Ritchie Blackmore

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shots are stacked in useless piles; already your just slightly scratched, only marginally over played album is outdated.
There’s been a second shower and the fading, at once suddenly jaded Rainbow has been replaced by another.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.

Urchin

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 Deep Purple FROM SOUNDS, December 4, 1971

It is always fun to read articles from way back, especially when one knows the history of a band as well as many do with Deep Purple. Some funny moments in this one for those “in the know”.
Have a nice read!

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Blackmore the Purple egotist

By Dick Meadows

The anatomy of a heavy rock band in today`s pop society is a complex one. The sweat and toil reaps reward in terms of enormous audience adulation and financial profit. But there is a difficult cross to bear at the same time and that is to be branded whipping boys in rock.
Led Zeppelin and Ten Years After have become almost institutions whose stature has lifted them above the bitching. At the other end of the scale Sabbath and Uriah Heep are down there in the muck-raking mire nailed to this cross by critics. That the cross seems to be made of pound notes and fan hysteria obviously makes it more bearable.
Just about balancing the see-saw of respect and smears is Deep Purple who have laboured for four years to achieve a mountain of success but still get slagged off rightly or wrongly for allegedly playing stereo-type, formula rock.
Purple`s stance in this situation is fairly predictable. They get hurt by the harsh words, fail to understand a lot of them and then begin to resent them. In about that order. “We still seem to upset many people but sometimes I really can`t see why.”
The speaker is Ritchie Blackmore, lead guitarist with the band. On stage the man is extrovert and an instinctive entertainer. But now in an office block high above the Christmas lights of Regent Street, W. 1., he sits quietly, an introvert who has to be coaxed into talking about his music and the group he has grown famous with. He admits that he seeks rather to play rock than have to interpret it through the process of question and answer.

SLAGGING

Blackmore talked easily enough, though, about criticism and Purple`s philosophy here. After all the band has had a good amount of practice in coming to terms with slagging which quite often they simply haven`t earned:
“We tend to consider what will please an audience. We think of that first and then what will please us perhaps second. So sometimes we get put down for playing fairly simple riffs. But you have got to consider the people you are playing for. That`s what it is all about.

ATTITUDE

King Crimson, for instance, turn out some very good stuff. I like things they do but what happens is that a lot of it goes over people`s heads.
Yes, we take criticism to heart but our attitude is not to talk about it too much. If we kept talking about what people were saying and what some reader from East Grinstead has written in a letter to a music paper then it would have a bad effect. We`d always be thinking, “Are we doing the right thing?”
It`s funny really, some people have such closed minds about Purple and other groups as well. When you are coming up there is encouragement but the same people who have encouraged you will then knock you down when you got some kind of success. Uriah Heep are having this happen to them, and they don`t deserve all the criticism.
You know, John Peel won`t play us. He says we play formula rock and that`s that. I don`t know where that man is at any more. I did once but not now. Have you heard some of the people he is playing now? And people he has helped build up, he has turned his back on.
Blackmore was speaking after a four-week break from pounding out rock on the road. Purple were set to go to North America this month until vocalist Ian Gillan was stricken with hepatitis. For a time he was very ill and the tour was postponed until January. Now Ian is recovering but is still weak. In the meantime the band has been taking things comparatively easily; the only time they get to rest is when one of their number is ill. Otherwise they work themselves to a standstill.
During their enforced lay-off organist Jon Lord has been working with Tony Ashton, bassist Roger Glover has been doing some producing, and Ritchie and “Little” Ian Paice, the drummer, have been playing with a third guy – who Ritchie won`t identify – as a rock trio. They have put down some songs and one will be released as a single in the new year under a name that gives no clue to its Deep Purple heritage.

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ACCLAIM

“Let people hear it and maybe like it, rather than pick up the record and say, `Oh that`s Deep Purple, don`t like it and won`t play it`.” That`s Ritchie`s view.
The inevitable fragmentation during Gillan`s illness perhaps provides a clue to the future. Individual members of the band are inclined towards virtuosity on stage – Blackmore admits he is an egotist when playing – and they are eager to solo and take their fair share of acclaim. Whether they can continue to get sufficient personal satisfaction is doubtful, although obviously they`re not anxious to destroy the huge success story that has taken a long while to write.

MERGING

Nevertheless there have been musical clashes within the band in the past. Lord, for instance, is keen on merging rock with classics. Blackmore wants to remain more exclusively in rock.
The new album which is now being planned, takes on greater importance in this light. It will be recorded soon in the Rolling Stones` mobile studio at Montreux, Switzerland, and the probable title is “Machine Head”. Ritchie is excited about the album because the past few weeks have been a perfect opportunity to formulate a clear vision about what should go on it. The release date will probably be March and Ritchie is frank about its importance:
“This next album will show what Purple`s future really is. I personally didn`t like the last one, `Fireball`, too much, but this one I think will really get to the people. With `Fireball` we virtually made everything up in the studio, `give us a riff`, that sort of thing. We were working so hard that we never had any time to sit back and think of new ideas for the album. There are only three tracks I think are good. “No. No. No`. `Fools` and `Fireball` itself.”

DIRECTION

The lead guitarist reckons “Deep Purple In Rock” is the finest thing they have done on record. It showed them going in one clear direction which they weren`t before and that includes “Concert For Group And Orchestra”. Which way they go now remains to be seen. It promises to be a significant fifth year for the band from Deep Purple.

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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 Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Frank Zappa, Rikki Farr, Bob Dylan, Nicky Hopkins, Bunk Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, Steve Marriott, Ian Hunter, Roy Harper, Emitt Rhodes, Charlie Wills, Melanie.

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 Ian Gillan FROM SOUNDS, March 13, 1976

A really great interview with Ian Gillan this one. As a bonus you get a little talk with Roger Glover and you get to hear a little bit about that famous “man in black” Ritchie Blackmore.
Pete Makowski is another one of those journalists that are almost as famous as those people he writes about. Actually, when he writes about some of the newer bands, he may indeed be MORE famous than his objects.
He has written for, among many publications, Sounds, Kerrang, Metal Hammer, Q and Classic Rock. I guess he will be involved with that spanking new magazine called “Planet Rock” too! (I have bought it, not read it yet, but it looks terrific).

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Ian Gillan left Deep Purple to start a mini-cab firm but found that…

Rock and roll`s in Gillan`s soul

By Pete Makowski

“We all came out to Montreaux, On the lake Geneva shoreline.
To make a record with a mobile, We didn`t have much time.”

The immortal words above, as y`all probably know, are from one of Deep Purple`s most successful toons – `Smoke On The Water`. It tells the true story of the great Casino disaster which occurred when the band went to Switzerland to record `Machine Head`.
Apart from being a pretty slick crap joint, the Casino was also a highly respected European venue and was going to be the location the band were going to record utilising a mobile unit. I say `were` because just before they got there disaster struck.
It was on the night that Uncle Frank and the Mothers were playing there that, as the Purps put it: “some stupid with a flare gun, burned the place to the ground.”
“Smoke on the water, a fire in the sky!”
Purple ended up recording the album at the Grand hotel. The casino had to be completely rebuilt, which brings us to the story.

Montreux is essentially a retiring home for rich persons. Like Brighton only a bit classier. It`s a place where a millionaire can spend his last years in the healthiest of surroundings before pushing off to that great Swiss deposit account in the sky.
It`s also the home of the Montreux jazz festival which, so the city`s tourist officer informs me, is overtaking the legendary Newport jazz festival in popularity and repute.
Montreux is also now the location for a new venture. The Mountain recording studios which have been installed into the brand spanking new casino building and is run by Jack Grod and his attractive American singer wife Anita Kerr.
Although it started business last July in time for the aforementioned Jazz festival it celebrated its official press opening only a couple of weeks ago which is how I got there.
As it happened Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were present there at the same time on business. Gillan was completing work on his new album with Glover acting as producer.
Almost three years after the Casino incident the ex Purple vocalist and equally ex Purple bassist find themselves at the same location that acted as a catalyst for the album that broke Deep Purple worldwide. Could this be more than fate?
On with the story…

Since his departure from Purple, Gillan has remained fairly anonymous, apart from the occasional press release advertising his various new business ventures which included a motorcycle factory and a minicab firm.
There were sporadic reports of projected solo albums but nothing ever actually transpired and it seemed that we had lost our silver throated screamer to the world of high finance until one day, about a month ago, it was declared that Gillan was making his return with a new band and album.
Now it was obvious the guy really meant business!
Fortunately Gillan and Glover were residing at the same hotel as myself. Both parties had spent a heavy session in the studios the night previous to my arrival so I didn`t expect any contact with them until later that evening. Surprisingly enough Glover managed to submerge from his well-earned rest quite early on in the afternoon.
Since he left the ranks of Purple, Glover has involved himself in quite a lot of production work, so lack of sleep and late nights have become a part of his daily repertoire. Eyes glazed and looking generally fragile he ordered a pot of tea and we sat ourselves in an unassuming corner of the hotel lounge for a chat.

Roger Glover is a nice guy. He`s one of those people you could spend all night talking with about anything and everything. He`s a great observer of the music business and he`ll always have an interesting answer for any question you care to confront him with.
When I asked him what he had been up to over the last few months he revealed that the Gillan project has taken much longer than expected as there had already been one album recorded about a year ago.
“It was a good album”, said Glover, “but it was too much of a solo album and in the end Ian decided that he wanted to get a band together and he wanted to record something that would be much more representative of a band effort.”
Gillan and Glover have been close friends for quite a while now, even before their days with Purple they were playing together in a band called Episode Six. In fact it was the band`s drummer, Mick Underwood, who inadvertantly got Glover the job in Purple.
Glover explains: “Mick used to play in a band with Ritchie (Blackmore) and Ritchie phoned him up and said `we`re looking for a singer` and he said `why don`t you listen to Ian Gillan`. So they set up an audition and I used to write with Ian at the time so I just sort of tagged along with him `cause they were also looking for a bass player.
“They must have decided that it would have been a good idea to get two guys who had written together because they were looking for writers.”

I asked Glover how it felt to be producing an old colleague.
“It`s quite enjoyable really. I learned a lot of production from Purple. I used to do a lot of mixing with little Ian (Paice). The way Purple used to record was to do a backing track first then the vocals. Ian (Gillan) would get most of the lyrics together, but having done that he would be lost for an idea, so it would be the pair of us who would decide what`s to go on top.
“I virtually learned production by producing Ian. So doing it now in a way is almost like stepping back in the past.”
Has Gillan`s sudden revival given Glover any inclination to get back on the road?
“No, I`ve been through various stages of wanting to be back on the road. For two reasons, one because I miss the life to a certain extent for all the bad things you get on the road it is quite exciting. And the other reason is that I want to write in a group format `cause writing on my own doesn`t come out the same way. If I`ve got nothing to write for then I write rubbish. If I`ve got direction then I`ll drag something out of the depths.
“Looking at the economics of getting on the road and looking at the things I`ll have to give up I don`t think I want to go back on the road. Before Deep Purple I had been on the road since 1965 professionally, that`s a fair while.
“It was hard to settle down at first but now that I have settled down I find that I`m more creative in all directions. If I went on the road then I`d have to give all that up.”
Even without the roadlife Glover is one of those people who has an endless source of energy and channels it in as many directions as possible. Although production probably supplies a major part of his income (he also co-owns a studios in London with Gillan), he certainly has no plans to make a future out of it and still feels that his talents are more musically inclined.

He has already displayed his versatility with his musical interpretation of William Plomers book of poetry entitled `Butterfly Ball` which has already seen one extravagant charity performance at the Albert Hall. There are plans for it to become a cartoon series for which Glover will provide incidental music.
“What `Butterfly Ball` did for me was to make me strong enough not to reject my past, but not to emulate it. When I first did `Butterfly Ball` I thought what`s everyone going to expect of me? I`m not a household name I know. Everyone`s not going to be waiting for my album with baited breath to see finally what the master`s done. At the same time there is an awareness of me, somewhere along the line, and I don`t want to let people down.
“It took quite a few months for me to get the courage to say `I don`t care what the people are going to think I`m going to do it the way I see it right? Now whatever I do in the future I`m not going to care whether it`s rock or classical, I don`t care what it is as long as it means something that`s all that matters.”
At this point a medium sized figure wearing a grey army type coat, looking slightly unshaven strolls up to the table to greet us. Why, it`s Ian Gillan looking mucho less business like than indicated in recent photographs which showed him to be sporting a matching suit and paunch.

Next to him is a tall skinny guy with long black hair who looks as if he`s been on the road all of his life. This is John Gustafson and he probably has been on the road for the whole of his life. He is the bass player and vocalist with the Ian Gillan band.
The Ian Gillan band are as follows: Ray Fenwick (guitars), Gustafson (bass/vocals) and Mark Nussyef (drums/percussion) and Mike Maran (keyboards).
Both Gustafson and Fenwick are guys who have done excessive mileage on the road with musical histories as long as Elton John`s optician bill. The former spawning from the Liverpudlian scene playing in such legendary units as The Big Three and the Mersey Beats.
In recent years Gustafson has played with Quatermass a brilliant trio who almost achieved the recognition they deserved, and more recently he has involved himself in session work like Fenwick whose most recent success was in a band called Fancy who released a hotted up version of `Wild Thing`.
Nussyef is an American drummer, he`s also a tutored percussionist and has toured with quite a few bands including, believe it or not, the Velvet Underground.
All parties have been associated with Purple in the past. Gustafson played in a short lived outfit called Hard Stuff who recorded on Purple records. Fenwick has been involved in various projects on the same label including some work on Jon Lord`s concertos. While Nussyef played with Elf for a short while, playing on their last album `Trying to Burn The Sun` before they split up to become Ritchie Blackmore`s Rainbow.

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I introduced myself to Gillan and we arranged to meet after the studios reception (which I shall delve into at greater length shortly in the more technical pages of SOUNDS).
Later that evening…
Glover and Mac (all the way from Munich`s Musicland) set up the desk. Click! the tapes were rolling and the music began to surge out of the studios four powerful high quality speakers.
First impressions – the band sounded tight, straight to the point. Gillan certainly hasn`t lost any of his vocal form, he can still sustain his banshee screams longer than any vocalist I know. The album has more depth, light and shade than I expected with some very nice slow tempo material. There`s one number which Gillan shares some vocal
interplay with Gustafson.
The only song that registered with me immediately was an interesting new interpretation of `Child In Time` (which incidentally is the title of the album) which features some beaut soloing from Fenwick. It sounded like one helluva an album and an cassette version that`s been rolling on my machine since I got it confirms this.
The Ian Gillan band are going to be one shit kickin` band to reckon with and if they sound as hot as they do in the studio live will undoubtedly become one of the big bands of `76.
Gillan and I sauntered back to the hotel leaving Glover and Mac with the rest of the songs that had to be mixed, they had an early deadline to meet and needed all the remaining hours that were available.

Gillan, looking slightly worn, sat himself down and began to pour countless cups of tea as we both proceeded to stabilise our heads which were suffering from the evening`s celebrations. He had been out for a meal with Glover, they had been reminiscing the old days, toasting them with cognac coffees which took their toll, the mixtures of wine and spirit I indulged didn`t do me that much good either.
After being cut off from the music scene for so long Gillan seems to have renewed amount of energy.
“I`m like a kid again”, he announced with unhidden glee, “I feel like an animal”. Which is the exact opposite to the way things were when he left Purple.
“When I left Purple I was completely dissilusioned, I lost interest.”
“Do you want to know why I left Purple?”, he asked. I told him I thought it was basically through differences between him and Blackmore.
“No that wasn`t it”, he replied firmly.
“We did have our differences but that wasn`t it. In fact I`ve just spent a very pleasant weekend with Ritchie. I better get the record straight and tell you exactly why I left Purple.
“I left Purple because it was stagnating, that`s why Ritchie left Purple too. The Purple I was in got into a formulated pattern and it was great to start with but then it started to be like… it was nothing to do with people, it was like being in the civil service. I left Purple for the same reason I fell out of love with Elvis Presley when he left the army and started doing `Blue Hawaii`.

“I decided I`d never come to the point where I would have to compromise my artistic feelings, it was getting to the point where Purple records were being churned out. We started off as a progressive rock and there was no way we were a progressive rock band by `Who Do We Think We Are?`.”
Was this due to the output demanded from the band due to their success?
“No, I think it was laziness, fear. There was a difference in thought and attitude. There was a discrepancy in thought. I thought that `Fireball` was a great progression. After `Fireball` I felt we lapsed back into formulated music.
“Machine Head` was like harking back to `In Rock`, everything was the same formula. It was a shame really because there was so much talent in that band. I left Purple because I was bored, I was bored with the same old thing. I found myself pacing the shows.”
I asked Gillan what his immediate feelings were when he left Purple.
“Horrible, I didn`t even want to listen to their next album. I felt so horrible that I decided to leave, I refused to buy or listen to anything… I wouldn`t even turn on the radio. I think it was a bit of sour grapes actually, `cause I had been a part of it. I didn`t want to leave but I had to.
Was he wary of singing again?
“Yeh, there was no direction at all, like the first solo abortive attempt I recorded. That was two years after I left Purple. But then I started working with Roger and the band and it all came back to me just like that! I`m singing better now than i ever sang with Purple.”

Glover in fact played quite an important part in getting Gillan to return to the studios.
“I trust Roger implicitly, he`s forced me into all the good things in life.”
But what`s really given Gillan his confidence is the band who he can`t compliment enough. He even admits that at one time he thought: “I`d never be able to play with musicians of such high quality again… and I have!”
The whole band seem to have committed themselves fully to this venture with the same enthusiasm as Gillan, and you`ll be able to appreciate that fact when you hear the album which should be out at the end of February.
“It`s a fucking good line up”, said Gillan, complimenting himself for his choice.”
“They`re a bunch of shitkickers. John (Gustafson) is great, he thinks the same way as I do. He`s got a great voice, he pushes me.
“I`ll tell you an interesting story. There`s this song on the album called `Down The Road`. I sung that for about ten hours and I just couldn`t get it together. The other songs I did in one or two takes – great. Then Ray (Fenwick) said `why don`t you and John sing it together`. So we sang it together and did it in virtually one take. We drank twelve bottles of champagne, the two of us in about an hour and a half and the third verse sounds really drunk, it`s really great, way over the top. I`m singing `ahhhhh` with a really slow vibrato and John`s going `RAHHHHHHGGGG!!!` anywhere. And it came out really good. It means something. It`s in your stomach, not your hair. I`m not interested in head music. It`s shivers down your spine all the way down the line, that`s what influenced me.

“Listening to Jackie Lomax, The Big Three, Cliff Bennett a million other people, Jerry Lee Lewis all these people who shivered my spine when I was a kid, they really knew how to sing, really singing with power not just warble, warble, warble. I think that sensuality has so much to do with rock. One of the first bands I saw live was Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages and the guitarist used to hold the axe next to his groin like a phallic symbol and I thought `wow, cock music!`.
“I like quiet music too, it doesn`t have to be raving, any sort of music that has earthiness to it. Even something like Solomon Burke`s `Down In The Valley`. And it`s sexual, rock and roll is very sexual, if music hasn`t got something that appeals to my animal instincts then I don`t like it.
“Anything that I record has got to have some earthy quality, basics, the lyrics on this album are all to do with sensuality, sexual connotations, everything is basic.”
A good description of Gillan`s music-basic, straight down the line. Having such a powerful line up around him is going to cause a lot of creative electricity. After playing in a band with as much individual talent as Purple Gillan obviously wanted equally potent musicians around him. I asked him if he liked competition in a band structure.
“Love it!” was the immediate reply, “Ritchie said to me, one day at the end of a series of rehearsals before Purple started going on tour, he came up to me and said `if you start putting on a good show, really doing well then I`m going to try and blow you out. That`ll make you do better and it`ll make me do better.` So me and Ritchie had a great threatening hold on Purple, the music never suffered. There was a great sense of competition between us.
“It`s the same with this band. I set the band up I`ve chosen the people I wanted and that`s it. I want them all to really entertain the people, I want them to come through. I don`t want people to just come and see me, I want them to come and see the whole band. And if anyone in the band starts to shine through then it`s going to make me work that much harder.”

Straight after the album`s finished the band are all going to meet up in Paris and begin rehearsals in preparation for their onslaught on the world. Gillan has already thought of some interesting visuals for the show, which I won`t reveal, but he basically wants to keep the whole thing straightforward, although he`s very concerned that the audience get their moneys worth.
“I mean, if we just played the music, then the kids could sit at home and listen to the album, they`ve got to be entertained.
“By now the Swiss birds (of a feathered variety) were beginning to chortle their dawn chorus (the bastard things get up at four o`clock in the morning out there) and we were slowly beginning to dissolve into our seats. Before heading for our sleeping quarters I finally asked Gillan about the re-recording of `Child In Time` the song that used to be a showcase for the man`s amazing vocal delivery.
“The reason I recorded `Child In Time` was because people told me it was a song that people would remember me by. Roger tonight said to me `that`s the best lyrics you`ve ever written`.
“I would say that `Child In Time` is a connection. There`s a certain amount of logic behind using it, because I suppose out of all the Purple songs, if somebody was to pick out a song which was my particular thing in Purple then I suppose they`d pick out `Child In Time`, `cos I suppose it was more me than anything else I did with Purple.
“I was listening to some of the tracks earlier today and the only connection between this album and Purple is my voice, `cause that doesn`t change… maybe it`s got a bit better since I left Purple. Ray doesn`t play anything like Ritchie, Mike`s keyboards don`t sound anything like Jon and the same goes for the rest of the band.
“The whole sound is different, the whole attitude and approach is different. But you`ve got that connection, a link. So when I make my re-entry which is what it is after two and a half years since leaving Purple for those people who would like a link, something to relate to, then that song is there.
“I`m taking the same attitude I did with Purple: if people like it then I`m really pleased and I`ll do everything I can to pursue the particular things they enjoy. If they don`t like it then I`m really sorry, it`s a shame, tough shit `cos I`m really enjoying it.”

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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 Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Evelyn Thomas & Ian Levine, Shaun Cassidy, Jimmy Page, Cate Brothers, Julie Tippetts, Adam Faith, Pat Travers, Yes, Jesse Winchester, Phil Collins.

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!

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.