Rainbow

ARTICLE ABOUT Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow) FROM Sounds, January 31, 1976

There are some very interesting bits in this, one of them a comment about the lute, and the other begs the questionif Dio was in an illusion about whose band this really was.
A really great read from the legendary writer, Geoff Barton.
Read on!

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The view from the top of the Rainbow

The Blackmore proclamation

`It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who spends himself in the worthy cause… and whose place shall never know neither victory nor defeat.`

as read to Geoff Barton

IT’S BEEN a matter of the merest months, but even now , the original publicity shots are stacked in useless piles; already your just slightly scratched, only marginally over played album is outdated.
There’s been a second shower and the fading, at once suddenly jaded Rainbow has been replaced by another. One with newer, and probably brighter colours than before.
Gary, you see, has made way for Cozy. Craig’s place has gone to Jimmy. And for Mickey Lee, now read Tony.
Once again Ritchie Blackmore has moved on.
But it was callous, the way he kicked out most of Elf to further his own ends. Well, wasn’t it?
“The first album was recorded very quickly,” Ritchie relates. “I’d written some songs with Ronnie Dio, Elf’s vocalist, and the rest of his group were available for recording. We tried to get together as a band, we really did, but certain things were found to be lacking.”
Maybe callous ‘is too strong a word. Intolerant or unfeeling would have been better terms to use. Or perhaps none of them at all. Still, it’s true to say that to the average punter, the typical Deep Purple – Blackmore – Rainbow fan, however, the adjectives probably do ring true.
It does seem, on the surface and without a degree of insight, that Ritchie Blackmore has conducted his solo career rather ruthlessly: leavink Purple to join Elf, as some inaccurate reports would have it, recording an album as he did, and then, in the wake of its commercial success, ousting all the band’s personnel save one and drafting in replacements of his own.
Whatever your opinions on that score, I feel sure that you’ll renounce them soon enough. The new Rainbow, comprising carefully selected musicians, pulses with a seemingly boundless enthusiasm and almost fanatical verve, something that you rarely find in bands these days. After being in the company of the whole outfit for a few short hours, you can`t help but realise that Blackmore, even with all his wheelings and dealings, his acquisitions of new members, is infinitely right.
And it’s not just an initial freshness and excitement that the three of them feel, being in the band. It’s got permanence.

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Munich’s snowbound Arabella hotel: conveniently sited above Musicland studios, fast becoming a veritable European recording Mecca, despite its comparative infancy. Rainbow are in Germany rehearsing, preparing to lay down their second album in a few days time. But meanwhile, we’re all packed tight in Blackmore’s room. Medieval music of his own choosing, full of lute, harpsichord and suchlike, is filtering through modest speakers, and we talk about the past, present and future.
I wondered, nonetheless, if Ronnie Dio felt saddened about the, shall I say, disbanding of Elf – which was, ostensibly, his band – to form Rainbow.
“Yes, I do. A little,” he admits, tonight looking more of an urchin than an Elf. “Three of us, myself, Mickey Lee Soule the keyboard player and especially Gary Driscoll the drummer, had been together for years.
“We knew each other so well that we dearly wanted to rise with Ritchie together. We fought the odds and we thought, ‘yeah, we’re all going to do it’.
“It was only when I saw myself progressing and the rest of them standing still, then gradually falling off by the wayside, that I realised that Elf had finished. It was a problem. It was sad. It was like cutting off a part of myself as opposed to just breaking up a band.
“But the joy of it was knowing that everything was going to be better for me — you have to think of yourself at some point. That offset the sadness a lot.”
And certainly, Rainbow’s remoulding puts paid once and for all to the aforementioned rumours that Ritchie Blackmore had left Rainbpw to join Elf.
“That was silly,” says Blackmore in his customary, if initially disturbing, monotone. “That was for silly people. In every interview I did at the time I made the point that I had not become a member of the band — but it didn’t seem to make the slightest difference!”
“It would have been obvious to anyone who had heard Elf’s music and had then listened to Rainbow that there was a vast difference,” interjects Ronnie, anxious to make his point. “Elf’s style was firstly moulded around Ritchie’s ideas and, secondly, my own. Ritchie and I had written some songs and we had a definite idea as to what our band
would be like.
“Really, I think that you have to consider the rest of Elf very fortunate in that Ritchie actually said, ‘all right, I want to use you on this album I’m going to do. I don’t want you to join, but I`ll use you because I think you’re capable of doing it.

Direction

“But recording is an entirely different thing to rehearsing, gigging and banging out songs. So it was that the various members of Elf left, over a period of time. It wasn’t anything to do with a lack of talent, it was just a lack of talent in the right direction. What I’m trying to say is Ritchie formed the band Rainbow, gave the others a chance, but then, being true to himself and true to the music he believes in, found out that it didn’t work.”
First to leave was the bassist, then, soon after, the keyboard player and drummer. Replacements are Jimmy Bain, Tony Carey and Cozy Powell respectively. Cozy’s tale was chronicled with fair accuracy in a recent SOUNDS interview:
a one time Jeff Beck sideman, late of Bedlam and Hammer, he was about to leave the musicbiz for motor racing when he got a call from Blackmore, who was in the States, asking him to come over. Cozy was the thirteenth drummer Rainbow auditioned. But they got lucky.
Neither Bain’s nor Carey’s stories have been documented so far, however.
Jimmy Bain is Scottish and, true to the saying, is is proud of it, even though his accent is already becoming tinged with an inevitable LA influence. Long haired, slight, friendly and an ex-Harlot.
“Ronnie saw me playing with Harlot at the Marquee when he and Ritchie were over in Britain doing interviews, just before the release of the first album. He sort of approached me, we drank 18 pints of Stella Artois, I went along with him to jam with Ritchie, managed to get my guitar out of the case, never actually played a note… but I found myself in the band!”
Were Harlot near to splitting up, when you were approached to join Rainbow?
“No, actually the band were doing quite well. In fact, we got more offers after people heard that Ritchie was interested in me than we ever did at any time in the past. People who totally ignored us before began trying to sign us up. They were all too ready to jump in when there was a name involved, but previously, when we were struggling, they just didn’t care. That wasn’t for me, it was too late. The band had been together for 18 months and nothing had happened during that time — I decided to move on and further my career.

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“So I sat around with Ronnie and Ritchie and found them to be so totally compatible, totally professional people, in their atitudes, in everything. It worked.”
Tony Carey, meanwhile, is a 22-year-old, half Cherokee American Indian. Classically trained, he started playing piano when he was 12, and majored in string bass at college. He’s great. Jimmy Bain came across him when he, Ritchie, Ronnie and by that time Cozy were back over in the States.
“I was with a kind of Country and Western band, signed to ABC Dunhill, called Blessings at the time,” Tony recalls. “Jimmy bumped into me and said, ‘Hey, want to have a blow?’ I say, `Sure’.
“So I go down and there’s all this gross equipment and this big, huge soundstage. I took to some keyboards and played. It was the loudest thing I ever heard. I loved it. Oh, I loved it.” His voice is laced with exhilaration as he’s reliving that exact moment. “I played for about half an hour, then Ritchie says, ‘OK, let’s jam’. So he brings in Cozy, this monster, and asks, can you play this?’ — ratatataratatata! he goes. I guess I kept up. That’s the last thing I remember,” he admits, looking at me with suitably glazed eyes.
Now … back to the regularly scheduled interview. My first conversation with Ritchie Blackmore was, very much a feeling-of-the-way affair. I`d heard of his temperament, his mean and moody, ‘man in black’ image – true or not, who hasn’t? – and, although the victim of the inevitable practical jokes, I got through relatively unscathed. Second time around was more comfortable. Slightly.
“I was very pleased with the reaction to the first album,” Blackmore says, genuinely, “very pleased. My only criticism was that it could have had a little more zest.
“A lot of critics, I seem to recall, complained that it sounded like just another Deep Purple LP. Well, I wrote most of Purple’s music, so it’s obviously going to sound similar. I’m not going to start to play the classics or take up the lute,” he cocks an ear towards the continuing time-worn background recording, “just because I’ve started a new band and the critics want me to. The way I play is hard and heavy and I can’t alter that.

“I wrote something about critics once.” He stands up to rustle in a nearby briefcase and finally discovers what looks like a piece of scrap paper. On it, however, he has painstakingly written some sort of ode or proclamation. He reads it out loud and, curiously, it fits in with the quietly playing music, even though the subject matter appears to belong much to the present and is obviously close to his heart. ‘It is not the critic who counts,’ it runs, `not the man who poihts out how the strong man stumbles, or whether the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who spends himself in the worthy cause … and (whose) place shall never know neither victory nor defeat.’
Think on it.
To less enigmatic matters, I wondered how Ritchie felt about Deep Purple at present. Are they just clinging to the name and past glories? Or have they still something valid to offer?
The answer was predictably evasive: “Ahhh … I don’t know. I don’t take much notice of what they’re doing. I only listened to their new album once and, I suppose, they’re doing what I expected them to do. They’re just … awww, it’s not fair. I can’t be objective. Maybe in four or five years I’ll be able to. I wish them well, and that’s it.”
“Donny and Marie said it all didn’t they?” jibes Jimmy Bain.
Rainbow’s first LP was naturally, a formative effort, and while being unmistakeably Blackmore, had it share of rough edges. For the next album, which will be released in April, the band are striving for a more striking, more aggressive sound.
“All the songs on the first album were written at my own house,” Blackmore says, “then I put them down on tape and said to the band, ‘play this’. But now, with the new line-up, it’s every man for himself. We’re writing, funnily enough, in the same way that Purple used to write — if they used to write at all — during rehearsals and in the studio.

“It’s very hard, very much like early Purple in ‘In Rock’ days. There are some involved tracks, but I don’t think we ever lose sight of our original objectives. We’re not playing to musicians, we’re playing to the people,” he concludes, not sounding cliched, surprisingly enough.
Rainbow’s long-awaited British debut tour won’t be until August, when about ten dates are scheduled. There are plans to gig in the States two months after the album is released and then to play Europe. Blackmore hopes to bring the band’s entire stage show over to Britain: “We’ve taken a lot of trouble with our lighting,” he reveals, “we use as a backdrop the picture of the guitar-cum-castle, as on the album cover. We have a rainbow, as well”
A rainbow?
“Yeah. It was made in New York, took four months to make and takes six hours to erect. It’s run by a digital computer. It’s a vast thing, it changes colours like a real rainbow and eats up electricity like nobody’s business. We may even have to take our own generator, when we play Britain.”
As a final question, I asked Ritchie how he felt about the fact that both he and the band have figured strongly in the SOUNDS poll.
“Dynamic. I think that’s the right word. I haven’t thought too much about the people over the past few years, I’ve just been content to play the sort of music I like to hear. But obviously, others want to hear it too. It’s really nice to know that they’re listening.”
And he means it, kids.

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Rainbow FROM New Musical Express, May 29, 1976

A great, and in parts, very funny review of one of the greatest albums in rock history. The journalist could not at this time imagine Blackmore`s Night, and neither could the rest of us. But the medieval experimentation or maybe we should call it flirtation, started around this time for Mr. Blackmore.
I don`t know why the title of the album (“Rising”) isn`t mentioned in the article, but maybe he didn`t have the cover at the time of his review or something.
And, I must also say, that this version of the band was one of the best ones. A really rocking band full of talented musicians. Unfortunately, three of the five musicians recording this album is not with us today. But what a legacy they left behind. Just playing on “Stargazer” is enough to be remembered forever. What a melody! What a song!

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Blackmore`s Rainbow
Oyster (Purple)

By Bob Edmands

Ritchie Blackmore, the world`s loudest musician, sees an amazing new role for himself – as a medieval minstrel.
Hard to believe, right? Like Lou Reed campaigning in support of Real Ale: or George Harrison opting for atheism; or Tony Blackburn playing music; or Bob Harris shouting.
Well there it is in black and white. “An interest in medieval music… reflected in the Rainbow sound,” says the press handout. “Many of the songs make use of medieval modes.”
You gotta be joking. If Ritchie had to get the Sword out of the Stone, you can be sure he`d use a pneumatic drill.
Blackmore pours out the notes like burning oil from battlements. The band`s menace suggests the rack rather than the maypole. Their unhinged attack is enough to dissolve the monasteries all over again. The sound is fat, powerful and brutish, like Henry the Eight. Domesday Book? Doomsday machine, more like.
Medieval modes or not, the important thing is that with one album, Blackmore has transcended anything he did with Deep Purple.
It was Blackmore, with Ian Paice, who kept Deep Purple from being Shallow Sepia. Paice is sadly still with Purple, but on hand (and feet) is the great Cozy Powell, hammering away like the sort of octopus that could inspire a new Peter Benchley bestseller.
The combination is the hottest heavy in years. Lots of snarling riffs snapping at you, compelling, ferocious presence.

Blackmore is never gonna be a new Hendrix. He`s not into that sort of frenzied inspiration. It`s a sense of dramatic effect and dynamics that he`s built his reputation on, and those instincts have rarely been put to better use than here.
“Stargazer” is the track that says it all, taking up half of one side, with a satanic majesty and a perverse epic grandeur that make it a classic.
Blackmore turns in one of his most stunning solos on “Stargazer”, precise, calculated, soaring and shimmering over the melee. And the song thunders for the exits with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra taking up the riff. Well done Koncert Meister Fritz Sonneleitner, you and the boys sound just like a rampaging synthesiser. It`s amazing what they can do with orchestras these days.
Not content with one goldplated monster cut, Rainbow turn to “A Light in the Dark,” the sort of crazed, flat-out blitzkrieg the Purple tried for on “Machine Head”. When this baby rumbles out of the speakers, there`s not a grey cell left intact within a five-mile radius. No matter. Who needs grey cells to review this kind of mind-mangler?
Rainbow is different to Purple, and it`s not just the range of musical colours they produce. Most of those are varying shades of black, anyway. What this band have created is a bad guys` mutant of orchestral rock, the perfect antidote to the pious mysticism of Yes and other yesmen. Proof at last that rock music doesn`t have to be twee to be ambitious.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Average White Band, Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Todd Rundgren, Steve Miller Band, Streetwalkers, Gram Parsons, Dr. Hook, Joe Higgs, Sonny Rollins.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

 

ARTICLE ABOUT Rainbow from New Musical Express, August 30, 1975

Rainbow will soon return to the world`s stages, and I hope there will be an album somewhere in there too. If there is, I hope it will be received better than the very first album reviewed by New Musical Express in 1975. The reviewer was not entirely convinced. Personally, I think it was (and is) a great album even if some of the songs here were even better on their later live album.
Enjoy!

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Record Review

Ritchie Blackmore`s Rainbow
(Oyster)

By Tony Stewart

When a musician (in this case Ritchie Blackmore) decides to leave a band (in this case, Deep Purple), presumably because of musical differences, you`d expect him to adopt an approach dissimilar from that of his former band.
But not our Ritchie.
This is the same kind of metal rock, the lineup is similar (Ronnie James Dio, vocals; Gary Driscoll, drums; Craig Gruber, bass; and Mickey Lee Souls, assorted keyboards) and even the packaging sniffs of a Purple influence.
The only significant difference I can discern between the two are that (1) Rainbow are not as accomplished musicians as Purple, and (2) their breadth of vision isn`t as great.
In fact this album is duller than a March morning.
The majority of the cuts are the same old riff stews; admittedly they do it capably enough, but that hardly seems sufficient.
Out of the nine tracks, there are only two which are worth complimentary remarks. Those are the gentle melodic “Catch The Rainbow”, and the acoustically based “Temple Of The King”.

The rest are just cliched structures, such as the pounding “Man On The Silver Mountain” and “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” where Blackmore and Dio reclaim a Uriah Heep riff which they`d borrowed from Purple originally.
And even the inclusion of The Hat`s instrumental re-working of the Yardbird`s “Still I`m Sad” does nothing for me at all.
Besides their lack of imagination in the composing department, with seven originals from the pens of The Hat and Ronnie James, the band lacks any real feeling.
With the exception of Dio.
Now he is a good singer who has a lot of passion, good phrasing and pitch (particularly on “Temple”) and puts a considerable amount of effort into the songs.
Whereas The Mad Axeman and Gruber merely illustrate their technical manoeuverability, Souls (despite the name) is recording in the studio next door and you rarely hear him, and Driscoll is what you`d describe as solid.
But it is a group album. The Hat keeps a low profile, filling out songs and taking the occasional lead, sounding, particularly on “Rainbow” and “Temple”, like Peter Green, but there are no real instances of inspired madness.
So in conclusion, all I can say is that they`re an imitation of Purple, and not a particularly good one at that.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music), James Stewart, Chapman-Whitney Streetwalkers, Roger McGuinn, The Selling of Reading, Kursaal Flyers, Loudon Wainwright, Leo Kottke, Isley Brothers.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail, if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 15 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow) from New Musical Express, August 2, 1975

This must be one of the earliest interviews done after Mr. Blackmore took off for what became Rainbow. Always exciting to hear from the man in black, and I hope he now continues his hard rock career once more with the new Rainbow band he is going out on the road with in 2016. Have a good read!

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Blackmore

It`s so nice being nasty

They were Deep. And very, very Purple. And very, very, very rich. Then somebody left. Then somebody else left. Finally Ritchie Blackmore left. Now there`s only two originals left. The whole thing is, can David Coverdale be said to be on a good screw and has the Bitchfinder General got the whole world sussed out?
Pete Erskine (in London) report.

“He`s alright,” says the PR reassuringly on the other end of the `phone. “He`s not the character people make him out to be.”
The Holiday Inn, Swiss Cottage. Strictly nouveauland. Restrained vacuum-formed decor and static electricity shocks from the toilet door knobs.
The ashtrays in the bar are bland enough to discourage even the most hardened pilferer. Instead I fill my pockets with book matches, lie to the barman that I`m a guest and pay 40p for an expensive looking bottle containing very cheaply produced beer.
A tall, lank-haired gentleman in jeans and Spanish-copies-of-western-boots enters, buys himself a drink and introduces himself as Ian Ferguson, Ritchie Blackmore`s road manager.
Well, tell us then, Ian, what`s he really like… I mean, you know, working for him `n` all?
“He`s very honest,” says Ferguson, in what might be a Scottish accent, “…and very outspoken. But he never orders me to do anything. He always asks.”

Nevertheless, Ferguson adds, Ritchie always gets his own way. Which might explain why he`s half an hour late for this interview – he`s gone shopping. Presumably for clothes – he makes his subsequent entrance in a Tesco tank-top ensemble which makes the lead guitarist of the Doobie Bros look sharper than Peter Wyngarde.
Presumably to gain some kind of psychological tactical advantage, Blackmore proffers a handshake from behind the settee so that I have to stand up, twist round and lose my equilibrium all in one swift fluid movement. His companion, a short personable American guy with a thick bush of black hair and Italianate features, invites him to sit next to me and we begin – with Blackmore morosely explaining that the reason he`s doing interviews is that a few “thick people” don`t know that he`s left Deep Purple. He stares with an expression of acute boredom straight through my notepad and through the glass sliding doors bordering the hotel pool which is filled to capacity with the children of visiting Americans.
Blackmore and Purple parted company three months ago.
“-Physically that is. Spiritually, I left about a year ago,” he adds dryly.

One gathers you didn`t enjoy playing on the last album.
“I made the best of it. I was a bit tired of the ideas and the personnel; it was all a bit routine.”
He does not think that the band`s approach is “dated”.
“But everybody`s approaching their material in the same way. Most of the big bands I know are; most of them are very lazy.
“The way we used to approach making records was we would allot two weeks for rehearsals, then for maybe twelve days play football, and the other day we`d sleep, then we`d probably rehearse for one hour of the day that was left.
“We wrote most of the material in the studio, so it was a case of falling back on professionalism rather than creative…um…songs.
You mean you were just going through the motions, Ritchie?
“Yes,” he continues, staring toad-like into his beer, “I lost the excitement of it.”
Hard to imagine Blackmore excited. But wait…
“… But now I`ve gained it through being with different personnel.”

And he`s certainly not into the solo LP business, this is just another band.
The band comprises Jimmy Bain, bass, Gary Driscoll, drums, the Italianate American (Ronnie Dio) lead vocals, Micky Lee Soule, keyboards, and Ritchie Blackmore, guitar.
Blackmore ploughs on resignedly, still gazing glazedly at the aquatic activity through the glass doors.
“People used to say to me, `When are you making a solo?` and I used to say, `Well, I do that all the time with Deep Purple!`
“It was a case of I wanted to use different people and make… just try and make… I found that quite honestly I was doing most of the work with Deep Purple myself – without sounding conceited – I just found that a lot was relying on me. So I thought, sod this…”
In terms of what? The stage performances?
“No. The writing.”
Oh. I thought most of that came from Jon Lord.
“Hmm, I know,” he smirks. “A lot of people thought that.”

Has it always been like that?
“Yes, since `Deep Purple In Rock`. Before that it was kind of equally shared. Since `Deep Purple In Rock` it was written always by Roger (Glover), Ian (Paice) and myself. John would be very good at advising whether to use an A Major or a C Minor but he didn`t write.
“That`s another big reason why I left. There were no writers in the band – including myself. I can write to a degree but I do need help. Ian was always there – Ian Paice the drummer – he always had lots of adrenalin, wanted to get on with it and play – but a drummer can`t contribute any more than playing the drums unless he`s a songwriter and a piano player.
“There were people who said we hated each other,” he observes, shifting his gaze to an adjacent lavatory door, “but I never let it get that far. Otherwise we`d have broken up a long time ago.
“I used to have my own dressing room because I like solitude before going onstage; I have four or five guitars to tune up and I can`t do that with someone playing bass or organ in the same room. I prefer to be on my own.

“I`m a loner – not because I don`t like people, it`s just that I like to be alone because…uh… for instance… I find myself more interesting than most people I meet…
“It sounds pretty conceited… probably is… I dunno.”
And he chuckles to himself, then leans across to Dio attracting his attention by grabbing his knee, halting me in mid-question by pointing out to Dio how amusing he finds the perambulations of one particularly graceless non-swimmer.
Blackmore, his mirth subsided, continues:
“We did have a channel we had to keep to – or producing hard rock all the time. I love hard rock. It was my idea to do it, along with Ian and Roger, but we couldn`t stray from it very much or people would go `It`s not as hard as their last one` or if we did do a hard rock thing the press would always go `Huh, same old thing. Heavy Metal Rubbish`. Which they never,” he adds wearily, “saw the subtleties of. And of which,” he post-scripts slightly petulantly, “they never will do. They`d rather talk about folk singers. But that`s another thing.”
About what? (Sorry).
“About folk singers. They turn out second rate music but it`s quiet and they can talk over that.”

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Interesting, that. “A folk singer is someone who turns out second rate music.” Blackmore has a curious fixation with “folk singers” – as if there`re only two types of music in the world: Deep Purple and folk singers.
He`s a real dab hand at the lightning epithet, too. Last April he told an interviewer: “The so-called greats like Segovia knew nothing about feedback.”
Here he was making a correct assumption. “The music that we make demands attention,” Blackmore continues, retracing earlier steps, “which puts people off.
“The best writer, I find… is Chris Welch…
“It`s the same as… Black Sabbath. Immediately you say their name people say `Oh, rubbish, rubbish` – they might not be the best in the world but they`re certainly a lot better than most of the folk singers that get talked about and praised.”
Give us an example of a “folk singer”.
“I can`t. I really don`t know because I don`t take any notice of them.”
Blackmore prefers Jethro Tull and J. S. Bach.

Do you think that people missed the subtleties in Deep Purple, Ritchie?
“Yes. I think they do. I think they did at the time. The kids didn`t, the press did. That`s why the band was…”
What were the subtleties?
“The subtleties were what was involved in the simple structure of the song, incorporating such a limiting structure. To have to make up good solos in that structure is very hard. People would hear a riff and say `Oh, that`s kids` stuff` but it`s not as simple as that. And you can name music in seven-four or five-four but it`s easier than making four-four if it`s not different, the content. For instance, the solos count on a lot of the songs.
“That,” he concludes, “was the subtlety of most of the songs.”
But isn`t that approach of The All Important Solo a bit passe? I inquire, and he stares blankly and lets me ramble on until I trip over my own point of view but finally manage to wind up by saying that that particular approach has been used for at least ten years.
“And it`ll probably go on being used for the next hundred years,” he responds sullenly.
But ain`t it a little predictable?
“No. I don`t think so.”
Well, Clapton, for one, forsook it ages ago.
“Yeah. And he`s also got very boring,” comes the quick rejoinder.

So you`re still a solos man, Ritchie?
“No, I`m a backup man now. I play cello,” he says cracking a joke. “I back up Ronnie who`s on violin.”
They both laugh good-naturedly.
He`s played guitar for 19 years and doesn`t listen to many other guitarists, mainly violinists and cellists. He doesn`t listen to much heavy rock, goes to quite a few classical concerts. He says he believes heavy rock is very closely related to J. S. Bach in terms of rhythms and directness.
“In my opinion, that is. Not that anyone else would think so. They`d say `How dare he say that!`
“I either listen to Bach or hard rock done by a very good band. Not too many good hard rock bands about…Paul Rodgers is a good singer but Bad Company are pretty average. Zeppelin sometimes pull out something good…”
One wonders – as a layman, that is – just what it`s really like to be a famous lead guitarist. Would Ritchie like to stow the image for awhile?
“I don`t think about it. But I wouldn`t like to get shot of it. Not at the moment. I still like the adrenalin and the respect you can get, the power… but only in certain ways…
“I don`t like the power of when somebody asks me for my opinion on something because often my opinions go from my subconscious to my unconscious and they don`t really make a lot of sense to people unless they know my music inside out.”

Notice the inference? He`s right. I do not possess a single Deep Purple recording.
“…And,” he continues considerately, “it`s sometimes confusing for a person to hear me talk unless I`m in the right frame of mind to talk about what I`m saying – which is nothing. I`ll stop talking.”
Pretty snakey, Ritchie, pretty snakey. A quick sidestep with an inquiry as to who`s in his new band, Rainbow (I already told you that), so we`ll pass on to the knowledge that Dio gets pissed off when reporters neglect to announce his full name – i.e. the “James” in the middle.
Ronnie James Dio. Alright?
Blackmore makes another joke. Whilst spelling out the names of his band he says “Jimmy – as in George Harrison – Bain”. And we all laugh good-naturedly and stare at the pool.
Dio is a nice guy.
“It may seem odd,” he observes, “to be doing the Rainbow thing after being a good-time rock `n` roll band.”
Dio and Ritchie write together.
I mention that I heard some of it the other night on John Peel`s prog. Blackmore immediately interjects.
“Best forgotten, that,” he grumbles.
Why`s that?
“Well. He split the soundtrack up about seven times so everything sounded completely out of context to what we were saying…”

Dio tells him that Peel, in confidence, has been praising Blackmore to him.
“Oh well,” says Blackmore, visibly lightening, “let him carry on then.
“No,” he continues, more reasonably, “somebody made a bit of a mess-up of equalising the tapes from speech to music. No, John Peel,” says Blackmore, steadying himself for yet another joke, and turning to Dio, “no, John Peel`s a… fantastic guy,” rounding off with a mysterioso belly-laugh implying that – yet again – he`s got it all sussed. What a temporal colossus this man is!
Superficially Rainbow is not a million miles removed from Deep Purple. I ask Richie where he thinks the difference lies.
“There`s more excitement, there`s more enthusiasm because we`re all new – I like Ronnie`s voice very much, I like the way he can interpret what I play on the guitar – he seems to be able to integrate his melodies into my guitar progressions.”
You were saying something on the radio about it being “medieval”.
“Yes, we do use a lot of medieval modes.”
Like your “Witchfinder General” hat? (I didn`t actually say that. I only just thought of it. Traditionally Blackmore has often worn a Cromwellian stovepipe hat with a buckleband onstage.)

“…Uh… in the way that the modes work slightly differently to the scales. You use a lot of notes, whole tones… one prime example being `Greensleeves` which was written in the 16th century by Henry VIII – or so he told me – or rather it was probably written by one of his court minstrels who he beheaded and stole the publishing rights from…”
Dio chuckles.
“Anyway. One of the songs we do is called `16th Century Greensleeves` which is how we imagined the story to be.”
It`s a period that really interests Ritchie.
“All the music I play at home is either German baroque music – people like Bauxteheuder, Telemann, or it`s medieval music. English medieval music. I prefer things like the harpsichord, the recorder and the tambourine.
“They used very weird instruments in those days…” then, breaking off, to Dio (Blackmore is still surveying the pool), “She`s drowning…” and breaks up laughing.
“And I`m interested in the supernatural and psychic research…” then breaks off again, “She`s really a great swimmer…” and he and Dio crack up again. Dio then gets up, and perhaps by way of recompense, buys another round of beers.
“Whenever I`m pissed off with the rock scene,” he concludes, “which is quite often, I just tune in to Bach, play my Bach records and medieval music and people come round – like other artists – and it`s so funny, the reaction that you get. They think `Ah, rock musician, gold records on the wall`, expecting all the funk shit to come booming out – shoeshine music – and on comes medieval tambourine dancers and jigs…and Bach!”
And folk singers?

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper and you are free to use it as you like. If you use it on your own  webpages – please credit me or put up a link to my blog.

This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Rod Stewart, Ray Thomas (Moody Blues), Speedy Keen, Ian Dury, David Bowie, Larry Parnes, Deep Purple, Gil Scott-Heron, The Flamin` Groovies, Amos Garrett, Steve Hillage, Maria Muldaur.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

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