David Coverdale says that "it was an obscenity" that ex-DEEP PURPLE guitarist Ritchie Blackmore wasn't allowed to join his former bandmates at the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.
Blackmore is a co-founder of DEEP PURPLE and wrote many of their most memorable riffs, including "Smoke On The Water", but he has not played with the group since his 1993 departure.
Asked by Loudwire if he has been in contact with Blackmore since the Rock Hall ceremony, Coverdale said: "It was really ugly what went down. I heard that their manager was doing everything he could to stop Glenn [Hughes, ex-DEEP PURPLE bassist/vocalist] and I from making a speech. Jon Lord's [late DEEP PURPLE keyboardist] daughter was not there, which we were surprised to see. But when they turned around and refused to go after being announced as inductees if Ritchie Blackmore was allowed to attend, it was just a mockery, and if you heard my speech, none of them would have been on that stage without Ritchie. When I heard this, I called Ritchie and I said, 'Come with me.' Part of him didn't give a shit, but I said, 'Come with me. We will walk in together. Nobody is going to mess with you. I will take care of it.' Knowing him, he would have walked in with a fucking water pistol and started a fight. But it was an obscenity that he wasn't there.'
Coverdale added "I know for a fact that DEEP PURPLE would not have been DEEP PURPLE without Ritchie, Jon and Ian [Paice, drums]. That was the beginning and it should always be."
Steve Morse effectively took over Blackmore's slot in 1994 and has since been in DEEP PURPLE longer than Ritchie.
Blackmore previously suggested that PURPLE's manager had blocked him from attending the Rock Hall induction ceremony, and he used that as an excuse for not attending the event.
Despite Blackmore being a no-show at Rock Hall, he was given several shoutouts during the induction speeches of the DEEP PURPLE members in attendance. In addition, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who inducted DEEP PURPLE into the institution, praised "Ritchie fucking Blackmore" for one of the most memorable guitar riffs of all time on "Smoke On The Water".
DEEP PURPLE's first three lineups were inducted into the Rock Hall, including Blackmore, Paice, Lord, and various singers and bassists — Rod Evans; Ian Gillan and Roger Glover; and Coverdale and Hughes.