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Portraits of Rainbow

portraits_of_rainbow book cover; image courtesy of Rufus Publications

Rufus is gearing up for another photo book — this time it’s Portraits of Rainbow — The Dio Years with words by Geoff Barton.

From the publisher blurb:

Portraits of Rainbow – The Dio Years book is a photographic celebration of Ritchie Blackmore’s supergroup, formed in 1975 by the guitarist as he left Deep Purple and recruited four members of the band Elf, including singer Ronnie James Dio. However, the band really took off when Blackmore recruited Cozy Powell, Jimmy Bain and Tony Carey and recorded the seminal album “Rising” in 1976. Sounds writer Geoff Barton remembers: “I marvelled at the fist-thunderin’ maelstrom depicted on the cover, a pulse-poundin’ paintin’ by Ken (Kiss, Manowar) Kelly. I also offered the following description of the album’s musical content: THERMO-NUCLEAR ROCK’N’ROLL!” Rainbow were underway and although this less commercial variant of the band that went on to conquer the rock world in the 1980s was relatively short-lived it remains, for most fans, the definitive sound and image of Rainbow with the combination of Blackmore, Dio and Powell creating a powerful, progressive rock band. It all came to an end in 1979 when Ritchie decided to take the band in a new, more commercial direction.

The book features hundreds of classic and unseen, carefully restored, black and white images of Rainbow at play and playing live at a series of stunning, unforgettable shows. Wendy Dio has also supplied a range of personal, candid shots from this time. Legendary writer and journalist Geoff Barton has written an introductory text based on his
professional experience with Ritchie and the band in the 1970s.

The book is 230mm square, case-bound, 240 pages, printed on luxury 170gsm matt-coated paper. The book comes with a fold out poster and is presented in a black slipcase with a gold foil logo. The main edition comes in 666 numbered copies and sells for £55 plus shipping.

The first two hundred orders ship with a FREE WHITE STRAT GEEPIN BADGE worth £6.95.

In addition to this, a much larger, ultra-limited Leather and Metal Edition measuring 375mm square and presented in recycled leather and a hand welded aluminium metal slipcase with a screen printed logo in a run of 50 numbered copies. This will sell for £500 and includes a FREE replica of The Pirate Sound T-shirt worn by band members at the time. The books will go on sale on Friday June 23rd at 3pm UK time and will feature a 10% pre-order discount if ordered before July 31st 2023. The books will ship worldwide in September 2023.

There will be several editions/bundles, ranging from £49.50 to £900.00, plus shipping. The pre-orders are now open.

35 Comments to “Portraits of Rainbow”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Brings back memories!

    I have my qualms about Rainbow’s Dio years (or any other Rainbow era for that matter) due to the musical restriction of it all, but one thing the three different Dio line-ups (Elf + Bain/Carey + Daisly/Stone) sure always did: look cool. Daisley and Stone were likely the more accomplished players, but Bain and Carey had more stage presence and gung-ho attitude.

    When I saw the first promo pics of Ritchie with the Elf musicians, their moody gazes made me scratch my head, these guys sure didn’t look as if they were all too happy/proud playing with what in 1975 must have been the #1 living hard rock guitarist in the world. As if they had known what was coming for them …

    What would have happened, had Dio continued with Ritchie in 1979 (or vice versa, had Ritchie not been bitten by the AOR bug) I sometimes ask myself? Cozy would have likely stayed on, they would have definitely NOT cracked America with their music (the image and music too dark, no real appeal to a female audience etc), there would have also been no Dio era Black Sabbath and no Dio (the band) or only much, much later. (A DP reunion would have ended Rainbow in any case I think sometime in the mid-80ies.) But I guess they would have had another two or three meaningful albums in them, cementing their cult status as forefathers of melodic fantasy metal. Some (not all) of Dio’s ideas with Sabbath and his own bands wouldn’t have been out of place on a successor album to Long Live Rock’n’Roll. Carey’s songwriting skills, which he later developed on his own, could have given some valuable input as well and Daisley/Powell could have forged quite a rhythm section between themselves had they had more time to develop. We might have heard both the Perfect Strangers and the Knocking On Your Back Door riffs with Ronnie’s overtly dramatic doomsday vocal lines, who knows?

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Supergroup?????????????????????? Comical indeed. No matter what band you slap together, it will end up as a Supergroup, somewhere in the future, somewhere in time, the supergroups will come & get ya! Cheers.

  3. 3
    Svante Axbacke says:

    Who is buying these overpriced Rufus books?

  4. 4
    MacGregor says:

    @ 1 – ‘melodic fantasy metal’ now there is a saying that I don’t think I have ever heard before. Are you sure you do not write for one of those glam metal magazines Uwe? Because if you don’t then maybe a career change is in order. We have been here before regarding what your ‘expectations’ of what ‘classic’ Rainbow should or could have been. No harm though in getting the crystal ball out. “they would have definitely NOT cracked America with their music (the image and music too dark, no real appeal to a female audience etc)” I don’t think that would have mattered at all, look at the other ‘metal'(and I don’t consider classic Rainbow metal at all) bands at that time & moving through into the 80’s. Female popularity? How many females did the other bands have in their respective audience numbers from that era? Too dark? Never, that era had many bands representing that genre with darker than dark themes. I am now covering up my crystal ball! The classic Rainbow did well indeed. I don’t care that they didn’t make it bigger in the USA. It is what it is. I thought it was a good thing & more in certain aspects. I just took it for what it was & enjoyed it, still do. Just another rock band trying their hand at whatever they come up with. Were there too many expectations placed on The Man in Black at that time? Most ‘iconic’ ex band members from different bands do have that hanging over them. We can be a hard bunch at times us rock music aficionados. I am now instructing the hordes of rabid fans to put away the guillotine, again. Cheers

  5. 5
    Dr. Bob says:

    The term supergroup refers to a band that is formed by musicians who already had hit records and were known to fans. So Beck, Bogart & Appice were a supergroup but the Beatles were not.

  6. 6
    Scott W says:

    Me and a couple fellow fans for one. All you so called Uber fans don’t!?! I thought we were all on the same page. I’m not buying the 500 pound version. I have to draw the line somewhere! I ordered the regular version $102 after shipping. They are excellent books. The DP visual history comes out at the end of next month. That was expensive but should be the DP book to end all books! And speaking of books, what happened to Simon Robinsons fire in the sky Machine Head book and the berry plumber photograph book? I paid for those and got my money back they move so slow it’s unbelievable at least Rufus stone release of stuff you don’t have to buy it but at least they do it they have a passion for good music.

  7. 7
    sidroman says:

    you’re the Purple historian here. I trust your knowledge. Earlier today I was at the VAMC for an appointment, I’m a US Navy vet 89-93, I was wearing a Mk1 Deep Purple t shirt, another older vet Navy from 71-75, saw me and told me he saw Purple with ELO on the bill in the 70’s. When I asked him what year he said maybe 72-73, I asked him if ELF was on the bill and he said no. He also mentioned seeing Uriah Heep back in the 70’s and they were a favorite band of his. Speaking of the Purple and ELO show, he said he preferred ELO to Purple! The bastard!, just kidding lol. Uwe I know Purple and ELO toured together, but I thought that was in the mk3 days and with Elf on the tour as well. Can you help with this question? Thanks in advance!

  8. 8
    Ivica says:

    Rainbow as a band ( Ronnie James Dio era) is a continuation of the DP story. It’s not the same… but the closest… It’s a shame that the line up formation Blackmore-Dio-Lord-Paice (and bass player) was never created. Especially the first album from 1975 where they are three of the five best Rainbow songs of all time “Man On The Silver Mountain”,”Catch The Rainbow” and The Temple Of The King (fourth and fifth are “Stargazer and Gates of Babylon”).I am of the opinion that Lord and Paice played, it looked better

  9. 9
    John G says:

    ELO supported Purple Mk2 early 72 on a handful of European dates and Mk3 with ELF in the States late 74

  10. 10
    BreisHeim says:

    That’s right Scott.
    I’m one of the geezers who got up early and ordered a copy right away.
    Rufus does make very nice books for the fans.
    Spend your money on things you like, and when the house is full to the top, die happy.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    This kinda belongs here:


    I always dig Tony Carey interviews, love his „damning with faint praise“, yet “trying to be diplomatic about it“ comments on his incredulity of ‘Rising’ becoming such a cult album, LOL!

    Sidroman, thanks for the accolades, but there are quite a few people better versed in this stuff than I. That said a quick research seems to indicate – here I go risking my life, doubting the word of a Navy vet!!! – that an Mk II US gig with ELO in 1973 is highly unlikely (and in 1972 impossible) for the following reasons:

    – ELO didn‘t tour the US before June 1973. By that time DP Mk II we’re wrapping up the last leg of their final North American tour and packing for their second visit to Japan where it all ignominiously ended. In June ’73 only a handful of DP US gigs still offered both bands the opportunity to play together, but there is no evidence for this, the opening acts on Mk ll‘s last North American Tour were mostly Fleetwood Mac and Rory Gallagher.

    – That said, ELO did open for DP already in 1972, but only in Europe! Reportedly, the bands got on so well together, it formed a friendship that lasted for years and well into ELO cracking the US singles market a few years later.

    Recommended additional reading:



    The memories of your PT Boat buddy must have therefore mixed somehow, Sidroman!


    – In 1974, there was at least one gig where ELO and Elf would play WITHOUT Deep Purple.

    – Glenn Hughes was slated by Don Arden to be the original ELO bassist in 1971; according to Glenn he was in the band “for about two weeks“. It‘s not as unlikely a choice as it seems: The first Trapeze album with its artsy, moody bluesy pop was closer to early ELO than DP, Glenn‘s voice could have done wonders for ELO‘s stacked backing vocals approach and, of course, Glenn and Jeff Lynne were both Brummies.

    PS: Danke Sidroman, vielen, vielen Dank, I have now fallen into disfavor with the whole of the US Navy and should be as popular there as a U-Boot Kommandant in a lifeboat circa 1943, whose damaged sub had to be given up after sinking half a convoy … KAMERAD !!!


  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The Rufus stuff is expensive, granted, but well-made in photo print, paper and binding. They are also printed in small numbers so the pricing isn‘t THAT surprising. You have to make a buck somewhere.

    I don‘t buy them all, but some. But if truth be told I tend to leaf through them once upon receipt and then they are relegated to a book shelf for years and years. I have some from Purple, Ritchie, Whitesnake and Judas Priest. The newish Purple one is on order, I think I‘ll pass on the Rainbow Dio Years one.

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    A good interview with Tony Carey, as he says it is what it is. I thought for a moment that Rising was going to be mentioned as a iconic ‘occult’ album. Ha ha ha. Get the Ouija board out Ritchie. Cheers.

  14. 14
    Nicola says:

    There’s truth and there’s fiction established as fact. Dio didn’t leave Rainbow, he was sacked. Unfortunately his ego got the better of him & after Ritchie was on the front cover of a U.S. magazine & Ronnie wasn’t Ronnie squared up to Ritchie. Blackmore walked away like an adult & spoke to the band’s management. Ronnie was fired. The story about “Rainbow moving in a more commercial direction,” was the excuse Dio used as his ego couldn’t admit to being fired. Great singer & a perfect diplomat but a megalomaniac. Wasn’t the last time his ego got the better of him either. Ask Tony Iommi.

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Nicola, it’s pretty irrelevant whether Ronnie was fired or walked away; by 1978 the once existing musical bond between Ritchie and Ronnie had been irreparably severed:

    – The US tour opening for REO Speedwagon had been grueling, yet failed to entice the masses. Rainbow got tons of exposure, but little to show for it. Their stage act had become stagnant, they were still essentially playing the On Stage repertoire which had grown long in the tooth.

    – RJD, for all his vocal prowess, didn’t really have a gravelly/raspy falsetto voice, nor did he have endless power when singing high; whenever he sang in a high register it sounded like Rainbow Eyes or the intro to Children Of The Sea or like here:


    Now that is a gentle, but charming voice tone, I really like it, but it’s NOT an AOR singer’s stadium conquering rasp like, say, Bryan Adams.

    Ritchie once mocked Ronnie’s high register voice in an interview as “that little girlie voice”. There was no way Ronnie could have sung like Steve Perry, Lou Gramm, Bobby Kimball, John Waite, Dennis DeYoung or Kevin Cronin, the singers of all the great late 70ies, early 80ies AOR stadium rock acts who all had crooning high voices, very often with a gravelly rasp, but always with elastic power which Ronnie could not muster in that particular range (not knocking the guy at all, he was a great singer where he felt comfortable).

    – Plus Ronnie was unwilling to stray from those fantasy lyrics Blackmore was beginning to be fed up with (he instructed Ronnie to put non-fantasy lyrics to Long Live Rock’n’Roll for instance). Ritchie wanted Ronnie to do Carol King’s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Ronnie said he had already done so


    and didn’t feel like repeating the exercise, yet Ritchie wanted to hear something like this:


    I know that Ronnie is regarded as somewhat of a vocal deity here, but the way Graham belts out the ole chestnut’s final bridge and chorus at 02:35 and following is simply beyond Ronnie’s style, range and capabilities, nuff said, throw me from the tower of stone if you will so you’ll have blood in the sand.

    – Ritchie began to see Ronnie – perhaps rightfully so – as someone who would keep Rainbow in a niche for only the fervently converted, but without mass appeal (duh – perhaps he could have picked up on that earlier). He wanted a voice with more commercial sheen – hell, he even tried to lure Ian Gillan back in desperation!

    – By the time Roger joined the Down To Earth sessions as a producer, Ritchie and Ronnie were no longer speaking with each other, but rather only communicating via Roger as their messenger boy. Dio did no longer participate in the songwriting process, saying that Ritchie’s new ideas did not inspire him.

    Something like that magazine cover incident with just Ritchie pictured (Ronnie’s immature reaction mirroring Joe Perry throwing a fit when Rolling Stone featured Steven Tyler alone on the cover – WHAM … the toys in the by now unhappy Aerosmith attic went out of the pram and Joe Perry along with them!) was sure enough a straw big enough to break the already limping camel’s back, but not a real systemic cause. Blackmore is not the most patient man on earth and the Dio-fronted Rainbow had failed to set the world on fire in almost four years of existence. Mind you, almost as long as Mk II existed where Blackers had witnessed first hand that with the right line-up you can crack America after one long tour with an established act like The Faces.

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I just checked, in the most important record market of the world, namely the US of A, every Dio-fronted Rainbow album sold consecutively less than the one before, the chart placings were:

    Debut: 30
    Rising: 48
    On Stage: 65
    Long Live Rock’n’Roll: 89

    You sometimes get the impression here at the HS that Dio era Rainbow ruled the world from 1975-1978. They didn’t. In the US at least, they were a fringe to cult band with continuously declining sales and stuck in a rut. I’m not saying that was Ronnie’s fault alone, Ritchie had after all initially shared and pushed the vision of taking the more lighthearted and accessible components out of the established Purple sound and making Rainbow sound meaner, leaner and more targeted to a male audience. Ritchie learned the hard way that – shock, gasp, horror, how can Uwe write that!!! -DP albums had not just sold by the truckloads because of his guitar playing alone, but that the other four (in various combinations) had added something that proved elusive for him to find with Rainbow’s various line-up attempts. He never recreated the magic recipe.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Ronald James Padavona aka Dio. It took him approximately 20 years to go it alone & finally get his way no doubt. From those early Ronnie & the Prophets recordings, crooning, ballads & everything else to rock ‘n roll to Elf & eventually to some recognition with The Butterfly Ball album & then Rainbow & Sabbath. He certainly had walked the boards for want of a better description. In Rainbow he would have been the elder statesman, imagine Dio pulling Blackmore into line with’ respect your elders Ritchie’. Anyway I like his vocals & he was an original in many ways. So much more enjoyable for me to listen to than so many of those power ballad, AOR vocalists who are fine singers indeed, but it is the songs & how they are delivered that gets to me at times.. Even Steve Walsh with Kansas went that way in the 1980’s after their more progressive & popular 70’s material. It seemed everyone was a power balladeer in the late 70’s into the 80’s. Even Michael Bolton was originally a rocker of sorts before the transition into ‘stardom’ crooning. Those early 1960’s Dio recordings are interesting as he was trying most things vocally back then. I could NOT imagine him in the late 70’s or afterwards singing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. A nice song it is but what was Blackmore thinking? Abba prehaps, the original song was a hit with the Shirallees after all & the music written by a lady. Anything to become more popular for Blackmore & history shows the AOR ballad scenario on the horizon. At least Dio stuck to his principles. I do think about Rainbow with Dio being at the wrong time. If they were there in the early 80’s it would or could have been much more popular in the USA & Europe also but especially the USA. Look at how well Sabbath with Dio was perceived, well much better than Sabbath were in the later 70’s. The ‘metal’ hard rock genre was after punk, disco, new wave etc. Classic Rainbow was before & was sort of caught in between the early 70’s rock behemoths & that late 70’s change that occurred. Cheers.

  18. 18
    Gregster says:


    The power-ballads kept the heavy-going bands radio-friendly, & popular imo…

    Alice Cooper ( Only women bleed ), KISS ( Beth ) & a heap of power-ballads from Meatloaf made millions in sales & kind-of started its own genre of music, or rather, it became acceptable to be a recognized hard-rock-band with a power-ballad or two on a record.

    Thanks Alice !

    Peace !

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    @ 18 – agree regarding the ‘power ballad’ although too many artists started doing them, it became too fashionable for want of a better description. There are some good songs amongst them but talk about overkill. Regarding Meatloaf that album was played to death by so many people back in my day, it became a nuisance record in that sense. It was everywhere all the time & being repeatedly played at parties & on the radio etc etc & talk about drive me crazy. There are a few others also from that era. Not to worry I seemed to have survived it in some sense. Although I have mentioned a few ‘earworms’ here lately so I must be glutton for punishment or something. Here we go then, remember the Time Warp song from the Rock Horror Show. Now that is too be avoided at all costs. Warning warning, do NOT look that song up. Cheers.

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Hey, the Time Warp was, is and always will be good fun!


    Riff Raff/Richard O’Brien is friggin’ iconic. Also a man/woman/transgender person who made a musical around issues already in the 70ies which only became a wider sociological subject in the last ten years or so. Rocky Horror Picture Show has an important message packaged in a very light and entertaining way, no mean feat.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    The Time Warp indeed. I heard it far too many times all the way back then, everyone played it at every party & repeatedly. No issues with the movie though, from all those years ago. A good parody & send up in many ways. Hammer Horror, have to laugh at all that. The old script of a car breaking down in front of a gothic old castle with a couple in distress, ‘lets go & see if we can seek some help from within’, classic. An Australian director in Jim Sharman. I might see if I can find it & watch it again. Cheers.

  22. 22
    Rock Voorne says:

    For decades now people discuss things related to the DP Familytree.

    We NEVER really are sure about a lot things.

    I for many years also think Rainbow with Dio might have had more succes in the early 8os
    But maybe I m wrong.

    That being said Americains seem to have, sorry, a less openminded approach towards an eclectic formula when too much classical music is involved.

    They cling onto a brand like DEEP PURPLE Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath……and dislike changes.

    Sabbath and Zeppelin were a steady line up for most of the 70s , Purple and Rainbow never were.

    Rainbow with GB was still kinda British in approach, dont think it would have worked miracles in USA longterm.
    But maybe Blackmore was impatient again.

    Fans in Europe and Japan were more openminded when it came to line up changes as long Blackmore was involved.

    It gave us a mountain of split off products, solo albums, etc

    It is what it was/is.

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    @ 22 – ‘That being said Americans seem to have, sorry, a less openminded approach towards an eclectic formula when too much classical music is involved”.
    The progressive bands ELP, Yes & Jethro Tull & a few others were rather popular in the USA with their longer song arrangements played live in lengthy concerts. Even Kansas, America’s own progressive band were also quite big during that period. There seemed to be a deep respect for that genre of music, the musicians playing it & how it was delivered. Things started changing in the later 70’s & in a major way going into the 1980’s. The shorter more commercial song format replaced the ‘classical’ style of those bands. You would have noticed that Rock being in Holland no doubt. Plus Germany & a few other countries over there are or were into the progressive bands. Cheers.

  24. 24
    Rock Voorne says:

    “The progressive bands ELP, Yes & Jethro Tull & a few others were rather popular in the USA with their longer song arrangements played live in lengthy concerts. Even Kansas, America’s own progressive band were also quite big during that period.”

    I knew this was walking on thin ice for me and also thought about KANSAS.
    But aside the classical influence they seemed to have a huge southern rock part in them.
    ELP, dont know how big they became or are now there, is cool but to me a bit hard to get into.

    I always preferred a JON LORD or Ken Hensley to KEITH EMERSON. RICK WAKEMAN didnt care about.

    The whole progrockscene was hard for me to get into, though I loved bands in it, CAMEL for instance. And in more recent years RIVERSIDE.

    So, I m not sure if you can relate the heights of succes of the forementioned bands with what a LED ZEPPELIN had/has in the States, maybe its more the thing of ever changing line ups though OZZY solo changed line ups like underwear, so….

    I dont know….

    Didnt Jethro Tull have a lot of line up changes and YES even more?

    I saw Tull after getting into them because of BUSTING OUT LIVE but when it came to seeing them in 81, they, IMHO , were a dissappointment with all the synths and stuff.

    Another fuck up of mine, after the A tour I didnt follow them anymore and decades later I found out what I ve been missing…..

    Its like not seeing the TBRO tour by DP because of exp. with them in the 80s.

    Were BS really big with Dio around MOB RULES?

    Missed out on seeing them as well during that time .
    The band didnt come to the Netherlands , I think they would have been welcomed like in the UK or USA, Rainbow in the Dio, Bonnet and Turneryears played in Rotterdam, which wasnt a small hall.

    BS with GILLAN in Zwolle was sold out, a large hall and very unpleasant if you like comfort and good sound.

    Only got to see them after that during DEHUMANISER, big hall in Groningen and a relative smaller hall a bit later on in UTRECHT with Martin with CROSS PURPOSSES.

    I think around 95 I missed out on seeing them due to my personal struggles with depression.

    REUNION tour of BS was also a sold out one in Rotterdam.

    Dont have a good memory of that one, Silly Ozzy throwing buckets of water over the first rows, a volatile crowd that pushed me out of it, I was in front of the stage.

    Having done the usual trouble of being there in time, waiting in a row for hours, it was a sour experience to now being withdrawn to the entrance of the hall, seeing little puppets instead of being upfront, me being small not seeing over the heads of the crowd.

    It depressed the hell out of me, wandered even further back where they sold the french fries and other crap.

  25. 25
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Herr MacGregor’s roo-ful comment about Dio-Rainbow having picked a bad period to exist in 1975-78 has a lot going for it, it was the era of less ‘Made in Japan’ and more ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’ Rainbow went against the grain in an almost stubborn way, music became lighter and more colorful, Blackmore and his cohorts turned out the light (in the black). Contrary to the promo blurb at the time, Rainbow did not offer more colors than Purple, it offered less. Pick a casual rock/pop fan and play ‘Stormbringer’ and ‘Rising’ to him/her and then ask him/her which album sounded more varied! Rainbow, even in its restricted form, was also musically nothing new, the tracks Stormbringer, Lady Doubledealer, Gypsy and Soldier of Fortune could have all been on one of the first three Rainbow studio albums, Dio would have just given them more epic drama and grandeur (which is NOT to everyone’s taste, would you believe that some people find it even silly and pretentious?). The sword & sorcery stuff wasn’t new either, you can’t get more sword & sorcery than Uriah Heep with Demons & Wizards or Magican’s Birthday already a couple of years earlier. In the end, the immediately apparent factor differentiating Rainbow from DP was that Dio’s voice sounded nothing like Gillan’s and Coverdale’s/Hughes’, less falsetto singing also and – dare I say – also less pop/commercial sheen.

    Blackmore and his management also – and this is key – promoted Rainbow clumsily, eschewing TV studio appearances and promo vids – have you ever noticed how none of this exists (not for the first single Man On The Silver Mountain and not for the other single Lady Starstruck), the Don Kirshner Show promo vid tracks of LLRnR, GoB and L.A. Connection only came late in the game in 1978 when the colors of the Rainbow under Dio were already fading because they were not only getting anywhere as a band, but actually also facing decreasing sales.

    Finally, Dio-Rainbow wasn’t really much to look at, honestly. You know you have a visual issue as a band if the most handsome guy in your group is the drummer nobody sees behind the cymbals. Early Rainbow never had a poster child in their ranks, Bob Daisley maybe excepted. They just weren’t a good-looking band and their attraction to a female audience was limited, that is half of the world’s record buying population right there you’re missing out on. Ask Peter Frampton whether a pretty face helps selling records.

    Ok, alternative universe then: Ritchie doesn’t squeeze out Ronnie in 1978. The band lives to see the NWOBHM in 1979/1980. Rainbow are not really a new band – neither were Judas Priest then, they had five studio albums under their studded belts when the NWOBHM started, yet their career profited greatly from the new trend. They would have been perceived as respectable fathers of the movement and found their niche, I don’t think they would have dwarfed, say, Iron Maiden who were more of a people’s band than the aloof’ish/elusive Rainbow. Blackmore was a star no doubt, but not everybody’s best buddy and he did not present himself as such. I believe they would have attained mid-level status as band with some longevity, but not more, especially not in the US. And Ritchie wanted more as he always does.

    That is not because US audiences have a disdain for too eclectic or too European/British music. Led Zep were certainly VERY eclectic – there I said it, Herr MacGregor will hastily light a candle – and they were nowhere more popular than in the US of A. The Kinks were as Brit as Marmite, yet that band wouldn’t have survived the 70ies if not for the US market where they were much more popular than either in their home country or Continental Europe. Same goes for Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter or the also very Limey Renaissance with Annie Haslam. Some bands just have US appeal and others don’t, I find it impossible to explain why Bad Company was so successful in the US, yet early Whitesnake didn’t even leave a dent in the market there. Or why the Yanks loved the Scorpions and UFO, yet were noncommittal about, say, Slade, Sweet, Status Quo and early Rainbow.

  26. 26
    MacGregor says:

    Good comments regarding the Demons & Wizards scenario. Blackmore was influenced I feel by Ken Hensley as a writer. That early UH is a favourite & also the mid to late 70’s when Hensley changed into a more pop (Free Me) style. Regarding Frampton Comes Alive now there are the radio friendly softer acoustic rock songs that the ladies enjoy. Frampton cashed in there big time. The women that I have bumped into in my life that enjoy rock music have often said they really only like the softer more melodic music of most bands. NOT the harder & busier more complicated music i.e progressive, fusion & heavy rock. Hence Led Zep (I thought we were NOT mentioning THAT band again Uwe), Greg Lake’s ELP songs, Jethro Tull of course, Uriah Heep, Yes, Kansas, Genesis, Floyd & Crimson & many more. The symphonic, pop & folk style is where it is at with the ladies from my observations. Sure there are a few who like to rock ‘n roll with a blues or boogie shuffle etc. However more than likely a good catchy song is were it is at for them. Also I might add not many women who I have known go for Deep Purple. Black Sabbath a little at times but DP don’t ever really get praised in my experience although Blackmore’s guitar playing has once or twice had a mention. The softer & symphonic type of the Classic Rainbow songs they like though. Just another observation & more so as Uwe often mentions the ‘alleged’ lack of female interest in certain bands. I have never really ever thought about that in my time. Thinking back now on it, there is a point there in certain aspects. Although is it relevant? Cheers.

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Just an observation of mine, Herr MacGregor, but mega-bands often appeal to both sexes (and everyone in between, I hasten to add!), think Rolling Stones or U2, you have to claw the sales together somehow.

    But I don’t have issues with artists that have a chiefly female audience, I’m a great fan of your Australian countryman Rick S. for instance!



    And of the Bee Gees of course!



    With Purple, I always had the impression that Jon was the women’s secret favorite, you know the fairer sex’ unbridled attraction to piano players … And Ian Gillan in his 70ies heyday had a fair share of female fans too, most women I know like Child in Time (also Jon’s intro of course), including my wife.

    Tommy’s androgynous and anything-but-chest-poundingly-male looks always found appeal with women too, same goes for his two solo albums. For years, his ‘Teaser’ album was listed by a feminist German magazine named ‘Emma’ as recommended listening of “music by women for women” – they had mistaken Tommy’s gender based on his portrait shot on the cover of ‘Teaser’, it always cracked me up – not very feminist to jump to conclusions like that!!!

  28. 28
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Some more background info on the question “Did Dio leave or was he fired?”


  29. 29
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Never seen this footage here! Both Bain/Carey and Daisley/Stone line-ups.


  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    @ 29 – thanks for the Rainbow clip, a little reminder that early Carey & Bain lineup of what i missed in Sydney a month or two later. Cheers.

  31. 31
    janbl says:

    #29 Uwe, I filmed this with my 8mm camera and many years later got it converted to DVD (many people did pitch in to make it happen). Then put it on YT.
    Only fragments as film was expensive for a young lad like me.


  32. 32
    Uwe Hornung says:

    That’s some spectacular stuff you saved for posterity, janbl, mange tak!

    You were at both gigs, which line-up did you prefer?

    I saw Bain/Carey in 1976 – it was my first rock concert ever (we had been living in Kinshasa before, where availability of rock bands was poor, but fruit bats


    were plentiful) – and Daisley/Stone in 1977 – that famed Munich gig filmed completely by German television. Both gigs stick in my memory, but the 1977 one was perhaps even more magic as Blackmore was high on testosterone after the “Vienna incident” and his subsequent incarceration. Daisley’s bass playing had more authority and forceful precision; Bain was more raunchy and gung-ho. It’s probably fair to say that David Stone was a more accomplished keyboard player than Tony Carey (especially on the Hammond), but Tony played with great panache (especially his synth solos) and crouched over his keyboard fortress of solitude was just more of a sight to see.

  33. 33
    janbl says:

    @32 – Little did I know that my little films years later could give others some joy (same as the recording of the first concert with Coverdale/Hughes). Thats a great pleasure for me.

    I never thought about which constellation I liked best, it was Rainbow.
    Now that I think back, it might have to be Carey & Bain, maybe because I before the concert had the opportunity to speak with Dio in front of their hotel where he told that Bain was a little ill and there was a risk of the concert being cancelled. It obviously didn’t and I remember that it was a good concert.

  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    Sheesh talk about rubbing salt into the wounds. I suppose that is what happens being a country lad in rural NSW Australia & living 450 miles away from Sydney & a similar distance to Melbourne & not knowing anyone there & facing a 12 hour train journey (one way) just to get there. It was all too much for a young 16 year old at the time. Bring out the cello & violin, he he he. You guys were lucky living within (I presume) close proximity to all those concerts (cities) back then. Oh well it is still good to read comments & the like. And to watch the video & film footage. Thanks for posting links & commenting on it all. Who says time machines don’t exist? Cheers.

  35. 35
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Let it go, MacGregor, we all know you had home commitments to attend to back then.



    Don’t let the ghosts of missed opportunities haunt you!!!


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