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Blackmore’s drummer speaks out

David Keith; photo © 2015 CozyThisOne cc-by-sa

Deep Purple Italia has an interview with David Keith, the drummer from Blackmore’s Night who was also tapped to play the three gigs next summer under the Rainbow moniker.

How is it working with Ritchie Blackmore?

Ritchie certainly has a reputation for being difficult to work with, but I have honestly found it to be easy. Ritchie knows what he wants, and will continue trying different things till the sound is right. I have no problem changing what I’m playing- I’m not out to prove anything to anyone. I simply want to play the song well. This is his music, his vision – so leave your ego at the door, listen, and be flexible!

Have you guys rehearsed all together yet? If not, where and when are you planning on rehearsing (Europe, USA..)?

We have not rehearsed yet, but will be doing so very soon, at a secret location, somewhere here on Earth haha.

Read more in Deep Purple Italia.

Thanks to Francesco for the info. Photo credit: CozyThisOne (via Wikimedia Commons).

32 Comments to “Blackmore’s drummer speaks out”:

  1. 1
    Scott W says:

    He should do just fine naysayers! Besides, since when has RB hired a shitty musician? As far as the ‘sawdust and broken sticks’ comment , I can relate to that! I can also relate to sounding more like Powell than Paice: “Of all the other drummers Ritchie has played with, I would say my style is probably closest to Cozy’s”, which applies to my own style as well. Ritchie in going to blow peoples minds…just watch! You lucky bastards with tickets…I have no choice but to wait for the DVD..!

  2. 2
    LRT says:

    If you will allow yourself to be schooled by this boy in the name of your hero, so be it.

  3. 3
    LRT says:

    Since when? Where have you been the last 20 years, he’s hired many barely up to it, but they’ve done what he asked. That cannot measure their talent beyond getting thru the door, most of them thru friends and even friends of the family. Not to mention the fact that it’s subjective, so I disagree. The longest by far that has ever lasted singing with him in his career is his wife. You don’t have to be great to play with him, it’s just that a standard of his own was kept up until the mid-90s. Then it became more of a clinical mental institution than a musically legendary one. Talk about crossing extremes.

  4. 4
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    The musical output of the superb indie duo “Mission Zero” may be of some interest to those among you that care about such things.

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    Nice to see an article on Mr Keith & also to hear he is in the Cozy Powell sort of style, brilliant! Blackmore has definitely worked with some mighty fine musicians indeed, 2 of the greatest drummers in rock, Paice & Powell. This guy will nail it no problem. These few concerts will kick ass indeed! They have to open with Kill The King, surely! Bring it on! Cheers.

  6. 6
    Giorgio Marcato says:

    Bravo Francesco, bella intervista!

  7. 7
    Black Sheep says:

    @ Scott W. Two words for you – Bobby Rondinelli!! 😉

  8. 8
    Danny N says:

    Interesting observations LRT and Blacksheep. Thanks a lot for sharing. So the drummer’s style is sort of Cozy Powell. Really??? I am not sure how his playing even remotely resembles Cozy Powel’s drumming style. I came across these two solos on you tube. Not sure where the Cozy Powell comparison is. Can someone please enlighten me?

    The master….solo starts at 0:51

    The guy who’s style is closest to the Master…..solo starts at 3.43

    Lots of similarities there eh?,,,,,,,,,ummm me thinks not. For one thing Cozy Powell had incredible natural talent for drumming. You can’t even compare the two……enough said.

  9. 9
    schorse says:

    @Black Sheep: 8 words for ya: You dont really have a clue, have ya?

  10. 10
    Arthur says:

    Nothing wrong with Bobby Rondinelli @Black Sheep. I think David Keith will do a great job!

  11. 11
    Scott W. says:

    @2 & 3, Seems I always get some kind of negative response when I post MY opinion. Schooled by this boy?! Hardly,,,Apparently you do not rate Cozy either? And yes, RB is and has been my hero for years. I am proud of that fact. I have many ‘Heroes’; Schenker, Uli, Paice, Powell, Gillan up to 10 years or so ago etc, etc. I have been listening to RB and related bands longer than most ‘fans’ on here. Maybe I should have checked with you before I posted my thoughts on whether the new drummer was going to cut it or not. Whenever Ritchie hires someone their career takes off and their status in music circles grows based on their association with The Man In Black. Gillan, Glover, Dio, Bonnet, Doogie, etc the list goes on. I am sorry that some people want Ritchie’s new rock project to fail. If you do not like the thought of him playing rock again, do not listen to it! As far as Candice, well what is he supposed to do, fire his wife? He has mellowed with age for sure, and there have been some forgettable band members in BN, but the standard of musicians he surrounds himself with remains high even if Blackmore’s Night’s material has become quite predictable after about ‘Ghost Of A Rose’.
    @ Black Sheep: Bobby Rondinelli is great as well. His Sabbath material was fine too even though Tony Iommi was in a bit of a slump during that period.
    I bet some people will change their tune when RB shows how it’s done next year…we’ll see…

  12. 12
    Scott W. says:

    Just curious LRT, who DO you like in the DP family? It seems any DP and family project posted here does not meet your approval…and when anyone gets excited about some music projects posted here you are quick to talk it down. What is the sense in that? Why bother visiting this site if it is all so bad?

  13. 13
    LRT says:

    @4 – not in the least. @5 – perhaps when you crawl out of the Blackers hole someday you’ll gain perspective. 😀

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    LRT @ 13- What perspective is that then? Enlighten me! Cheers.

  15. 15
    Scott W. says:

    @14 MacGregor: It must be his perspective of miserable negativity..?

  16. 16
    MacGregor says:

    Oh Danny N @ 7- For a minute there i almost started the traditional Danny boy tune.
    What is your problem in regards to David Keith as a drummer??????? He says if he had to describe someone as to which his style is similar to, he said ‘i suppose it would be Cozy Powell, in a way’!
    Not a replica or copy cat or whatever. That clip you provided a link to, whilst entertaining, cannot & WILL not be considered as a reference to Mr Powell. Try a little harder next time! Or better still, wait for the concerts, then view them online as you will no doubt & then humour us here with you negative & totally irrelevant comments (again)! Cheers.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Black Sheep @ 7- is the Bobby Rondinelli cheap stab, a reference to Scott W asking ‘since when has Blackmore hired a shitty musician’? There is nothing wrong with Mr Rondinelli’s drumming, Rainbow & Sabbath briefly, plenty of wonderful moments indeed! Difficult to Cure the album & while we are at it, Beethoven’s Ninth anyone? Sabbath’s Cross Purposes album perhaps?

  18. 18
    Uwe says:

    The thought of someone being proud to sound like Cozy … FILLS ME WITH DREAD – and I have tickets for both German shows. Cozy is the guy who drummed/ham-fisted Whitesnake to death and his heavy-handed drumming with zero elegance was always a sore point for me in Rainbow too. I just hope that Herr Keith is overstating things, because I like what he does with Blackmore’s Night.

    Ian Paice has spoiled me eternally for other drummers and I was never a fan of the Bonham/Powell school of percussion – for me good drumming is what you hear on the Paice Ashton Lord album (or on Judas Priest’s Sin afer Sin with a young Simon Phillips) not on Rainbow Rising. But it’s horses for courses, I’m sure the little equestrian enthusiast handling the sticks for DP agrees with that one.

    I agree that Ritchie has an issue playing with equals, he’s fled that situation with DP twice. He has found gifted musiscians in the past, yes, but the food chain is always clear. Candice is the one big exception – for obvious reasons. I don’t believe he could envisage himself in something like, say, Cream, Rush or Police where he would have to give and take constantly.

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    Uwe @ 18- You don’t like the heavy handed drummers, each to their own as we say. But there is a lot more to Cozy Powell’s percussion work than the 2 bands you mentioned. Whitesnake would never be a serious take for his drumming, just a day job me thinks. His playing with Rainbow suited the band incredibly well, it was a good fit indeed for a harder approach for a power rock band! But if you really want to listen to his drumming in a more ‘serious’ light, check out his solo albums, working with orchestration & syncopated arrangements! Keith Emerson & Greg Lake didn’t go to him in the mid 80’s, because he was a ‘heavy handed drummer with zero elegance’? His CV says it all in many ways!
    In regards to your comment ‘Ritchie has an issue playing with equals, he’s fled that situation with DP twice’! Is that a serious comment? Surely it isn’t, that would have absolutely nothing to do with him leaving Purple, absolutely nothing! Cheers.

  20. 20
    Danny N says:

    @ Uwe… interesting observations, especially the last paragraph about the ‘food chain’. I couldn’t agree more.

    @ MacGregor….. I have no problem with the drummer, only with fanboys who keep saying he was the best choice for the gig. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cheap and available are the keywords here. If you can’t deal with a negative comment then tough luck for you..don’t read or react to them. As far as my comments being irrelevant, that’s your opinion even if it’s wrong. Just curious…how many Rainbow and Deep Purple shows have you seen?

  21. 21
    Andres says:

    RITCHIE BLACKMORE’s RAINBOW: First Photo Of New Lineup


  22. 22
    Scott W. says:

    Cozy obviously must impress musicians that would know better than most ‘fans’. I cannot think of ANY other drummer who has played with more well regarded bands/musicians. Even the guvnor Paice has really only played with DP, Whitenake, PAL and Gary Moore. Cozy’s cotributions to bands…well let me think: Jeff Beck, Rainbow, MSG, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, ELP, Forcefield, Graham Bonnet, Yngwie, Brian May, Glenn Tipton, Peter Green, Jon Lord, Robert Plant etc, etc. They all must have heard something great about his playing. That said, if he is not your cup of tea fair enough.

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    Danny N @20- Oh I see, it ISN”T the drummer himself you don’t have a problem with?????? Funny, that’s not what you have been saying. It’s the ‘fanboys’. it is all their fault suddenly, hmmmmmm! Poor ‘fanboys’ fancy them being persecuted! Oh & by the way, where did any ‘fanboys’ say he was the best choice as a drummer??? You need to check your comments again, contradictions indeed? I can deal with you negative comments no problem, if you talk rubbish, someone is bound to pull you up for it. Not only myself either it seems. How many concerts anyone has attended, has nothing to do with the ridiculous comments you have made, in relation to an event that hasn’t even occurred yet! Dig a little deeper! Cheers.

  24. 24
    Uwe says:

    Come on, Cozy – the drum god rest his sticks, I liked him as person more than his playing – was a journeyman from day one because he had a temper and zero patience. Half of his career decisions were made in fits of anger, he invented throwing the sticks/toys out of the pram. That said, he did well with Emerson, Lake & Powell, I liked that album, though he’s no match for Palmer technically. Of course I’m also aware of his work with Jeff Beck Group, Bedlam, Strange Brew, even the sessions with Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer plus that he drummed on a Motown album, etc, and I have all his solo albums too (I think Tilt is the best one). And MSG, the Tipton solo albums (I’m a Priest nut too), his work with Brian May, the list goes on … There was no avoiding him in the late 70ies and 80ies, he played on so many records.

    Plus (as an added explanation why he never stayed with any band long), Powell was never in a band where he earned remotely as much as Little Ian did in the Purps’ heyday – that’s always a loyalty increasing factor, Cozy was an – expensive – hired hand, never a stakeholder and he acted that way too.

    As a bass player myself, I find that Cozy’s drumming leaves zero room for the bassist, just listen to how the great Neil Murray played with Little Ian and then had to dumb down his bass playing for Cozy. I see the appeal of the sheer force and drama in Powell’s playing, he was probably impressive as hell in a rehearsal space because he made the walls shake. But as regards his chops, I have yet to hear something from him that would make me go: “How the hell did he do that?!” Cozy couldn’t swing if you had hung him from a rope. If you liked his style, you probably liked Mick Tucker too. Though Tucker admired Paice, he came out sounding like Cozy most of the time. All rrrigid!!!

    “‘Ritchie has an issue playing with equals, he’s fled that situation with DP twice’! Is that a serious comment? Surely it isn’t, that would have absolutely nothing to do with him leaving Purple, absolutely nothing!”

    That’s must be a tongue in cheek comment, right? ; – ) I think there was NO OTHER REASON for Ritchie leaving Purple – be it pre- or post-reunion – BUT that he wanted everything his own way, failing to realize that his ego overhadowed his hearing. Ritchie can so often be brilliant when he’s pushed and not in his comfort zone. That is why I think that his solo in Hold On says more about his gift as a guitarist than all Rainbow albums put together.

    Oh, I saw Coverdale in Utrecht yesterday. he sang Gypsy real nicely.

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    Uwe@24- We hear things differently, it happens. I was surprised when you said you owned Powell’s solo albums, you seem to not like his playing, so I am perplexed in a way! We all like or dislike different things. Our tastes can change over time also. Regarding bass players with no room to move, I thought the track Octopuss has plenty of room for the bass player, Colin Hogkinson i think on that one, just one example! I play the drums & always enjoy a busy bass guitarist who can also hold it down solid when needed. It depends on the music & what is required, or not required! Anyway we move on.
    There are plenty of session based musicians who move around a lot, Simon Phillips is one who has played on many records over the decades, Tony Levin also & I don’t think it matters at all whether a musician moves around a lot or remains dedicated & loyal to the cause, it’s horses for courses!
    Now this DP & Blackmore comment regarding RB ‘fleeing his equals’? 1975 & I thought RB left DP because he was bored, had enough of the direction DP were heading, funk & soul etc & was itching to do a solo album, do something different! A need to keep moving forward. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Fast forward to the late 80’s, Gillan is disillusioned & leaves DP, a few years later he is back, plenty of ill feeling in the band still, particularly between RB & IG, Blackmore loses interest again, becomes bored & irritated & leaves the band. Fleeing his equals?????? I am not sure what you mean by equals, do you mean songwriting wise, musical ability, equal shares in everything? As for the ‘fleeing’, I doubt it, just moving on, someone has to! Gillan did in 1973 also, was he ‘fleeing’? Cheers.

  26. 26
    Danny N says:

    @ MacGregor….cheap and convenient are what the drummer and bass player are to RB. I have nothing against the drummer personally. I am sure he is a great guy. Do I think he is a very talented drummer? No..absolutely not and that’s my opinion and if you don’t like it than that’s your problem. So you have never actually seen RB playing live with Rainbow or Deep Purple ??? Wow…that makes perfect sense because had you actually been to a show you would have seen that RB surrounds himself with extremely talented musicians, or at least he did back in the day. You would have also seen, as UWE pointed out that he doesn’t take kindly to any band members who try to exert their authority. He can be a moody egotistical mean spirited and nasty person who doesn’t give a shit about his fans or his band members and often times it showed on stage. He can also be a master on guitar. Too bad you have never seen RB playing live. There are so many things you can pick up seeing and hearing a band live that you just can’t get watching youtube clips and reading bios…lolol. Have a great weekend!

  27. 27
    Scott W. says:

    #24 Re: Utrecht
    Well we agree on something as I saw WS in June and it was fantastic! I posted a full review of the show on these pages.

  28. 28
    Uwe says:

    LOL – I buy music all the time from bands I ardently don’t like (Coldplay, U2, Foo Fighters) because I analyze what they do – horrible (and costly) habit! Besides, Cozy is family, like him or not. And he was no doubt a character. And I like “Na Na Na”, so there! It’s my glam heart beating (on the toms in true RAK/Mickie Most production style!).

    Blackmore left ze Purps in 1975 because he wanted to do something different and was bored? That is what he said at the time, but frankly, I hear more variety on his last work with Purple than on all Rainbow albums put together. With Rainbow he worked in molds, the Dio mold and then the Bonnet/JLT mold. Stormbringer has also aged better. And if Ritchie hadn’t been so egotistical in keeping a mother of all riffs such as Man on the Silver Mountain for his underproduced debut, then Stormbringer might have turned out – as initially contemplated – a double album after all and become DP’s Physical Graffiti!!! But then we might have never had Come Taste the Band, which would have been a loss too.

    Blackmore for all his giftedness as a guitarist – and I dearly love his playing and songwriting (if he’s not too lazy about it, no pun intended) – doesn’t want to share money, the limelight, songwriting credits, musical influence, even the side of the stage where he stands … the list goes on. All that said, I’m happy to see him at those coming German gigs. And man do I hope they do Little Wing … ooops Catch the Rainbow I meant! That is part of the old badger’s charm, he always stole with finesse. ; – )

  29. 29
    MacGregor says:

    Danny N@ 26- I am winding this ‘banter’ up, as it is pointless to go on. We have spoken, it is there for all to see, if they could be bothered that is! You shouldn’t jump to conclusions, my query as to what DP or Rainbow concerts I had attended, has to do with anything, was just that. It is irrelevant, but for your pleasure I will state what I have mentioned here over the years, plenty of times.
    My biggest regret in missing a gig that i really wanted to see, was classic Rainbow in 1977. too young, too far away from home etc! Bummer indeed. But seeing Purple begin their world reunion tour here in 1984 in Sydney was something, to say the least! Twice I attended & one concert was the one George Harrison jammed with the band, on the encore ‘Lucille’. I don’t have to watch Blackmore , Purple or Rainbow on youtube. I have owned albums from the early 70’s & vhs video of concerts since the early 80’s & since dvd was introduced, many other live concerts purchased since then!
    I have attended many concerts of world renowned & class acts over the decades, of which I have mentioned a few here at various points, over the years. Not to mention drummers, bass guitarists, guitarists, vocalists & keyboard players to0 boot! Why am i bothering to say all this?
    Well, to let you know so that you don’t jump to anymore conclusions!
    In regards to Blackmore & his attitude over the decades, yes it can be appalling indeed at certain times. Gladly, in ’84 Purple were on song & Gillan & Blackmore having a ball. We had them first up here in Oz & NZ, so they were really bursting at the seams so to speak! Being in Australia, we don’t get the chance to witness many artists here, & if they do drop ‘downunder’, some may only visit once or twice, if that! Nearly had the chance to witness Cozy Powell in action in 1989, when Sabbath tickets were announced! Sadly it was suddenly cancelled, much to my disappointment! I have seen Dio twice, with Sabbath in 1980 & again in 2007 at a H & H gig! Bring on the Blackmore 2016 gigs in Europe! Cheers.

  30. 30
    Scott W. says:

    If one just turns on the radio you will hear many bands not worth analyzing. Save your money or donate to charity…all this bickering and we find out the truth. Wow…

  31. 31
    Danny N says:

    Interesting article here…..


  32. 32
    Jeff says:

    These comments are bizarre. How does this guy know that bass players & Drummers are “cheap and convenient” to Blackmore?

    Some of these comments are why music has deteriorated so much. It’s not a competition and it’s about “personality” in the playing. It’s intellectually dishonest to try an compare drummers like Ian Paice and Cozy Powell. so what if Powell doesn’t have “swing!”To somehow believe that Cozy was not good when Beck, Blackmore, Emerson, Coverdale, Iommi (Just to name a few) had hired him is absurd. I wish the “critics” would give D. Keith a break I have watched the bluray footage over and over and his playing is fine.

    To those who say Blackmore is MEAN, NASTY and all these other things it is at most situational. I have met him twice and he could not have been nicer. The guy has been through a war being in the business as long as he has. His career didn’t start with Machine Head! Not all personalities are going to be the same.He “probably” needs his downtime and just doesn’t have it to stand around signing autographs all night.

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