Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse has officially left the band to care for his wife, Janine, who is battling cancer.
Morse‘s latest announcement comes four months after the guitarist said that he would be taking a hiatus from the band, in the hope of rejoining his bandmates once his wife’s health improved. He was then replaced on the road by Irish blues-rock guitarist Simon McBride.
Earlier today (Saturday, July 23),Deep Purple released the following statement via social media: “Deep Purple announces that Steve Morse will be stepping back from the band, having been its guitarist for more than a quarter of a century. Steve‘s personal circumstances have made it impossible for him to commit to the band’s schedule throughout 2022 and beyond.
“A few months ago, Steve openly shared with the band’s fans the sad fact that his wife, Janine, is battling cancer and, in his own words, ‘I simply must be there with her.’
“Since joining the band in 1994, Steve has written and recorded eight studio albums with the band: ‘Purpendicular’, ‘Abandon’, ‘Bananas’, ‘Rapture Of The Deep’, ‘Now What?!’, ‘Infinite’, ‘Whoosh!’ [and] ‘Turning To Crime’. In addition, Steve has also recorded many live records with DEEP PURPLE over the years.
“Steve will be greatly missed by band, crew, management, record label and all those that had the pleasure of working with him over the years.
“Steve has always been hugely grateful for the support and love of Deep Purple fans across the globe.
“A true master…”