The Rainbow battles
Since Ritchie Blackmore formed Rainbow, that band has been the centre of attention of the critics and the public. Surprisingly, it isn't the music what took the attention, but the constant fights, in-out of the musicians instead. Ritchie Blackmore and Cozy Powell are the only surviving members of the original band. Cozy talks about the daily incidents which condiments the group's life, and about the hope that this line-up reaches the so-sought stability.
Cozy Powell decided to do a little break in his Rainbow activities to involve in the production of his solo album, which after three weeks of hard work is almost ready. The musicians that accompany him is as shining as a Hollywood group of stars. They are: Jack Bruce, Max Middleton, Clem Clempson, Don Airey, Bernie Mardsen and Gary Moore.
"I called them and explained my idea of doing a solo album in June. They all agreed immediately to participate, explains Powell. As it's evident, it was very easy to obtain their collaboration. I think that the last thing Jack Bruce did was "Berlin", for Lou Reed, three years ago. Two years before, he had done something with Zappa. In all this last time, he worked almost exclusively on albums, and didn't participate in anyone else's work. I always wanted to play with him, because he's a true rock´n roll bassist. He came to my studio and played better than ever. We had great times".
The album, called "Over the top", contains material of a great artistic quality, very varied in terms of conception and arrangements. It isn't about hard chords all the time. This work contrast a lot with the Powell solowork from some years ago, when he achieved greatest hits like "Dance with the Devil".
Unfortunately, the way his material was treated took Powell to abandon rock for some time and dedicate to his other love: race–driving. He raced for months, until Blackmore invited him to go to Los Angeles to work with his band, which was fighting at that moment to stabilize with a fixed music structure.
"It was almost a year of playing nothing – reminds Powell – I went to the studio directly from the plane to play with Blackmore and Jimmy Bain. Ronnie Dio was there, but he didn't sing anything. But the three of us got great results. Ritchie told me that I could take myself for assigned if I was interested in the job. That night I consulted with the bed and accepted the proposition. We've been together since.
Fight a little
"I wouldn't say it's the most complicated band in the world". You have to know a little about boxing to be here though. It's a hard job to maintain a good level"
The Powell sayings explain why Rainbow saw many members go since it was originally formed. The climax of this ups-downs was Ronnie Dio leaving (Did he left? Was he fired?), after that Blackmore and Powell remain as the main persons of the group.
"Many times I thought about leaving Rainbow. It's easy to go, but not so easy to carry on later, and I don't think in abandon. Blackmore always thought that I couldn't patience him, and I always thought it was him the one who couldn't patience me with my craziness. It's a battle of thoughts, which is reflected on our aggressive musical style. But, in summary, we respect ourselves a lot.
Besides Blackmore and Powell, Rainbow is Roger Glover, Don Airey (former keyboard player from Coliseum II) and the ex-singer from Marbles, Graham Bonnet.
"Once we reunite, we're going to start working on the new stage scenery, to integrate new members, and, with a bit of luck, to fight a little. That way, everything's going to be normal"
Published in November 1979, in the Argentinean magazine "Pelo"
[Thanks to Ariel Barbanente for the scan and translation]