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.

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  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    Thanks very much for posting this Dana. I’m a huge fan of both Blackmore and Dio, and read whatever I can about both.

    There’s no denying any of what these people say, and Dio’s departure from Rainbow ended one of the greatest line-ups ever, which brought Cozy Powell and Bob Daisley into the hard rock genre as well.

    That being said, that band never made any money. I think the opening gig for the Rising tour had twelve people show up to Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.

    Another thing is that Blackmore became obsessed with Abba, and wanted to craft pop songs. He even spent an afternoon in the studio with Agnetha Faltskog, but it didn’t lead to anything, thank god.

    There’s a funny story in a Blackmore bio, in which Dio’s departure prompted Blackmore to invite Gillan to join Rainbow. Gillan refused, and then asked him if Blackmore wanted to be the guitarist in Gillan.

    Although most would agree everything turned out for the best, as Blackmore continued to find great talent, after the quality of Dio’s output was highly dependent on whom he worked with. With Tony and Geezer, and with the original Dio line-up, his work was great. But as Dio moved towards hired guns, his songwriting suffered.

    • Dana on

      Abba? Oh Lord…

    • Doug R. on

      Smoke On The Waterloo? 😉

  • robert davenport on

    dio ended up rising to the top of his profession and eventually became pretty equal in stature to Blackmore and all of his peers , Blackmore was an amazing guitarist very original and wrote some classic songs that still stand up today , but so did dio- and dio arguably is one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time , just amazing – I own those first 3 rainbow albums – and they are just classic – I never really liked the joe lynn turner era of rainbow all that much , and blackmores latest live recordings with Ronnie romero had not enough guitar bite not enough swagger from Blackmore , other than romero the band he chose to play with I question that as well- it just didn’t work , seeing him in interviews he seems like a bit of a control freak , and not many people he has worked with have nice things to say , dio on the other hand I think did put out some pretty awesome music , he had a couple of clunkers here and there but it always rocked hard – too bad ego’s always seem to ruin great bands …… ~ stay safe

  • shannon mehaffey on

    It’s the music that matters… the proof is there on stage…there is not another guitarist who ever lived that knows intrinsically how to augment, and support a singer on stage. All of that experience he had starting out as a studio session player really honed his skills and his ear. So, whenever I hear this complaining about how difficult or moody he is I just have to dismiss it pretty much…Ritchie made Ian sound fantastic ..especially way later on…Purple had no backup singers to support Gillian but with that kind of band and with a guitarist to support him like with all of that subtle counterpoint …they sounded as robust as Fleetwood Mac…look, I don’t want to hear any of this stuff about him..he’s such a professional he always put the music in the right context…whether it be improvisation, or playing to make the song, not him…the song sound right. He’s not perfect …so good night.

    • Rattlehead on

      Blackmore was entitled to be as moody and difficult as he wanted to be cuz it was his band, everyone else was a hired gun.

      Blackmore is a great musician and he and Ronnie wrote great songs together. But I’ve always thought his lead guitar playing to be sloppy, even though he’s a great musician.

  • Harold Taint on

    Is Blackmore still performing with his wife and the Hobbits?

  • jeff weaver on

    Blackmore+ABBA= Dancing Speed King!

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