One of the biggest Hard Rock bands of all time, Deep Purple was formed in London back in 1968. The legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was one of the founders of the group and stayed with them for seven years until he decided to leave in 1975 to form his own group, Rainbow.
After successful albums with his group, Blackmore accepted the offer to reunite Purple’s classic line-up in 1984 and left for the last time in 1993. During his years outside the group, Purple had many guitarists such as Tommy Bolin (1975 to 1976), Joe Satriani (1993 to 1994), Steve Morse (1994 to 2022) and since 2022 has Simon McBride.
Since he did many incredible albums with Purple and was one of the band’s founders, he is always asked about the band during interviews. He once talked about one of the guitarists who replaced him and praised the musician calling him a brilliant player.
The ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore said is brilliant
Since it was created, Deep Purple was only inactive from 1976 until 1984 when the group reunited. Since then they had been recording new music and touring around the world. They certanly have performed everywhere, twice or even more times.
During the band’s career, they have released 13 studio albums with Blackmore as the guitarist and 9 without him. So it was never easy for the other guitarists to replace the musician in the band, since he was part of more than 50% of the band’s discography.
Although Blackmore’s relationship with the Deep Purple members was never easy, but he praised in an interview with Paul Guy in 1998, the American guitarist Steve Morse, who occupied his post in 1994. The interviewer told Blackmore that he had talked with Morse and he had said a lot of good things about his guitar playing. The original Deep Purple guitarist replied, saying: “He’s a great guitar player himself. People often say, ‘Oh, they’ve got this guy in Deep Purple now..’ I just say, look, you know, I left. That’s nothing to do with me, the guy is a brilliant player.”
“I’m surprised. He’s a really good guy, I’m surprised that he can take the nonsense that goes on in the band. But maybe he’s the man for it… It’s like a marriage – if you’re with a band for seven years, you can get to despise them, you know! All their little habits just get blown out of proportion,” Ritchie Blackmore said.
He also likes Joe Satriani
Another American guitarist that was a member of Deep Purple was the virtuoso Joe Satriani. After releasing successful solo albums and working with artists like Mick Jagger and Alice Cooper in the late 80s and early 90s he accepted Deep Purple’s offer to join them in 1993 but he only stayed with the band until 1994.
In an interview with Guitar in 2010, Blackmore praised Satriani. He said that he was also a brilliant player, just like Steve Morse. He even joked that Steve should be doing something outside Purple because he was a really good player.
“I think they’ve done very well (Other Purple guitarists). Of course, Joe is a brilliant player. But I think he did the right thing by leaving only after two weeks [laughs]. And Steve Morse is an incredible player.”
“A lot of people try to get some wisecrack out of me. But when you’re talking about guitar players along Satriani and Morse’s caliber, they’re brilliant. And I could carry on by saying I’m not too sure why Steve is hanging on in that band. But that’s his prerogative, obviously. He must see something there,” Ritchie Blackmore said.
Steve Morse announced in 2022 that he would no longer tour with the group to take care of his wife, who was battling cancer. Not long after the announcement the band revealed that Simon McBride would occupy his post and would become an official member of the group. Since then, they have toured across North America, Europe and South America. The band’s bassist Roger Glover also revealed recently that they are planning on recording new music with McBride.