Steve Morse has announced that he is leaving Deep Purple permanently to care for his wife Janine, who is battling cancer.
Morse, who joined Deep Purple to replace guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in 1994, leaves after a 28-year stint with the English rock band.
“Last autumn, I suddenly left the Purple writing session in Germany because my wife was having a real medical crisis,” Morse said. “Almost a year later, we are learning to accept stage 4 aggressive cancer and chemo treatment for the rest of her life.”
Morse expressed hope he will try to play some shorter nearby concert tours with friends “As Janine adjusts to her limitations, she is able to do many things on her own.”
In a statement announcing Morse’s departure, Deep Purple said, “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.'”
Describing him as “A true master,” Deep Purple said, “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.”
Morse has written and recorded eight studio albums with Deep Purple and also recorded many live records with the band over the years.
(Photo: Frank Schwichtenberg)
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