Blackmore left the classic rock act in 1993 and has fallen out with many of his old bandmates, especially frontman Ian Gillan, so drummer Paice does not expect him to be there for the honour - but he insists you can never rule out what the guitar great will do.

"He can confuse you sometimes," he says. "You think he'll do one thing and he'll do the other. I wouldn't put money either way on that one."

But Paice insists some more recent members might have a problem performing alongside Blackmore.

The drummer and his bandmates learned they'd finally been shortlisted for induction to the Ohio museum on Thursday (17Dec15) and now Paice admits the drama over who will be honoured has begun.

Hall of Fame bosses have chosen to induct Paice, Blackmore, David Coverdale, Rod Evans, Gillan, Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes and Jon Lord, but the drummer feels sorry for everyone who has been left out.

"Realistically, you'd like to think that anyone who was ever in the band made a contribution and should really be listed," he explains. "It doesn't matter if they were there for an album or two; everyone who was in the band actually contributed to the fact we're still there.

"All these people, from the very beginning to the current line-up, helped maintain Purple as a viable touring entity that a lot of people around the world really enjoy. So to pick some over others, I wouldn't have done it that way."

Deep Purple will join rap supergroup N.W.A. and Cheap Trick among the acts which will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.