Legendary hard rock band Deep Purple first broke up in 1976. In 1984, the most famous version of the band (often referred to as “Mark II”) reunited — singer Ian Gillian, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice. But fans of the “Mark III” version — which featured Blackmore, Lord and Paice, along with singer David Coverdale and bassist/singer Glenn Hughes — have long wondered if their favorite lineup (responsible for such classics as “Stormbringer” and “Burn”) ever attempted a reunion.
Glenn Hughes tells CBS Local that “Jon, David and I were trying to get it together.” The roadblock was the band’s famously mercurial guitarist: “We couldn’t get ahold of him. We sent carrier pigeons, and the Pony Express. But nobody at ‘Castle Blackmore’ answered the door. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Sadly, Jon Lord passed away July 16, so a full reunion will never happen. Blackmore is still, apparently, difficult to reach, and Ian Paice is still a member of the current Deep Purple. But Hughes says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we did something, David and I. Something might pop its head in the next two years.”
Is there a specific project in mind?
“No! (But) David and I have talked about this weekly since Jon died. How we can do something to keep the flame burning. But we don’t want to hinder the heritage of the band, some bands get back together and sound bloody awful. It’s the 40th anniversary of Burn next year. I’m not giving you a hint to something that’s gonna happen, but you just never know.”
Meanwhile, Hughes has contributed two tracks to Re-Machined: A Tribute To Deep Purple’s Machine Head (an album recorded by the “Mark II” version of the band). He plays bass and sings on versions of “Maybe I’m A Leo” and “Highway Star.” The tribute is due out on September 25. As previously reported, it will also feature Metallica, and Iron Maiden, among other artists.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local