Ian Gillan Takes Half Of The Blame For Feud With ‘Genius’ Ritchie Blackmore

In a recent interview with Made In Metal, Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan shared his thoughts on the band’s current guitarist, Simon McBride, and took the blame for feuding with Ritchie Blackmore.

McBride joined Deep Purple in 2022 after Steve Morse left the band. Now, the current guitarist is playing the songs that are originally penned and performed by Blackmore. During the recent conversation, Gillan said of McBride:

“Oh, first of all, Simon is a genius. He’s absolutely fantastic. He’s got all the energy and articulation and musical skills and creative skills that you could ever dream of. You can’t compare Ritchie with Simon or with Steve Morse or with Joe Satriani, the players that we’ve had in a band.”

He then recalled the days Blackmore was his roommate and took ‘half’ of the blame to himself for feuding with his then-bandmate:

“And I think that Ritchie has to have all the credit in the world. He’s a genius. He was fantastic. I thought he was brilliant. And he was my roommate and we partnered and we shared a lot together. And then things, for some reason, went wrong later on. And I’m sure half of it was my fault, so those days were dim and distant. But as far as the guitar is concerned, Simon interprets these songs very, very brilliantly.”

Why The Feud?

Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore didn’t always see eye to eye when they were both in Deep Purple. Their arguments were mostly about different ideas on music, their personalities not quite clicking, and disagreements on where the band’s sound should go.

Blackmore wanted more control over the music, and this clashed with Gillan’s ideas. On top of that, they just didn’t get along, and their communication styles didn’t mesh well.

All these things strained their relationship, and Gillan left Deep Purple in the mid-80s. Even though they crossed paths since then, they have kept their distance.

Is Morse Coming Back To Deep Purple?

During the same interview, the rocker was asked about the possibility of Morse coming back to the band as their guitarist again. Gillan said they were happy with McBride and that he was their permanent guitarist now:

“No, no. Simon is our permanent guitar player now. And we’ve just finished making a new record, which will come out later in the year. But Simon is a fantastic contributor to the band. It’s one of the best things that could have happened.”

You can hear the interview below.