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Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan: Ritchie Blackmore and I Have ‘Made Our Peace’

Jo Hale, Getty Images / Facebook: Ritchie Blackmore Official Site
Jo Hale, Getty Images / Facebook: Ritchie Blackmore Official Site

Well here’s a nice surprise! They say time heals all wounds and that adage seemed to be true in most cases with one of the exceptions being the longstanding feud between Deep Purple legends Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore. The two aren’t ready to step back onstage together, but in a recent interview, Gillan heaped praise unto the guitarist’s abilities and seemed to feel their disagreements are now off in the distance.

Speaking with Bild (video below), Gillan still got in a couple jabs at his former bandmate, initially stating, “I don’t think Ritchie’s ever grown up really,” responding to a comment Blackmore made about wanting to attack Gillan in a back alley. Stating he grew out of “all that stuff” at 40 years old, the singer later went on to note, “Yes, we’ve made our peace,” referring to the strained relationship between him and Blackmore.

“We’re in communication now,” Gillan continued, elaborating, “We’ve solved a lot of difficulties that were nothing to do with the direct relationship — old management problems that were dividing us and things like that; boring stuff, but important nonetheless within the group. So that’s all been solved now. So there are messages going back and forth and I can sense goodwill much more than in the past.”

Gillan made sure to mention that Blackmore’s guitar playing has never been disrespected, explaining,  “He was a fantastic, wonderful showman and a great, articulate guitar player — very lyrical and expressive. And so we were fortunate to have him in the group.” Maintaining a cheerful spirit, Gillan said, “So, yeah, I wish Ritchie good luck — always have done, really. And we’ll see. It’s coming to an end now anyway,” touching on the waning moments of Deep Purple’s adventurous career.

Despite these kind words, fans shouldn’t expect the two to perform together. “When you get divorced, it’s hard to go back. You must always respect and enjoy the memories and the nostalgia, but would you do it again? Probably not. No. Just enjoy what happened, because it could so easily be damaged by something like that. And I think if I’m gonna be part of Deep Purple coming to an end, then I’ve got a lot of other things to do. I would quite happily sit with a couple of beers and do my writing and maybe do some solo stuff with other musicians. But [with Blackmore]… no. No,” Gillan affirmed.

Many assumed the feud between these two rockers was still glowing red when Deep Purple’s management barred Ritchie Blackmore from attending the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

As the band winds down their career with no concrete end date locked down just yet, catch them while you still can on tour this summer. Deep Purple will hit the road with Alice Cooper as well as the Edgar Winter Group and a list of dates and be found here.

Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan Interview by Bild

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