Legendary hard rock vocalist Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE) recently spoke to MelodicRock.com about working with Ritchie Blackmore and keeping Yngwie Malmsteen on life support, among other topics. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
On what Ritchie Blackmore taught him:
"We were in Germany at the time and I was reading a review and somebody had said, 'Sure, Joe Lynn Turner can sing, but can he sing for RAINBOW… and he's a bit on the gay side,' and all of this. And in the meanwhile, I'm not gay at all, I'm the furthest thing from that and some of my best friends are gay so I have no problem with gayness or homosexuality or any of that. It was just like, 'What the f*** does that have to do with music?' And I started to go off and Ritchie said, 'Settle down. He said look. If you believe a good review, then you've got to believe a bad review so henceforth, don't believe any f***in' review. You know exactly what you've done. You know if it was good or bad of if you challenged yourself in any way. So throw the paper away.'"
On working with longtime friend Bob Held:
"He'll say, 'I don't like that vocal there,' and I'll say, 'But I love that line. That was a great line. Lou Gramm could have that line, Paul Rodgers could have that line,' all of my favorite singers you know, I'll bring them up. I'm bringing up Elvis, I'll bring up everyone from the dead if I can to support my argument and he'll go, 'Nope. I want one more,' and I go 'You're killing me here! I sung it 12 times,' and he goes, 'I need one more I need it to have that thing,' and I go, 'What thing?' 'That Joe Lynn Turner thing.' He goes, 'I don't believe it,' I go, 'You don't believe it? All right, well, believe this,' and I'll sing something and he'll go, 'That's it. Next.' And I'll go, 'You mother…' That's the importance of Bob Held. He knows how to push my buttons the right way so that I don't settle."
On Yngwie Malmsteen's infamous LA car crash and former manager:
"You fuel that with cocaine and booze and everything else and guns. He tells me, 'Yngwie, he's going to be all right, and he's had a bit of an accident.' He picks me up at the airport, right, so I go, 'All right."' I dress up a bit and shave and put on a jacket and say, 'I'll go to the hospital a little later.' So when I get to the hospital, he's straight up to the ICU. I said, 'He's in the ICU? The intensive care unit?' And they go, yeah. And I'm like, man, he's in a bad way. I look in through the glass and his head is 5 times the size."
Read the entire interview at this location.