Interview with Joe Lynn Turner

To celebrate that Over The Rainbow returns to Sweden for two more shows this year, we were granted an exclusive interview with both Joe Lynn Turner and Bobby Rondinelli. And the best part of it was that you the fans could send in your questions. Welcome to this exclusive Joe Lynn Turner interview.

Sweden Rock Festival 09 © Paul DeblondMy question to Joe is about the South American tour he was supposed to do this August-September. Is it cancelled? He has hundreds of fans really drooling over their shoes here! /Guillermo - Lima, Peru

The South American tour was not cancelled. In fact, you can see all kinds of pictures and other stuff from the tour on my Facebook page: and There were a few shows that we were trying to schedule that never made it to the official tour schedule due to either business or contractual reasons or other reasons beyond our control. It was a blast and I had a great time meeting the South American fans!

Are you friends with Jon Bon Jovi and is there any chance that you could collaborate with Bon Jovi in the future? /Surinder

I know Jon and the guys in the band but we have not been in touch lately. They are so busy with their projects and I have been really booked up schedule-wise also. As for a future collaboration as I have always said, “Have pen and guitar will travel.” That means that if any of the guys from Bonjovi wanted to collaborate and if the timing or situation was right I would welcome the opportunity.

My question would be to ask the obvious. Is a reunion with Ritchie Blackmore a possibility? /Otto

Not at this time as far as I can tell. Ritchie is very committed to Blackmore’s Night and really enjoys that genre of music. He’s always wanted to play that type of music ever since I first got to know him. I am glad he and his wife, Candice are happy and enjoying what they do so much. In the meantime. OVER the Rainbow, with Ritchie’s son, Jurgen, on guitar has been a big success so far and I am packing for a long tour or Russia and Europe right now. We are playing several arenas there so many fans will get to hear Rainbow songs played by guys who all used to be with Rainbow and the son of Rainbow’s founder.

Sweden Rock Festival 09 © Paul DeblondIt has always been a signature feature of Rainbow's live performances to play versions of songs that were different from the original recording and sometimes considerably longer - in particular songs such as Catch The Rainbow and Still I'm Sad but also later in the Turner era versions of All Night Long, Stranded (with Hey Joe interlude) and in particular Smoke On The Water. Will OTR at some point start to improvise a bit more again and mix in some of these bluesier variations and also quieter moments to give the live songs their own identity?
/Markus – Germany

Yes, we are already doing those types of things in Over The Rainbow concerts now. Hopefully, you will get a chance to check the band out and see for yourself. We like to keep the specifics a surprise because if we gave it all away the show would not be as exciting. We may not do the songs exactly as Rainbow used to do them because Ritchie was the originator but we will do them our own way.

I would like to ask, if Joe will ever perform "Endlessly" live? I love the video and it is also one of my all time favourite songs of Joe and of any songs ever written. /Debbie – USA

Thank you for the compliments on that song. I have played it live in some situations, like in South America. It depends on the audience, the venue, the set length and what the promoter/concert organizer expects. Some songs are great songs on record but do not translate well live. “Endlessly” might work in some situations but not in others. Having said all that, I have received a lot of feedback from fans in that they would like to hear more solo-JLT songs in future solo JLT concerts so I do plan to work a couple more into the set.

Are you going to record an album with Over The Rainbow? And if so, will it be new written songs or songs that you and Ritchie wrote together in Deep Purple and/or Rainbow? /Arman

We have discussed this and would like to do some originals. We seem to think a live CD with one or two originals (bonus tracks) might be the best way to go for a first release. If the newer material is well-received, maybe a CD of originals is possible. Only time will tell. Right now, the focus is on this tour which is really a gruelling schedule.

Sweden Rock Festival 09 © Paul DeblondYou mentioned earlier in one interview with "Living Legend Music" that your where going to record the song "Lonely for You" for your next solo album, "One Mans Meat" was originally recorded as "Stroke of Midnight", what song did Ian Gillan Re-write for "The Battle Rages On" album that was originally going to be "Lonely for You"? /Arman

I never said they did that track so you seem to be a bit confused. Ritchie wanted me to do “Lonely For You” along with “Stroke of Midnight” on my solo CD “Second Hand Life.” DP did another track but not “Lonely for You”---another track that was not used. As for “Lonely for You,” we’ll see where that goes in the future.

When will you record and release your next solo album? /Arman

Hopefully sometime soon after the Over The Rainbow tour that I am getting ready for right now.

Some artist today don't like it when fans are filming their live shows, what is your opinion about that? /Arman

I have a mixed opinion. On the positive side, the videos end up on You Tube and various other places and that viral spread of the video can help you gain fans and promote the band or artist. On the negative side, the quality is usually never good or a poor representation of the actual sound. This can make an artist---especially a singer---sound worse than they sounded “in person” (live) and that can actually make an artist look bad in the eyes of some fans.

Gothenburg 12 Oct 09 © Paul DeblondDo you hate it or like it when fans are downloading your music for free? /Arman

Again…there are positives and negatives. If they are sharing music with people who are not fans then they are possibly turning on new fans. That is very positive. On the negative side, in my case my music is my income; it’s how I survive and how I support myself and my family. So, not paying a small amount for a download (i.e. on I Tunes it is very inexpensive to download an album or song) adds up and does eventually affect my income. The more income an artist has the more he can afford to put out quality product in the future.

How often do you go on YouTube to checkout Rainbow/Deep Purple related music? Do you have any favourite channels or videos that include you or your past bands and projects? /Arman

I really do not have time to surf the Internet at all. If one of my staff members or friends sends me a link, I will take a few moments to check it out but it usually has to be someone I know and there needs to be a good reason for me to take the time to look at whatever they send me.

Why didn't you make a music video for your last solo album "Second Hand Life"? And are there any plans for new music videos for your next solo album? /Arman

I would have loved to do that but did not have the time. The cost and time to make a high quality music video is sometimes not worth the effort. Where would it be played? The music video channels do not seem to play a lot of videos featuring new songs by classic rock artists. They play some but the slots allotted for these artists are limited. Would fans buy just one video? I am not sure. They might just post it on You Tube and people could view it for free…LOL! The video would have to be REALLY good and to be honest, I just have not had the time to something on the level of quality that I would want. Sometimes I think fans have no idea how booked my schedule is. There are a lot of things I am involved with that we do not send out a press release about, post on my website or My Space site.

Gothenburg 12 Oct 09 © Paul DeblondWhich bands do you listen to today? /Arman

Johnny Lang, I work out to AC/DC, I still love Nickelback and I have rediscovered a band that was more popular a few years back called Rooster. Because I just got back from Brazil, I am also listening to a lot of Samba and Bossa.

Have you considered to change guitarist for your next solo album? Maybe J.J Marsh or John Frusciante? /Arman

I have not necessarily been thinking about that right now. Both of them are excellent but right now I am focused on the upcoming Over The Rainbow Tour. Thanks for the suggestions.

What do you look for in a guitar player? Does he have to sound like Ritchie Blackmore or maybe have a unique sound? /Arman

He does not have to sound like Ritchie, that’s not a requirement for my solo material. The guitarist has to have great technique, a lot of soul and feeling rooted in the blues. A guitrist might be brilliant but if they are nothing but progressive blistering technique without lots of feeling, forget it. They should be a decent writer as well ad have appreciation for song structure.

Now that some time has gone by do you feel that new material will be made by this band and any obscure songs coming from the past Rainbow catalogue that you tried out that didn't fit or may work in future shows? /Paulie – USA

We need to get through this next tour and then we will re-assess ou set list. It’s possible we might include some tracks like “Gates of Babylon” and “Spotlight Kid” but we need to always go for obscure but popular-obscure…LOL…if you get my meaning. The set needs to be very well balanced. A lot of the younger fans we are playing to are just discovering Rainbow.

Gothenburg 12 Oct 09 © Paul DeblondWhat’s the status on HTP? Will there be more albums? Are you in contact with Glenn?

Glenn and I are really busy with our own projects now. I thought the work we did in HTP was brilliant and I would love to do another HTP album if the situation and timing was right. I am in contact with Glenn off and on but we are both so busy that it’s difficult.

What will happen if someday Jurgen wants to quit OTR?

Then there would be no OTR. As I said there is no OTR without a Blackmore on guitar. Everyone else has been in an incarnation of Rainbow in the past also. There is no substitute otherwise we do become just a tribute band and we are not and never have been a tribute band. We need the Rainbow bloodline that’s why we are authentic.

You did a splendid version of Street Of Dreams with Blackmore’s Night. Will there be any more collaboration with Blackmore’s Night?

If they approached me about it and the song was the right song, sure, I’d love to do another Blackmore’s Night track.

Message for your fans...

Thank you for your loyalty encouragement. Without you, I would not have as much drive and ambition to keep making this music. I thank you all and will see you on tour!

I want to thank Lisa Walker, all of you who has sent in questions and of course a special thanks to Joe Lynn Turner. More info on Joe can be found here and more info about Over The Rainbow can be found here.

© 2009 Paul Deblond

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