[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

Unpredictable in every possible way

About a month ago Brian May appeared on UK’s Planet Rock radio with an interview. When they asked him to pick his favourite guitar track, his answer was Since You’ve Been Gone. He proceeded showering praise on both Cozy Powell and Ritchie Blackmore:

I suppose you’d call it ‘pop rock’ in a sense, but it’s uncompromising, you know?

You know, people don’t talk about Ritchie Blackmore enough. I don’t know why, but he was such a trail blazer and technically incredible — unpredictable in every possible way. It’s great. That’s what you love, isn’t it? You go to a gig and you want to see something which is not predictable, which is not like just reproducing. So you never knew what you were gonna see when you went to see Purple, when Blackmore was in it, but also Rainbow. You know, this was his own thing and it was wild and dangerous.

The relevant bit of the interview starts at 5:38 (skip automagically). There does not appear anything else purple related, apart from him talking about Queen also having an intimate connection with this sleepy (for most of the time) little Swiss town of Montreux. But if you’re also a Queen fan, the whole thing is rather entertaining and well worth half an hour of your time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQeJjhanpmk?t=5m38s

Ah, and before the flame war starts, he concludes the interview talking about importance of working with people whom you are comfortable to be with.

Thanks to Yvonne Osthausen and Something Else! for the info.



28 Comments to “Unpredictable in every possible way”:

  1. 1
    Andy Travers says:

    So, Brian hasn’t got a good taste in Music …. One of the worst tracks by Rainbow, fact

  2. 2
    henrik h says:

    Nobody is better than Blackmore!

  3. 3
    HZ says:

    Well, they’re not talking about him either because he’s not mainstream (Page, Beck and Clapton actually invented everything related to modern day civilization – Rolling Stone and RRHoF said so); or because they’re trying to analyze his psychological profile, overlooking what Brian has noticed and expressed so concisely.

  4. 4
    Ljubisa Raimovic says:

    ^ But… saying “You know, people don’t talk about Ritchie Blackmore enough. I don’t know why, but he was such a trail blazer and technically incredible — unpredictable in every possible way. It’s great. That’s what you love, isn’t it? You go to a gig and you want to see something which is not predictable, which is not like just reproducing. So you never knew what you were gonna see when you went to see Purple, when Blackmore was in it, but also Rainbow. You know, this was his own thing and it was wild and dangerous.” he is damn right.

  5. 5
    Kjell Görlitz says:

    most folx know that tune is a russ ballard tune that ritchie thought would break ’em on american radio. which it did, too.

  6. 6
    Andy Travers says:

    Indeed it did BUT a massive change in direction, another ‘Hey we better cash in on MTV’ …. Graham Bonnet slotted nicely into this ‘New Era’

  7. 7
    Kjell Görlitz says:

    without those tunes, there probably wouldn’t have been a rainbow after -78. “Spotlight kid” & “Eyes Of The World” weren’t bad tunes.

  8. 8
    Andy Travers says:

    No more than a ‘Handful’ of decent tracks after Dio departed…Doogie picked up baton with the last album BUT alas too late as RB had seemingly already had another change in direction

  9. 9
    Andy Travers says:

    Oh and BTW I went on ‘Every’ Tour …. Thats how much I hated em’

  10. 10
    stoffer says:

    Strange choice indeed?! but I do agree about Ritchie and never knowing what you were going to see when you went to a DP or Rainbow concert, it was the SUSPENSE that made it exciting……………….

  11. 11
    Conrad Pene says:

    Love th solo, who cares if its pop rock, thats a great solo

  12. 12
    Al says:

    @4

    so you are not saying anything by it,just repeating whatever Brian stated already ! thank you for the Enlightenment bro ! lol

  13. 13
    Paul Deblond says:

    Great, though the song is called Since You Been Gone!

  14. 14
    Hornoxe says:

    Brian even did the song on his first solo tour after Queen (with Cozy in the band!)
    http://youtu.be/RLfE3hXl2OM
    Fits him very well as a guitarist and even as a singer, and seems a logical choice since it is kind of the transition from early to later Rainbow, meaning that yes, it is a pop-song, but with that hardrock sound to it. Queen always had a broad spectrum of genres, including harder as well as lighter pop stuff too

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    Huge respect for Brian May on all levels except one, I wish he wouldn’t call himself & Taylor, Queen, but that is another story!
    I suppose he could have picked other Blackmore riffs/songs! I was thinking as to why has he picked a commercial pop/rock song, maybe because Queen at that time & throughout the 80’s were doing the pop/rock thing also! I went off Queen after A Day At The Races, but they did the pop/rock thing well, it is not to my liking that’s all! As we all know, there are many better Blackmore riffs/songs, but it is good to see someone of high profile mentioning the maestro Blackmore! Hooray! Cheers.

  16. 16
    Jeff Summers says:

    This is a wonderful tribute from one of the most innovative guitarists of all time about the most exciting and influential guitarist of all time. Personally, I’m delighted to hear someone of May’s standing, come out and say such insightful stuff about RB’s playing. He has hit the nail right on the head.

    Now, if only Beck, Page or Clapton would do the same… Go-on, you know you want to!!

    BTW, the song is irrelevant, BM knows RB’s body of work. This is probably a link for the radio station to play SYBG

  17. 17
    Roberto says:

    People don’t talk about Tommy Bolin enough as well…with Ritchie the two greatest guitar players ever…far above Page/Clapton/Back in my opinion.

  18. 18
    Nigel Young says:

    What Paul said.

  19. 19
    Les Hedger says:

    I like this track. Down to Earth was one of the best Rainbow albums, after Rising(IMHO).

  20. 20
    Eugenio says:

    Ritchie como bien dices era pura improvisacion,pura magia,y yo me reafirmo y digo q es el genio de la guitarra,el mejor sin duda.solo su caracter acaba con el,no la competencia. como instrumentesta y compositor es unico,el num 1 sin lugar a dudas,magia pura

  21. 21
    Anthony says:

    Rather strange choice of song but personally its a good pop/rock song with a good riff and did Rainbow and Ritchie well. I admire Brian May and his playing..so unique and his little musical inflections in all of Queen’s songs are fabulous. I always thought his playing/style was in some ways a little similar to Ritchie…you always knew he listened to a lot of Ritchie’s playing

  22. 22
    MacGregor says:

    Jeff@16- I know what you are saying, but those other guitarists would have nothing but praise for Blackmore & other guitarists I would think, if they ever talked about them in public! I have noticed over the decades that they (certain musicians) don’t talk about other musicians often, some not at all!
    It wouldn’t be a disrespectful thing, it’s just that they don’t get into mentioning other musicians a lot! I read Robert Fripp praising Blackmore in one of his diary entries a few years back. He also has mentioned Robin Trower a few times & a few others at times over the years, but Fripp himself when ‘pressed’ to comment on other guitarists, doesn’t say too much! He is always very modest of his own ability but very supportive of others!
    It just depends on how one communicates to the press or on social media! Brian May is always respectful in interviews with the press & others! Cheers.

  23. 23
    Drdp says:

    The Legacy & The Legend Of TMIB lives on.
    I’ve always thought of Mr. May as a class act and this just confirms it.

  24. 24
    T says:

    In May’s defense, most of the impressive fretwork is buried in the mix. Give the song a strained, careful listen, particulalry during the refrains.

    The argument that Blackmore did not write the song is also irrelevant. Hendix did not write “All Along the Watchtower,” yet his version is the only one I would listen to.

    In both examples, it is the guitarist’s fingerprints that make the song.

  25. 25
    Moreblack says:

    #17 yeah Roberto yeah allright

  26. 26
    cyclone says:

    No doubt RB admired among his peers..and I agree..unpredictable…of which makes him a cut above the rest…

  27. 27
    Chip says:

    That particular arrangement of Since You’ve Been Gone has many elements of the Queen songs May wrote. Riffy songs with soft passages and dramatic changes of pace. Plus a singer with a big powerful voice. It seems pretty natural that he would like that song a lot because it could have fit nicely on a Queen record.

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    T@-24- I agree, some people make ‘their’ version of a ‘cover’ song standout much more than the original composer or performer in many ways!
    Chip@27- Yes I agree, & as I said earlier, it is that pop/rock thing that Queen were starting to get into at that time, that made me think of the similarities! Cheers.

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2020 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star