him and he’d be wandering around the hall playing and warming up.”
“They’d always play a different song every night for their soundcheck and he was just such an amazing player. He has such an amazing ability. I always thought that he should have been huge in whatever he did. He was definitely successful in whatever bands he worked in, but I don’t think that he ever had the kind of recognition that he so deserved. So I’d have to say Steve Morse.”
In an interview with Classic Rock magazine back in 2020, Steve Morse talked about the pressure of replacing Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple:
“I was just as worried about the band as they were about me. I was like: “Are these guys just living on the name? Is this just a nostalgia thing? Can they still play?” We just jammed, with absolutely no plan. I played something, Jon Lord played it back. I played something else, he played it back and added something to it. Pretty soon everybody joined in, and I realised these guys are jazz-level improvisers. That’s still the same today.”
Was it daunting for you?
“The only thing that surprised me was that some of the fans really just hated me. They thought I was the reason Ritchie wasn’t in the band any more. On my first UK tour, people were throwing shit at me.”
When did it stop?
“Oh, 2022 I hope. No, the throwing stuff after about a year and a half. Ian Gillan was wonderful, just very loyal and protective. I think that kind of stopped them. There’s always going to be people who think the way it was is the way they want it to be. But it’s been twenty-six and a half years. You think people would go: “Maybe we can cut the guy a break.”