Rock Hall of Fame to Induct Deep Purple in Third Decade of Eilgibility

Some 47 years after Ritchie Blackmore formed Deep Purple in Hertfordshire, England, the influential rock pioneers will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall announced its class of 2016 inductees Wednesday, revealing Deep Purple will finally get in. The other inductees include Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Chicago and hip-hop pioneers N.W.A. Like Deep Purple, Chicago and Steve Miller began their musical journeys in the late 60s, while Cheap Trick formed in the early 70s. Hall of Fame rules require that an artist be active for 25 years before induction, so all these bands have been eligible for around two decades or more.

While the Hall-worthiness of Cheap Trick and Chicago is almost understandable, one wonders who these voters are that didn’t think Deep Purple belonged in the pantheon of Rock n’ Roll greats. Ritchie Blackmore was one of the most-influential guitarists of all time, cited as an influence by as many artists as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton or Jimi Paige, all Hall of Fame members. Just listen to almost any hard rock album released in the eighties and Blackmore’s influence is evident. Beyond their founding guitarist’s evolutionary work, Deep Purple members have played in dozens of other iconic bands throughout the years, forming a family tree unparalleled in rock history.

Blackmore left Deep Purple in 1974 to form Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio, who of course joined Black Sabbath when Ozzy Osbourne was canned. Ian Gillan, part of Deep Purple’s classic lineup, left Deep Purple to replace Dio in Sabbath; and was replaced by David Coverdale, who later formed Whitesnake. Deep Purple has connections to Black Country Communion, the Hughes Turner Project, Trapeze and Zephyr; and even briefly toured with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani on lead guitar. With such a rich network of connections to rock history, how was this band not inducted before now? Oh, well… better late than never, I suppose. The correction of a long-running omission will take place at the 31st annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, April 8th at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. HBO will televise the ceremony at a later, as-yet-announced date.

Click Here for a detailed breakdown of the rich and storied history of Deep Purple.