INTERVIEWS THE HAGUE 1977 (pt 1)
Before the Rainbow Fanclan was founded at the end of 1979, there was once in the distant past a (Dutch) Deep Purple Fanclub, to be precise in 1971, founded by Bart Hekkelman. This was taken over in 1975 by René Veldhoen, who ended the fan club in early 1979 (in 1976 renamed to Rainbow Fanclub), due to lack of time and the lack of people who could continue the fanclub. At that time news sources were very scarce, especially compared to the possibilities now, so there were not really many interesting articles about Rainbow. However, there are two exceptions: the two concerts that Rainbow gave in the Congresgebouw in The Hague. From the fanzines of that time we can now thanks to our good friend Tonny Steenhagen, who, in addition to the photos posted, also provided us with these copies, the concert report written at the time and interviews on the Rainbow Fanclan Legacy Website.
DAVID STONE - Interview The Hague October 4, 1977
After the concert, the fanclub board went to the Bel-Air hotel, hoping for an interview with Rainbow members. There we met David Stone, who was eager to talk to us. The main questions of this conversation are printed below.
We have heard that a song from your next LP called "L.A Connection" is going to be released as a single. Is that right?
Eh .. That is very possible. It is a good rock song without too much spacy influences. Most of the songs from the LP "Long Live Rock'n'Roll" are quite short. You could actually compare it to "Deep Purple in Rock".
Who plays keyboards on the new LP, Tony or you?
(grinning) That's a pretty good question Tony played on the LP and maybe they like those songs. But it is also possible that I will play on those tracks The LP is not finished yet and there is still a lot to be done. Again, I don't know who's playing the organ on the new LP. It all depends on what Ritchie and the others think. When they think I can do better, they will re-record the organ parts.
Do you think Ritchie is the leader of the band?
Musically he is the strongest in the band, as was the case with Deep Purple. He also does most of the writing in the band. Sometimes we come up with ideas and then he says "That's good", and then he tries to elaborate. It is also very difficult to give an opinion about him, because I have only known him for two months.
Do you think there is room for you musically within the band?
Yes. There is enough cooperation within the band. If this is not the case, then you do not have to start concerts.
Can you tell something about your past, in which groups did you play for Rainbow?
Well... I actually only played in few bands. Mainly in Symphonic Slam. That band sold reasonably well in Belgium and a few other European countries, but in the US we didn't make much. It all started to get a bit annoying, because musically we didn't move forward. It was a great opportunity to play with someone else again, someone like Ritchie. It is a strange experience for me, such a big tour. Especially because I am the only one in the band that has little experience in this area. When we started this tour I said, "Hey, Great!" while the others said, "Here we go again." Cozy especially hates touring.
How did you get in Rainbow?
I was in a studio in Toronto And I got a call, how I would like to play with Ritchie. I agreed and within three hours I was on a plane. After that everything went really fast.
When will the new LP come out?
Probably early February. We'll finish it in Musicland, mix it up and stuff. Then we'll try to get the LP out as soon as possible. And as soon as it's released, we'll release a single that probably "LA Connection" or "Long Live Rock" n'Roll" will be called.
And "Kill The King"?
That was released as a maxi-single in England and I believe it is even in the charts.
The songs have been shortened considerably.
Yes, but if we put it on LP, then it is great, but it is insane to release those same songs on single.Then such a single would take thirty minutes and that is almost an LP. But that is all done by the record company regularly and they are allowed by me as long as my bank account goes up.
Do you mean that the record company has decided to release the single and not you?
Well, they do what they want, which doesn't mean I'm against it. The band is basically okay with whatever they want to release from Rainbow. As long as they don't release bootlegs or demos, we say, "Okay, go ahead." I hate bootlegs, I hate them because we don't make money with them and when a bad concert is released on bootleg, everyone can hear that later. That's really shit. In Copenhagen a fan came up to me who really had everything. He had a pile of bootlegs in his hand that ranged from "Rainbow in Japan" to "Rainbow on the Toilet". He had everything and he was really proud of it. I said, "Oh no, I don't wanna see them." Ritchie, when he's in a bad mood, is able to kill that guy. He would destroy him completely. That was really funny.
Did you rehearse a lot before the tour?
Yes, I didn't know the material and the band hadn't rehearsed for a while, so there was a lot of work to do. Bob was also just new and we didn't have much time left.
Can you tell us about Bob?
He played in English bands for about seven years. I didn't know him, but I saw him with his band Widowmaker. That was their last concert, because Bob joined Rainbow and they were horribly bad. But Bob was okay... I believe that he feels happy. He has always played in rock and bluesy oriented bands and I believe he likes what he does now.
Do you believe that Rainbow is always happy with what they play?
(hesitant) Yes, but I believe the band is still developing.
Do you think Rainbow will have to play what the audience wants to hear in the coming years?
Yes, that is clear.
If we look at the title of the new LP, "Long Live Rock'n'Roll", it sounds a bit commercial. Status Quo recently released an LP called "Rock'n'Roll Over The World". I think not that such a title suits Rainbow Rainbow has always had a mystical touch.
The band has always been a rock'n'roll band. We are not a Yes or a Strawbs.
Okay, but the title song sounded too much like a "Burn" or "Stormbringer". It was another typical Blackmore riff song.
That's just his writing style.
Yes of course, but I appreciate Ritchie more for the things he plays in songs like "Catch The Rainbow". Don't you think he should play more of those things?
That depends on who he plays with. If he can't get along with his fellow musicians, the band sounds very simple. The closer he works with someone, the more complicated the songs will sound. Just look at a band like Genesis that also work an awful lot and good together. Their music is complex and very good. Ritchie is musically very difficult to follow because he is very closed and hardly talks. But the better he gets along with someone the better the music gets. I believe he is very happy at the moment, that is what makes me happy. I prefer to play with happy people, you know.
What do you think of tonight's audience?
They were okay. I think the band needs a young audience. An audience that runs forward, hitting the stage and shouting. Rock'n'roll audiences are the best. In Copenhagen Ritchie smashed his guitar and threw the remains in it audience. Everyone wanted to get a piece of the guitar. That was great.
Did you do encores at every concert?
No! When people want to hear an encore, we'll do one. I think it's very shitty when the band plays an encore while the audience is half asleep in the meantime.. When they really scream enthusiastically, we'll do one. In England we expect to have to do two or three encores.
Why don't you play more songs from the new LP?
We'll finish the LP and then on the next tour we'll play material from it. We only had a month to prepare. We decided to play those songs that most of the band members already knew. When we had to rehearse all the new pieces, we were not finished yet.
When did you join Rainbow?
Eh... End of August.
What do you think of Ritchie as a guitarist?
Oh, he's very good at what he does. I can't think of anyone else playing this kind of rock, so it's hard to say I love people like Al Di Meola. Ritchie is on his territory, straight rock'n'roll, the best. Tim Nolane, the man I used to play with in Symphonic Slam, also had a similar style, but he doesn't have the emotion that Ritchie has. That's very important.
Did Ritchie write most of the songs for the new LP?
Yes, usually in collaboration with Ronnie.
The keyboard solo you played in "Still I'm Sad," wasn't it typical Blackmore style?
Yeah... When I joined the band I played a lot of different styles, and a lot of different things. However, after a short while we discovered that Ritchie and I have more or less the same influences. He likes rock and I like rock. For example, I don't think he could play jazz-rock, because that's not his style, you know... I used to play a lot of Fender Rhodes pianos, but he doesn't like that at all.
You just said that Ritchie isn't a jazz rock fan, but his favorite guitarist is Jeff Beck, who plays that style.
No, but he likes the rockin' Jeff Beck more. Not when he plays jazz. Although Jeff often comes up with great riffs. But Ritchie likes the Jeff Beck from eight years ago more. Now he doesn't actually play songs, but riffs where the rest of the band works around. Ritchie works first on the riffs and then starts working on a song. Those songs give people a bit more thinking.
© Dutch Rainbow Fanclub - The Book Of Taliesyn no 8, Februari 1978