Deep Purple’s overdue induction into Rock Hall means snubbing of Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse

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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.

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7 thoughts on “Deep Purple’s overdue induction into Rock Hall means snubbing of Tommy Bolin and Steve Morse

  1. I heartily agree! While I was somewhat disappointed by “Come Taste the Band” when it first came out (because it sounded so different without Blackmore) I have become very appreciative of Tommy Bolin’s contributions since. It’s a shame he died way, way too early. Also… Steve Morse may be the most underappreciated guitarist ever… not only with Deep Purple but also his outstanding play with Kansas.

  2. Much as I love Steve Morse he wasn’t around in the most renowned classic era of the band and Bolin was only in for one album. I think it is not unreasonable for them to induct just the Mk 2 and 3 members. But the curious thing in that case is why hey chose Rod Evans, too. All a bit curious.

  3. Come Taste the band is many Fans favorite Purple LP.Tommy and Steve deserve to be Inducted too.Much more so than any of the Rap Acts,or Janet Jackson,or Madonna they feel obliged to Induct to be PC.

  4. Tommy Bolin deserves to be inducted with the rest of the band. He remains so under-rated to this day and I can’t stand it listen to his playing with Deep Purple and also look at what the members like Glenn Hughes and what they have to say about Tommy being “part of the band”. He was amazing and for anyone who doubts his ability listen to Billy Cobham’s album Spectrum. He shines on both Spectrum and Dazzles on Quadrant 4. I wish his being left out could be appealed! lol. #TommyLivesOn! #YouMadeItThereInMyHeartBrother!

  5. I don’t know… you’re complaining about Bolin not being included and then describe a bunch of good reasons not to include Bolin. Fact is Deep Purple hasn’t been a significant rock band for the entirety of its history. Its legacy was established by Blackmore albums.

    I’m not saying Bolin doesn’t deserve recognition, but not for his work with Deep Purple. You’re talking one album, and it wasn’t one of their most important ones. That’s not HoF level accomplishments. Steve Morse belongs in there for MANY contributions across many bands, but he’s also been a replacement player within a headline band more often than the original lineup headliner himself.

    1. Tommy was a Master player, He played Fusion with Cobham ,jan hammer and Alphonse Mouzon etc He could play any Style and Saved Deep Purple’s Ass Come taste the Band is one of their Best Lp’s.Tommy also did the same for the James Gang and had Two Excellent Solo Lp’s ,He played with Dr John and many Blues Artists ;Big mama Thornton ,Albert king and others and all this before he died after just turning 25
      So he certainly has the resume to be in the Rock hall,but he’s not high profile enough, it is isn’t about Talent or influence alot of their newer Inductions seem to be PC related. Morse is an Amazing player and also has a Deep resume, Both should be inducted on their own as backing Musicians at least .

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