Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited recently conducted an interview with legendary hard rock vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (ex-DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Classic Rock Revisited: Do you think [Ritchie] Blackmore will ever quit doing BLACKMORE'S NIGHT?
Joe: That is the question of the universe. There have been so many rumors about a reunion with different lineups. Ritchie always gets tired eventually. This one is waning. I have heard that he is now hit-and-miss with the band as some gigs are full and some gigs are not full. He is also picking up the electric more and people are always screaming for PURPLE and RAINBOW. I think it is possible that a reunion could happen — that is a political answer but he always gets tired of things and he always is looking for new blood so there is always the chance of something happening.
Classic Rock Revisited: If RAINBOW were to get back together who should be the singer? Ronnie James Dio or you?
Joe: I know it won't be Dio because I talk to Ronnie and he is doing quite well on his own. We were offered to do the three singers of RAINBOW but that would have been a nightmare. Actually, we all get along so that might have been cool but I know Ronnie would never do it. Graham [Bonnet] would do it. I will tell you something funny. One night I was in Madrid with my friend Doogie White and we were absolutely plastered. Doogie goes, "Fuck you, it should be me as the singer if RAINBOW reformed." I was like, "You're going to sing my songs?" I was really digging at him. I said, "What was the name of the RAINBOW album you were on?" I was taking the piss out of him and then three Jack Daniels later were hugging. He thinks he was the unsung hero of RAINBOW. He emails me all the time about the gigs he does with Yngwie Malmsteen. He once told me he had to sing seven shows in a row. I asked him, "How do you sing seven shows in row" and he said, "Nobody gives a shit about the singer in this band." Okay, now I will answer your question directly: It should be me. I will tell you why, Dio had the heavier sort of dungeons and dragons stuff — don't get me wrong, I love the stuff and I am even singing some of his stuff like "Last in Line" and "Rainbow in the Dark" in BIG NOIZE. I am a huge fan of Ronnie James Dio but we [RAINBOW with Joe Lynn Turner] did have the sales. We also had the worldwide notoriety and the commercial success. They had a poll one time about who should be the singer and overwhelmingly it was me — and I need the work [laughter].
Classic Rock Revisited: You are the one guy who had always got along with Ritchie Blackmore. How in hell have you pulled that one off?
Joe: Many, many psychology courses [laughter]. I have an un-reactive mind. I have learned the Buddhist way to respond and not react. If you react to Ritchie then that is what he expects. If you learn to not react to him but instead respond with something that challenges his psyche then he respects that. Ritchie is the kind of guy who likes to push and pull you so he can see what kind of person you really are. It is a power struggle with him. One night we were crawling around on the floor drunk and I told him, "We are not going to last very long because I am afraid of intimacy." Ritchie goes, "And we are getting way too friendly." I just said, "We better enjoy it while we have it." He still says great things about me in interviews and I am really proud that he does that. The only differences we ever had were when we were fighting over what we thought was best for the music. Ritchie wanted everything to be the best it could possibly be. He wanted you to dig into the lyrics and the music and make it the best. When it was not up to snuff, he would just call the guy out on it. When he would say that to me then I would go write another lyric and sing another song better than I did before and he would say, "Now that's it." On "Street of Dreams", Ritchie came in after I sang the vocal — I had a really great moment on that song, obviously. He said, "I can't play the lead. I'm intimidated." I said, "What?" He said, "Your vocal is spot-on." I said, "It is a good vocal and it is just what we believe in with others lives and reincarnation." I broke open two Heinekens and I said, "You go in there. This is our creation; this is our baby." He lit the candles and got in the mood but he rose to the occasion. He came out and said, "Cheers, mate. Thanks for the inspiration." We were in Copenhagen at the time and there was a huge storm. They are at a point of longitude and attitude where there is a lot of huge electrical storms. They had a huge electric rod on top of the building. We were discussing this and there was a loud snap and all the lights went out. We were sitting in the dark. All of the candles came out and then he looked at me and said, "This is a sign." It was pretty eerie. Eventually, the lights came back on and the machines pumped back on and we went back to work. He would say, "Now we are working with other powers — not the lower powers but the higher powers."
Read the entire interview at www.classicrockrevisited.com.