New Deep Purple Guitarist Explains Most Important Thing About Playing Ritchie Blackmore’s Parts, Reveals How He Reacted to Officially Joining the Band

Nothing lasts forever, not even Deep Purple. Of course, the band is still going on. But, unfortunately, Steve Morse had to head back home and officially leave the band in order to take care of his wife. The spot once taken by Ritchie Blackmore, Tommy Bolin, Joe Satriani, and Steve Morse went to Simon McBride.

Known as a “hired gun” and for his work at the BIMM Institute in Dublin, Ireland, McBride first got in as a touring musician. However, when Morse officially called it a day, Simon became a new permanent member, extending the band’s life for years to come.

Deep Purple - Lazy ( Istanbul 25.05.2022)

Recently, McBride sat down with WVMusic to chat about his new gig in Deep Purple. When questioned about the emotions he experienced after being named the new official member of the band, he said:

“It’s been an amazing year, and honestly, it’s been life-changing. If somebody had mentioned to me last year and said, ‘Simon, you will be the new guitar player for Deep Purple‘ I would have laughed in their face and said, ‘Yeah, that’s, that’s never gonna happen.’ [Laughs].

“But here we are. And now we’ve just started our third tour together, and it’s all been going fantastic. The guys are brilliant, everybody’s very happy, and everything is going great, which is a good thing.

DEEP PURPLE live guitar solo Simon McBride, Bonn, 2022,07,05

But nobody is happier than me, though, because it’s Deep Purple. I’ve joined one of the most iconic rock bands in the field; that’s dream come true stuff. I’m very happy.

Asked about what it’s like to play Ritchie Blackmore’s and Steve Morse’s parts, he said:

“The way I look at it is there are certain parts you have to play the same way that Richie and Steve did. Take ‘Highway Star,’ for example; I’m not going to go play something different because it would be very arrogant of me to do that because it’s an iconic guitar solo.

“And there are other solos as well, or certain parts where you have to play them the way they were originally recorded. Steve did it when he was playing some of the older Richie stuff; he played Ritchie’s parts pretty straight too. And it’s the same with certain solos Steve did; I play them as Steve did because they are written for the song, and I’m not going to make up anything better, so I let it be.

“This being said, there is room in this set for improvisation, and I get to do my own thing on many of the songs. I think as a guitar player, even if I play Richie, or Steve’s parts, in some way or another, they are still always going to sound like me.

“Every guitarist has their own unique thing, and I am no different, so that will come through. It can be how they hit the strings or fret things; it always comes through. If I plugged into Eddie Van Halen’s rig, I’d still sound like me, unfortunately. [Laughs]. So, I go into it with that attitude.

Photo: Stefan Brending (2022 Lieder am See – Deep Purple – Simon McBride – by 2eight – 9SC6827), Steve Knight (Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow headlining the Stone Free 2017 Festival at the O2 (35251321701))


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.