Singer Ian Gillan of legendary British hard rockers DEEP PURPLE has slammed as “very silly” the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame‘s decision to exclude guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey from the band’s upcoming induction.
DEEP PURPLE — which has been eligible for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for two decades now — will finally enter the Rock Hall as part of the class of 2016. The band’s first three lineups are being inducted, including drummer Ian Paice, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, late keyboardist Jon Lord, and separate teams of singers and bassists — Rod Evans and Nick Simper, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, and David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes.
Writing on his official web site, Gillan.com, Ian said about DEEP PURPLE‘s 2016 Rock Hall nod: “Putting the past shenanigans to one side, the induction is not — in clear fact — for DEEP PURPLE. It is an arbitrary selection of past members, which excludes Steve Morse and Don Airey; both of whom have been with the living breathing DEEP PURPLE for a very long time.
“Obviously, this is very silly, and so my response is quite simple: ‘Thank you very much.’
“And… what a coincidence… This morning I got an invitation to a wedding from some dear old friends. Unfortunately, my family was not invited and they said that I would be required to sit next to my ex (we divorced decades ago) at the wedding feast.
“They were shocked when I called to thank them and decline the invitation.”
Morse has been part of PURPLE since 1994, while Airey replaced Jon Lord in 2001.