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Russ Ballard on Rockpages

Rockpages has an interview with Russ Ballard — the man who wrote Since You’ve Been Gone and I Surrender, among many other tunes:

Rockpages.gr: How about Rainbow…? Their biggest hits were two of your songs…did you have the chance to meet Ritchie Blackmore?

Russ Ballard: I’ve never met Ritchie.

Rockpages.gr: Have you talked on the phone with him…?

Russ Ballard: I’ve never spoken to him. I recorded an album called “Winning” in 1976 that included the song “Since You Been Gone”. The interesting thing about that album was that it included songs that were later covered by a variety of artists and became hits. For instance, the title track was recorded by Santana and “Just A Dream Away” by Roger Daltrey. Apparently, what actually happened was the following: a band called Head East heard the song and thought that it could be a good single for them…and they were true! The song became a big hit of theirs in the States. So, they did a tour in America with Rainbow and Ritchie heard Head East’s version of the song and really liked it. At least, that’s what I thought happened. I do speak a lot to Graham Bonnet. He phoned me a few days ago asking me for Don Airey’s number and we started to e-mail each other quite a lot…Graham wanted to write a song for him. I asked him what kind of a song he wanted and he said something like a progressive rock tune.

Read more on Rockpages.gr.

7 Comments to “Russ Ballard on Rockpages”:

  1. 1
    Roberto says:

    what’s the reason why Bonnet would write a song for Don? I think it’s lovely, but why? close friends?

    Rainbow’s version remains the best one for me while Ballard wrote some very good singles…even the one covered by Nick Simper’s Fandango is good…but I still have to listen to an entire conveincing Ballard’s album…He better wrote for other people…

  2. 2
    Pete says:

    A great song. I have a video kicking around of Alcataraz with Ingwie doing it. Awsome.

  3. 3
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I wish Graham could gather a band around him that DOES record something.

    Graham is getting on in years.
    Live it is not always his best nowadays.
    The songs he sings are very demanding.

    He is not just a shouter, something a lot people think of him.

    I dont think his “band” he employs the last years is the right stuff to record a CLASSIC album.
    One needs good composers.

    Don does a lot.Why not do something for Graham?
    Writing classics might not be his strongest trait.

    But as a part of a band combined with Graham, and(I WISH)people like Rondinelli and Kotcheff.Well, that level I mean.
    I really Karl Cochran of the JLT albums as well. Even JJ Marsh(Has anyone heard of him lately?)could do wonders.

    Pull in Greg Smith.

    I m so frustrated Graham does not put classic albums anymore.

    It should be possible.
    In the studio he has the time to regain strenght and put down some more awesome vocals.

    The last he combined efforts with Michael Schenker was a good one as well.
    I ve been told when MS gathered his former singers to do the current(latest?)tour he was not able to secure Graham’s duties due to Graham’s poor health.
    I m not sure what to think of it.

    Does somebody know?

    I wish I could get Ritchie out of his retirement chair and provide us with an album or two,he must have tons of stuff to do more, using people like JLT and Graham.
    Rondinelli and Smit as a rythym section.
    I guess Don would not be available due to DP restrictions……

  4. 4
    Drdp says:

    Russ has been writing hits since his Argent days. Hopefully he gets his just due in the royalties. BTW: This Head East version which I haven’t heard in nearly 30 years has no BALLS compared to the Rainbow version. Do do – do – do

  5. 5
    Jim says:

    Ritchie Blackmore’s version is much better!!! He is the best!!!

  6. 6
    Gary says:

    Are there any question(s) or refutations against Jim’s comment ?

  7. 7
    russell fleenor says:

    How in the world does a person come up with such an ultra catchy great song like this, I mean to me it’s a total mystery. Songs like this are very rare, it’s a unique creation and that’s magic

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