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The cat that walks alone

Rainbow 2018 promo picture

Jens Johansson, the keyboard player for the last incarnation of Rainbow, spoke to Blabbermouth on the future prospects of the band:

I don’t know. You never know. At the moment, of course, with the pandemic, everything went completely right down to zero, all activities. I think he’s back to doing some stuff with BLACKMORE’S NIGHT. To be honest, that’s where his heart is. If he has to focus on one band, that would be the number one priority. I was always joking that BLACKMORE’S NIGHT was ‘the’ band and RAINBOW was his basement band. [Laughs] Like a project. Whenever we would do European gigs with RAINBOW, it was somehow that the gigs would be placed around when certain castles were unavailable. [Laughs] It was like, ‘Sweden Rock has 40 to 50 thousand people.’ They’d say, ‘No, it’s on the wrong weekend. This castle is available, so fuck Sweden Rock.’ That was the attitude that BLACKMORE’S NIGHT is the priority, which I think is cute.

It was a lot of fun. But most people understood that this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Ritchie, he’s a little bit like a cat: You never know what he’s going to think. The next month he’s ‘No, I don’t want to go out.’ Then it’s ‘No, I don’t want to go out. I want to go in.’ You can’t predict which way he’s going.

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info.

27 Comments to “The cat that walks alone”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    What a joke this image is. It makes me wonder if Johansson after initially turning up & finding out what he had ‘signed’ up for, did he then regret his decision. He probably felt obligated to continue, I don’t know. Call me a cynic. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Paul Bernays says:

    Yup that sounds like our Ricardo.

  3. 3
    Gregster says:

    Yo, I think his comments are fair-enough…He’s letting us all know that Blackmore’s Night is No.1 on the agenda. It looks like a lot of trouble goes into finding the right castles at the right time to see them, if that’s your thing lol !

    On the positive side, at least Rainbow itself is not forgotten, & being talked about.

    Peace !

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    At all four Rainbow late reunion gigs I saw, Jens looked extremely uncomfortable. He also played hesitantly and nothing flowed. Which with him can’t be down to his abilities – the man can obviously play -, but perhaps he is the type of musician who needs to feel well-prepared on stage to be relaxed. By professional standards, Rainbow as a musical unit were underrehearsed at every show I saw. And that showed, especially in comparison to what tight outfits the various Rainbow line-ups in the 70ies and 80ies had been. But Jens was – confoundingly so – the weakest link.

  5. 5
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Historically speaking Ritchie always kept the musicians in his bands on their toes and never relaxed and used the elements of surprise and shocking tactics. It’s part of who he is and he believes it’s right and works for him.
    When he suggested few years ago that he wanted to do one off gigs with DP once again it was more completely out of no where and Ian Gillan was very clever to dismiss any chance of this happening.
    I feel that he always thinking about how to shock and annoy people for his pleasure as he enjoyed firing and hiring musiamas in Rainbow.

    His interviews always feels like it has little elements of sarcasm and BS. I think the reason he doesn’t have a phone or an email for someone to contact him is purely because he likes thinking he is very important and hard to find.
    Even Ian Paice who is the nicest person you will ever meet has made clear that Ritchie is not his friend anymore.
    He kept everyone guessing whether he will turn up to the hall of fame awards as Roger said in an interview you never know anything with Ritchie.
    I actually gave away all my Blackmore’s Knight CDs to charity because I woke up one day and realized I only bought it because I loved the guy previous work and not the band music.
    The painful reality that I came to realize that a true band is not about just the guitarist it’s about the group and I feel that Ritchie always wanted people to just admire him but not his group.
    This is just my own opinions and I have the greatest respect to what he achieved as a talented musician.
    Peace 🥰

  6. 6
    Ivica says:

    I think Ritchie is much more in love with Candie than John Lennon was in love ever with Yoko 🙂
    And .. finally found a voice that satisfies him
    One bullet… two hit targets. How does the new Rainbow band look ….
    And it’s better that way.BN Pole Position it’s OK

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I was never in doubt that BN remains the sole musical focus of his life, the Rainbow reunion was a nostalgia fest for Rainbow fans, nothing more, and Blackmore’s heart wasn’t in it anymore. Candice probably talked him into it with best intentions for him and old fans to find some kind of closure. Commendable idea, putting it into practice is another matter.

    But Rainbow isn’t the type of project you can do halfheartedly. Blackmore was always committed and driven, sometimes too much for his own good, but that drive was lacking with those late Rainbow reunions.

  8. 8
    AndreA says:

    The worst version of Rainbow…😧

  9. 9
    Tony says:

    I never liked the music of Blackmore’s night…..and I am saying this friendly…….but anyway….. next week I will see Deep Purple again on they European tour…..just watched the setlist…..
    Anya is back ……..oooooooh your gispsy heart

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “The worst version of Rainbow…😧”

    You bet. And also the worst hat.

  11. 11
    Ole says:

    The Rainbow reunion had it’s positive sides, especially the first gig in Birmingham and the London O2 was nice nostalgic trips! And the singer actually was able to sing all songs great! But, it was only for the money, of that I am sure.

  12. 12
    Gregster says:

    @5 I tend to think that RB, with his humor, brains, & knowing how people will react, “drops” little nuggets-of-bollox here & there, knowing that it will generate rumor & publicity…And in show-biz, media attention, good or bad, is still attention, & folks will be eagerly listening for more news & updates, which keeps us all interested, if not entertained lol !

    Peace !

  13. 13
    Kosh says:

    I’m glad I went along to see Rainbow during the first ‘re-boot’ tour, it was fun – pure nostalgia and the gig I attended, Birmingham NEC, was (allegedly) the best of the lot. For me I think Ritchie was shocked by the number of fans who’d come along that night and did push things as far as his hands would allow… Stargazer was perhaps the highlight, but Burn was a misstep with the riff missing the end note, it all felt a bit compromised and this after I’d enjoyed a bottle of red wine to ‘soften’ the edges…

    However, being born in 1981 meant I’d missed the glory years by some distance and for me it was the last opportunity to see Ritchie rock out and play the guitar that made him a legend. I kind of knew that would be that, and I’m glad (from what I read/saw) that I resisted the temptation to go out when he returned to the UK a couple of years later.

    Ronnie R did a superb job though (in spite of the often-obvious Hispanic inflexion), and I felt he was destined for BIG things… alas, it didn’t pan out as he’d expected, I suspect… but he certainly held it together that evening in Birmingham.

    Jens did look a bit ill-at-ease, and the solo (I think prior to Perfect Strangers) was somewhat lacking in potency, fluidity and/or confidence. I guess the comments that came forth regarding lack of preparation and rehearsal were laid bare… which was odd, especially when you consider Ritchie and his previous preference for perfection in terms of his rhythm section, singers… heck, the whole band!

    As for BMN, I like some individual songs feel like Fires at Midnight was the peak and having sat through three or four gigs over the years I don’t think I’d rush out to catch another. However, I’ve got decades of Ritchie magic to fall back on and those classic albums are just that and will remain treasured to me.

  14. 14
    Peter J says:

    Well… The last version of Rainbow was just awful and arguably the worst band of the whole DP jungle tree…

    @ Adel : to me giving to someone the whole BN discography is the opposite of charity 😀

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “@ Adel : to me giving to someone the whole BN discography is the opposite of charity 😀”

    Ah, such venom, I just love it!!!

  16. 16
    Adel Faragalla says:

    @14 &15
    The curse of Blackmore’s Night is over,I am free and liberated from all these haunted castles and I can wear normal cloths from now and feel safe at night.
    25 years of wasted space in my CD collection is over 😂
    As the great Martin Luther King once said ‘ Free at last…’
    Peace ✌️

  17. 17
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Oh poor Adel, to the temple of the king and back, locked in the tower (for more than an hour), in the heat and the rain, with whips and chains, you were no pawn, so you’d be gone, speed on and on and on, but you didn’t know why, now where do you go …

    All those Rainbow songs were about you!

  18. 18
    MacGregor says:

    @ 16, I can relate to that feeling Adel & congratulations are in order. I recently destroyed my two BN cd’s. The very first two albums, I cut both discs in half & gleefully placed them in the rubbish bin, then I removed the cover & insert & burnt them in the fire. Fires at midnight indeed. It was a great thing to do & my only regret is I should have undertaken that ritual many years before. The empty cd cases came in handy though. Cheers.

  19. 19
    Rock Voorne says:

    @ 16

    Free at last…

    Are you sure?


  20. 20
    Rascal says:


    JLT – he never has a bad thing to say about himself.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I really like his new look “live in the flesh”, very rock star. But he’s always hypheractive and kind of breathless in interviews. Sometimes less is more, Joe!

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Burning BN CD’s? We have a heathenish uprising at our hands!

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    @ 22 -indeed & we can add that woeful Iommi & Hughes album Fused to the pyre. Cheers.

  24. 24
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Glenn isn’t really credible singing doomy and fantastical stuff. Much as I understand that Tony and he like each other, I always found Glenn an ill fit for anything related to Sabbath. His voice and character just ain’t right for it.

  25. 25
    MacGregor says:

    I have always liked The Seventh Star, Iommi’s first ‘solo’ album. Maybe Hughes didn’t have anything to do with the writing on that album, however with Fused he would have no doubt. It is his voice that is really disappointing on Fused, totally different to the Glenn Hughes I once knew, trying too hard maybe I don’t know, but I despise it. Plus Iommi had used up all his riffs by the early 1990’s. That Fused album is as boring as hell, no pun intended & also his solo album with all those different vocalists. The Devil You Know & 13 are too in many places. Iommi can only recycle, turn inside out, play backwards etc all his riffs over the decades before they come back to haunt him. Not to worry he has done extremely well during the 70’s, 80’s & early 90’s with those riffs. Cheers.

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “That Fused album is as boring as hell …”

    “Oh, such colorful variety!” wasn’t exactly my thought either when I relistened to it over the weekend. It is kind of dreary. Makes you want to dig out a Beach Boys album immediately afterwards. To get some dopamine rolling again.

  27. 27
    Rock Voorne says:

    FUSED is hard to listen to.
    We all expexted for 7th star part 2, I guess.

    FUSED sounded very modern/industrial.
    7th Star was full with soulful voice by GH.I saw an inknown old interview with him in Sweden around 92/93 where He says not be happy with 7th star.

    Well, ofcourse he said more things….We all know.
    Claiming he wanted to get away from playing DP songs, wanting to start a family now…
    Well, at least he lives on the beach. Wish I had that taking his recoverystory almost as an inpiration but I lach his means.

    I go insane from FUSED is something I go for sometimes.

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