Legendary British hard rockers DEEP PURPLE — who have been eligible for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for two decades now — will finally enter the Rock Hall as part of the class of 2016. The band's classic lineup is being inducted with original lead vocalist Rod Evans, and from the mid-'70s, bassist Glenn Hughes and frontman David Coverdale.
It's common knowledge that there are certain factions within the extended PURPLE family who clearly do not get along. There's also a bit of disappointment that the induction does not include current guitarist Steve Morse, who's been part of PURPLE since 1994, and keyboardist Don Airey, who replaced Jon Lord in 2001. "The lineup we have now has been together the longest of any incarnation," DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice tells Billboard.com. "Quite honestly, they should've included Steve and Don."
Paice also believes that short-lived PURPLE guitarist Tommy Bolin and frontman Joe Lynn Turner should have been included in the induction. "Everybody who's ever been involved with the band, even for a short time, is instrumental in making it work and ensuring it still exists to this day," Paice said. "So I think if you're gonna do it, everybody should have been invited to join the club."
Former DEEP PURPLE bassist Glenn Hughes is greatly humbled by the band finally getting the nod for induction this year: "I'm just really happy to be part of, to be in the Hall Of Fame," he told The Pulse Of Radio. "Whereas a lot of people are talking about this and that — 'What's it all about?' The Hall Of Fame is a grand step in music history for anyone."
Paice also reiterated that any decision regarding a possible performance at the induction ceremony will have to be made with the blessings of all the current members.
"If they ask us to play there, who's gonna play what? Who's prepared to play what, and with who?" Paice told Billboard.com. "As we've been blessed with so many virtuoso players in the band over the years, it might have been easier to take us individually to be inducted rather than as a band. We've just got a lot of details to work out — what they're going to ask us to do, what we can do, what will be impossible. It's not a band of four or five guys who have stayed together throughout their career and are asked to do something. It's more complex than that. So we'll just have to make a decision of what's right for us, not what's right for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame."
To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. The 2016 nominees had to release their first recording no later than 1990.