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Joe Lynn Turner: ‘It’s a Shame’ Ritchie Blackmore Didn’t Put ‘Authentic Rainbow’ Together

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Former Rainbow and Deep Purple singer Joe Lynn Turner has once again slammed Ritchie Blackmore for the guitarist’s decision to go out and perform classic Deep Purple and Rainbow material with a new group musicians instead of reforming Rainbow with a more “authentic” lineup.

Speaking to of Australia’s Illawarra Mercury newspaper, Turner said, “I had worked with Ritchie’s manager for over a year trying to put something together that was authentic. When I say ‘authentic,’ I mean authentic lineup, regardless of who was still around, who wasn’t. We were going to have people that actually were in Rainbow… And they just pulled out at the last minute really and put this thing together.”

Blackmore took some time away from his project, Blackmore’s Night, for the first time last year to perform a handful of shows with a brand-new lineup of the band he had formed after quitting Deep Purple. The current lineup of Rainbow includes singer Ronnie Romero, originally from Chile but now settled in Madrid, Spain, as well as Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore’s Night drummer David Keith, bassist Bob Nouveau (ex-Blackmore’s Night) and backing singers Candice Night and Lady Lynn.

Turner added that Blackmore’s change of mind was “not so [much] disappointing as it was shocking.” He continued, “Why would anyone of [Blackmore’s] iconic nature want to come out and not be as good as he can be? Because, obviously, the reviews haven’t been that good. And that’s not for me to say — that’s what people are saying. It’s obvious that it’s just not living up to snuff. It’s a shame that they didn’t see the vision that they should have put an authentic Rainbow together, because all the fans feel disrespected in a way. They were hoping that they would get a chance to see at least some cast of Rainbow members, all in one place, all at one time. And that just didn’t happen.”

Turner was the frontman of Rainbow between 1980 and 1984 and he sang on the album Difficult to Cure, which featured the band’s most successful U.K. single, “I Surrender.” During Turner’s time with Rainbow, the band enjoyed its first U.S. chart success and recorded songs that solidified the group as pioneering icons of the melodic rock genre. Prior to Turner’s tenure with the band, their earlier successes included the rock anthem, “Man on the Silver Mountain,” a song that garnered airplay in the late ’70s and continues to live on as a staple on digital playlists of rockers everywhere.

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