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  1. #1
    DiosSword's Avatar
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    Default Is Ritchie Blackmore really a jerk...or just misunderstood?

    I have heard so many varying opinions of him.

    Granted, he's not going to be on Ian Gillan's Christmas card list anytime soon...and Glenn Hughes described him once as "a pretty evil cat." Ronnie James Dio said that he looked at Blackmore as an example of how not to treat people, which spurred RJD to be as good to his fans as he could be.

    Ed Trunk once said that he's been trying to get Blackmore onto That Metal Show for years...but he won't appear unless he can only talk about Blackmore's Night - no discussions of Deep Purple, Rainbow, or the myriad of incredible musicians he worked with over the decades. Tony Iommi was on that episode and Trunk asked Tony if he could somehow intercede with Ritchie...Tony just said "I know him, but not well, and I don't see him much," or words to that effect.

    Ian Gillan says in his autobiography Child In Time that Blackmore was the way he was in no small part to having never been praised as a child.

    But then I've talked to people who have met him...and opinions range from "if he's not in a good mood, he'll tell you to fuck off," to fans who have related stories about Blackmore taking them backstage after Purple and Rainbow gigs and being very hospitable.

    OK, I used to hear similar opinions about Neil Peart, until I learnt that Peart just isn't comfortable with people he doesn't know, especially since losing his wife and daughter years ago.

    I can relate to that, because in person I am extremely reserved, which often gets mistaken for coldness, aloofness, arrogance, etc. I am not comfortable in crowds and know more about nuclear physics than making small talk.

    But I have never purposefully been an arsehole to anyone, unless they push me too far, and they really have to work at that before I pop a gasket.

    I have heard many stories of Blackmore being just the opposite - being an arsehole to people who admire him, and of course stories to the contrary.

    Personally, I hope I never meet him, because he is my close #2 guitar hero behind Tony Iommi and if he were an arsehole to me it would disappoint me greatly...not that I'd want to sit and talk about one another's life stories. Example: in 1993 I met Marina Sirtis from Star Trek. She was one of my all-time crushes and at the time I would have walked across broken glass for her. She signed two autographs for me and I just said "thank you, Marina." She gave me her utterly dazzling smile and said "you're quite welcome," and I left it at that. She was very nice.

    Has anyone on this board ever met Blackmore, and, if so, what were your experiences with him?
    He is not here. He has risen!

  2. #2

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    Bob Daisley didn't have anything negative to say about Ritchie and his stint in Rainbow in his autobiography...in fact he mentions Blackmore having a bit of a sense of humour.
    Said he got along fine with Ritchie because he took the job (playing bass) seriously and didn't fuck around.
    Granted that when Ritchie decided that he wanted to clean house regarding the lineup, that's exactly what he did (except Cozy) but it was Ritchie's band and no bones were made about it.

    Ronnie had a pretty big ego too, Blackmore is usually portrayed as the villain in the "classic" Rainbow story but I'm sure RJD played his part.
    If I remember correctly Ritchie got incredibly frustrated with Gillan's performances and percieved lack of effort into putting on a good show.
    That might make him look like an asshole, but maybe he was on to something?

  3. #3
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    I think the best way to describe Ritchie is that he pretty much has perpetual PMS.

    And the biggest thing with Ritchie has always been that if things don't go his way 100% he will get annoyed. He is an absolute control freak...up to a point of it being a disability.

    The one thing that rubs me the wrong way the most is his frequent habit of cutting shows short by just leaving the stage...that is really really disrespectul to his fans. He still does it too with Blackmore's Night. I remember few years ago he came back to do some encores with his electric guitar but I suppose the crowd wasn't to his liking so he just took off leaving the rest of the band just standing there wondering what the hell happened. Not the only occation either. Although I believe he has mellowed down a bit during the Blackmore's Night days...Candice's influence no doubt.

    I don't really remember many people speaking all too fondly of the 70s and 80s Ritchie.

    I think the only somewhat positive stories I've heard are about his ability to preform crazy pranks on people...some of which got way out of hand too.


    The one thing is for sure Ritchie is a very unique kind of person...huge talent, but with a big set of issues too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charger View Post

    ...if things don't go his way 100% he will get annoyed. He is an absolute control freak...up to a point of it being a disability.
    I think that is a good take on it. He strikes me as being very authentic in his professional life; he wears his heart on his sleeve as they say. Unfortunately for a lot of people over the years that has manifested itself as petulance.

    When he is hanging out around town I doubt he kicks puppies and pisses in cereal bowls, but everything I've heard about his behavior points to exactly what you mentioned Charger - if things aren't going the way he thinks they should he develops a problem. And makes sure everyone knows it.

    There are a lot of talented guitarists out there. Ritchie has always been one of them, but he has the capacity to transcend that. And when he bothers to do so, he is magnificent.
    gadji beri bimba glandridi laula lonni cadori - Ball

  5. #5
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    Yea agree, Blackmore has issues, Roger Glover said it best if i can remember it correctly, to paraphrase, "I think he's immensely talents, so much so, I think he has a hard time handling it emotionally" it's from a short Purple documentary... for all of his personality quirks, he's a very interesting character, you can't help not keeping your eyes on him, he's very eccentric, he's a personal hero of mine, not for his personal attributes, but his guitar playing, his persona, his extremes, he has the perfect blend of technical brilliance and knowledge mixed with raw emotion, he does wear his heart on his sleeve, esp. when it comes to playing. He's my personal favorite guitarist and rock personality, I'm smitten by him, yet strangely I;m glad I never met him for fear he'd blow me off...

    I had the pleasure and shock of seeing him at 2 gigs during the Down To Earth Tour, in '79, one week apart, Rainbow opened for Blue Oyster Cult, and he literally stole the show, even smashed up a guitar, the other, Rainbow headlined Montrose opened and he went into a funk and hid behind his amp the rest of the show after a couple songs...
    "Music is so sacred to me that I cant hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
    R. Blackmore

  6. #6
    DiosSword's Avatar
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    I saw him with Deep Purple in 1987 in Indianapolis, with the Brian Howe-led Bad Company supporting.

    The show itself was quite good (and loud; one of the loudest I've seen) from a musical POV, but visually other than the odd fist-pump in the air, he hardly ever came out any further than the front of Ian Paice's drum riser. A friend in Australia told me she almost walked out on a Purple gig there because all he did was stand back by his amp stacks and make "annoying noises" with his guitar.

    I've heard the stories as well about him cutting shows short...in fact, I was concerned he would do that at the Deep Purple gig in question, but I think they managed one encore.

    As I've said, he is probably my #2 guitarist behind Tony Iommi, with Michael Schenker (another "character") coming in a very close third.

    He's said that he thinks David Coverdale is a very good singer, and that Whitesnake's Slide It In was a very good album (interview in Kerrang, '85), but if Coverdale were to come backstage at any gigs there would be trouble.

    It's not really applicable at his age, 71, especially with his having basically left the rock field, but once you get a reputation for treating people like shit, like he did during the Rainbow years, when he did run everything, eventually people aren't going to want to work with you, no matter how talented you are...I think Yngwie Malmsteen has suffered the same character defects.

    It makes me wonder how he and Cozy Powell, who was not known for his tolerance of bullshit, lasted long enough in the same band to make three studio albums together.
    He is not here. He has risen!

  7. #7
    Wicked Cricket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiosSword View Post
    I saw him with Deep Purple in 1987 in Indianapolis, with the Brian Howe-led Bad Company supporting.

    The show itself was quite good (and loud; one of the loudest I've seen) from a musical POV, but visually other than the odd fist-pump in the air, he hardly ever came out any further than the front of Ian Paice's drum riser. A friend in Australia told me she almost walked out on a Purple gig there because all he did was stand back by his amp stacks and make "annoying noises" with his guitar.

    I've heard the stories as well about him cutting shows short...in fact, I was concerned he would do that at the Deep Purple gig in question, but I think they managed one encore.

    As I've said, he is probably my #2 guitarist behind Tony Iommi, with Michael Schenker (another "character") coming in a very close third.

    He's said that he thinks David Coverdale is a very good singer, and that Whitesnake's Slide It In was a very good album (interview in Kerrang, '85), but if Coverdale were to come backstage at any gigs there would be trouble.

    It's not really applicable at his age, 71, especially with his having basically left the rock field, but once you get a reputation for treating people like shit, like he did during the Rainbow years, when he did run everything, eventually people aren't going to want to work with you, no matter how talented you are...I think Yngwie Malmsteen has suffered the same character defects.

    It makes me wonder how he and Cozy Powell, who was not known for his tolerance of bullshit, lasted long enough in the same band to make three studio albums together.
    In the Richie Blackmore Story, the episodes are on Youtube, Cozy mentions their relationship with a laugh... how they butted heads.

    In contrast Ian, Cozy, Glenn Hughes all loved playing with Tony I. and were all very good friends...Blackmore see's other men as a threat... I guess one is The Man In Black the other The Dick In Black...
    Last edited by Wicked Cricket; 05-24-2016 at 08:35 PM.
    "Music is so sacred to me that I cant hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
    R. Blackmore

  8. #8
    oh lord yeah!'s Avatar
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    a bit of both really. i would say he is my favourite guitarist of all time and one of the true greats. i thought he was great in purple but never always gave 100% but early rainbow he took his playing to another level. he was effortlessly brilliant.

  9. #9
    TYR66's Avatar
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    Mr Blackmore is a pure Legend . Only his talent and genius count. His behavior with others leaves me cold.
    we don't have many like him now .

  10. #10
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    >>TECHNICINS F SPCE
    SHIP ERTH THIS IS
    YR CPTIN SPEKING
    YR PTIN IS DEA˝D<<

  11. #11
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    I've often thought that if Ritchie Blackmore had grown up in more recent times, he would probably have been diagnosed with some kind of autism spectrum disorder. He does come off weird and as kind of an arsehole, but I really believe there's more to it than that.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiosSword View Post
    I have heard so many varying opinions of him.

    Granted, he's not going to be on Ian Gillan's Christmas card list anytime soon...and Glenn Hughes described him once as "a pretty evil cat." Ronnie James Dio said that he looked at Blackmore as an example of how not to treat people, which spurred RJD to be as good to his fans as he could be.

    Ed Trunk once said that he's been trying to get Blackmore onto That Metal Show for years...but he won't appear unless he can only talk about Blackmore's Night - no discussions of Deep Purple, Rainbow, or the myriad of incredible musicians he worked with over the decades. Tony Iommi was on that episode and Trunk asked Tony if he could somehow intercede with Ritchie...Tony just said "I know him, but not well, and I don't see him much," or words to that effect.

    Ian Gillan says in his autobiography Child In Time that Blackmore was the way he was in no small part to having never been praised as a child.

    But then I've talked to people who have met him...and opinions range from "if he's not in a good mood, he'll tell you to fuck off," to fans who have related stories about Blackmore taking them backstage after Purple and Rainbow gigs and being very hospitable.

    OK, I used to hear similar opinions about Neil Peart, until I learnt that Peart just isn't comfortable with people he doesn't know, especially since losing his wife and daughter years ago.

    I can relate to that, because in person I am extremely reserved, which often gets mistaken for coldness, aloofness, arrogance, etc. I am not comfortable in crowds and know more about nuclear physics than making small talk.

    But I have never purposefully been an arsehole to anyone, unless they push me too far, and they really have to work at that before I pop a gasket.

    I have heard many stories of Blackmore being just the opposite - being an arsehole to people who admire him, and of course stories to the contrary.

    Personally, I hope I never meet him, because he is my close #2 guitar hero behind Tony Iommi and if he were an arsehole to me it would disappoint me greatly...not that I'd want to sit and talk about one another's life stories. Example: in 1993 I met Marina Sirtis from Star Trek. She was one of my all-time crushes and at the time I would have walked across broken glass for her. She signed two autographs for me and I just said "thank you, Marina." She gave me her utterly dazzling smile and said "you're quite welcome," and I left it at that. She was very nice.

    Has anyone on this board ever met Blackmore, and, if so, what were your experiences with him?
    Blackmore is a bit of both for sure , but whats really sort of misunderstood of Blackmore , is how he is such a perfectionist and how he takes his music quite seriously , he is someone who always knew EXACTLY what he wants from a musical perspective , and who always tried to raise the bar in order to reach that musical utopia of his , the truth is , most musicians that went through Blackmore's roller coaster we're replaced or thrown out for 2 main reasons , either not fitting enough to what he is seeking musically at that time , or not having enough balls , character or personality that adds up to the music , band or sort pushes himself to be challenged and inspired.

    For instance , and in the case of Cozy Powell , Powell was actually the one who quieted Rainbow after being with the band for around 5 years , he is one of the a very few musicians and particularly drummers ,that were able to hold up with Ritchie for so long , and why ? 1st because he is one of the very best drummers on the planet , a real hard hitter , a real professional , a real rock n roller , and an extremely strong character as well , Blackmore ALWAYS seemed to be quite straight and respectful for those who stood toe to toe with him on a musical and personal level , so even for instance when RJD left for musical differences , they both seemed to have a lot of respect and admiration for one another on a professional level , everyone know how RJD always took his work too seriously , live or in the studio , he was a massive talent but also as much discipline and dedication to his profession too , and that's why both their song writing collaboration was magical ! they fed on one another , and simply brought the best out of both musical worlds.

    I haven't heard any musician who ever worked with Ritchie , that doesn't say he was a genius and that they were absolutely pleasured to work with (despite of any fall out with them on a personal level), Roger Glover once said they were actually lucky to work with Ritchie , a cool story to mention , and despite having massive tension and heat with Blackmore back in 1993 , its well documented the whole band gave a standing ovation to Ritchie Blackmore after his mind blowing performance on 'Anya' in Stuttgart in Germany back in 1993 ... Blackmore fell out with Gillan and the rest of Purple simply because most of the band members were worn out musically and weren't living up to his high standard ! (specially Gillan) , and the proof is quite easy , 20 years later , and purple's set list is 90-95% based on the classics written with Ritchie Blackmore ! for me Purple were all about the edginess , attitude , taking risks and being totally unpredictable .... and this all were actually driven by Ritchie , he pushed everyone to the edge and simply got the best of all the musicians he worked with !

    On a personal level you can hear all sort of stories with Ritchie indeed , he is obviously too private and reserved as many mentioned here , and most private people who are in the business are quite misunderstood one way or the other (Peart and Geezer for example) , but sure thing Blackmore has his nasty moments as well , I never got to meet him in person , but one of my close friends once saw Rainbow in Germany back in the 70's , he knew where the band were staying and went to the hotel after the show ,he ended in an elevator with Cozy who invited him to his room when he knew he was a fan , and then he went to a bar and Ritchie was there , said he was actually nice and that he was having a black tea !
    Last edited by IRON-MaN; 07-01-2016 at 02:54 PM.

  13. #13
    OzzyIsDio's Avatar
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    Ritchie Blackmore has always been one of my favorite guitarists, he is in my top 3.
    "Without Black Sabbath there never would have been an Ozzy, and without Ozzy there never would have been a Black Sabbath"
    "If there ever was a band whose voice is so significant and distinct, that band is Black Sabbath and the voice is Ozzy Osbourne"
    ________________________________________OzzyIsDio_ (YoY)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzyIsDio View Post
    Ritchie Blackmore has always been one of my favorite guitarists, he is in my top 3.
    agree .
    Top 2 ,for me

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    blackmore is my favourite guitarist.

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