Former RAINBOW singer Joe Lynn Turner is continuing to push for a reunion of the classic Ritchie Blackmore-led band that existed from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997, claiming that the ex-DEEP PURPLE guitarist "deserves to go out in a big blaze of glory like the rock guitar icon that he is."
During an appearance on the latest edition of "Rockin Metal Revival", Turner said (hear audio below): "I've been publicly declaring this for a long time now, and there's selifish reasons for it in the sense that I believe that Ritchie deserves this. Truly, my best intention is for him. He deserves to go out in a big blaze of glory like the rock guitar icon that he is. He deserves that respect. He's one of the greats. He created a style that nobody's touched since. I believe all of the basic alternative and heavy metal [guitarists], they all came down after Blackmore. I can't even say Jimmy Page. I have to say Blackmore. I can't say Jeff Beck, I have to say Blackmore with the half steps. The 'Smoke On The Water' riff — the fourths and a half step. That's what everybodys' doing — variations of those riffs. So he is sort of the founder of all this and he deserves this."
He continued: "Secondly, I believe that the members of RAINBOW… Ronnie James Dio, especially, God rest his soul, he was a terrific gentleman; I loved Ronnie. And I sing Ronnie's songs in my sets; I love Ronnie's songs. I sing everybody's songs in RAINBOW. Nobody's really going out there and doing this anymore, and I have absolutely no compunction about singing the full catalog, because it's respect."
Turner added: "And thirdly, I think the fans deserve it. Everywhere I go, everybody wants a RAINBOW reunion, and it's one of the main things they ask me about. So I'm out here sort of championing the cause. I've been in touch with Ritchie's camp. Hopefully we'll get something a little bit further in the talks in December. But now is the time. 2015. 40th[-anniversary] reunion of RAINBOW. And everybody… promoters alike. I've already spoken to Live Nation and I've spoken to UMG [Universal Music Group], I've spoken to all these people. Everybody's sitting there waiting for this to happen. All we need is the nod, the nod from Ritchie to say, 'Yeah, I'm ready to do it.' I know he's got a trigger finger itchy to play some rock. And then he can always go back to BLACKMORE'S NIGHT [the renaissance-inspired rock band featuring Ritchie and his wife Candice Night] and enjoy his life comfortably. I know they've got two wonderful children now. He's a different guy than he was, in a sense — in that sense; he's a family man, now — but at the same time, he's still Ritchie Blackmore, and he needs to do this. So, fingers crossed."
After Blackmore's final departure from DEEP PURPLE in 1993, he resurrected RAINBOW before focusing exclusively on BLACKMORE'S 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."