Steve Morse has said he will take a break from live Deep Purple shows to support Janine, his wife, in her battle with cancer. Simon McBride will take over guitar duties. MetalTalk and the whole Heavy Metal family send our love and prayers to Steve and Janine at this difficult time.
“Hello, everybody,” Steve said in a statement posted by Deep Purple. “I’ve just done a few gigs with the band after years (!?) of not playing live. It’s a bittersweet, wonderful time to get together.
“However, my dear wife Janine is currently battling cancer. At this point, there are so many possible complications and unknowns that whatever time we have left in our lives, I simply must be there with her.
“I am not leaving the band – I hope that after she gets a clean bill of health, I can re-join the tour. However, I am not seeing any likely situation which would allow me to do overseas touring in the immediate future. I continue to be privileged to be a part of the Purple family tree, and also to get to feel the amazing support of so many loyal fans and the rest of the band.
“There’s a certified, world-class guitarist ready to take over for the live shows whom everybody will surely be happy to hear. I appreciate all your sincere prayers for Janine, and thank you all.”
Steve’s break, naturally, has the full support of the band. “All of our thoughts are with Janine during her fight against cancer,” Ian, Roger, Ian and Don said, “and also with Steve while he supports his wife at a very difficult time. We hope that Steve will be able to join us back on the road later this year.”
Simon McBride, who has previously toured with both Ian Gillan and Don Airey, is very happy to help out. “I’m deeply honoured to be asked to stand-in for Steve and play for such an iconic rock band like Deep Purple,” Simon said in a statement. “They are amazing musicians and amazing people… I’m very excited to get out and play all those iconic songs and rock the stage with such legends. My thoughts are with Steve and Janine and their family.”
McBride, recently played a St Patrick’s Day concert in Bannermans, Edinburgh.
There will be no further comment from the Deep Purple family, and they kindly ask that we all respect the family’s privacy and keep them in our prayers at this time.