Ritchie Blackmore has once again said that he would be willing to play a "one-off" concert with DEEP PURPLE before the iconic hard rock band calls it quits.
Blackmore is a co-founder of DEEP PURPLE and wrote many of their most memorable riffs, including "Smoke On The Water", but he has not played with the group since his 1993 departure.
Steve Morse effectively took over Blackmore's slot in 1994 and has since been in the group longer than Ritchie.
As part of the documentary feature included with RAINBOW's just-released "Memories In Rock II" CD/DVD package, Blackmore was asked about the possibility of reuniting with his former bandmates.
"I would like to do one, maybe one show with the rest of PURPLE just to prove that we're not all hating each other," Ritchie said. "And just do that and go, 'Hey, everybody. It's just one show for all the DEEP PURPLE fans that liked the Mark II lineup.' That was my idea in the beginning. But when you're talking to managements of PURPLE, it gets complicated. They want their money for this and that. So it's not like you call up your old friends and just say, 'Hey, let's just have a good time and play. There's lots of fans that want to hear it.' Once you have managements and agents and promoters getting involved, it gets so complicated that everybody just calls back and says, 'It's too complicated.' So, I wouldn't mind doing one show with all the old guys, and that's it — call it a day. Just for the fans. It's not something I need to do. But I don't mind playing just to show the people that we're still friends. We're older, and with the passing of Jon [Lord, DEEP PURPLE keyboardist], you never know who's gonna pass next. And it would just be a friendly get-together. But as you might know, in this business, nothing works around friendship — it's all about money and business. And unfortunately, we'd have to deal with people that were going to make money out of the deal. That's always a problem."
Pressed about his often-volatile relationship with PURPLE singer Ian Gillan, Blackmore said: "I liked it on a physical level — I liked fighting him, and he liked fighting me. I'd throw spaghetti in his face and he'd punch me. That's all good stuff. I think we should go do one more show and get lots of spaghetti and throw it all over each other."
He continued more seriously: "I think it would be good from a nostalgic point of view of just showing that we can do it again as the old band. Obviously, Steve Morse is their guitar player — a fantastic guitar player — and it's good that he's in the band. This would just be a one-off. Obviously, I wouldn't join the band again, and they wouldn't have me. That's out of the picture. It would be one show. And hopefully it would be fun. But there again, knowing Ian and I, we'd probably start fighting."
Blackmore previously suggested that PURPLE's manager had blocked him from joining his former bandmates onstage during the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, and he used that as an excuse for not attending the event.
Despite Blackmore being a no-show at Rock Hall, he was given several shoutouts during the induction speeches of the DEEP PURPLE members in attendance. In addition, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who inducted DEEP PURPLE into the institution, praised "Ritchie fucking Blackmore" for one of the most memorable guitar riffs of all time on "Smoke On The Water".
Last year, Gillan shot down the possibility of a reunion with Blackmore, saying that "the rain stopped and the sun came out" for DEEP PURPLE once the guitarist left the group. He also threw shade at Ritchie's recent RAINBOW performances, saying that Blackmore is "not playing rock and roll like he used to."