Exclusive: Gillan Speaks Out About Purple Mk iii
“Glenn Hughes is one of the most naturally talented musicians but he’s still copying Steve Wonder to this day”, says Ian Gillan.
In an interview in the latest issue of Classic Rock magazine, Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan reveals he has “no interest” in the Mk III line-up of the band – and he doesn’t particularly rate Mk IV, either. All of this comes after last week Lars Ulrich spoke about joining Deep Purple if they were to do a reunion show and Jon Lord commented on Ulrich‘s statement.
After Gillan resigned from Purple, signalling the end of the Mk II version of the group, he was replaced by David Coverdale in 1973.
In further line-up shift, bassist Roger Glover, another mainstay of Purple Mk II, was succeeded by Glenn Hughes. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and keyboard player Jon Lord completed the Mk III line-up. Purple Mk III issued two studio albums, both in 1974: Burn and Stormbringer.
Gillan said: “I’ve never listened to any of Purple Mk III’s records. What are they called? Burn and… Strongbow (Strongbow is English cider, for our cousins overseas), is it?”
“I’ve got no interest in them,” he continued. “It’s like seeing your girlfriend with another guy.”
Gillan added: “As for Mk IV [when American guitarist, the late Tommy Bolin, replaced Ritchie Blackmore), I listened to their Come Taste The Band album  and that wasn’t really Purple in my book.
“I’ve got no problems with the performances, I just don’t think it’s Deep Purple at all.
“Glenn Hughes is one of the most naturally talented musicians but he’s still copying Steve Wonder to this day, so I can’t call him a bona fide member of Deep Purple.”
“The Mk III and IV line-ups were full of talent, but you know you can spend £100 million on football players and you won’t necessarily get a good team.”
Gillan, of course, now sings in the Mk VIII version of Purple alongside Glover, guitarist Steve Morse, drummer Ian Paice and keyboard player Don Airey.