Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover remains a fan of ex-bandmate Ritchie Blackmore, but he wonders why the guitarist resurrected the Rainbow name for his recent return to rock shows.

Blackmore stepped away from his Renaissance-inspired brand of music with Blackmore’s Night last year to perform a handful of shows with a brand-new lineup of the band he’d formed after quitting Purple.

But Glover, who was a member of Rainbow from 1979 until 1984, said he has no strong opinions on their current incarnation. “I wish him luck," he told AntiHero Magazine. "In a way, calling it Rainbow, I thought, he’s got his own name, I would have thought he should have gone out as just Ritchie Blackmore and some really great band. I don’t want to disparage him at all – I’m a fan of Ritchie as much as anyone else is. He’s a musician. I’m blown away that I got to work with such a musician."

Blackmore will play more rock-oriented performances in the U.K. in June. Meanwhile, Deep Purple will release their 21st album, Infinite, on April 7. While they’ve hinted that their upcoming world tour will be their last, they haven’t made it definite.

“Sooner or later this will end," Glover said. "We don’t know when, but we’re putting ourselves and everyone else on notice that it is around the corner. I think, personally, we’re touring this year around Europe and the States, and there’s certainly other places we should go to if we’re going to say goodbye. I’d like to say hello and goodbye to lots of places, really.”

But he believes the band remains a force to be reckoned with. “When I first joined Purple, in ’69, it opened my eyes and ears and sense to possibilities," he said. "Prior to that, I’d been in a band that played it exactly as rehearsed, and if it was a blues it was always a 12-bar. All of a sudden, I’m in this band that’s more like a jazz band. Music had no boundaries whatsoever. It blossomed from there. It’s a spirit of music that we still have. I think, if there’s any reason why we enjoy what we’re doing so much, it’s because of that – it’s because we’re making music which is our first love.”

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