Over the years many Deep Purple fans have fantasized over the idea of original guitarist/band co-founder Ritchie Blackmore rejoining the band or at least doing some form of reunion with them. However, drummer/co-founder Ian Paice feels that although there is always the possibility of a reunion, at this point it would be pointless.
In an interview with Blabbermouth Paice discusses his feelings toward Blackmore and the idea of a reunion with him, saying:
“Of course, the answers to both of those are ‘possibly.’ But when Ritchie left, nobody fired him, nobody said, ‘You have to go.’ It was his choice. And so the band continued, the band moved on. Ritchie started doing his thing, which is great. He was obviously happy doing it, and we’ve been happy doing what we’ve been doing for the last 23, 24 years, ’cause that’s how long ago it is.
Quite honestly, there’s no point for us to consider that. We have a wonderful feeling within the band, everybody’s very friendly, and all we have to do is go onstage and make the music; there’s no other considerations to worry about. I think Ritchie’s life doesn’t work like that. I think it’s a little more complex. And at this stage of my life, I don’t need cloudy areas. I like it to be clear and crystal and know that it’s gonna be fun. I love Ritchie to death, but I can’t guarantee every day with him is gonna be fun.”
Paice also went into detail discussing Blackmore's replacement and current guitarist Steve Morse, who has played with the band for the past two dozen decades, saying:
“The thing they have in common is they’re both brilliant guitarists, but they are different, and that’s the important thing with Steve. To try and replace Ritchie would have been impossible and pointless to replace him with a Ritchie clone. So if we were gonna have to bring a guitarist in, he had to be of the same level as Ritchie, but he had to have his own style. And that’s why Steve fit the bill perfectly.”
As a HUGE fan of Deep Purple myself I don't think at this point I would want a Blackmore reunion either. Ritchie is happy doing his own thing and quite frankly Morse breathes new life into the band. Blackmore would just be kind of going through the motions if he came back in any capacity. I would much rather Blackmore do a whole new Rainbow album if he is going to come back to rock on a more consistent basis. That said, I'm looking forward to hearing the two new Rainbow songs that just got recorded as singles.