The guitar great announced on Friday (19Feb16) he would not be attending the New York gala in April (16), because his former bandmates did not want to play with him.

The statement split Deep Purple fans, who were hoping to see a reunion at the band's long-awaited induction, but singer Gillan insists no one was trying to hurt Blackmore's feelings.

"We were faced with a hard decision when we heard about the Hall Of Fame inductions," he says in a statement. "It was a surprise to us that (current Deep Purple stars) Steve Morse and Don Airey did not qualify as inductees.

"Ian Gillan, Ian Paice and Roger Glover decided upon the offer of a compromise which has been agreed with the Hall Of Fame and enables us to turn up on the night. DEEP PURPLE inductees will accept the awards and then the living breathing DEEP PURPLE will perform."

"It should be stressed that there is no slight intended nor any desire to upset anyone regarding this decision; it is purely a mark of respect to Steve and Don," Gillan adds. "I spoke with (former singer) David Coverdale last week and he expressed complete understanding of the way it was being handled."

The rocker goes on to stress the induction will not spark a Deep Purple reunion, but insists all members and past members will be civil at the ceremony.

"Let's all get up there, shake hands, smile for the cameras and get it done with dignity and respect for all the existing and past members of a very special family," he writes.