Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore explains to Dutch Magazine, Aardschok, why he decided on lesser known musicians to help him perform Rainbow and Deep Purple classics at three European shows this summer. Blackmore’s answers were transcribed by

Blackmore said, “The whole idea was to find good musicians. Of course, there were many familiar names around, but this idea didn’t appeal to me. Unlike many others, I prefer to discover new musicians who can add a fresh approach to my music. It’s great to present new musicians to the public.”

He continued, “The singer Ronnie Romero is complete unknown. He’s 34 and I’m sure that he’ll have a great career in this scene. He is orginally from Chile, but lives in Spain. Bassist Bob Nouveau is from Connecticut, and Jens is a known and respected keyboard player. It’s very easy to work with him, because he’s so experienced.

With drummers, I always tend to be very selective. For instance, I do not like to work with showmen. On stage, I need a groove and a lot of these so-called ‘famous’ drummers often rely more on the show element than on feel. I know many guys who can make their sticks fly and use sixteen bass drums, but who are mediocre when it comes to music. David Keith, however, has a great feel for rhythm.”

Regarding the song selection for the upcoming shows, Blackmore said: “The setlist will be Rainbow songs for about 70 percent, including Stargazer, because apparently that’s a song everybody wants to hear. About 30 percent will be Deep Purple songs. We will focus on the best-known songs. The Dio era will be a central part of the show, but we will also play songs from the Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet periods. As far as PURPLE is concerned; we will play the Gillan era but will also play something from the David Coverdale period.”

Blackmore also addressed the possibility of further shows being announced if the upcoming dates go well.

He said: “I deliberately chose to only give three concerts, to see if I’m still able to do this. Of course, there have been a lot of attractive offers, especially from Sweden and Finland. However, we must remember that I have already planned a German tour for Blackmore’s Night in July. As you know, after I suspended the activities of Rainbow, I became very interested in playing renaissance music. To move back to the electrics from the acoustics won’t be easy. I’ve rarely played rock music in the last years, and before these shows I have to cut my nails short. Because when I play this other music, I need long nails. Five days after the last Rainbow show, there’ll already be the first Blackmore’s Night show, so it’s unclear if I will have enough time to grow my nails back. If it won’t work so fast, I have to rely on false plastic nails. I never had this problem before, but I’m glad that I can [do something to] help me out.”

He went on to say, “If we enjoy ourselves and the audience gives us a positive vibe back, then I won’t rule out the possibility of continuing. However, the second round of dates will probably take place in 2017. But the crucial factor will be the chemistry between the musicians and the audience reaction. These shows will be recorded on video, so that we can release it later on. But my heart will always belong to renaissance music.”

14 Responses

  1. Other reasons:
    1. Band members have agreed to wear pirate shirts
    2. They swore allegiance to Bilbo Baggins
    3. They promised to attend at least two Renaissance Fairs and not stare at cleavage
    4. They promise to never wear a wig like Joe Lynn Turner
    5. They promise to never mention their dislike of Ritchie’s creepy mustache

    1. After reading:
      3. They promised to attend at least two Renaissance Fairs and not stare at cleavage

      I’m not even going to bother writing a comment or reading the rest of the comments. Seriously, how do you top that? You don’t!

  2. I`ve seen almost all of the great hard rock/metal guitar gods out there and Ritchies performance at the cow palace for the perfect strangers tour is still the most incredible and memorable guitaring I`ve seen and heard. I would definitely see him again if he made it to with his “lesser known” band . He`s not going to choose mediocre musicians for sure, these guys most have some serious skills if he`s bringing them on board. Someone get Joe Lynn Turner a tissue.

  3. I have absolutely no problem with Richie playing with some fresh blood. To me it’s all about Blackmore and the music that he helped create. If Turner, Hughes, Coverdale, or anybody else he created his music with did a tour doing Rainbow/DP songs it would be cool, but it wouldn’t be even close to being as good as Richie playing those songs, especially after 20 years of him not playing them. Maybe I’m wrong but I think the majority of fans want to see and hear the ‘Man in Black’ playing rock again, with whoever it is. I just wish I could see it for myself, probably just have to wait for the dvd to come out.

  4. I love this pretentious prick. I’d give anything to see him in a band with Sebastian Bach, Steven Tyler, or Sammy Hagar. The drama would be emmy worthy. Based on his comments on drummers, throw Tommy Lee in there and charge me whatever you want, and I’m there.

  5. Too bad the Doogie White album will be overlooked, but an inevitability for his immense output. Ritchie obviously is alive to the fact that the Dio period is the best remembered, especially in Germany.
    We’ll soon see if David Keith’s style approximates Chuck Burgi’s. Ritchie has repeatedly said Burgi was his all-time favourite drummer because of his jazz background.

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