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So 1970s era Ritchie Blackmore was a S.O.B to work with ?

cragginshred

Member
Messages
1,805
Just read Lita Ford's book and she idolized Ritchie as well as got to connect with him (as well as many other guitarists she loved). Her story of sneaking into the Cal jam to see Sabbath and DP was pretty cool.
 

standard24

Member
Messages
9,080
Wouldn't everyone love to be judged based on a second hand story recalled from 42 years ago?
A good friend of mine was on tour in Europe. Their band and Rainbow were managed by the same company. My friend had breakfast with Ritchie. He said he could tell from Blackmore's demeanor, that he was not to speak a word to him.

He had some awesome stories about the tour and the driver assigned to them... Cozy Powell.
 

peter_heijnen

Member
Messages
2,036
It was also agreed that the cameraman would keep out of Blackmore's way, and didn't.
They never do. Too much white powder in their noses and looking for the best shot while being encouraged to do so by the director doing all the talking on the in-ears.
 

dez

Member
Messages
1,920
Never had to work with him. Just listened to those brilliant records. And saw DP in 1985. So it's worked out very well for me regardless of how much a pain in the ass it was for his band mates.
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,147
A good friend of mine was on tour in Europe. Their band and Rainbow were managed by the same company. My friend had breakfast with Ritchie. He said he could tell from Blackmore's demeanor, that he was not to speak a word to him.

He had some awesome stories about the tour and the driver assigned to them... Cozy Powell.
they opened for cream, saw that in san diego. ‘68? hush was hot, and so were they!
 

DRS

Member
Messages
11,431
. . .


That really doesn’t make being a globe-straddling, internationally successful band sound like much fun."
That's the way it is with most (all?) aspects of the entertainment industry (it is an industry), the guys at the very top have fun and everybody else works very, very hard for not a lot of money. At least they have amusing anecdotes to tickle us with here.
 
Messages
97
Ritchie has said in an interview that he would point his amp at Ian on purpose..

In this timestamped clip you see him pointing his amp directly at Ian...

In just about all the clips of that MKII lineup in the 70s you see Ian holding his ears as Ritchie has his amp blasting right at him full volume.

That whole copenhagen clip is funny with Ritchie being a prick throughout...ritchie played a little while Ian was doing his "she was a really evil woman" breakdown and it threw Ian off and you see Ian tell the band he was only doing the call and response screaming thing once.

---Video is timestamped.


Also during Black Night his strat was squealing real mad and you can see Ian getting pissed.
 

coyote-1

Member
Messages
311
Met Ritchie twice, and it was night and day. He can be a good guy to hang with when he wants. And make no mistake, he plays up the sinister side. But also make no mistake, that side of him is very real. And annoying.

The story of him “shooting up” is bogus. He never went that way.

He was an innovator. Here is where Brian May is instructive. He grew up watching all the big English players in the first wave, and wasn’t far behind them.... he says Ritchie was on the forefront of ‘wild’ guitar (along with stunning technique), years before Hendrix appeared in England. And then there are the words of drummer Carl Little, who mentions himself and Keith Moon being blown away by a 15 year old Blackmore before The Who even formed. And then of course Screaming Lord Sutch, whose band Blackmore played in on and off throughout the Sixties, talks about Ritchie’s impact. Both Sutch and Little mention that guys like Clapton used to be in the audience. So you have Ritchie influencing Clapton, who later of course influenced Ritchie in turn.

Now I can’t watch him play anymore. He hasn’t attacked the strings in years, and a Blackmore who isn’t attacking the strings is kinda useless. But all the way up to Perfect Strangers, he was amazing.
 
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jekylmeister

Gold Supporting Member
Silver Supporting Member
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3,104
Met Ritchie twice, and it was night and day. He can be a good guy to hang with when he wants. And make no mistake, he plays up the sinister side. But also make no mistake, that side of him is very real. And annoying.

The story of him “shooting up” is bogus. He never went that way.

He was an innovator. Here is where Brian May is instructive. He grew up watching all the big English players in the first wave, and wasn’t far behind them.... he says Ritchie was on the forefront of ‘wild’ guitar (along with stunning technique), years before Hendrix appeared in England. And then there are the words of drummer Carl Little, who mentions himself and Keith Moon being blown away by a 15 year old Blackmore before The Who even formed. And then of course Screaming Lord Sutch, whose band Blackmore played in on and off throughout the Sixties, talks about Ritchie’s impact. Both Sutch and Little mention that guys like Clapton used to be in the audience. So you have Ritchie influencing Clapton, who later of course influenced Ritchie in turn.

Now I can’t watch him play anymore. He hasn’t attacked the strings in years, and a Blackmore who isn’t attacking the strings is kinda useless. But all the way up to Perfect Strangers, he was amazing.
Wow, interesting perspective. Thanks.
 
Messages
2,300
They were scheduled to go on at dusk, but show ran early. Blackmore refused and held out. It was also agreed that the cameraman would keep out of Blackmore's way, and didn't - hence the guitar smashing and Marshall explosions.
The Marshall explosion looked staged.
 

coyote-1

Member
Messages
311
The Marshall explosion looked staged.
The explosion was staged. But it went wrong. It was just supposed to be a small thing. But it was big, and hit twice (watch the vid closely). It was waaay bigger than they wanted.

The bit about waiting til dusk to go on was real, as was ritchie’s anger at the cameraman.
 

xarkon

Member
Messages
250
He was an innovator. Here is where Brian May is instructive. He grew up watching all the big English players in the first wave, and wasn’t far behind them.... he says Ritchie was on the forefront of ‘wild’ guitar (along with stunning technique), years before Hendrix appeared in England. And then there are the words of drummer Carl Little, who mentions himself and Keith Moon being blown away by a 15 year old Blackmore before The Who even formed. And then of course Screaming Lord Sutch, whose band Blackmore played in on and off throughout the Sixties, talks about Ritchie’s impact. Both Sutch and Little mention that guys like Clapton used to be in the audience. So you have Ritchie influencing Clapton, who later of course influenced Ritchie in turn.
Would like to read more on each of these - sources, if you have them handy, would be much appreciated. Thanks,

Dave
 
Messages
719
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?

Anyway, that's my Deep Purple story.
I saw this tour and I agree with the poster 100%.
 

Cody

Well, look who’s undead!
Messages
5,534
I’m not reading 10+ pages, so I’m sure I’m not the first:

You think Ritchie was bad in the ‘70s? These days, he’ll go medieval on your a$$!




I’ll show myself out.
:anon
 

Rockledge

Member
Messages
5,557
I was playing and young in the 70s, as well as have read an insane amount of biographies on rock era musicians.
And it seems like EVERYONE was a pain in the ass to work with then. Huge egos, young guys with too much money who couldn't open their motel door without getting laid, adoration coming at them from all directions.
I admire the ones who didn't fall victims to their own egos and self absorption.
Put yourself in their shoes. Everybody treats you like you are the greatest thing since the Kettering starter, chicks all want to be seen with you, your head is full of ambition and ideas that take precedence over everyone elses self absorbed ambitions and ideas. And then having the availability to every mind altering substance that you were ever curious about.
I mean damn, how many young men have the self control, restraint, and mental stability ti maintain their scruples in order to inspire them to flick that devil off of their shoulder?

Especially someone like Ritchie Blackmore who God obviously blessed with amazing talent. The guy is obviously very intelligent and gifted, and the human skull just isn't big enough to contain that kind of drive and enormity in one head.
Not that I am making excuses for any of them, at some point a boy has to become a man. But that isn't easy to do when the whole world is trying to keep him a boy.
The inner man is shouting "MAN MAN MAN" at him and everything external is saying "BOY BOY BOY".
No doubt most of those guys dealt with that stuff spiritually and emotionally later in life. Or maybe earlier in life.
Who is to say that guys like Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Syd Barret didn't in reality succumb to that inner struggle?

If I had been in their situations ( which thank God I was not) I probably would have been bear to work with too.
 

stanshall

Member
Messages
2,072
I was so into the albums In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head, Who Do We Think We Are, Made In Japan, Burn, and Stormbringer when I was a kid and these records were brand-new, and I never ever got tired of them, the greatest Deep Purple lineup, Mk. II, had tremendous personality and virtuosity, they kicked ass and they absolutely provided the model for Spinal Tap, they were fast and their music had grandeur ... just thought they were very cool whenever I was in the mood to go over the top ....

those Deep Purple LPs, along with Black Sabbath, Master of Reality, Paranoid, Vol 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and Sabotage, and Twice Removed From Yesterday, Bridge of Sighs, and For Earth Below, and Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation, Secret Treaties, On Your Feet or On Your Knees, and Agents of Fortune, and Love It to Death, Killer, School's Out, Billion Dollar Babies, and Muscle of Love, were what I jammed to when I wanted to get hyper and histrionic back then ... this was before the term "headbanging" was in use.

However I always felt, from childhood through today, that Hendrix and Zeppelin were on another level, the pinnacle, and that it was unfair to any other performers to be compared to them .....

Beatles, Stones, Who and Kinks, and the Grateful Dead and Dylan were in their own, earlier, pantheon in my mind.

But back to Blackmore, at his peak in Purple he just ripped, to me, he was perfect for Deep Purple, that incarnation developed an amazing sound of its own, no other band had the Lord-Blackmore interplay .....

When I wanted more complexity than the raunch of the Stones and Faces, but more directness than Yes, and more speed than Floyd and Traffic, and more hummability than Crimson, and had burned out on too much Zep, I remembered my Purple and Sabbath albums and would binge on them until I felt I needed some grounding again and that's when Exile On Main Street would be pulled out again, starting the cycle all over .....

No disrespect to Rainbow or the fans, I just never even had them on my radar at all, I was too busy in 1975-77 with the really good stuff, Physical Graffiti, Presence, Wish You Were Here, Animals, Blues For Allah, One Size Fits All, Bongo Fury, Zoot Allures, Blow By Blow, Smoker You Drink, Player You Get, So What, Toys in the Attic, Rocks, Coney Island Baby, Station to Station, Low, Siren, Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy, Black and Blue, Tonight's the Night, Zuma, The Basement Tapes, Desire, etc. ... the Purple and the Sabbath were temporarily slightly outgrown for a few years until I started losing brain cells and IQ points again in my thirties, now the older I get the more I love all this stuff .....

I can listen to Fireball and Supernaut 20 times in a row, 30 times, easily, these days, same with Going For the One, I'm back to binge listening, and 1970-74 Ritchie Blackmore still thrills me when I'm in the mood .... listened to a couple of awesome hours of Purple tonight, Made In Japan is phenomenal .....

Deep Purple was a definitive early '70s band, the early '70s was a definitive era for rock music, that's it for me, how I wish I could have seen the Mk. II band in its 1970-73 heyday .....

haha jeez, just watching Ritchie at the California Jam playing the Strat with his platform boots towards the end of Space Truckin' ... how can you not laugh and smile at that? So very Spinal Tap with the explosions and the shirtless Glenn Hughes running around
 
Last edited:
Messages
735
I was playing and young in the 70s, as well as have read an insane amount of biographies on rock era musicians.
And it seems like EVERYONE was a pain in the ass to work with then. Huge egos, young guys with too much money who couldn't open their motel door without getting laid, adoration coming at them from all directions.
I admire the ones who didn't fall victims to their own egos and self absorption.
Put yourself in their shoes. Everybody treats you like you are the greatest thing since the Kettering starter, chicks all want to be seen with you, your head is full of ambition and ideas that take precedence over everyone elses self absorbed ambitions and ideas. And then having the availability to every mind altering substance that you were ever curious about.
I mean damn, how many young men have the self control, restraint, and mental stability ti maintain their scruples in order to inspire them to flick that devil off of their shoulder?

Especially someone like Ritchie Blackmore who God obviously blessed with amazing talent. The guy is obviously very intelligent and gifted, and the human skull just isn't big enough to contain that kind of drive and enormity in one head.
Not that I am making excuses for any of them, at some point a boy has to become a man. But that isn't easy to do when the whole world is trying to keep him a boy.
The inner man is shouting "MAN MAN MAN" at him and everything external is saying "BOY BOY BOY".
No doubt most of those guys dealt with that stuff spiritually and emotionally later in life. Or maybe earlier in life.
Who is to say that guys like Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Syd Barret didn't in reality succumb to that inner struggle?

If I had been in their situations ( which thank God I was not) I probably would have been bear to work with too.
That's why I have so much respect for Jeff Beck. He never cared about the fame and fortune (he quit the first Jeff Beck group because he didn't want to play Woodstock), he only followed the muse, didn't drink or do drugs, but he did cause problems for others in his bands and his record companies by being so mercurial and always changing his direction. But, I don't think it was ego, but following his artistic ambitions.
 




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