- - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the names of this year’s inductees, they finally got it right. Instead of going with populist honorees (although some have argued N.W.A only got in due to a hit movie), they are inducting long-deserving acts Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Chicago and Deep Purple.

That was music to Glenn Hughes‘ ears, who was the bass player and sang in Deep Purple during the “Burn” era — a time period most fans regard as Purple’s height.

Mr. Hughes spoke about the honor, his expansive world tour that sees him playing tunes from his 40-plus-year career and all things Deep Purple and beyond.

Question: What do you think about the band finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Answer: As a band we all knew there was a really good chance that we would eventually become inducted. For a band to sell 150 million albums and not get inducted would have been ridiculous.

Our fans were the ones who were getting upset it took so long. To me it’s always been about the fans. Now, finally, we can all watch it unfold and celebrate together.

Q: Will you be there at the ceremony?

A: I will be there. I’m not sure who is going to play or how it works. Pretty sure there will be a live performance — not sure who will play or who will want to play together. 

Q: What do you remember most about your time in Deep Purple?

A: I was very young and things were moving very fast. Purple in 1973 was voted the No. 1 rock band in the world by Billboard magazine, and it was a huge thing to be part of that. We were sold out everywhere across the world.

When you join a juggernaut like that, it was private planes and baseball stadiums. Great traveling with [guitarist Ritchie] Blackmore, [singer David] Coverdale, [keyboardist Jon] Lord and [drummer Ian] Paice. All very different guys.

Q: Might the award trigger a “Burn” era reunion?

A: Jon Lord and I spoke two years before he passed away about reforming Deep Purple Mark III. He was trying to delicately put it together. We never got it to the table before he died. Sad, because he really wanted to do it.

Q: Are in touch with former Deep Purple bandmates?

A: I would call David [Coverdale] one of my closest friends on the planet. I saw Ian Paice last year when we played the Jon Lord memorial concert.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m [embarking] on a world tour [that started in] South America. Then we go to Europe followed by the Far East.

In January 2016 I’m playing in Africa followed by a month in America in February, then back to Europe. This is the longest tour I’ve done in 40 years. I thought while I’m in great shape, physically and spiritually, it’s time for me to get out there and do what I do.

Q: Which band is this with?

A: It’s my band, the Glenn Hughes Band. I’ve gone back to being a solo artist. That is my day job.

I like being in a band, but it’s sometimes difficult to maneuver around when other members have other agendas. Being solo, with my own band, I can tour whenever and wherever I want to.

Q: What happened to your recent bands California Breed and Black Country Communion?

A: When you are in a band like California Breed or Black Country, you go in and make a record and it’s great. Then you may want to do outside things, like tour. Sometimes other people don’t want to do that, they want to play with other people.

It was getting frustrating for me. I really enjoyed the people I was working with, but after California Breed broke up, I thought it would be silly for me to form another band like that.

Q: Is it impossible to keep a band together these days?

A: I can name you 10 artists right now that are in multiple bands. I know a drummer who is in six different bands. I get it, because records don’t sell so much anymore. So you have got to go out there and make a living playing to audiences.

Q: Who is in the Glenn Hughes Trio?

A: Doug Aldrich, who’s played with Whitesnake, is with me now. Great guy. Great guitarist. And a Swedish drummer, Pontus Engborg.

Q: Why a trio?

A: When I started out I was in the band Trapeze, and we were a trio. With this tour I wanted to get back to the roots of where I started years ago: the sound of a bass, one guitar and drums. With a voice. Very sort of bluesy and kind of who I am.

I’m not saying I want to be like I was when I was a teenager, but I did like the sounds I was making back in the day. Stripped down. I just wanted to go out and play my music from the last four decades with a trio.

Q: What will you play on this tour?

A: Playing bits of everything I’ve done. From Trapeze to Deep Purple and solo Glenn. Black Country, and I may throw a California Breed song in too. I’ve written so many bloody songs. It’s great to take all of them and rearrange them for a trio.

Q: Away from the solo tour, will there be any Kings of Chaos shows coming up?

A: Kings of Chaos is a thing that I am very much involved with [I founded] with Duff [McKagan], Matt [Sorum], Gilby [Clarke] and Steve Stevens. I’m very proud of it. We have had everyone from Steven Tyler to Gene Simmons to Billy Gibbons and Joe Elliot come in. We played San Francisco and Slash came in. It continues to grow.

It’s an epic show with all the songs from all the bands we’ve been in.


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