In a statement, he said; “Hello, everybody. I've just done a few gigs with the band, after years (!?) of not playing live. It's a bittersweet, wonderful time to get together. However, my dear wife Janine is currently battling cancer. At this point, there are so many possible complications and unknowns, that whatever time we have left in our lives, I simply must be there with her.
"I am not leaving the band - I hope that after she gets a clean bill of health, I can re-join the tour. However, I am not seeing any likely situation which would allow me to do overseas touring in the immediate future.
"I continue to be privileged to be a part of the PURPLE family tree, and also to get to feel the amazing support of so many loyal fans and the rest of the band. There's a certified world class guitarist ready to take over for the live shows whom everybody will surely be happy to hear.
"I appreciate all your sincere prayers for Janine and thank you all."
Speaking to eonmusic, Satriani applauded Deep Purple for choosing Simon McBride to step into Morse’s shoes.
“Simon is a great call for that, so that’s really great”, he said; “I mean, the band is close to Simon, and Simon’s a great guitarist”.
Satriani was drafted into Deep Purple to complete Japanese dates in December 1993, and stayed on for a European summer tour in 1994 following the abrupt departure of founder Richie Blackmore, however he admitted that reprising his role wasn’t an option; “I think we all know, we’re on the same label now – earMUSIC – and they know quite well I’m in the middle of releasing a new album”, he said.
Finally, Joe wished his best to Janine Morse; “I saw that earlier this morning, and yeah, felt so sorry that Janine has to go through that”, he said. He added; “we’re sending her all of our best wishes and hope she has a quick recovery”.
Catch eonmusic’s interview with Joe Satriani from next week, where he talks about ‘The Elephants of Mars’, working with Alice Cooper on ‘Hey Stoopid’, and the fate of his prototype Ibanez Blackdog JS guitar.