Friday, May 9, 2008

Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple

I just have not had much time these days to post anything here. It seems like I have not had much interest in music things as of late. Other things get in the way, and I put guitars and music on the back burner.

However, I have had fun exploring music gems on Youtube. Last week, I spent a hour or two going through all the Deep Purple I could find, mostly from the early days.

Deep Purple's Machine Head was, if I remember right, one of the first LP's I bought, way back in 1973. I think I had this before I even picked up a guitar. I also had the Made In Japan tape, which I played so much it wore out.

Ritchie Blackmore was a huge inspiration to me. I have never tried to play in his style - it would sound terrible if I did. I can just sit back and listen to him, with no interest in ever copying him.

I found this one, with the original line up, from 1973.

I love the fact that there is no light show or no fancy sets - just 5 guys, in their prime, doing a show at a college in New York. Pure 1970's music. And who says 1970's era Stratocasters were no good. Granted, he is using early 70's models. The quality problems did not show up until the mid 70's.

Compare this to their performance on Hugh Hefner's Playboy at night. This is the very first incarnation of Deep Purple, when Hush was a hit. I have to wonder if the outfits the dancers are wearing were planned, or if they really dressed this way. Maybe this was Hollywoods take on the hippie culture. Here we have Ritchie trying to teach Hugh how to play the guitar. Ritchie was using a Gibson 335 then.

My favorite era of Deep Purple is the 1972-1973, before Ian Gillan left. It is no secret that Ritchie and Ian do not get along. Burn, Strange Kind of Woman, Space Truckin, Highway Star and Lazy are probably my favorite songs of the time.

I became a huge fan of Rainbow, with Ronnie James Dio singing. I probably wore out the Live album they put out. I spent hours trying to play like this, and failed.

Ritchie is one of kind, and it was really interesting to see that he has aband with his wife playing a combination rock, folk and renaissance music in Blackmore's Night. I know there are many fans who are probably mad that he is not playing much of his electric guitar these days. But I think it is cool that he is doing what he wants to do, and moving into different types of music. Everyone has to evolve somewhat.

On an interview somewhere on youtube he is asked if he ever gets tired of playing Smoke on the Water. His answer was "no." He is very proud of that song, which is loosely based on a Beethoven progression played backwards. Like thousands of other young guitarists in the 70's, this song was one of the first I learned. I am sure that this continues today

Anyways, go out there and explore Ritchie's career. I plan to catch up on Deep Purple's music, as I do not have any left, having sold or lost many of my albums over the last 20 years.

Maybe I should start to learn his style of playing. I am getting bored with the guitar and need something new to do with it.


Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Ah yes, I love looking at old clips on Youtube. I remember the first time I heard Deep Purple, I think I was 12 years old, I was on a cruise ship.

Its cool that Richie is doing what he wants but I heard that CD and ... it was hard to listen to.

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