I just love what blackmore did on guitar during the 70s , but the man has a real bad reputation for being one helluva sumbitch to work with, why has he got that legacy and do you think he deserves it ?
Here's one story.... First Cal Jam, 1974 (I was there). Deep purple would not go on stage until the sun went down (for their light show, or so they say) Crowds were getting crazy. Black Sabbath finished, then a big gap until DP came on stage. Once on stage, Blackmore was a bit of a diva, leading up to blowing up his Marshall's. Who know, maybe it was all staged, maybe not. No idea if it was Deep Purple or just Blackmore that was causing the delay. What the he!! did I know, I was dumbazz 14yo kid.
In addition to a considerable ego, he is also a very eccentric bloke. He has created an entire medieval fantasy world for himself along with his wife (Complete with costumes! Bordering on self-parody ) for the past 20 years. But I like it. It's not like he was going to have any success retreading Purple/Rainbow again and again, or trying to create some new style of rock. So it was a good move for him to do what he likes. An evil version of Blackmore could be a dangerous cult leader who insists that all of his disciples wear matching outfits. I don't estimate he is one who likes being anything other than the BOSS at all times in his musical world, with the exception of collaboration with wifey.
Also, it never fails to amaze me how much Yngwie copied Blackmore's entire '70s stage look from head to toe!
I saw them on their Perfect Strangers tour. To be honest I didn't have real high expectations for the show...it was late in their career and it had been forever since they had anything close to a hit song getting airplay. But tell you what, they blew me away. Absolutely mesmerizing concert and the wall of fat, dense, rich, musical power that rolled off that stage into the audience was something I'll never forget. It was the complete, original lineup: Ian Gillan, Paice, John Lord, (forget the bassist but it was the original dude) etc. They were tight, they were in perfect tune, they were in complete command of each and every song. The pacing of the show was spot-on and they all gave 100%. No resting on their laurels here. The crowd roared after every song in appreciation for what they were seeing and hearing and the band fed off the energy.
The funny thing was that Blackmore was the least impressive guy on the stage. He was great, don't get me wrong, but Ian Gillan gave the best vocal performance I have ever heard in my life. Dude sang his ass off and hit EVERY note. John Lord was badass as well and his freakin' Hammond through a Leslie tone was killer...he was rocking that big piece of furniture back and forth and just nailing his solos. Blackmore did his "smash it up" schtick, which came off as staged, juvenile and unnecessary (I did get a tremolo spring that flew into the crowd). One of the best shows I've ever seen. Go figure, huh?
He's been quite open regarding his personality in interviews. It seems he doesn't suffer fools easily. It was his and Jon's band in the beginning (after the original idea and founder fell apart), and he treated it that way until he left (twice).
He was also a 'practical joker' offstage.
Tormenting bully is probably more accurate.
He has acknowledged:
- Taking an axe to Roger Glovers bedroom door at midnight,
- Stealing Graham Bonnet's clothes suitcase before a show and leaving only a leather vest and pants,
- Multiple 'pranks' against Tony Carey while he was in Rainbow,
- Dumping a full plate of hot spaghetti on Ian Gillan's head,
- Responding to a young lady's question why he doesn't smile more with the statement "if you had big t---s and no [pimples] maybe I would smile."
There is SO much more ...
My favorite guitarist, but NOT someone I care to meet.