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Deep Purple at the Fox Theatre, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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Deep Purple launched its The Long Goodbye Tour back in May of 2017, and no fat lady has sung for the long-lived heavy rock troupe yet.

The quintet is, of course, still on the road, both promoting its 2017 album "InFinite" as well as a 51-year catalog that includes rock classics such as "Smoke on the Water," "Highway Star," "Woman From Tokyo" and a definitive cover of Joe South's "Hush." The British-formed group, which has run through 13 members over the years, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during 2016 and tour titles -- and intention -- notwithstanding is still criss-crossing the globe to almost every continent.

Steve Morse, celebrating 25 years as Purple's guitarist, says the end is indeed nigh, but not before some "unfinished business is rectified...

Morse, 65 -- grew up in Ypsilanti while his father taught at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan -- says that Deep Purple's conclusion is "on the visible horizon" but doesn't view that as a band thing. "I think the band's look at finishing strong rather than going until no one can move. It was looking like we were going to finish a little sooner, and then I think some of the physical things got treated and we're back. I've always joked that this band'll never quit, but I'm hoping that they're going along with my advice, which is to finish strong and stop."

In fact, adds Morse -- who was previously in Dixie Dregs and Kansas and is now also part of the all-star Flying Colors -- now is "a great time to see the band. The energy is really positive and there's a lot of good things happening. It's a great time to see the band."

Morse laughs as he says that 25 years with Deep Purple is "almost long enough to not be the new guy -- but I'm still the new guy." He has, however, been in the group longer than any other guitar player, including iconic original member Ritchie Blackmore. "There's a big contingent of people that just hate me because I'm not him and would just love the blood to spill. But he wouldn't do it, and that's cool. It's nice when professionals can appreciate each other enough to lay off that kind of stuff. He wrote a bunch of great stuff and it's meaty and it's vibrant and it's fun to play on guitar, so I will always pay him his respects for what he did here. There's no problem between us."

Morse takes a degree of credit for convincing the current Deep Purple lineup, and particularly frontman Ian Gillan, to make "Hush" a regular part of the set even though it was sung by original vocalist Rod Evans. "I heard the Joe South version when we were kids, but the Deep Purple version just seemed so much cooler. So I sort of talked them into it, just like in 'The Simpsons' where Bart want something and keeps asking over and over until the parents give in and give it to him. It was kind of like that, and finally we did 'Hush' and everybody loved it."

Morse is confident Deep Purple has another album in it and even alludes to "a secret recording I'm not supposed to talk about." He anticipates the group will also work with Bob Ezrin, who produced "InFinite" and also 2013's "Now What?!" "He's a harsh taskmaster who we love very much. He helps whip the stuff into shape and cull the wheat and chaff and all that. He's really smart and ultra capable, in every phase of the operation. So he's a great asset, and that's why if we were gonna do a secret album, it would be our third album with him."

Deep Purple and Joyous Wolf perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. $29.50 and up. 313-471-6611 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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