Greg Prato has posted some excerpts from his book The Other Side Of Rainbow on Bravewords, quotes below explain what led to the singer parting ways with [guitarist Ritchie] Blackmore.

Wendy Dio (Wife/manager of original Rainbow singer, Ronnie James Dio): “He got fired. You don’t have much choice there. I think Ronnie saw it coming.”

David Stone (Rainbow keyboardist (1977-1979)): “That was kind of sad. Ronnie was always a really nice guy – no ego, really easy to get along with. Just one of the guys. A regular guy from Upstate New York, really. Blackmore was…he liked to control everything. So I could tell he was telling Ronnie what to sing and what to sing about. It limited Ronnie I think, creatively, quite a lot. Ronnie was like me – ‘We’re working with a rock god here, so we have to accord him that kind of respect.’ I think Blackmore should have stuck with Ronnie. He should have probably let Ronnie have a little more leeway when it came to songwriting and creativity. And he had a great band around him – all he had to do was let the band be a band. But he was a real control addict, and there was going to be none of that.”

Wendy Dio: “I don’t think so.” [In response to being asked if Ronnie and Ritchie ever spoke again after the split].

Mark Clarke (Rainbow bassist (1977), Colosseum bassist): “No, nothing about Ritchie Blackmore ever surprises me, mate. When Ritchie is involved with anything, nothing surprises me. I was surprised that it lasted so long.”

Wendy Dio: “I don’t think so, no. [In response to being asked if the lyrics to the Dio song Rainbow In The Dark’ were about Ritchie] Heaven And Hell was – ‘The world is full of kings and queens that blind your eyes and steal your dreams, it’s heaven and hell.’”

Charlie Benante (Anthrax drummer):  “It’s such a shame that those first three Rainbow records, you can’t go and see that band play. It’s a shame that it’s a moment in time that we’ll never get to see or hear again.”

Read more at Bravewords.

14 Responses

  1. Shannon, I respectfully disagree with you , about vocalists and guitarists , jeff beck ,jimmy page & eric Clapton come to mind right away as absolute masters of their craft who service the overall sound while staying true to themselves and their talent – and I just don’t understand your point at all about any guitarist making a great singer sound better ?? Ian gillan was an unbelievable vocalist listen to his performance on the jesus Christ superstar soundtrack …and he would have been spectacular working with anyone- if anything in purple he played off of john lord much more than Blackmore , I do understand your point when it comes to band chemistry, ritchies style worked with the other musical styles in purple very well – wether its dio , Robert plant , gillan, coverdale tate etc…. their respective guitarists did not make them sound better , its a team effort the right song played in the best key for their voice with the right hook made the song sound great – the singer has to deliver that lyric in a believable passionate way to connect with an audience , adele certainly doesn’t need a guitarist to prop up her vocals , neither did gillan or dio – One last point , when you have someone who likes to control and micro manage every little thing wether its in music or any profession you end up with problems, yes Blackmore was an amazing guitarist but he had zero to do with making him sing or sound better , same with Dio -but it seems he had a lot to do with those bands breaking up

    1. Great point, Robert,

      Although I love Judas Priest in its entirety, Rob Halford could sing with ANY guitar player, and he would still sound amazing. Perhaps, specific musicians would have a more symbiotic relationship with his style of singing, but a great voice is a great voice. The same applies for Dio, he sounded just as good in Black Sabbath, and Iommi has a completely different playing style than Blackmore.

      Sometimes one is lucky enough to be blessed with both skills, being a great lead guitarist and vocalist. Some examples would include: Richie Kotzen, Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Sykes. But, most lead guitarists tend excel in that area only, like Eddie Van Halen, whose vocal stylings, is definitely an acquired taste. Although, I did hear Yngwie sing, and surprisingly, he wasn’t bad. 😉


    2. For God’s sake…people just don’t listen anymore..it’s called “active listening”…I said and made a point to emphasize..Ian’s singing later on…I said “way later..” his voice pretty much shot..and you bring up that musical he did before he joined Deep Purple?? do you even understand what a musician has to do to augment and support a singer? the way he attacks the chords …? Ritchie went one or two better than anybody…he actually put in melodic counterpoint to Ian’s singing to make his vocals sound stronger..but of course, none of you knuckleheads will get this…someone should just ban me on here.

  2. Jeez, Shannon, did somebody stick a banana in your Jags tailpipe or something? No need to analyze and dissect every little musical detail to death, you’re going to blow a gasket! Now listen to Deep Purple, and Ritchie himself, and “Hush!” 😉

    1. …you know, Doug…I could say a lot of stuff about you…but I am actually not as mean as everybody else believe it or not..including you…leave my Jags out of it.

    2. Shannon, I don’t have a mean bone in my body, only funny bones! 😉 I wasn’t trying to insult you by calling you a “knucklehead,” and I wasn’t trying to insult your Jags either!

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