Ex-DEEP PURPLE Guitarist STEVE MORSE Is Mourning Death Of His Wife

February 6, 2024

Former DEEP PURPLE guitarist Steve Morse is mourning the death of his wife.

Janine Morse passed away on Sunday, February 4 after battling Stage 4 cancer for at least a couple of years.

Her illness led to Steve's departure from DEEP PURPLE in 2022 after he took a hiatus to concentrate on taking care of her. He was replaced by Simon McBride.

On Monday (February 5),Steve took to his social media to share a photo of his wife, and he included the following message: "Yesterday, February 4, at 2:40pm, I said my last goodbye to my beloved wife, Janine. We had been in a period of remission which lasted not nearly long enough. But luckily, I was able to spend virtually every day with her as she found workarounds to get through some of the aftermath of the long chemo treatment. But we did travel and do things, and were enjoying life with both of us cherishing every moment. Deep down, we knew that any day, we could get the news.

"Anybody who knows the stage 4 cancer treatments, knows that each scan, each blood test is done with fingers crossed," he continued. "We never knew, but this return of the cancer shocked all our doctors almost as much as us. Just 2 weeks before she died, we were riding around in a small plane, sightseeing several times. A few days later, while she was sleeping I saw her in some distress, took a reading of her blood oxygen saturation and immediately scooped her up to the hospital. 8 days later, she crashed on full life support, her lungs filled with tiny cancer cells that somehow made it impossible to get enough oxygen. They spread so aggressively and instantly that there was no time for chemo to even work.

"Some of you knew her, as she would sell shirts at my trio (STEVE MORSE BAND) gigs, and she loved to travel and meet everyone. If anybody happens to read this who got their picture with Janine and I a few weeks ago at the Kansas concert in Clearwater, you have a photo of the last show she ever went to, and I'd love to see that shot if you could post it."

Steve added: "Thanks to all of the people who supported her, encouraged her, and were just nice people to her. She always felt comfortable talking with people who really loved music and felt enthusiastic about us being able to tour together, when she could arrange it. She was a great Mom, wife and soulmate. I just can't believe what this last week has done to our lives.

"Cherish those around you, and let them know.

"I have absolutely no regrets from quitting touring to be with her, but she really wanted me to get back playing. It takes some time to set up gigs and such, so all the short tours we lined up were to allow her to accompany me. I will be playing those gigs and more, but without the wonderful woman I just lost."

Last May, Steve spoke to the Beaver County Times about his decision to reform his STEVE MORSE BAND for a series of live appearances the spring of 2023.

"I quit PURPLE because the tours were too long and we had a health emergency in my family with my wife having Stage 4 cancer," Morse said. "I told those guys 'I can't do this' and they were upset for like three to four seconds and then moved on. That's life, I and I wish them well and they're doing great."

Referencing STEVE MORSE BAND, he said: "I had always been told that we couldn't do weekends only. That it just wouldn't be possible to pay everybody and not be paying out of pocket to play. However, when we did the math with three people, it was possible in many cases to make it work. And the reason for the short length is so I can be home 90 percent of the time and possibly drag my wife with me, and line up all the medical appointments and everything. The idea was to make it possible so I could play some shows and not feel like I'm shortchanging what I could really help with by being home. It has made a huge difference in being a medical advocate through all the crazy stuff that's happened, and the surgeries and complications. There's so much to do with that."

Joining Morse in the STEVE MORSE BAND are Dave LaRue, also of FLYING COLORS and THE DIXIE DREGS, as well as Van Romaine, one of the most in-demand percussionists throughout his extensive career playing live and recording with legendary names like BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS, Billy Joel, NAUGHTY BY NATURE and many more.

In July 2022, Morse officially left PURPLE to care for his wife.

Morse's announcement came four months after the guitarist said that he would be taking a hiatus from the band, in the hope of rejoining his bandmates once his wife's health improved.

Morse effectively took over Ritchie Blackmore's DEEP PURPLE slot in 1994 and had been in the group longer than Ritchie.

Photo credit: Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.

Yesterday, February 4, at 2:40pm, I said my last goodbye to my beloved wife, Janine. We had been in a period of...

Posted by Steve Morse on Monday, February 5, 2024

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