Former RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE singer Joe Lynn Turner recently slammed Ritchie Blackmore for the guitarist's decision to go out and perform classic DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW material with a new group musicians instead of reforming RAINBOW with a more "authentic" lineup. Asked if he has had any further contact with Blackmore since Joe's scathing comments were first made public, Turner told the SiriusXM satellite radio show "Eddie Trunk Live": "No. Absolutely not. The only thing I received from his camp was an e-mail with Ritchie's post after [DEEP PURPLE's Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame [induction]. Ritchie made a personal post, and they sent me this — and I had already seen it, but they sent me this as a personal e-mail — and it was the one about where he said, 'I think Joe Lynn Turner should get an award for writing and singing on [DEEP PURPLE's] 'Slaves And Masters', one of my favorite records of all time.' And that, I responded — many people have seen it — that that was the bigger award for me, actually, because, you know, that meant a lot to me. That's a brilliant record, and it's only now, in my opinion, starting to be disovered. Because there was a lot of hoopla, we got lost in the sauce back then. Trends were happening and changing, so the music kind of got lost; there was a lot of feedback against, 'I don't know why Joe's in the band.' Nobody was really listening to the music. Now, I find… I travel everywhere and people are bringing the album, and I go, 'Do you like this album?' And they go,' We love it. It's amazing. And I finally started to listen to it.' And I'm, like, well, that's the problem. Nobody really heard the music; they were just worried about who was in the band and who wasn't. And, to me, that's the same thing to do with projects. People don't like you to do projects. I don't understand. As long as you said it's good music… Anything good, and it's new, is really well received by me, because we sorely need that today."
Regarding why he thinks Ritchie has chosen to go out with a whole new RAINBOW lineup instead of bringing back some of the musicians who played on the band's classic records, Joe said: "The first thing I think I can say is that he's been misguided by people around him. That's what I really believe. I believe he's been misguided, and I believe he trusts these people and I think that he made a mistake doing this."
He continued: "Look, I wish him well. I wanna preface this by saying I really wish Ritchie well. He's allowed to do whatever he wants. I have no sour grapes about this. I'm busy as ever. As he [was] quoted, 'Joe has his thing. He's busy and I've always liked him, and we have no problem.' He said that in the article in [the French newspaper] Le Parisien. So that's true. But at the same time, I wanted an authentic reunion. I wanted guys from Doogie [White] and Graham [Bonnet] and [bassist] Bob Daisley and [drummer Bobby] Rondinelli, and all these guys, and I wanted to have a RAINBOW extravaganza, because there are a lot of fans that love RAINBOW that still haven't even seen RAINBOW, and this would be the ticket for them — you know, maybe a two-hour extravaganza. So I guess the people, his advisers or whoever, could not sell him that particular [idea], or maybe they never even told him that. I actually have a feeling that he was not full of the information at the time, because certain things have come to pass that sort of indicated that he didn't know about it, to me."
Turner added: "Why he's doing what he's doing is still a mystery to me. I have my suspicions. I think they're probably too inside for me to even talk about. But at the same time, I just think he's been misguided. I wish him well, and I hope the shows come off great and all that stuff. And it certainly gives these new guys a leg up. Although there's two guys from BLACKMORE'S NIGHT, so they're already working. But I know [new RAINBOW singer] Ronnie Romero is getting a lot more attention with LORDS OF BLACK and all that from this. And I'm always out to help new people and young people. So kudos to him and good luck, but it's still gonna be a mystery, as Ritchie always has been — a mystery."
Joe was the singer of RAINBOW between 1980 and 1984 and he sang on the album "Difficult To Cure", which featured the band's most successful U.K. single, "I Surrender".
During Turner's time with RAINBOW, the band had its first USA chart success and recorded songs that helped define the melodic rock genre.
The U.K. RAINBOW concert will take place on Saturday, June 25 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. The performance will be Blackmore's first U.K. rock show in over 20 years. The two concerts in Germany will take place at the Monsters Of Rock festival on Friday, June 17 at Freilichtbühne in Loreley and on Saturday, June 18 at Festplatz am Viadukt in Bietigheim-Bissingen.
Blackmore will be joined at the gigs by LORDS OF BLACK singer Ronnie Romero, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, BLACKMORE'S NIGHT drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert "Bob" Curiano, ex-BLACKMORE'S NIGHT).