Satriani explained to Ultimate Classic Rock how his manager called him with the job offer, and his response: “I was offended that he would ask me that, because I was such a fan of Richie Blackmore, nobody can replace Ritchie Blackmore” he said.
He added: “don’t call me again,” before hanging up. He also noted that this was “back in the pre-cellphone days. You know, just click, slam the phone down.”
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However, those familiar with the history of Deep Purple will know that Satriani did indeed help Deep Purple complete their 1993-1994 tour following Blackmore walking out after a show on 17 November 1993. “Of course, 30 minutes later I called [his manager] back and said, ‘Hey, did you tell those guys no yet?’ And he said, ‘No, I knew you’d change your mind,’” Satriani explained. “Eventually you just go, ‘Yeah, let’s just be courageous. Let’s just go out there and see what happens.’”
Satriani was reportedly offered a place in the lineup permanently, but was committed to his solo career instead. Steve Morse instead joined in 1994 and has stayed with Deep Purple since.
Blackmore’s departure was the culmination of a tense period for the band, following the recording of The Battle Rages On… Blackmore’s apparent frustration with the project also came to a head during an infamous performance of Highway Star, where he threw an open bottle of water at a cameraman.
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