Photo Gallery: Deep Purple Members Throughout the Years
Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple are considered one of the forebearers of heavy metal.
An amalgamation of different band members' blues, rock and classical influences helped Deep Purple pen some of the 1970s' hardest and heaviest albums, such as In Rock, Fireball and the classic Machine Head.
Throughout the band's history, Deep Purple has had something of a revolving-door policy with its members. Fourteen musicians in all have been members of Deep Purple since the group formed in 1968, several members often leaving only to return a short time later.
This rotation has led to the famous but unoffical "Mark" designation to separate the various lineups. Deep Purple's most successful lineup, "Mark II," was active from 1969 to 1973 and consisted of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, vocalist Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice.
Below is a visual guide to all Deep Purple members, past and present.
ROD EVANS: Vocals. As Deep Purple's original lead singer, Rod Evans can be heard on early hits "Hush" and "Kentucky Woman." After recording three albums with the band, the pop-oriented Evans was replaced by Episode Six frontman Ian Gillan. Fame eluded Evans after his initial success with Deep Purple, and he's remained in relative seclusion for several years.
NICK SIMPER: Bass. The original bassist for Deep Purple, Simper played on the band's first three albums. Like Evans, Simper's success after Deep Purple was minor, having released sporadic albums over the years with various bands. Simper currently plays with his outfit, The Good Ol' Boys.
JON LORD: Keyboards. Founding member Jon Lord was responsible for much of Deep Purple's classical and baroque influences. The 1969 album Concerto for Group and Orchestra was the brainchild of Lord. He remained one of the most active members of Deep Purple, playing with the band from 1968 until his retirement in 2002.
IAN PAICE: Drums. The only original member of Deep Purple still performing with the band, drummer Ian Paice is also the only member to have remained active for the entirety of the group's duration.
IAN GILLAN: Vocals. Ian Gillan has been Deep Purple's current and most active vocalist. His work outside of Deep Purple included the role of Jesus in the original recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.
ROGER GLOVER: Bass. The current bassist for Deep Purple, Roger Glover joined the group in 1969 and was an instrumental force during the band's most commercially successful period. Glover was dismissed in 1973 but continued to perform and produce. Glover produced albums for Judas Priest, Nazareth and David Coverdale before returning to Deep Purple for the reformation of the Mk II lineup in 1984.
DAVID COVERDALE: Vocals. Brought in to replace Ian Gillan in 1973, the then-unknown Coverdale added a more soulful vocal quality to Deep Purple's hard-edged style. Early collaboration proved fruitful with the success of Burn and Stormbringer, but the lighter direction alienated Blackmore, who left the band after only two albums with Coverdale.
GLENN HUGHES: Bass. Replacing bassist Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes entered Deep Purple Mk III with David Coverdale. Though he considered himself a vocalist, Hughes played bass with the band from 1973 to 1976, sharing vocal duties with Coverdale.
TOMMY BOLIN: Guitar. Tommy Bolin replaced the departing Ritchie Blackmore in 1975. His noteworthy work with Billy Cobham and The James Gang earned him the open guitar spot in Deep Purple Mk IV; however, his tenure was short-lived. Bolin's only album with Deep Purple, Come Taste the Band, was poorly received. After the group disbanded, Bolin continued with his solo career, releasing the album Private Eyes in 1976. He died later that year from a heroin overdose.
JOE LYNN TURNER: Vocals. Having worked with Ritchie Blackmore in the guitarist's post-Deep Purple band Rainbow, singer Joe Lynn Turner was enlisted to replace Ian Gillan in 1989. Turner made only one album with Deep Purple, Slaves and Master, but his highly polished power-rock style didn't appeal to many Deep Purple fans. Turner was dismissed in 1992 for the returning Gillan.
JOE SATRIANI: Guitar. Virtuoso guitar master Joe Satriani toured with Deep Purple in 1994 after Blackmore left for a second and final time. Though an avid Deep Purple fan, Satriani turned down the band's offer to permanently join in order to continue focus on his solo career.
STEVE MORSE: Guitar. After Joe Satriani's refusal to join Deep Purple after the band's 1994 tour, the group settled on Dixie Dregs guitarist Steve Morse as Blackmore's permanent replacement. Since 1994, Morse has appeared on four studio and seven live albums with Deep Purple.
DON AIREY: Keyboards. Keyboardist and songwriter Don Airey joined Deep Purple in 2002, replacing original keyboardist Jon Lord. Airey had previously worked with a number of musicians, such as Gary Moore, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne and even Andrew Lloyd Webber.
RITCHIE BLACKMORE: Guitar. Arguably the most prominent force in Deep Purple's history, Blackmore gave the band its name, hard-rock direction and some of the most recognizable guitar riffs in rock, including "Highway Star" and "Smoke on the Water." Blackmore played with Deep Purple from 1968 until 1975, when he left to form Rainbow. He returned for the band's reunion in 1984 and played until his retirement from Deep Purple in 1993.