Ahead of their third Israeli tour, English rock band Deep Purple took a stand against other musicians who cancel their concerts in Israel due to politics, saying artists should not take sides in political conflicts, with drummer Ian Paice calling these musicians "real wimps."In 2008, the venerable band dedicated one of their songs, Contact Lost, to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon who was killed in the Columbia tragedy.
The band spoke at a press conference Wednesday ahead of two concerts they are due to perform in Caesarea on Saturday and Sunday. This visit is Deep Purple's third Israeli tour. The last time they visited was in 2008, when they played four concerts to full crowds of cheering fans.
Deep Purple's vocalist Ian Gillen stressed to reporters that musicians should remain impartial in political disputes, and likened this to making the assumption that Deep Purple supported all of Tony Blair's policies because they gave a concert in London ten years ago.
Guitarist Steve Morse quipped that left-wing groups did not know what to say to them when they refused to cancel performances in Israel. Saying that in any case, Deep Purple doesn't respect politicians in their native England, and questioned why their attitude would be any different in other countries.
And here they are playing their most famous song in Caesaria: