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The moody bastard

Cameron Crowe’s official site The Uncool has a reprint of his article in Rolling Stone #184 from 1975, based on an interview he did with Ritchie Blackmore just a couple of days after the first Rainbow single was penned in the studio.

Jacksonville, Florida – Ritchie Blackmore’s face fell into a tortured grimace. “Fucking hell,” he growled through a mouthful of steak. “This tastes like burnt rubber!” Fuming, he sank a fork into the meat and flung it across the dining room of the high-rent restaurant. The maitre d’ hustled up to the Deep Purple guitarist.

“Is something wrong with your steak, sir?”

Blackmore looked down at his now meatless plate. “What steak?”

“The steak you’ve just thrown across the room.”

“Oh yes, of course.” Blackmore smiled innocently. “The steak was fine. It’s the baked potato that’s a bit… well, overcooked.”

“Very well, sir. I’ll find you a new one.”

“No, no. Don’t worry about it.” Blackmore picked up the potato and chucked it into the kitchen door. “Could I have my check please?”

Continue reading on The Uncool.

On a side note, this is how none other but Rolling Stone itself described Deep Purple in 1975:

Throughout Europe, the Far East, Scandinavia and Australia, Purple’s relentless power riffing has held a massive following ever since their first 1968 hit, “Hush.” In America, where the band soared to supergroup status two years ago with the success of “Smoke on the Water,” their newest album – Stormbringer – is already a gold addition to their nine-LP catalog on Warner Bros. According to a company spokesman, no one, not even Elton John, the Allman Brothers Band or Led Zeppelin, sells more records worldwide. […] After a turbulent seven-year existence, Deep Purple have made their home at the top of the heavy-metal heap.

‘One hit wonder’, my ass…

Thanks to Andrey Gusenkov for the info.

48 Comments to “The moody bastard”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    Excellent article, Blackmore at his best, classic! I remember the wiping guitarists off the floor comment from way back then! Ha! Cheers!

  2. 2
    Lee Jones says:

    I love the guy’s guitar playing but that was just twatish behaviour.

  3. 3
    al says:

    it got old some 40 years ago his antics and him being moody and the fact that he never smiles !Nothing revealing musically!

  4. 4
    KlausVonScribe says:

    I’ve never forgotten this interview…it was exactly as I remembered it, only my memory has then Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller sitting a few booths over from Blackmore when he threw the steak. 40 years is a long time so I could be wrong about that part. I also remember I was a very impressionable teen at the time, and that interview had a great impact on me as I had just discovered Deep Purple, and the California Jam thing was still the most amazing performance I had ever seen.

    Either way, “memory lane” is so great…plus, again, remembering it this well shows me I’m not on the threshold of Alzheimer’s!!

  5. 5
    Scoot says:

    I remember reading that interview with Ritchie. It was a reprint in one of the Indianapolis, IN newspapers. At the time I thought the imaggary of Ritchie flinging the steak across the room was brilliant. That was when I was 17. Now I think it’s an assinine thing to do. Time change. Still a great guitar player. Just a bit of a dickhead at times.

  6. 6
    Boswell's Johnson says:

    Love his music, but the man was a first rate tool.

  7. 7
    Moreblack says:

    Hahahahaha I knew that interview allready,Ritchie is a real gas,all of us would like to be he one day ha hahaha

  8. 8
    errol arias says:

    great guitarist. But an animal when it comes to dealing with their peers .. A shame if his talent is not accompanied by a pleasant personality .. I can not imagine Jon Lord, Roger Glover or Steve Morse throwing a piece of meat in the air at a restaurant just because do not like the taste that this had …. Blackmore is truly a detestable person. Great guitarrist he was indeed, but a despicable personality. IMHO

  9. 9
    cyclone says:

    Apparently the tossed steak and potato struck a RRHOF judge in the nogg’in….

  10. 10
    Bo says:

    I was on tour with Ritchie a few times. Everything from a true nightmare to heaven on earth. I love him and miss him the R&R stage big time. He and Gillan are quite the same as I see it. That might be the biggest problem for them not to play together as they should.

  11. 11
    Jeff says:

    How do you people know what kind of “person” he is? If you had camera’s or someone to write a story for your classic life moments/ tantrums what would that look like? There are some musicians and artists who’s pendulum swings a bit wider than the norm. Judge the guy on his music, not his interactions. A good peronality is a bonus, but not a given. This guy had a very strange pathway earlier on in music, with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis. Sutch etc..etc.. No one gets to hear the horror stories of how many times he must have been ripped off in his career either. It can drive one a bit insane I would imagine. Jeff Beck and Leslie West can be a bit volitale too. I spoke with him in a lobby of a hotel in Worcester MA 1991 ish (his birthday too) and he could not have been any more polite. This stuff about being an “animal” detestable” “tool” “doesnt smile enough” is just so lame.

  12. 12
    Aussie Paul says:

    He probably threw his food in frustration,knowing that he had to share the stage with Glenn Hughes for his final tour before bowing out!!
    “Why the hell did i get rid of Gillan & Glover??…Damn this steak!!!”
    Aussie from Dublin.

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    First rule of a printed article, never believe everything in it or even all of it! Who knows what really happened? Still, Deep Purple were known back then as a “Who Do They Think They Are” band! Ego’s out of control at times & Blackmore wasn’t the only one! That’s timid behaviour compared to some people, The Who (Keith Moon in particular) would have trashed the building!
    There is always sarcasm & tongue in cheek with Blackmore, so who can tell. The ‘blow any guitarist off stage” or “wipe the floor with any guitarist” is a perfect example! Blackmore has always been blown out by Jeff Beck, Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) & Robert Fripp & many other guitarists! He loves winding people up with comments & practical jokes! Don’t take it literally!
    cyclone @ 9- Ha Ha, exactly, good one!

  14. 14
    Deb says:

    @9: And maybe this judge also heard about the screaming match between Ritchie and Yul Brynner at the Swingos Hotel in Cleveland, haha:

    “It was not a businessman’s hotel,” Swingos says. “It was not a place to stay if you had an important meeting early in the morning. I got a call one night at 2 a.m. I was home in my bed in Brecksville. My night manager told me that two guests were having an altercation up on some floor. I got in my car and drove down there.

    “I get there and go up to the floor. There’s Yul Brynner — who’s doing a preview of Broadway-bound show ‘Odyssey’ and Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple having this screaming match. Brynner was complaining that he had two shows the next day and that he needed to get some sleep. I asked Ritchie if he couldn’t be more respectful to Mr. Brynner. Then Blackmore called him ‘a little French gypsy.’

    Deep Purple had performed their show at Public Hall to a sell-out crowd, and they were having an after party celebration. I think I moved Brynner to another floor.”


  15. 15
    Brad DeMoranville says:

    I too remember this article. It was a spoiled, over-indulged 70s rock star thing to do.

  16. 16
    Deb says:

    What about the TV sets that were tossed out of hotel windows by Keith Moon and Led Zeppelin? Much worse than Ritchie flinging a steak and baked potato across the room. Someone could have been injured or killed from those falling TVs, not to mention the mess they would have created after they hit the ground.

  17. 17
    Svante Axbacke says:

    Moon and Bonham were idiots too. Just like RB, brilliant musicians but idiots.

  18. 18
    MacGregor says:

    Svante, lumping poor old Blackers in with Moon & Bonham, that is a bit harsh. Although I do recall that Blackmore did drive a limousine into a pool somewhere. Or maybe that was Moon or Bonham or all of them at different times in different locations! I seem to recall reading (if it is true that is) that Blackmore never had a license, he couldn’t drive at all, but I thought the gist of that story was the fact that he couldn’t drive & tried to & the limo ended up in the pool! I may be wrong there, it is a distant memory thing.
    It is hard to believe half these stories, but the ego’s & excessive behaviour of the ‘rock star’ was rather immature at times, especially in the early to mid 70’s! Cheers.

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    Deb@14- excellent article about Swingos Hotel. I always liked Yul Brynner as an actor & there is nothing worse than partying people being irresponsible towards other people who are trying to sleep! I can imagine both Blackmore & Brynner not backing down at all, classic! “A little French Gypsy” eh? If only Brynner could see Blackers these days, I am sure he would have a good laugh no doubt! Cheers.

  20. 20
    Andrey Barabanshchikov says:

    Isn’t it too strong, fellas? RB idiot? Svante you must be one of those who didn’t do anything silly. Never seen ’em before. I’m envious.
    Jeff Beck, Martin Barre, Fripp blew out MIB? What is the the criteria of outplaying someone? More notes per second? Ability to play with the teeth? Breaking guitar into more pieces than a night before?
    I can’t understand what’ s so extraordinary about his behaviour? We seem to believe into the myths we have been told for years. Practical jokes of his? Remember yourselves and tell yourselves that you have been an ideal person since you were born. You never were moody or cruel or mean. Of course, you weren’t. Someone else was.

  21. 21
    Svante Axbacke says:

    I’m far from perfect but I don’t drive cars into pools, motorcycles into hotel lobbies or toss food in restaurants. I have a two year old at home who is into food throwing though.

  22. 22
    Deeperpurps says:

    Rock star bad behavior was a very 70’s phenomenon. The antics of Keith Moon, John Bonham, Joe Walsh, Keith Richards, Ozzy, et al have all been well publicized, mythologized, etc…In fact we still hear about them fairly often as those myths and tales are perpetuated by the music media’s disproportionate attention on the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Who, Rolling Stones, etc, etc…….Whereas, we have to dust off an almost 40 year old interview to be reminded of Blacker’s shenanigans, as you won’t find many publications or media in any other form reporting on his or other members of Purple’s behavior in the same way. Purple after all are simply “one hit wonders”………

  23. 23
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I d rather call it eccentric behaviour.

    An idiot would not be able to do the things he accomplished.

  24. 24
    al says:

    I think this is one of the best of Ritchie and you probably seen it,what makes it hilarious is Lemmy telling the story:

    Lemmy On Ritchie Blackmore

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    Andrey@20- yes, Blackmore was ‘blown out’ by those guitarists, meaning he was very impressed by them, astounded by their playing etc. Jeff Beck has always been his favourite player apparently. It isn’t about ‘outplaying someone’ or ‘more notes per second’, where did you get those ideas from? Cheers!

  26. 26
    IanGillansPants says:

    Here we go again…………this site again finding any excuse to slag Blackmore off. Keep digging, I’m sure there’s plenty of more crap around you can come up with. Even Gillan might have been a naughty boy at some stage. Oh, wait a minute, it wouldn’t do that to St. Ian would it? Must be a slow news week.

  27. 27
    gr8gonzo says:

    Yeah yeah yeah we have all heard the horror stories over the years. So far down the track who know what to believe anymore? I dont doubt he could be tedious and precious at times, but who wasnt back then? I cant blame him for not suffering fools gladly.

    As an aside I know a person that has had professional dealing with RB over the past few years. When I asked about what it was like – knowing the legend / persona – I was told that he was lovely, professional, amusing without a hint of ego. Business was done over a couple of bottles of wine and was very agreeable.

    So – who knows? Maybe we shouldnt be so judgemental.

  28. 28
    Jeff Summers says:

    Ritchie obviously acted out the Rock Star myth as many (including Moon and Bonham) had done before. However, they were rarely sober and both had serious addiction problems. Despite their disease’s, they never treated their fellow band mates with the disrespect that Ritchie did.

    I will be forever grateful to this guitar genius for inspiring me and many others to become a musician. However on a personal level, he is by far the most arrogant (he would say shy) individual…

  29. 29
    Bigger AL says:

    It still is amazing to me how RB is still the most talked about member or ex member of the band! Where’s the articles of Gillan acting like a total ass? One must remember all these people were very childish,but could get away with anything,it happens to this day.Does the name Kanye ring a bell? Cheers to all!! Think what you will, Blackers always will be the larger than life character,thats why we all still talk about him!!

  30. 30
    Deb says:

    @19: I wonder if Ritchie remembers this incident? I was curious as to why Ritchie called Yul a “Little French Gypsy” but it turns out that Brynner once sang gypsy songs in Parisian nightclubs. He also recorded an album of gypsy songs in 1967. Perhaps Ritchie had listened to this album at some point before their altercation? Now Ritchie has a band that credits gypsy music as one of their influences…..and they are singing about them, too!

  31. 31
    cyclone says:

    I can only assume RB is what he is because time and time again he read how great the flavor of the month was…. only to be ignored. He only gets “out played” in print..not on stage. Just like his x-band mates….

  32. 32
    Svante Axbacke says:

    I agree that IG gets away with a lot of stuff way too easily. DC, GH, RB, JLT say and do stupid things and are criticised for it. But when IG do stuff like that recent backstage video with the strippers, which IMO was the most embarrassing thing any DP member has ever done, people seem to love it. It was a ba idea to start with, and even if one liked the idea, it went on way too long for it to be funny.

  33. 33
    al says:

    @ 32 you have to loosen up a little bit Svante cmon.But yeah,Gillan actually it pretty erratic in the 80’s and always drunk,forgetting lyrics and struggling with his voice,It is actually in the documentary and told by his band mates,but there is still something genuine and nice about Gillan persona and Blackers well he is Blackers ! But hey whatever ! I guess it is rock’N’roll !

  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    Yes, the embarrassing stripper thing from Gillan did have that ‘dirty old man’ thing about it! As I said in my comment at the time, those chicks would be way too much for the old man these days! Time he grew up me thinks, but some males are like that!
    Gillan lyrics at times give him away also, not very clever at times, they can say many things lyrics! Blackmore & Gillan obviously ‘see’ a bit of the opposite in each other, hence why they loathe & detest each other so much! Interesting thing is at the start of MK2, they both shared a room together & got along rather well apparently. What is that saying “it’s all mirrored”! Cheers.

  35. 35
    MacGregor says:

    Deb@ 30- thanks for that Yul Brinner info, wonderful! I thought Blackmore calling him a Gypsy would have been for a good reason.
    He is a switched on man is the Blackmore! Wonderful music it is indeed, Brynner was a class actor, apparently he performed the King & I on stage over 4,000 times! That is insane! So many if not all the great actors were theater actors, unlike the shite actors of this generation! Cheers!
    I found this info at the obituary for him at the Los Angeles Times from 1985~ Cheers again!

    “Born Taidje Khan on July 11, 1917, on the island of Sakhalin off northern Japan, Brynner was the son of a Mongolian mining engineer and a Gypsy mother who died at his birth. His father was born in Switzerland and later secured Swiss citizenship and changed the family name to Brynner.

    For the first eight years of his life, young Yul lived in China, and then was sent by his father to live with his maternal grandmother in Paris, but she died soon afterward. He attended a Paris school for a time, but dropped out at the age of 13 and joined a Gypsy troupe as a traveling minstrel.
    He worked as an acrobat in a French circus for three years, performing on the high trapeze. But after a bad injury, Brynner turned from the circus to the stage.
    It was acting that brought Brynner to America, touring in a struggling Shakespearean troupe on college campuses. He added English and some Russian (learned from other actors) to his collection of languages that included French, Japanese and Hungarian while playing small parts and driving the troupe’s bus–all for $25 a week”.
    Some Classic footage of Brynner performing ‘traditional’ songs!

  36. 36
    LRT says:

    Eccentric behavior = idiotic = to each their own unless it harms

  37. 37
    Dave says:

    I think the reason Blackers is discussed as much as he is, is because he was the co-foundation along with Jon who helped bring an amazing hard rock band into being. He may have smashed guitars, pissed people off but the fact remains he is/was a strong influential player who will be remembered in the hard rock/metal world for many a year to come. I am a dedicated 68- 75 Purple and Rainbow 75-1981 enthusiast who regularly listens to his playing on album and bootleg. He had good and bad nights,but there is a magic to his style that is undeniable. People compare many a player to him, and it is pointless, as they simply play differently than he does, and it is irrelevant . Morse may be an amazing player, but the magic of Purple via Ritchie simply is not there. Slagging this guy is pointless, just enjoy what is still available to listen to and carry on….

  38. 38
    Andrey Barabanshchikov says:

    Fellas! I’d like to call all of you my dear like-minded persons though!
    We may live in different countries and speak various languages. We may be stubborn or easy to get along with, brutal or languid, straight or sly or whatever. Some of us are lawyers but good men at the same time. We can be radicals or conservatives or anti globalists or communists or hippie or pagan. Or vegan. Or even pagan vegan or vegan pagan.
    But all of us have something in common. At least once a day or more we think of the Band we love. Once a day or more we listen to their songs. Once a day or more we are here on thehighwaystar.com.
    As Russian Christmas is two weeks later (we are always behind the West) I really want to send my sincere and kind wishes to all of you regardless of your location.
    Let there be purple light spread all over the Universe and warm up your lives! May happiness and joy conquer your hearts and smiles accompany you wherever you are!
    You became a virtual part of my life and I’m absolutely happy about this. Let me raise this glass of chilled Russian 80 proof tea to give you my deep respect.
    Dear editors! You do a fantastic job. Carry on!
    Merry Christmas! Deep Purple is the answer!
    Thank you.

  39. 39
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    I love these stories. The Yule Brenner one is truly a classic. That was the way it was back then for the extreme Rockers. They pushed the proverbial envelope on stage and in their public life. They were bigger than life then. This is what made for different legendary reputations that were recorded and noted, giving these characters character, beyond just being musicians. It is what put faces on the name of bands. There is no such thing as ‘bad publicity’. The only thing bad with publicity is when there is ‘none’. Purple fell off the radar due to dodging any and all public appearances for far too long. Ritchie may state he doesn’t care one way or the other, but he kept his name alive over the years by being the eccentric weirdo that he is. His long time running with BN, wearing his pointy little hat and little green tights has actually been a winning endeavor for him. Much more exposed to the public than Purple have been for years, even though they don’t tour near as much. They produced many albums and promote much better. Even as much as their genre isolates them from the Rock World, TMIB’s own name has pulled in many folks into the Renaissance/Folk music world and Ritchie is getting quite a bit of notoriety for it. With Purple finally receiving some well deserved spotlight (except here in the US) from the release of the wonderful NOW WHAT album and some attention due to being nominated twice for the RRHOF, Ritchie should announce a new Hard Rock project and put a band together, record an album and tour it. If handled properly, it could be a huge worldwide explosion of interest and successful rekindling of the awareness of this great band. Yes, in a sense a kind of team effort where everybody wins. He owns up to his Purple connection. Purple owns up to his connection. Communication lines open up. BN is discussed openly. Ritchie’s new Rock band is discussed. Purple maintain the nuclear position and everybody wins…..

    Nice fantasy huh?


  40. 40
    MacGregor says:

    Tracy, the pointy little hat & his little green tights image, oh how Yul Brynner would be grinning no doubt! You can just imagine fast forwarding 40 years from that argument they had in the Swingos Hotel at Cleveland!
    Classic, I can’t get that image out of my head, Blackmore : “your just a little French Gypsy” instant fast forward of 30-40 years, Brynner; “hmmmmmm, yes & what are you now”? Something like that anyway. Cheers.

  41. 41
    Deb says:

    @35: Thanks for the additional Yul Brynner info! Nowadays Ritchie would probably just sit down with Yul and have a lengthy discussion about gypsy music.

    @39: I’m hoping for a 2014 nomination and a 2015 induction for DP! The 2015 induction ceremony is supposed to be in Cleveland, the best place for it! The museum opened its doors in 1995 so it will be celebrating its 20th anniversary that year, too.

  42. 42
    al says:

    @34 not to argue with you man,but I love Gillan lyrics,I mean it is mostly Gillan/Glover,and the pun,humor in it,if I have to criticize them,it is the intellectual part of it could be too much sometimes.

    Merry X Mass to very one and Happy New year to all Purple family and fans.I hope for more music in 2014 and a Re-remaster of Perfect Strangers for the 30th Anniversary and a new album ! It doesn’t hurt to dream anyway !

    Cheers Al

  43. 43
    Henrik says:

    – Anyone who tries to live up to an image is basically a clown. Anyone who is in awe of such a person is an idiot!

  44. 44
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I watched the Born Again doc by an amateur on YT.

    It is ok to watch but the quality of sound and image leaves alot to desire for.

    Anyway, 1 of the things that come up is how Gillan TRASHED Bill Ward’s car during the sessions for the album.

    I m sure there must be more stories of craziness about Gillan, so again focussing on Ritchie as THE one that does these kinda things is indeed quite remarkable.


  45. 45
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Nobody here is stating that Ritchie was the wrong doer back in the day when they were young. Rockers do that. Gillan was no angel for sure. They just didn’t capitalize on their actions like others did…. ‘Ozzy for one’. Nothing wrong with a little piss and vinegar at the right time. That’s what makes or made good stories and historical moments. Like the camera smashing at the ‘California Jam’. PERFECT!


  46. 46
    purrfect stranger says:

    You guys forgot the time Ritchie was with Cozy and they sprayed some hotel person with the fire extinguisher. I heard Cozy tell the story on some interview somewhere. No matter how hard others try to discount the importance of Blackmore he is an ICON of the Hard Rock Spectrum. There is a reason why he said that he wipes the floor with most guitarists. Because he does. Satriani maybe be technically better and so might be Van Halen but during the Mark Two years and the Dio Years of Rainbow no guitarist will ever eclipse the greatness of Ritchie Blackmore. Like Sinatra in the day, like Johnny Carson on Tonight, and just like Brando in his time tbere are some people that are irreplaceable and TMIB is one of those people like it or not BAD ATTITUDE and all.

  47. 47
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Great Points @46. Doesn’t get anymore real than that. TMIB was without a doubt, the best player in the 60’s, 70’s and most of the 80’s. Yes some hugely talented have followed and we are blessed that they have, because we have been blessed with so much incredible music later on thanks the Pavers of the past. Plus, Ritchie still has it, unfortunately refuses to give us any. Thanks to the followers in his footsteps, we are not short of any good music by any means.


  48. 48
    Xavier says:

    Just a young, attention seeking guitar giant acting out and saying and doing really stupid shit. Still love the guy.

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