Joe Lynn Turner Calls Ritchie Blackmore’s New Rainbow Lineup a ‘Cover Band’
Turner made his comments during a recent visit to Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM show, weighing in on Blackmore's decision to stage a handful of "return to rock" shows with an overhauled Rainbow by dismissing the entire thing as a "mistake."
"I was shocked," said Turner of the new Rainbow lineup. "I wanted an authentic lineup. I was talking to Bob Daisley, Bobby Rondinelli, Roger Glover, Don Airey. There’s a whole bunch of guys that were really willing to get involved."
Turner's negative reaction isn't entirely surprising, particularly given that he earlier went on record as saying he was pursuing a full-on reunion effort with Blackmore. "I spent a good year working that out with his manager," Turner continued. "Everybody thought I was delusional, and I know I wasn't delusional at all – they were telling me this was going to happen. It made so much sense, especially with the deal that was presented to him."
Although he admitted he's still "shaking my head" over the way it all went down, Turner insisted he wishes his former bandmate well — even if he thinks the way Blackmore handled the project was "classless." "I have no sour grapes about this, so let that be told," he added, "But I think a man of his status, an icon, really deserves a lot more. I really wish he had done it a different way for the fans – I think the fans deserve better than a cover band."
In other Blackmore-related news, Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan has elaborated on the band's decision to exclude Blackmore from the group's upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction performance. As he recently explained, the group feels it's important to play with the current lineup -- but that doesn't mean Blackmore is being barred from the ceremony, as he has claimed, or that he isn't invited to play with them at all.
"It should be stressed that there is no slight intended nor any desire to upset anyone regarding this decision," wrote Gillan. Calling it "purely a mark of respect" for current long-tenured members Steve Morse and Don Airey, Gillan noted that a number of ex-Purplers are invited to jam with the group after the main set: "We would love to perform with Ritchie, [David Coverdale], [Glenn Hughes] et al. on 'Smoke on the Water' in the encore jam."
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