Former DEEP PURPLE Guitarist RITCHIE BLACKMORE 'Couldn't Care Less' About ROCK HALL Induction

DEEP PURPLE is among 15 finalists for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's Class Of 2013.

"Personally, I couldn't care less," former PURPLE guitarist Ritchie Blackmore tells Billboard.com. "I would never go. I'm not really a fan of that stuff. Considering some of the people that are in the Hall Of Fame, I'm not sure if it's a good idea, so I don't care one way or the other, actually."

He adds, "I think our fans seem to care more than I do. They're always saying, 'You should be in the Hall Of Fame. You should be in this, you should be in that...' If I can pay the bills, that's all I care about."

For the first time, the public gets to vote alongside the artists, historians and music industry insiders of the Rock Hall voting body. From now until December 5, fans can vote on RollingStone.com for the nominees they'd like to see inducted. The top five acts will comprise a "fan's ballot" that will count as one of the more than 600 ballots that determine the Class Of 2013. The results will be announced in mid-December.

The April 18, 2013 event is set for Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, marking the first time the ceremony will be held in the city since 1993. HBO will tape the show for broadcast at a later date.

Artists are considered for inclusion in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording.

Speaking to VintageRock.com, DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan recently stated about the possibility of one day being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, "You've got to take this with great respect. We don't have anything like that where we come from, over in Europe or anywhere else. It's an American thing. It's so completely different. In America, you're great and really do support and show appreciation for your artists, musicians, film stars, whatever it may be. And you give them visible signs in accolades and all that sort of thing. And you cheer and…you're very supportive. It's the completely opposite in the U.K. They want to kill you. [laughs] The moment you get up to any form of success, they just want to wipe you out and deride you. It's part of the culture. At the same time, we've just focused on the music."

He added, "I honestly can't tell you whether or not we should be there or not. It could be because of the fragmented nature of the band that they wouldn't know how to deal with it.

"To us, with the greatest respect, it doesn't mean a lot although it's rather like an award in the U.K., if I were to get one. I probably wouldn't accept it. But then again, after a week of thinking about it, I would accept it because it would be on behalf on the family and friends and everyone who supports the band and who's looked after us after all these years. It's kind of a recognition of everyone. But whether we deserve it, I don't know. I always get embarrassed talking about this stuff."

Former PURPLE member Glenn Hughes recently said of the Hall Of Fame: "We know the people in charge and we know how they think. It's become like a joke in a way. Gene Simmons [KISS] will talk to me about it, and go on a rant and all, and he is exactly right. But I'm not gonna hold my breath. DEEP PURPLE, KISS, YES and especially RUSH should obviously all be in."

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