Glenn Hughes is in his car rolling down the highway, giving me the update on all things Hughes, when he gets a text from his pal, David Coverdale. Turns out that the pair still have no reasonable idea of what to expect this coming Friday (April 8, 2016) at their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Brooklyn. However, two things are quite clear - these two will bring a great sense of fashion (I believe it's Armani for one, and I know it's John Varvatos for the other), and a lot of class to the proceedings, regardless of all else.
I've spoken with Glenn Hughes several times over the last few months, and his take on the difficulties involved with Deep Purple's induction have been predictably sane and solid. He absolutely gets that the band that has been Purple for the past many years must be the band that takes the stage, and that they have unquestionably earned the right, but he would also dearly love to be able to get onstage with any living member of the band, and to sing a bit on that night for the band's fans. Regardless of what actually transpires, Hughes says that he knows that Coverdale and himself shall greet it all, and all involved with a smile and sincere handshake. It will sure be interesting to see how it all goes down.
The Induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is just the beginning of what is going to be a very busy rest of 2016 for Glenn Hughes. Shortly after his induction, he'll be off to Copenhagen, Denmark where he will convene with his longtime live show sidekick, guitarist Soren Andersen for the recording of a new Glenn Hughes solo record at Andersen's Medley Studios. Joining the pair will be drummer Pontus Engborg, and organ phenom Lachlan Doley for solo album number 14 from Hughes (Smart money has it being a Frontiers SRL release sometime in the fall of 2016). After that Hughes heads out on the road for a couple of high profile European festival gigs at Sweden Rock on June 10, and Hellfest 2016 on June 18 before heading back to his adopted home in the states for his biggest US tour in a great many years. He's going out to make up the dates he was forced to cancel earlier in 2016 when he had to take time off to have not one, but both knees go under the knife, and he is itching to once again return to the boards.
Hughes also told me that he's done with supergroups, and even done with the idea of being in a band. He released his last solo album, First Underground Nuclear Kitchen, in 2008, and while since then he's been reasonably prolific, releasing three studio albums and a live DVD with Black Country Communion, and a once and out album and tour with California Breed, but he's been disappointed by the inability to keep either of these conglomerations of marquee stars afloat. In the meantime, his fans worldwide constantly clamor for more albums and shows, so the voice of rock has decided to give the people what they want - more Hughes music on a more regular basis. Still, I was listening closely as we spoke, and he stopped shy of saying he would not involve himself in a project with his old brother in crime Coverdale, should the prospect, and the right opportunity present itself, and after their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame can the offers be far off? It will be interesting to see what direction things go in when the inevitable elevation of the pair's stock value goes up in promoters eyes once they can be billed as HOFers. Personally, I'd love to see Coverdale and Hughes embark on a project that allowed their fans to hear their voices intermingle so well as they did when they sang a few songs together on Whitesnake's Purple Tour at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles in June 2015. Of course, that could just be wishful thinking on my part. I think a small batch, boutique approach could net tremendous benefits for everyone in such a scenario.
I know the reaction this will get. Most of the comments I will receive from this piece will be from those who once again wish to remind me what a calamity the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is, and how it doesn't matter. Now I know that the RRHoF is not nearly what it should be, but it is still a hallmark in many ways. Say what you will about who's been celebrated for the wrong reasons, deserving acts which have still not been inducted at all, and the other shortcomings of this hit and miss organization, but also imagine the thrill you would feel if you were to be inducted (like Deep Purple, and Cheap Trick, who will also finally get their propers this week). Maybe it can, if only for a moment, allow everyone to just dig the moment, and not to make the whole thing evil when in fact it's merely flawed. Perhaps even majorly flawed, but wasn't it still great when Hughes' black country friend Robert Plant shed a tear at the White House when Heart did that great version of "Stairway To Heaven"? It may have happened in a pretty corrupt place, but it was still fantastic.
I also know that most likely, it is now certain that there will never be a Deep Purple reunion that will include one of the main architects of their amazing sound. The band never made a truly great album without Ritchie Blackmore, and it's a shame that we shall probably never get to witness that particular piece of greatness again.
At the end of the day it will be great to see the smiles on the faces of Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale, and the assorted other members of Deep Purple. I hope they get their wish and get to sing a few bars of something for their loving fans and supporters. I just hope all the kids play nice together.