Ian Gillan’s Deep Purple Performance Glenn Hughes Found Embarrassing

When it comes to lineup changes, Deep Purple can easily say, ‘Hold my beer’ to other rock bands since the British act had many, many different lineups over the years. From singer Ian Gillan‘s exile to founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s departure in the mid-70s, the band seemed to have a knack for change, totaling nine different markups throughout decades.

Creative differences and personal feuds surely had a play in this constant need for change, and even when the rockers reunited for their Rock Hall induction a few years ago, the fallout between former bandmates was still visible. Former bassist Glenn Hughes, who was in the band through the Mark III and Mark IV lineups, even had to comment on the matter while chatting with Louder Sound in 2016.

Hughes confessed that things hadn’t been great between him and his former Deep Purple buddies, and it was natural for anyone to figure that out simply by inspecting their body language. However, the rocker’s feud was only with the band’s current lineup, including Gillan, as he was on good terms with former singer David Coverdale.

The bassist’s statements on the band’s Rock Hall induction followed:

“It was a little difficult because of, let’s call it ‘personality problems.’ It was David and I holding hands, and the other guys, unfortunately! We just don’t get along with the other guys at all.

It was not an easy night for us. If you look at the body language, it’s pretty obvious, you know? But again, David and I have been thick and thin for so long; I just dearly love him.”

With Glenn’s fallout dating back decades ago, it seemed that the rocker was still bitter about sharing the stage with his former bandmates even after all those years. However, that wasn’t the first time he had sent snidey remarks on Deep Purple’s way, specifically targeting Gillan.

Hughes had chatted with Metal Sludge in 2004 for a short interview, and when the host asked him to rate some fellow rockers and their ability to sing, the bassist didn’t hold back from slamming former bandmate Ian when he had to comment on the frontman’s vocals.

As he rated Ian’s ability to sing, Glenn recalled how he wasn’t impressed by Deep Purple’s performance with Luciano Pavarotti in 2003, criticizing how Gillan had burnt out his voice while pushing himself to sing like the good old days. Sounding embarrassed by his vocals, Ian also advised Glenn not to perform with Pavorotti next time.

The rocker on why Ian couldn’t impress him:

“[I] saw him [Gillan] a few weeks ago with my old band. I wasn’t impressed. He seems to have burnt his voice out. [Ian], please do not sing with Pavarotti again.”

It’s obvious that the feud between Glenn Hughes and Deep Purple is far away from coming to an end, as the bassist never holds back from criticizing his old bandmates. He didn’t even hide his despise for Ian Gillan’s vocals, simply stating that he wasn’t as good as he used to be and wasn’t impressed by his gigs.