By Steve Newton
Now that the millions of Deep Purple fans around the world have finished celebrating the hard-rock legends’ shockingly overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s time to take the bad news with the good.
The names of guitar legends Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse will not be included.
That fvcking sucks.
While Bolin only played on one Deep Purple studio album, 1975’s Come Taste the Band, he cowrote seven of its nine tracks, including the best ones, “Gettin’ Tighter” and “This Time Around/Owed to ‘G'”. And while the album on a whole will never be considered as strong as Ritchie Blackmore-era monsters like Machine Head or Burn, Bolin’s musical talents definitely deserve to be remembered. As awesome as his solo albums Teaser (also ’75) and Private Eyes (1976) were, I really doubt the perpetually shortsighted Rock Hall will ever nominate–least of all induct–him on the strength of his solo career.
The only shot for Bolin–who tragically died of a drug overdose in ’76 at the age of 25–was with Deep Purple, I’m afraid.
As for Steve Morse, it’s equally bizarre that he won’t be inducted, since he’s been with Deep Purple longer than any of its other pickers: 21 years. And if you think the Rock Hall will ever induct him for the amazing music he made with the Dixie Dregs–who’ve been eligible for nomination for 15 years now–forget about it. As stunningly talented as that band was, I doubt they sold enough records to even show up on the radar of Jann Wenner and the other dim bulbs pulling the strings in Cleveland.
The best we can hope for is that Bolin and Morse make into Newt’s Rock Hall, which will announce its class of 2016 in April. I established this alternative Rock Hall last June to highlight all the most deserving rock acts that the original Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been grossly overlooking since day one, and it’s only open to ones that are not already in the RRHF.
Earlier this year I inducted Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, Link Wray, Iron Maiden, and Deep Purple into the inaugural class of 2015, but since Purple has just been admitted into the RRHF, I’ve had to–in keeping with the one NRH rule–take them out, replacing them with the equally awesome Thin Lizzy. (Just to point out how inept the RRHF is, Lizzy has been eligible for induction since 1996. That’s NINETEEN YEARS that Wenner and his braindead cohorts have been ignoring the unquestionable significance of Phil Lynott and Co. Can you freakin’ believe it?)
So get your nominations in, ’cause it’s only four months or so until Newt’s Rock Hall shows that other Rock Hall what it’s been missing yet again.