Steve Morse announces his departure from Deep Purple after 28 years with the band

Steve Morse onstage with Deep Purple in California, 2019
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Steve Morse has stepped down permanently from Deep Purple to care for his wife, Janine, who has cancer. Earlier in March, the guitarist announced that he would be taking a hiatus from the band, in the hope of returning to the fold once her health improved.

In a statement shared on the official Deep Purple Facebook page, Morse said that there was no way he could commit to tours under such circumstances. The situation had come to head in last fall, when Morse had to leave a writing session in Germany, after which he suggested to the band that they might need a substitute. Simon McBride duly stepped in to the touring lineup when Morse announced his hiatus.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.