Deep Purple to Rock Hall? Ritchie Blackmore 'Couldn't Care Less'
"Personally, I couldn't care less," the guitarist tells Billboard. "I would never go. I'm not really a fan of that stuff. Considering some of the people that are in the Hall of Fame, I'm not sure if it's a good idea, so I don't care one way or the other, actually."
Deep Purple is one of 15 nominees on the Rock Hall's final ballot, and Blackmore does acknowledge that the nod has been a long time coming.
"I think our fans seem to care more than I do," he notes. "They're always saying, 'You should be in the Hall of Fame. You should be in this, you should be in that...' If I can pay the bills, that's all I care about."
Blackmore, who left Deep Purple for good in 1993 after a third stint with the group, is busy with his current musical concern -- Blackmore's Night, his Renaissance and Medieval music collaboration with his wife Candice Knight. The troupe has just released its third live DVD and CD, "A Knight in York," recorded in September of 2011 at a reputedly haunted venue Blackmore also played with one of his earliest bands, the Outlaws, in 1963. The 14-song set showcases the latest lineup of Blackmore's Night and also features a guest appearance by the couple's two-year-old daughter, Autumn.
Meanwhile, Blackmore and Knight say they're about 10 songs in to the eighth studio album by Blackmore's Night, the follow-up to 2010's "Autumn Sky," which they hope to release in June. The couple is recording at its home studio on Long Island, and Blackmore says, with a laugh, that, "From my point of view, it's the same old crap that we've been doing for a long time. I'm not a person that goes in any direction, you know? I just play whatever I feel like at the time."
Knight adds that "for us, the whole point of artistic freedom and creativity is not to be in a neat little box where someone can say, 'OK, you only do rock music' or 'You only do pop music.' We kick those walls down from that box and you can do a ballad next to an instrumental next to a rock song next to a gypsy song, and you have so much variety in what you're doing."
Songs so far include "Troika," which is based on a Russian folk song, and "Dancer in the Moon," which hails from Eastern European sources. Blackmore is also planning an instrumental called "The Minstrel Hall." While the recording continues, Blackmore's Night has four dates set to promote "A Knight in York" -- Oct. 25 in Tarrytown, N.Y., Oct. 26 in Stroudsburg, Pa., Oct. 28 in Wilmington, Del., and Nov. 2 in New York City.