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Audacity to change

Music Radar has an interview with Opeth guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt, in which he discusses top 10 guitar players that blew his mind. His #1? Ritchie Blackmore, of course.

This has to start with him. Ritchie Blackmore is my hero, but not just for his guitar playing. His persona fascinates me. I love his audacity to just change whenever he wants, without taking any care or note of the people around him, not his label or fans. He just does what he wants to… that’s how I want to be. That’s how I am, I think. He is a magnificent guitarist, though his best work was early on, up until Deep Purple mk.3, which was around 1974. After that, even in Rainbow, he got a bit sloppy… and yet also wrote a lot of his best music.

We supported him in Spain earlier this summer. I was so nervous and excited that I missed my flight the next morning, though I think it had a little bit to do with drinking beer too! We were main support that night so I sat around outside our little cubicle, waiting for him to arrive. Then came what looked like an armoured car with blacked out windows, he was only a few metres away from me but drove back into his own sealed-off area. Which was probably for the best, as I would have ‘accidentally’ run in saying, ‘Oh hello!’ I really wanted to take my first selfie together but was told he doesn’t care to meet anyone. I would love to meet him though; he’s my idol in so many ways. I’m infatuated with him.

Thanks to Gary Poronovich and BraveWords for the info.

10 Comments to “Audacity to change”:

  1. 1
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Love is a many splendored thing!.

  2. 2
    NWO says:

    Never meet your heroes. I did, and I still try to forget it happened as I want to remember RB the Axe Master, not RB the guy…..

  3. 3
    Bengan says:

    Well, Rainbow’s album Rising wasn’t sloppy at all…

  4. 4
    Bengan says:

    @2. Can you tell us what happened, please?

  5. 5
    Jim Sheridan says:

    I was lucky enough to meet RB in the early 1990s at a restaurant in Bethel, CT, where I waited tables. He was having dinner with Candace and I was their waiter. I kept my mouth shut until I dropped the bill and had to admit that I was a fan. We discussed music for a few minutes; he was gracious and funny.

    He headed to the bar after dinner. A pal of mine there asked him if he was the guy from Deep Purple; Ritchie flatly said “No.” Whoops. However, British soccer was on TV, and my friend really knew his soccer, so he and Ritchie did end up having a pleasant chat about sports!

  6. 6
    Aireight says:

    NWO – Yes, let us know. Never meet you your heroes, unless it’s Steve. As he says, be a good person first!

  7. 7
    AndreA says:

    @ 2. in my life I’ve met those I always considered my heroes.
    And I saw them with my own eyes: Gillan and Lemmy.

  8. 8
    Buttockss says:

    Back in 1982, during the Straight Between The Eyes Tour @ the Spectrum, in Philadelphia, Ritchie took his Heinekin bottle, which he would use as a slide. The bottle was almost all full at the time, he started spraying everone in the first couple of aisles, he started laughing at everone getting wet, never once saying sorry…..LOL!!!!!😁

  9. 9
    NWO says:

    @ 4&7 – Well My Mamma said – If you aint got nothing nice to say – Then STFU!

    Thanks Mom!

  10. 10
    Rock Voorne says:

    Ritchies ghost will keep looming over everything Purple.

    Freely remembering a quote by Roger Glover in an old interview. Was it in the BBC doc?

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