Deep Purple Inducted in Rock Hall with ‘Smoking’ 2016 Set

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Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple speak onstage at the 31st Annual Rock Hall Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 8, 2016 (Photo: Kevin Kane/WireImage for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; used with permission)

Deep Purple delivered the goods with “Smoke on the Water” at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2016 induction ceremony on April 8. But the man behind its iconic guitar riff, Ritchie Blackmore, was not there with his former bandmates to accept the honor and perform with the group he helped found.

That didn’t seem to dampen enthusiasm for Deep Purple‘s mini-set, the first of the evening, played by inducted members Ian Gillan (vocals), Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Paice (drums) with current guitarist Steve Morse and keyboard player Don Airey. Starting out with fan favorite “Highway Star,” they segued through a portion of the Booker T. & The M.G.’s instrumental “Green Onions” into the group’s 1968 #4 pop hit “Hush.” Then came “Smoke,” which ended with an instrumental jam that helped bring the audience at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to their feet with enthusiastic applause.

Related: Blackmore’s no-show for the event

All but lifelong Purple fan Lars Ulrich of Metallica had introduced the group, noting how “every hard rock band in the last 40 years, including mine, traces its lineage directly back to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.” He noted how, “I speak for many of my fellow musicians and millions of Purple fans when I confess that I am somewhat bewildered that they are so late in getting in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” Like Steve Miller, Deep Purple became eligible for the Rock Hall in 1993. And Ulrich was one of the group’s most impassioned advocates for rectifying the oversight.

Lars Ulrich of Metallica inducts Deep Purple onstage at the 31st Annual Rock Hall Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on April 8, 2016 (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; used with permission)

Ulrich explained that “Deep Purple became big the old-fashioned way. They worked hard: constant touring, making an album a year, sometimes two – never giving a shit about image or critical acclaim.” And he recalled his first Purple concert in 1973: “Everything was larger than life, the sound the spectacle, the songs, the musicians, all doing things with their instruments that I had never seen before – and didn’t even know was possible. Deep Purple were a beautiful contradiction, like you just walked in on five musicians at the top of their game jamming one classic after another with raw intensity, as if they were in a garage playing for no one but themselves. Yet at the same time projecting a thousand-yard deep stare into the bowels of the arena.”

Watch Ulrich’s speech

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Gillan, Paice and Glover accepted their induction as also did ex-members David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. During the band’s set an image was projected on the stage backdrop of late organist Jon Lord, also an inductee.

Watch them perform “Hush” and “Smoke on the Water”

Related: Our Album Rewind of 1972’s Machine Head

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2 Comments so far

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  1. huisangst
    #1 huisangst 11 April, 2016, 04:36

    the induction is a farce without blackmore

    Reply this comment
  2. JayBird64
    #2 JayBird64 9 April, 2023, 11:41

    no mention of Bolin or Morse?

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