The immediate success of what looked a virtually impossible venture was a testament to Joe's position as a guitarist's guitarist. Only 2,000 out of 80,000 tickets sold for the band's December 1993 Japanese tour were returned (fans there expecting Blackmore had been told of the change and offered a refund). Although presented with a recording of an October 1993 Stuttgart show in order to learn his parts, Joe chose to refer back to the original Machine Head album, subsequently pulling off every note impeccably. The others took their post-Blackmore freedom to introduce other Machine Head tracks to the set, including 'When A Blind Man Cries', 'Pictures Of Home' and 'Maybe I'm A Leo'.
The buzz created by the Japanese tour led to a recording from it being earmarked for release in 1994, at least until it was nixed by Satriani due to his unhappiness with the recording's quality. Instead, the Stuttgart show featuring Ritchie Blackmore appeared in November 1994 as 'Come Hell Or High Water', by which time Joe was no longer with the band.
He was asked to continue as a permanent member, but was prevented by a combination of his solo contract (which made him unable to tour the USA with Deep Purple - and has prevented any subsequent releases of live material from this era), and by his own solo career which left him with less time than he felt was necessary to contribute fully to Purple.
A tour of Australia and New Zealand (which subsequently fell through anyway) was lined up for October 1994. When it transpired that Joe's other commitments meant he would be unable to play, the search was on for a new guitarist. He stayed on for a well received European tour in the summer of 1994, and played his last show with Deep Purple in Austria on July 5th.
Since then Joe has jammed onstage with Deep Purple on their 2002 US Tour, and was a support act on their August / September 2004 American jaunt. His replacement, Steve Morse, is still a fixture in the group, which has only seen one change of personnel since 1994.
.... Deep Purple Mk 6 Discography ....
2004 DPAS/Darker Than Blue.
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