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Rock and roll is never perfect

Ritchie Blackmore, House of Blues Chicago, Oct 17 2009; photo: Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night were interviewed for the European edition of Newsweek. This being a very mainstream publication, the interview may sound a bit superficial to a trained ear (we all could probably do without yet another retelling of the gambling house burning down story). There are still interesting bits and pieces, nevertheless.

When you reformed Rainbow for the shows last June, were you disappointed that you weren’t able to invite original singer Ronnie James Dio, who died in 2010?
I hate to say it, but no, I wasn’t. I’d finished with Ronnie a long time ago, and we kept in touch now and again but I went on to other things and he was in other things. We kept it very convivial and that, but I think neither one of us really wanted to get back together. He’s a strong alpha male, and so am I; he wanted to go one way, I wanted to go the other.

Speaking of burning something, you set an amp on fire while performing with Deep Purple at the California Jam in 1974.
That’s right. That was part of our more-musical moments.

What was it like performing to nearly 300,000 people?
The obvious thing was it was nice for the ego. We had to get flown in by helicopter because there was traffic jams all over California to get there. But I’m always weary of doing outside venues with other big bands because there’s a lot of sabotage, believe it or not. It was an old trick to sabotage the other band by taking out half the P.A., but invariably it was the road crew, not the band. We had it done to us so many times, I would always go up the side of the stage and actually listen to each speaker to make sure we had a sound coming out.

Deep Purple co-headlined Cal Jam with Emerson, Lake and Palmer. What do you remember about the late Keith Emerson?
I always loved watching Keith perform. I was a big fan of the Nice [the group Emerson was in before joining ELP]. We used to play the rounds together back in ’68, ’69. To me, he was one of the best showmen and players. A very nice guy. I always liked watching him. Some of the favorite frontmen would be Freddie Mercury [of Queen], Ian Anderson [of Jethro Tull], obviously Jimi Hendrix and Keith Emerson. People like that were so good at doing the show as well as playing the music.

You can read more in Newsweek.

Thanks to BraveWords for the info.

12 Comments to “Rock and roll is never perfect”:

  1. 1
    Kevin Kober says:

    There was a fire?

  2. 2
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Twas ever thus…. Wonnie ‘n’ Witchie… & never the twain shall meet!.

  3. 3
    Tommy H. says:

    I bet it must have been something to watch Keith Emerson play. That guy was like a circus act, people would come out of the show and ask themselves how he did it. That unfortunate motorcycle accident in the early 90ies where he injured his right hand (which is a musician’s nightmare) changed his life terribly. Ever since then he fought against not losing the feel in his hand completely. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he played with the Keith Emersion Band – the album which came of this project is well worth a listen by the way.

  4. 4
    Frank David King says:

    He was in Deep Purple?

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    Good ole Ritchie eh? Always enjoy reading his comments! Interesting comments in regards to Doogie, & yes I agree, the footage I have seen of that Rainbow lineup was not to my liking at all! Stranger In Us All is a wonderful album, however live in concert that band didn’t seem to work, well maybe it did on other performances that I haven’t watched! Also of note is the ‘true’ renaissance music & artists story! I have to agree with the purists on this one, I would much prefer the ‘proper’ music, melodies & lyrics than BN. It has a lot to do with the vocals big time for me! I am sure some of you out there know what I am referring to! Cheers.

  6. 6
    LRT says:

    Doogie made a comment in an interview about how they should really be doing the Rainbow order. Nothing to do with him being out of the picture. I sense she picked up on it and told him, and these remarks are an answer to that. And she could’ve showed him too, because it is on video.

  7. 7
    Rascal says:

    After last years lacklustre (oooh controversial) Rainbow performances, I think RB should be careful throwing comments in Doogies direction – RB should have picked a better band, maybe even changed the guitarist (oooh again).

  8. 8
    Anthony says:

    A bit surprising ( or is it? ) that Ritchie is basically saying that Doogie was a bad singer ( for Rainbow ). I thought he did a good job..in studio / live and Stranger In Us All is a solid album.

  9. 9
    Bob Worm says:

    I am surprised at RB not being happy with Doogie too as I saw them in London in 1995 and it was an amazing gig and I was quite pleased with Doogie. However I am also pleased with Ronnie in this latest incarnation of Rainbow too, but I have often dreamed of the ultimate legacy concert for Rainbow with all living Rainbow vocalists stepping up for a section of the show and singing their own songs, as no one does GB like GB and to be fair, no one does JLT like JLT. Doogie can do his own material from the band and Ronnie Romero can happily do the Dio years, as sadly of course RJD cant now he is dead.

    To be fair of the past vocalists he could have picked to do the job, my money would have still been on JLT, who despite his detractors on here, can still sing well for his age. Not like IG, who i am praying will be good enough for the Manchester gig I am going to and taking five mates with me too.

    The last time I saw them in Manchester, he was on form that night and the band rocked.

    Now I am not like the purists and die hard’s on here, who whinge about RB not shredding or it not being 1976 or for those that hate JLT for saving the band in 1990 / 1991 and doing quite a good job of it too, all things considered. We would not have had DP for the last 25 + years or still if this had not been the case, as its for sure they would have packed it in without a new singer, because RB would have given up sooner and with utter respect to JL, IP and RG, they took a long time to show some balls and effort to move forward with SM and that needed IG back in the band and that only happend and would have only happend with RB still in the band for the 25th year.

    Such a tangled web indeed. So given IP’s recovery from his stoke and the general age of all of them from RB through GH / DC and the main Purple guys still doing it, we are indeed lucky to be going into the start of what will no doubt be one final year or concerts and records from DP and Rainbow, as for sure after this, its all over. Its as much about the anticipation and build up for me, than the pay off at the gigs (its not the kill, its the thrill of the chase. lol )

    Thats still not sunk in for me properly yet and I suspect that is the same for many on here. I do not know of any other legacy that i have cherished (apart from James Bond) that has lasted 50 years and endured all the changes and twists and turns and different bands and lines ups and of course significant deaths of key personnel that came out of DP and has been around this long and will leave a huge hole in my life for the years to come at the age of 46.

    Thank goodness we have the recordings and videos / live gigs on record to go back to time and time again. Cause no matter how many of them I go to see, a cover band with no original member does not cut it for me.

    Hahah, just thought the irony of that is, the three guys who will probably keep the flame flying the longest and be out there still singing the songs is JLT, DW and GH. The only actual real time members that can still do it well live. Thats got to be a bitter pill for the purists and die hards to swallow!!

    I suspect the reason RB still toured for almost three years with Doogie is down to the farce of trying to find suitable new vocalists for DP, before they had IG back and after scapegoating JLT. They went through lots of try outs before JLT was hired and as no one did get the job and then after Joe did to then be fired after pressure from the record company to get IG back for the 25th year, It must have been a case of not going down that road again and getting rid of Doogie to get in another new Rainbow singer and all the hassle with that and besides he was now moving towards BN with Candy and the rest is history.

    So lets hope they all go out with a bang this year and we can sail on into a future with a last year of experiencing the greatest bands in the world for the very last time as a fitting parting memory to appreciate for the long years to come 🙂

  10. 10
    Ian Gillans Pants says:

    These aren’t the ‘droids you’re looking for……………move along………….move along.

  11. 11
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Actually, at the time, RB thought Doogie was a good singer, that’s why RB hired him. I’ve read interviews of that era, so I know what I’m talking about. TMIB likes change, even though he is nostalgic. He went through reunions with both Gillan & JLT that ultimately went by the wayside. So he has learnt his lesson.

    RB is an old man now & has no desire to wade through shit again…. Read between the lines… what he said about Doogie in this interview is simply his way of stating that he has no desire to get together again with previous co-workers. RB has a young family now & that’s what his life will centre around for the last decade or so of his existence. Stop hassling him!.
    Smiles to ya.

  12. 12
    Hopkin Bopkin says:

    I like Doogie’s voice and charisma very much. So dramatic and soulful. Last live version of Mistreated 97 was amazing. And Doogie looked like an elf musketeer then) With his funny nose and mimics. Great artist. I think it’s all about Candice and jealousy.

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