Deep Purple began its march into rock history with the addition of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover 45 years ago. Lineups have changed over the years, but the two remain — along with founding drummer Ian Paice — a cornerstone of the Purple sound.
A series of their fellow rockers joined together in a newly released video to talk about Deep Purple’s legacy, which was extended last year with the release of their well-received new studio effort Now What?!
“Why these guys are not the first guys in the Hall of Fame, I’ll never know,” says Toto’s Steve Lukather. “I think they’re one of the most important bands in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, for me.”
Songs like “Smoke on the Water” eventually helped form the foundation of a heavier version of rock ‘n’ roll dubbed hard rock, though Deep Purple also dabbled in blues and progressive sounds, as well. Concert favorites include “Highway Star,” “Hush” and “Woman from Tokyo,” among many others. “All of us grew up listening to that — and we said: ‘That’s our foundation,'” Joe Satriani says. “You’ve got to be as good as that, as interesting as that, as original as that. Don’t be afraid to look back, to build upon roots.”
Guitarist Steve Morse (a member since 1994) and keyboardist Don Airey (2002) took over for founding members Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, respectively. Paice is the only member to have appeared in all of the band’s many permutations as it released certified classics like 1970’s Deep Purple in Rock,, 1972’s Made in Japan, 1974’s Burn and — perhaps most notably — 1972’s Machine Head.
“Let me tell you something about Machine Head,” Lukather says. “That was a life-changing record. I was in junior high school, and that record came out — and I devoured that record. ‘Smoke on the Water’ is one of the most legendary songs. It’s the first song every kid learns how to play on the guitar. That album has stood the test of time.”
This video remembrance also includes comments from members of Alter Bridge and Black Label Society, Steve Vai and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, who praised Deep Purple’s “loud cacophony of sound, with a modicum of melody.”