Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse thankful for Ritchie Blackmore's "restrained" comments

I wrote a blog last week in which I described Jeff Beck as "the world's greatest living rock guitarist," and I didn't get too much flack for that claim. What surprised me the most is that I didn't get any outraged commenters hollering: "You're full of it, Newt! That title belongs to Steve Morse!"

Morse is the phenomenal American picker who, after making a name for himself in the Dixie Dregs, replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple back in 1994. He's now been in the band longer than Blackmore ever was, and—as brilliantly talented as Morse is—there are still some folks clamouring for the return of the notoriously moody Man in Black. Get over it, people. He's not returning to the lineup. He's off playing medieval music in a field somewhere.

In a recent interview with, Morse talked about his relationship with Blackmore—or lack of it, to be more precise—and his current place in the band.

"I've had no contact with him," said Morse, "but he has made some comments which I thought were remarkably”¦restrained. He's certainly had perfect opportunities to say whatever he wants, negative or otherwise. I realize I could be one giant target for him. And not just Ritchie, but for many, many fans out there. There's still lots of people who want the band to be the original guys. I understand all of that. But I'm really relieved that he hasn't said anything harsh about me. The most he ever said, and I'm paraphrasing, is something like, 'This guy plays very well and does a lot of different things. I'm not sure if he's right for Deep Purple”¦' He said something to that effect.

"But you know, how can anybody replace Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple? You can't. All you can do is come in, do what you do and change the band here and there. You can't be a clone”¦and you shouldn't. What Ritchie did has been done. I do what I do. There you go!"

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Jul 20, 2011 at 1:11pm

If Ritchie is being restrained it's because he gives less than a shit about DP and what they do, (or given their productivity since he left, what they don't do). If Ritchie's been restrained, then I'll say it for him. DP are rubbish without Ritchie and Blackmore owns Steve Morse's ass.


Oct 12, 2012 at 5:31am

I think Morse is the more versatile and stronger player of the pair

kid death

Mar 16, 2013 at 4:26am

I watched a 2009 deep purple performance in Montreaux.It made me realize how good Ritchie is,cause Steve sounded like a rank amateur by comparison.He utilized lots of cheap guitars riffs and tackled nothing remotly as difficult as Blackmore.As a guitar player I heard nothing that I couldn't do in my sleep.I was sorely disappointed.Rithchie was right,Steve does not fit the band.


Oct 5, 2013 at 2:20am

Morse is a student. Like his attitude. No sound no personality. Maybe he can grow as a player. No one can be the Mib.


Nov 20, 2013 at 6:07am

Rithcie? Come back to Deep Purple, with out you are not Deep Purple. And you back to Deep Purple many people was happy. ;)


Dec 13, 2013 at 3:04pm

Ian Gillan is Britney...


Feb 18, 2014 at 11:27am

Ritchie is better than Steve or Steve is better than Ritchie is a debate that will probably go on forever. Accept the fact that they are both brilliant but at the same time different. You should also accept one important fact...RITCHIE BLACKMORE WILL NEVER RETURN TO DEEP PURPLE AGAIN and I dont the the current members would accept him back with open arms either.


Apr 5, 2014 at 12:50pm

I have been watching DP concerts on youtub. One thing I can say about Morse he respects the fans and appears to really enjoy playing Blackmore didnt always. I am very glad DP has a guitar player of the caliber of Steve Morse so the great DP music can go on when all the other great hard rock bands are long gone.


Nov 22, 2014 at 1:31pm

Steve Morse is a very good guitarist. He also seems like a good guy too.

Ritchie Blackmore is a phenomenal guitarist; he is up there with guys like Jeff Beck, David Gilmour and a small handful of others. Musicians, especially professional guitarists, overwhelmingly cite Ritchie as one of the best players ever.

The reason Ritchie has always lost the popularity contests is because he has intentionally lost them.

Ritchie doesn't kiss anyone's rear end, especially Rolling Stone magazine, etc.