Blackmore and Hughes: Rainbow reunion that never happened

With Ritchie Blackmore you can never predict what musical turn he will take or whether his comments should sometimes be taken with a grain of salt. Blackmore has now confirmed to Billboard that in 2016 he invited Glenn Hughes to be part of the new Rainbow lineup for the group’s comeback.

Blackmore said, “Through a mutual friend, a conversation came up saying it would be good to have him in the band. “I said, ‘Would he be up for being just the bass player and we would have another singer singing?” Blackmore recalled, “My friend said, ‘Of course! I’ve spoken to him and he’s up for it.’ I said, ‘Fine — as long as he knows he isn’t the singer, that’s great.’”

Blackmore said that just before the rehearsals were set to get underway, Hughes was contacted to see when he was coming into town. “He wasn’t aware that he wasn’t going to be the lead singer at all. So I understood his situation and I told him we would have to get someone else, and he was fine. We ended it amicably before it even started.”

In 2016, Hughes told Hardrock Haven that Blackmore originally asked him to be part of the comeback but that he declined. “I said no because, funny enough, he wanted to use an unknown singer, and I said, ‘It’s not me. It’s not me to do that,'” Hughes added, “I said, ‘No, thank you. I really would like to see you, but I can’t do this at the point where I am right now.'”

Blackmore’s ultimate decision was to bring back Rainbow for the first time in 20 years, featuring a brand new lineup that included the Chilean-born, Spanish-based Ronnie Romero.

Hughes was inducted into the ‘Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame‘ in 2016 along with fellow Deep Purple members Blackmore, David Coverdale, Jon Lord, Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Ian Paice.


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