Like it or not, Deep Purple fans knew some of the many musicians who've passed through the band's ranks over the years were bound to be excluded when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the group's long-overdue induction. But why didn't founding bassist Nick Simper make the cut?

Contacted for comment by Classic Rock magazine, Simper admitted to some confusion regarding the snub. "The first I knew about the Hall of Fame induction was when I read about it and fans were complaining that I wasn't being inducted," he recalled. "Maybe I am being naïve, but I always thought that if a band gets into the Hall of Fame then all members, past and present, are part of it. Obviously not."

Still, no matter how unfair his exclusion might be, Simper says he isn't attaching undue importance to the Rock Hall's stamp of approval. "Yes, it is a little strange that I am only only one from Marks I, II and III being left out, but I shan't lose any sleep over this," he said. "It's not as if I need to be given this award to know what we did in Deep Purple made an impact. And I'm sure it wasn't a decision that came from the band."

Simper added that he remains on good terms with some of his former bandmates, and maintains a solid working relationship with others — which is far more important to him than being enshrined in the Rock Hall. "I was in regular contact with Jon Lord before he died, and Ian Paice is always sending his best wishes through mutual friends like Bernie Marsden. And I have also toured with Don Airey, with whom I get on well."

Simper's Rock Hall ambivalence is shared by Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan, who waved off the band's impending honor as a "semi-induction" and referred to the selection process for choosing which members would make the cut as "arbitrary."

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