Joe Lynn Turner has said that he was "humbled and touched" by Ritchie Blackmore's recent comments about the singer's work with DEEP PURPLE and has called the guitarist "a true original" who "follows no one."
On Friday night, April 8, Brooklyn, New York's Barclays Center hosted the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, welcoming a star-studded class that included DEEP PURPLE, which had been eligible for induction for two decades.
METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich inducted DEEP PURPLE into the institution, after which the current lineup of DEEP PURPLE performed a mini-set that included "Hush", "Highway Star" and "Smoke On The Water". Sadly, there was no surprise appearance from Blackmore, who stayed away from the event due to tensions with his former bandmates.
Blackmore later posted a statement on his Facebook page in which he said: "I have my reason for not attending the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, although I appreciate the award. However, I do think that they should've given an award to Joe Lynn Turner for when he was in DEEP PURPLE — for his singing and writing on 'Slaves And Masters' — a great record, one of my favorites."
Shortly after Blackmore made his comments, Turner reacted with a message of his own. He wrote: "Congrats to DEEP PURPLE for their long-overdue induction . And I am proud and blessed to be a part of the DEEP PURPLE legacy. However, Blackmore's absence at the ceremony was truly noticed. His credo always was and is to know your own truth and walk your own path... follow no one. A true 'outlaw' 'till the end.
"So I am humbled and touched by the recent Blackmore post concerning my work with the band. His respectful and supportive comments of my efforts on the 'Slaves And Masters' album were better than any 'award' I could receive especially from an organization that has 'lost the point' many years ago.
"I agree that 'Slaves And Masters' is a great album as our collaborations have always been a mix of magical chemistry and artful integrity that will stand the test of time.
"My heartfelt thanks and sincere respect to a true original."
Despite Blackmore being a no-show at this year's Rock Hall, he was given several shoutouts during the induction speeches of the DEEP PURPLE members in attendance. In addition, Ulrich praised "Ritchie fucking Blackmore" for one of the most memorable guitar riffs of all time on "Smoke On The Water".
"It's a big disappointment for me that [Blackmore] wasn't here tonight," said former DEEP PURPLE singer David Coverdale. "I e-mailed his manager a couple of days ago and extended a personal invitation. I never really got a response. Ritchie and I reconnected in 2012 after the loss of [keyboardist] Jon Lord just to express my condolences and we buried the hatchet... which was great."
The DEEP PURPLE members who were inducted are Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
Joe Lynn Turner recently blasted Blackmore for going out and performing DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW's classic material with a new group musicians, explaining that "the fans deserve better than a cover band." The singer also said that the guitarist's revelation during an interview with a French newspaper that Turner wasn't going to be involved with the RAINBOW comeback shows this summer was "a classless and very thoughtless way for him to announce that to the world." He added: "I don't respect that very much; I don't think anyone should respect that. But that's his problem."