It's been a big year for Ritchie Blackmore. The legendary Deep Purple guitarist was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, though the ceremony was a debacle all its own where Blackmore was forbidden to attend. He also resurrected Rainbow with a brand new lineup, but as it turns out fans could have had the chance to witness two rock icons back onstage together.

"He asked me to do it with him," said Blackmore's Deep Purple MK III bandmate Glenn Hughes about the guitarist reactivating Rainbow when speaking with Hard Rock Haven. "And I said no because he wanted to, funny enough, he wanted to use an unknown singer and I said, 'It’s not me. It’s not me to do that.' I’ve done that with David [Coverdale] and it was good. I don’t want to do it again. It was something…I said, I very eloquently said, 'No thank you. I really would like to see you, but I can’t do this at the point where I am right now.'"

Rainbow went on to be fronted by the relatively unknown singer Ronnie Romero, rounded out by Stratovarius' Jens Johansson on keyboards and two members of Blackmore's renaissance outfit, Blackmore's Night.

Adding that the line of communication is "completely open," the picture is clearer than when Loudwire spoke with Hughes prior to Purple's induction into the Rock Hall. The 'Voice of Rock' told us he had not spoken to Blackmore or even seen him since 1976. Leading up to the induction, there had been a public exchange between Blackmore and the current Deep Purple camp, resulting in the six-stringer's absence at the ceremony.

"We reached out to one another, but indirectly through management," Hughes continued explaining to Loudwire.  "Let's just say that there was some sort of reconciliation when Ritchie started putting this thing together for this summer. It's really hard to speak with Ritchie — he doesn't like to use the phone, not being funny he just doesn't like to use the phone — so it's really difficult to actually speak to him."

Hughes will wrap up his first ever U.S. solo tour on Sept. 3. A list of remaining dates can be seen at our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal tours and photos and a review of his New York City performance can be found here.

The legend will be releasing a new solo record, his first since 2008's First Underground Nuclear Kitchen, which will feature Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers behind the kit.

See Where Deep Purple and Rainbow's Albums Landed on the Top 70 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1970s

Glenn Hughes Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?'