Earlier this year we reported that Simon McBride would temporarily be filling Steve Morse’s sizable shoes as lead guitarist for the iconic group Deep Purple. The change came about just as Deep Purple was set to embark on their summer tour. After much consideration, Steve had decided to take a step back, in order to take a more active role in his wife Janine’s battle with cancer. Today the band announces that Simon will be joining the band full-time, taking his place in a lineage that not only includes Steve Morse, but the legendary Ritchie Blackmore. While the opportunity comes under regrettable circumstances, we congratulate Simon on his new gig and wish Steve and the rest of the band all the best.
Collectively, the band stated “We are thrilled that Simon has agreed to join. Simon’s playing is up there with the greats. Of course, Steve can’t be replaced, the same as Ritchie, and Steve has a long legacy with Deep Purple. In Simon we have not found a replacement, but an extraordinarily talented and exciting guitarist in his own right. The reception from audiences over the Summer has already been great and we are looking forward to the forthcoming dates in the UK and Europe across the rest of the year. It is clear that Simon also holds great respect for those before him. We are all excited for what the years to come hold for the band.”
Simon stated “I'm very happy to be asked to join the band, at the start of the pandemic if someone would have said to me that I was going to be the new guitarist in Deep Purple I would have just laughed, but here we are and it's happening. Deep Purple has a history of great guitarists so I’m very honoured to be asked to be part of that. They are all amazing musicians and more importantly, I have become very good friends with the guys so I can't wait to continue touring and even perhaps some writing and recording.”
Photo credit: Stefan Brending