If first-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees Deep Purple end up being inducted, don’t expect former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to show up for the ceremony.
“Personally, I couldn’t care less,” Blackmore told Billboard during a recent interview. “I would never go. I’m not really a fan of that stuff. Considering some of the people that are in the Hall of Fame, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, so I don’t care one way or the other, actually.”
Blackmore, who played guitar in Deep Purple’s classic “Mark II” line-up (among other incarnations), departed the group in 1975 before returning to the fold for a 1984-1993 “reunion” stint alongside Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord (who died this past July) and Ian Paice. In the years between he formed the hard rock band Rainbow – which at one point featured future Black Sabbath singer Ronnie James Dio – but his work with Deep Purple remained his most successful collaboration.
“I think our fans seem to care more than I do,” continued Blackmore, whose relationship with his Deep Purple bandmates proved more than a little contentious over the decades. “They’re always saying, ‘You should be in the Hall of Fame. You should be in this, you should be in that…’ If I can pay the bills, that’s all I care about.”
Other nominees for next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction include N.W.A., Rush and the seminal New York City rap group Public Enemy. You can check out the full list here.
What do you think of Blackmore’s indifferent attitude toward the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Sound off in the comments.