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Ritchie Blackmore

Thank you … Of course, to my father – for the fact that he bought me a guitar, with which it all started … ”
Thanks to Ritchie Blackmore on
Rainbow’s latest record
“Stranger In Us All” (1995)

Ritchie Blackmore (Ritchie Blackmore)
Richard Hugh Blackmore was born April 14, 1945 in the English town of Weston-Super-Mare. The first instrument – an ordinary acoustic guitar – was presented to Ritchie at the age of ten by his father, and it was his father who insisted that Ritchie not only learn to strum on six strings, but also take classical guitar lessons. At that time, the Blackmore family lived already in the city of Heston, where in the house of their grandmother Ritchie first heard the powerful music of I.S. Bach, which had sunk into the soul of the future virtuoso guitarist for the whole life.

Ritchie Blackmore (Ritchie Blackmore)
Parents ensured their offspring a “high start”: already at the age of 13, Ritchie began intensive training on the instrument under the strict guidance of the best British guitarist Jim Sullivan at that time. But by this time, Ritchie already had experience in certain compositions, performing at a purely amateurish level the skiffle that was very popular then in the British Isles – Blackmore’s first group, in which he began to perform already in 1956, bore the humorous name Dogbox (“Doghouse”). It was followed by similar rosters of the 21’s Coffee Bar Junior Skiffle Group, The Dominators and The Condors.

Ritchie Blackmore (Ritchie Blackmore)
At the very beginning of 1962, Ritchie was unusually lucky: it was not anyone but the gloomy hero of the overseas rock and roll Gene Vincent who invited the young guitarist to his accompaniment (old rock and roll artists still prefer to recruit compositions on the territory of upcoming tours ), which began the professional real career of Ritchie Blackmore. After a European tour and an instant stop in the band Mike Dee And The Jaywalkers in May of the same 1962, Ritchie found himself in the band of one of the most bizarre pop figures of the 60s Britain, David Satch Screaming Lord Sutch & His Savages. However, Ritchie soon became convinced that his employer was much more worried about finding his name in the headlines of the British tabloids – David Satch owned his own pirate radio station, tried to run for the House of Commons with some kind of “18-year-old election platform” and had concerts with stage performances long before Alice Cooper props in the form of coffins and guillotines.

The musical side of the work of the first “king of horrors” of the rock scene instantly ceased to satisfy Blackmore, and a few months later he was in the ranks of the instrumental “The Outlaws”, who also worked as their own studio group with the then-famous producer Joe Meek. As part of The Outlaws, Ritchie managed to record the sensational singles “Keep A-Knockin ‘” and “Snake With Me”, as well as work with such popular British singers at that time as Mike Berry and Heinz, and even for a short time joined the group the latter is Hainz ‘Wild Boys.

Ritchie Blackmore (Ritchie Blackmore)
In the same 1964, Ritchie recorded his first solo single with “Little Brown Jug” and “Getaway”, and soon became part of Neil Christian’s band The Crusaders. The following three years became a real merry-go-round for the guitarist: in addition to The Crusaders, where Ritchie left and came back, he managed to play enough in The Lancasters compositions (where for the first time in his life he performed Edward Grieg’s treatment “In the Cave of the Mountain King”), in the newly updated composition The Savages, this time working as an accompanying band on Jerry Lee Lewis’ European tour, with the theatrical rock band Roman Empire and semi-mythical Mandrake Root, which fell apart in October.

The beginning of Deep Purple was laid by the former drummer of The Searchers band Chris Curtis back in 1966, but this story requires a separate discussion.

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