Black Knight: Ritchie Blackmore
by Jerry Bloom

Inside the world of the moody guitar genius

Editor of the More Black Than Purple fanzine, Bloom is well placed to probe the temperamental guitar genius’ mind and his body of work. He traces Blackmore’s musical and familial development in airy fashion, from his work with Lord Sutch and other pre-Beatles scenesters, to his years with The Outlaws, Wild Ones, Crusaders and The Roman Empire. Contemporary press, colleagues and Blackmore himself are cited, recreating Hamburg and London’s touring and recording worlds, before fame and fortune set in. The ins and outs of their leap from Acton flat to the Dorchester are charted in often amusing and enlightening fashion, before the rise and rise of Purple through to 1975. Tales of triumph and tragedy are related from a Blackmore-oriented perspective, leading to his formation of Rainbow. That band’s rocky road to chart stardom by the late 70s, and demise by 1984, precede the Purple reunion, fratricide by 1993 and another stab at Rainbow, before his latter-day minstrelsy. It can’t explain every twist in the Tap-like tale, but we get as close to understanding the man behind the practical jokes, stage huffs and the penchant for castles as ever before. A discography and filmography wrap up the release minutiae.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Omnibus | ISBN 1846092663

Reviewed by Tim Jones
<< Back to Issue 332