Former RAINBOW singer Joe Lynn Turner says that fans deserve to see a reunion of the classic Ritchie Blackmore-led band that existed from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997, claiming that it would "honor all of the members of RAINBOW, past and present."
Speaking to Metal Forces magazine 17 years after RAINBOW played its last concert in Esbjerg, Denmark, Turner said: "In my opinion, for RAINBOW it would be one last shot and then going out in a blaze of glory, so to speak. I think the fans deserve it, and to honor all of the members of RAINBOW, past and present."
He continued: "I always feel that in my sets, I play RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, and things like that because no one else is doing it. I play Ronnie's songs [James Dio, RAINBOW vocalist from 1975 until 1979] and all that stuff, Graham's [Bonnet, RAINBOW vocalist from 1979 until 1980] whatever — I have no compunction about doing that material. I think it's all a part of the legacy, and that we should do it willingly as singers of the same band. I know Graham's still out there doing it as well, and Doogie [White, RAINBOW vocalist from 1994 until 1997] in his own way. It's a big family."
In a 2009 interview with Antimusic, Joe Lynn Turner spoke about the immense commercial success RAINBOW enjoyed in North America and Japan after he joined the band. "I had a whole career in Japan because of RAINBOW," he said. "I mean, RAINBOW was doing like one night at [iconic Tokyo venue] Budokan [before I was part of the group]. When I joined the band, we did like four nights at Budokan. I mean, the Japanese always grew up in more commercial end of it, you understand? They really did love the songs. That's the Japanese mentality, you know. There was a certain amount of commerciality inside…"
He continued: "You've got to remember, the Japanese picked up rock and roll from us. They're only like 20 something years old doing rock... and so it's not a whole lot of rock that they saw. So they always like the more commercial hair bands and stuff like that. And when RAINBOW came out with this incarnation, we had the looks and we had songs and we had a whole stage presence and everything. And it wasn't just dungeons and dragons and, you know, kill the king and all this. We actually had girls in the audience.
"I'll never forget the roadies when I first started playing in the band. They were, like, 'Thank god for you,' and I was, like, 'Wwwwhwhat?' and they said, 'See the girls out there in the audience?' and I said, 'Yeah,' and they said, 'Thank you for that.' [Laughs] And I go, 'Okay, okay, I get it.' Because there wasn't a whole lot of females when Ronnie [James Dio] was there, because A) the subject matter wasn't there, you know what I mean? And it was the time for MTV when I came into the band, so you had to kind of have a look too."
He added: "I tell you one thing. When you get the girlfriends coming to the shows, the guys don't mind. And once you kind of knock them over the head and they realize you're not such a bad bloke and you're not so pansy-assed or anything like that, I mean, you can rock, they come over to your side too. They sort of [go], yeah, alright, I kinda like Turner, he's okay. He still looks a bit gay, but he's alright. [Laughs]"
After Blackmore's final departure from DEEP PURPLE in 1993, he resurrected RAINBOW before focusing exclusively on BLACKMORE'S NIGHT, the renaissance-inspired rock band he formed with his now-wife Candice Night.
Asked in a 2005 interview if he could ever see himself returning to the hard rock world, either with a RAINBOW lineup, or with a new project, Ritchie said: "I'm enjoying myself so much with this band [BLACKMORE'S NIGHT] that it's hard to see that happening. I might think about doing one or two shows with DEEP PURPLE, but their management couldn't be involved. It wouldn't be for recording — just for the fans for nostalgia. But we do play some rock in this band so it's not like I've abandoned that genre completely. It's just that it's not all we play."