By Alisha Jackson
Ian Paice, Deep Purple‘s only remaining original member, sat down with Rolling Stone to talk all things Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As with most nominations, the first question asked when a band finally gets inducted is, “what took so long?”
Unlike Deep Purple’s fans, Paice doesn’t seem bothered by the delay. “The problem with Purple is there has been so many incarnations, so many lineups, that I almost thought a couple of years go, ‘Why don’t they forget doing a Purple one? Why not treat the guys individually?’ We’ve been so fortunate to not just have band members, but to have virtuosos. They warrant their own place individually in the Hall of Fame, people that have influenced whole generations of people who play that instrument, and singers. That would have been the easy way out of it. That’s just my little thing on it. But it looks like we’re in. That’s very nice. I’m pleased.”
With so many lineups over the years, fans are curious to know which members of the band will actually be inducted at the ceremony. According to RS, Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord, and Ian are the only members getting in. Paice commented on who was chosen, saying, “Realistically, you’d like to think that anyone who was ever in the band made a contribution and should really be listed. It doesn’t matter if they were there for an album or two; everyone who was in the band actually contributed to the fact we’re still there. All these people, from the very beginning to the current lineup, [have] helped maintain Purple as a viable touring entity that a lot of people around the world really enjoy. So to pick some over others, I wouldn’t have done it that way.”
Another big question for the night is which members, if any, will perform together onstage. “I have no idea”, Paice said. “I haven’t even thought about it. No idea. We have to accept that there are personalities that don’t see eye-to-eye in our history. How that would work, I have no idea. Whether that could be put aside, I don’t know. It’s definitely one to contemplate and think about.”
Paice doesn’t seem to have much faith in Ritchie Blackmore performing at the induction, or even showing up at all for that matter. “That’s questionable,” he said of Blackmore showing up. “He can confuse you sometimes. You think he’ll do one thing and he’ll do the other. I wouldn’t put money either way on that one.”
One former member Paice definitely doesn’t expect to show, is the group’s original singer, Rod Evans. “If anyone knows where Rod is or even if he is still on the planet, that would be good news,” Paice mused. “We haven’t had contact with him since the late 1970s. Nobody seems to know where the hell he is, or even if he is still alive. Not a clue.”
We look forward to seeing who takes the stage during Deep Purple’s induction on April 8th.