Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty ImagesOn Friday, founding Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore announced via a Facebook message that he won’t attend the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, saying he decided not to take part in the event because the group’s current manager didn’t want him at the ceremony. Now, longtime Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan has issued his own statement explaining that while all the current and former members of the group who’ve been chosen for induction are welcome at the ceremony, only the band’s current lineup will perform at the event.

In his message, posted on DeepPurple.com, Gillan maintains that he, original Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice and longtime bass player Roger Glover “were faced with a hard decision when we heard about the Hall of Fame inductions,” because the group’s current guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey “did not qualify as inductees.”

Gillan continues that he, Paice and Glover “decided upon the offer of a compromise which has been agreed with the [Hall of Fame] and enables us to turn up on the night…[Deep Purple] Inductees will accept the awards and then the living breathing Deep Purple will perform.”

Adds Gillan, who joined Deep Purple in 1969 and has been the band’s lead singer for most of its history, “It should be stressed that there is no slight intended nor any desire to upset anyone regarding this decision; it is purely a mark of respect to Steve and Don.”

Gillan also explains that he recently spoke with David Coverdale, who sang with Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976 and also was chosen for induction, “and he expressed complete understanding of the way it was being handled.”

In addition, Ian maintains that outside of the Rock Hall induction ceremony, “there are no circumstances under which a ‘reunion’ could or would take place.”

He ends his statement by calling on the Deep Purple inductees to “all get up there, shake hands, smile for the cameras and get it done with dignity and respect for all the existing and past members of a very special family.”

Besides Blackmore, Gillan, Paice, Glover and Coverdale, the other Deep Purple members who will be recognized with induction are original frontman Rod Evans, who sang with the group from 1968 to 1969; founding keyboardist Jon Lord, who retired from the band in 2002 and died of cancer in 2012; and bassist Glenn Hughes, who played with the band from 1973 to 1976. Blackmore last performed with Deep Purple in 1993.

The 2016 Rock Hall induction ceremony is scheduled for April 8 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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