‘He was so used to getting inspiration from negativity’: On Ritchie Blackmore’s transformation after Deep Purple, Rainbow

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Candice Night, having met Ritchie Blackmore after a final breakup with Deep Purple, recognized something immediately about the often-dour guitar virtuoso: “You can’t get more black than Blackmore, right?”

Blackmore had restarted Rainbow during this period, but that group too was in its waning days. Blackmore, Night says in this clip, was in a bit of a rut. A dark, dark rut.

Night, who would eventually become both his musical partner and wife, helped co-found the ren-faire rock outfit Blackmore’s Night with the guitarist — and a new era was born.

“I think with Ritchie, he was so used to getting inspiration from negativity and friction,” Night says. “He wrote brilliant songs, and got incredible inspiration from darker places. I would never criticize him for his ways, at that point. But, for me, caring about him as one human to another human being — on a personal level, not just seeing him as a musician — I love being able to look over and see him smiling on stage, or getting inspiration from a positive place. I think that’s so much more healing and healthy. I think he’s writing incredible songs, and playing better now probably than ever before. I’m happier seeing him happier.”

Blackmore cracks a smile, while listening in on this comment. But only ever so briefly. He’s still Ritchie Blackmore, you know: “I never trust anybody that smiles too much,” he quickly adds. “Some people smile too quickly. Can’t trust them.”

Blackmore co-founded Deep Purple in 1968, and remained through 1975; he returned from 1984-1993. Blackmore led Rainbow from 1975–1984, and then again from 1994–1997.

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