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The rock’n’roll that didn’t live for long

David Stone talks to the Metal Express Radio about his current projects, his career, and of course, his stint with Rainbow:

Not long after the [Symphonic Slam] album was released you had joined Rainbow. How did you get the call to join Rainbow?

I was still signed to A&M Records and was still involved with Symphonic Slam. That album had only been out a few months and it was only just rolling. I was getting a lot of session work in Toronto because of Symphonic Slam. I got offers to work with Gino Vannelli and lots of other people and I was doing a lot of demo work too. I was at home and I got a call from the studio where I was doing a lot of work at the time from Bob Segarini, who had a hit called Goodbye LA and he called me to tell me that the manager for Ritchie Blackmore was trying to get a hold of me. He told me that there was a first-class ticket waiting for me at the studio to fly out to LA. I flew out the next day and got picked up in the evening by Colin Hart, Rainbow’s manager. He took me up to Hollywood Hills and I get out to one of those million-dollar places and there in the kitchen is Ritchie Blackmore, Cozy Powell and Ronnie James Dio and here I am, this 24-year-old kid from Toronto, shitting large bricks. I was the youngest in the band by about 10 years.

Blackmore was known to improvise a lot on stage. How was it playing a live show with him?

It was ridiculous, he was absolutely ridiculous. Back then we played insanely loud on stage. We had so much equipment that ran eight feet high right across the stage. All of the road crew could go back and forth behind our equipment without being seen. Ritchie would send his roadie right across the back of the stage to my roadie who’d then come to me when the lights were off me, to say that Ritchie wanted me to take a 10-minute solo at the end of the song. That’s all the notice I’d get. I didn’t even know what theme I should adopt. Was I doing an intro to a ballad, should I end up in a certain key? Nothing, no clues whatsoever. I did get used to it quite quickly though as I expected it after the first couple of shows.

Read more on Metal Express Radio.

Thanks to Jim Collins for the info.

18 Comments to “The rock’n’roll that didn’t live for long”:

  1. 1
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Another great player that went through the Blackmorisation machine & out the other side….
    Tea & biscuits, anyone?. 🎡

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Call me a cynic, if David Stone wrote a fair amount of Gates of Babylon, the last thing Blackmore would have wanted was for some young gun to have a songwriting credit. Well it sounds like that to me, however I wasn’t there at the time, who can tell? If Stone wrote that amount of that song as well as Dio, shouldn’t the credit be Blackmore, Dio & Stone? Or maybe just Dio & Stone? The story about Stone showing Blackmore chords & charts etc, imagine being a fly on the wall at that moment.
    Blackmore’s ego would have been loathing that one would think. No wonder they paid Stone for his quite large contribution to that song, a song Rainbow never performed live from what I have heard or read somewhere. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Was it Blackmore who said that the song was too ‘difficult’, there was a lot of editing in the studio etc. Or was it too hard perhaps for some? It is a great song, however as we know the real crux of music is a live performance.
    Wasn’t it Blackmore who said years ago ‘the trick is to steal’ or was it someone else?
    We can only ponder. Cheers.

  3. 3
    Uwe Hornung says:

    With all due respect, Ritchie is a gifted musician, but the maze of chord changes during his GoB solo are simply outside his musical grasp. Being an intuitive player, he could just about solo over it, but he could have never written something like that which in its complexity and scholarly approach is more akin to King Crimson than Rainbow. It’s the only track where Rainbow ever approached PROG terrain, some of the Don Airey-arranged instrumentals on later albums maybe excepted.

    Blackmore’s chord changes are for the most part simplistic/meat & potatoes (a reason for DP’s and Rainbow’s general accessability), Man on the Silver Mountain is about as sophisticated as he gets and that is miles from GoB.

    I saw Rainbow with Stone in Munich (that legendary gig where Blackers had kicked the Austrian bouncer in Vienna before), he was less cocky than Carey both in his stage presence and playing, less good-natured and confident than Airey, demure, introverted and shy, a bit like that other David (Rosenthal), but his playing could not be faulted.

    And I’ll always prefer LLRnR (the album) in execution, production and songwriting to the confoundingly more popular Rising which to me sounds on most tracks like a rush job.

    I’m not sure that David Stone ever played with Graham Bonnet – Graham made his entrance in France and Don Airey played keyboards at the audition. By the time the revamped Rainbow returned to the States, David was long out of the picture. But given how long ago all this happened, he’s forgiven. Had he played with Graham, he would have also played with Roger and he says he didn’t.

    Noteworthy, how David too remarks that Martin Birch was more of an (excellent) engineer than a svengali producer.

  4. 4
    Lolive says:

    Stingy Ritchie?

  5. 5
    albert mudas says:

    bonjour à tous entendre cela après 40 ans n’a aucun intérêt….on ne revient pas sur le passé, jamais rainbow ne re-fera d’album complet et c’est bien dommage!

  6. 6
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    I must be one of the few who doesn’t like the LLRNR album or the song GOB. I really liked the first 2 Rainbow albums as well as DTE but LLRNR is one of my least favorite Rainbow albums.

  7. 7
    Rick says:

    As the years have rolled on, the more I read about RB’s personality and interactions with people, races and musicians, the less I like about him. Brilliant guitarist but in many interviews with former bandmates and the like, he’s made out to be a sad, pathetic individual.

    Granted, never met the man and obviously all I hear are second hand stories/interviews about him, still, many are similar in nature. RB is fast becoming less and less of an interest to me musically, even the old stuff, guess I’m moving away… and on.

    Great interview, rock on David Stone!!

  8. 8
    mrPtheDPFan says:

    Cool Story

  9. 9
    Andrew M says:

    Ritchie, who was just 33 when LLRR was released, seems to have been afflicted with a lot of self-doubt, perhaps in part because he didn’t have a formal musical education, let alone the sort of training that Don Airey and David Stone had, or even that Jon had.

    On the strength of the interview, however, Stone could perhaps use to be afflicted with a little more self-doubt. If he made GoB the standout track I agree it is, then where are the comparably great rock songs he wrote with other people? Perhaps they exist; I don’t know.

    Ritchie has an extraordinary ability to play musically, and such an ability is much rarer, in my view, than an excellent musical training.

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Of course it is, Andrew, no argument. Ritchie has style and ingenuity, he’s also good at discovering young talent. But there is some self-destruction mechanism in him that keeps him from developing people and participating in their development to the lasting enhancement of his music. From a certain point onward he stifles what he has discovered. That is why his career is littered with people he has cast away (or who chose to leave him) when they began to stretch their wings. Creativity from other people seems to be a daunting prospect to him. I believe his recognition and fame could have been greater had he allowed true collaboration more. He stood in his way all too often.

  11. 11
    robert says:

    bonjour chaque musicien à ses qualités et ces défauts! pourquoi dire cela de ritchie dans un interwiew???de plus quelle est la carriére de David Stone aprés GOB????je ne savais même pas qu’il jouait encore!!!

  12. 12
    stoffer says:

    @7 and @10 Very well said. Unfortunately Ritchie is becoming or has become irrelevant in rock music circles! Perfect example..the other day I heard Man On The Silver Mountain on the FM waves and the DJ said “that was Ronnie Dio and Rainbow”. Don’t misunderstand me I think RJD is awesome and his voice will live forever but the name of the band at that time was Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow !? just sayin’

  13. 13
    Justice Johnson says:

    Ritchie Blackmore -> 15 Classic Rock Albums

    David Stone -> ?

  14. 14
    albert mudas says:

    Justice Johnson says:
    Ritchie Blackmore -> 15 Classic Rock Albums

    David Stone -> ?


  15. 15
    John says:

    I think everything that Mr Stone says should be taken with a large pinch of salt, where has he been for the last 40 years

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The GoB story is certainly true, as far back as his Guitar Player interview in 1978/79, Blackmore rated his GoB solo as one of his strongest and added: “David Stone, the keyboarder, helped with the chords, he was very good at that.”

    And David Stone gave an interview already many years ago where he said pretty much the same things as in this more recent one.

    In any case, there is nothing wong with Ritchie buying off Stone’s songwriting rights, that has happened a myriad times in rock history – and also with DP: The basic idea for Love Don’t Mean A Thing came from a street busker and Purple paid him out because they liked what they heard. It’s just sad that Ritchie did not use his immense talents to collaborate more often because some of his very best work “just happened” when he was operating outside of his comfort zone, just think of his magnificent solo on Hold On. In fact, the whole Stormbringer album is a showcase for Ritchie’s undiminished abilities when he is NOT always leading the fold and dominating. Yes, he plays like a sessioneer on a lot of tracks, but what a gifted, inspired sessioneer!!!

    When I listen to Stormbringer today, it’s a Cinemascope film in Kodak color to me, so varied are the influences and ingredients. In comparison – warning: I’m now kicking an album off the pedestal most of you guys have placed it on – Rainbow’s Rising is a one-dimensional monochrome silent movie to me. A period piece. Stormbringer is Gone With The Wind, Rising is Murnau’s Nosferatu. ; – )

  17. 17
    rock voorne says:

    Always loved David Stones contributions but I do think his outings are kinda dubious.

  18. 18
    RB says:

    As for doubting Blackmore’s technical abity as a musician – Jon Lord said that Ritchie was very good as was his knowledge of musical theory. At one time Ritchie was very keen on jazz and learnt quite a bit about that – Steve Morse said that Ritchie would play across the neck rather than the typical block playing of some blues artists, and that he would have got that from jazz. Richie’s knowledge of theory was supposedly greater than someone like Jimmy Page, and he was certainly better than Page at improvising. He has said that he can be somewhat lazy at times, and I believe that if he’d allowed other musicians to push his playing he’d be even better than he became.

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