Matteo Bizzarri wins Ritchie Blackmore 2nd Annual Protégé Shred-Off

The second annual Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off competition winner has been announced.

This years’ winner goes to Matteo Bizzarri from Ferrara, Italy for his piece entitled “Blackmoresque Medley”

Bizzarri created his under three-minute composition as “A medley of several different songs from my band (Voodoo Highway)”

Jim Manngard, Ritchie Blackmore’s long-time guitar technician, sound tech, and personal assistant since 1985, led the decision by three-judge panel in declaring this years’ winner. Along with Manngard, rounding out the three-judge panel was second-year judge Andy DiGelsomina, the composer-guitarist for the Wagnerian opera metal project Lyraka, and Keith Langerman, owner of Nightwatcher’s House of Rock blog.

Says Manngard, “Matteo’s composition had a good vibrato and picking technique that combined the elements of Classical, Blues, Hard Rock, Baroque, Medieval, and Renaissance – very reminiscent of Ritchie’s playing style (throughout his career). The riff grooved. The solo and outro had a good, tasty feel to it. I liked the ‘vibe’ and the ‘attack’ along with the delicate work of picking and inflection.”

DeGelsomina added, “He not only followed the rules (of the contest), but great playing, especially in the second half of the video, where he got more creative.”

Langerman ended with, “Matteo’s Bizzarri’s “Blackmoresque Medley” exemplified best the spirit of Ritchie’s playing, which has been a hallmark throughout his career.”

Entries for this years’ competition not only arrived from Italy, but Spain, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, France, Russia, and the United States. Each were posted on The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off – 2011 page.

The top prize is a plaque with the person’s name, city and country of origin, and the current year.

The competition is hosted by the Official Induct Ritchie Blackmore Into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame organization.

[thanks to: Julie Barela Mills ]

Ritchie Blackmore 2nd Annual Protégé Shred-Off 2012

After last year's 1st Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off this competition returns for the 2nd edition. Details about this competition for guitarplayers who can play a Blackmore-esque lead guitar arrangement over a backing that is similarly in a Deep Purple, Rainbow, and/or Blackmore's Night vein way can be found on Facebook.

The winner will be announced on both the Induct Ritchie Blackmore Into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011 Facebook pages on Saturday, April 14, 2012 (Ritchie's 67th birthday).

This Year's Three-Judge Panel consists of returning judge Andy DiGelsomina (composer and guitarist for the Wagnerian opera metal project Lyraka, Jim Manngard (Ritchie's long-time guitar tech), and Keith Langerman (Owner of Nightwatcher's House Of Rock blog).

For complete rules of the contest please visit this site.

[thanks to: Julie Barela Mills ]

Winner of the Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Tribute Shred-Off 2011 announced

The winner of the first ever Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off- 2011 is... (drum roll, please)...

Edwin Kosters aka "Edwin Gitarist" from Rijen, The Netherlands. Mr. Kosters has been contacted via email and will be sent a plaque with his name inscribed in approximately two weeks time.

Here again is his sound only recording that captured the majority vote of the three-panel judges and upon listening to it myself, that recording, above all, was this administrator feels of what it is like to play in "The Spirit Of Ritchie Blackmore".

Congratulations from the administrators of the Induct Ritchie Blackmore Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

[thanks to: Julie Barela Mills, writer for the Dutch Rainbow Fanclan Legacy]

Ritchie Blackmore To Guest On William Shatner's Album

Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records has inked legendary actor William Shatner to a worldwide recording deal for a space-themed concept album entitled "Searching For Major Tom" (formerly "Seeking Major Tom"), to be released later this year.

Comprised of 19 "interpretations" of classic intergalactic rock anthems, the release features guest appearances by Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow, Deep Purple), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne), Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne), Mike Inez (Alice in Chains) and Michael Schenker (MSG, UFO, Scorpions).

Of Wylde, Shatner previously said, "He's fantastic! I'm energized." Wylde was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Shatner and added, "He's super cool, we had an awesome time working together."

"Searching For Major Tom" track listing:

01. Space Trucking (Deep Purple)
* Ian Paice (Deep Purple) on drums
* Johnny Winter on guitar

02. She Blinded Me With Science (Thomas Dolby)
* Bootsy Collins on bass
* Patrick Moraz (YES, Moody Blues) on keyboards/synthesizers

03. In A Little While (U2)
* Manuel Gottsching (Ash Ra Tempel) on guitar

04. Empty Glass (The Tea Party)
* Michael Schenker (MSG, UFO, Scorpions) on guitar

05. Lost In The Stars (Frank Sinatra version)
* Ernie Watts on saxophone

06. Twilight Zone (Golden Earring)
* Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule, Allman Brothers) on guitar

07. Space Cowboy (Steve Miller)
* Brad Paisley on guitar and vocals

08. Rocket Man (Elton John)
* Steve Hillage (Gong) on guitar

09. Space Oddity (David Bowie)
* Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) on guitar
* Alan Parsons on keyboards

10. Spirit In The Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
* Peter Frampton on guitar

11. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
* John Wetton (Asia) on bass and vocals

12. Silver Machine (Hawkwind)
* Wayne Kramer (MC5) on guitar
* Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne) on drums

13. Major Tom (Peter Shilling)
* Nick Valensi (The Strokes) on guitar
* Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) on guitar
* Mike Inez (Alice in Chains) on bass

14. Learning to Fly (Pink Floyd)
* Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream) on guitar and keyboards

15. Mr. Spaceman (The Byrds)
* Dave Davies (The Kinks) on guitar

16. Iron Man (Black Sabbath)
* Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) on guitar and vocals

17. Planet Earth (Duran Duran)
* Steve Howe (YES) on guitar

18. Walking On The Moon (The Police)
* Toots (Toots & The Maytals) on vocals

19. Mrs. Major Tom
* Female guest vocalist to be announced

William Shatner will be presented with the Honorary Headbanger Award at the third annual Revolver Golden Gods award show presented by Epiphone on Wednesday, April 20, at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles. Revered for his role as Captain James T. Kirk on "Star Trek", Shatner will be on hand to accept his award, an honor Revolver magazine bestows each year to someone who has made their name outside of the metal world but still embodies its spirit.

"Short of receiving an Emmy for my superb voice, the Honorary Headbanger Award is the next best thing. Praise be you won't hear me sing," said William Shatner.

[source: Blabbermouth]

A Ritchie Blackmore musical is to be staged on 28th April in Rome

A Man, A Guitar, A Legend

The show aims to represent the story of the guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore in a musical excursion from the beginning to nowadays and sees the alternation of bands on stage that trace, through the execution of songs and medleys, the most significant groups which Ritchie was the founder of (Deep Purple and Rainbow) and ending with Blackmore's Night.

The project includes a narrator who, during the show, gives general information about the Master's life, beginning with the most basic such as birth and childhood to the beginning of his career and then continues with his musical history, enriched by anecdotes and curiosity.

There will also be a screen on which images and films scroll during narration from one song/medley to another.

The show will end with an explosion of colours by background and medieval/renaissance costumes of the last Ritchie’s group: Blackmore's Night.

[source: More Black Than Purple]

The contestants for the Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Tribute Shred-Off 2011

Contestants from The Netherlands, Sweden, France, Poland, and the United States have entered the Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Tribute Shred-Off 2011. Fan voting will take place from 11 April to 13 April, with the winner, as determined by the three-judge panel of (Karl) Cochran, (Andy) DiGelsomina, and (Stuart) Smith, being announced on 14 April 2011 or Ritchie Blackmore's 66th Birthday!

Here are the potential Protégé's and their links. Included here is one sound recording ONLY, 3 You Tube and 1 Facebook video recordings.

Joe Todaro - Brooklyn, New York, USA Link

Patrick Salin - Borlänge, Sweden Link

Piotr Brzychcy - Dabrowa Gornicza, Poland Link

Jean-Luc Delacherie - Margny les Compiegne, France Link

Edwin Kosters - Rijen, Netherlands Link

[thanks to: Julie Barela Mills, writer for the Dutch Rainbow Fanclan Legacy]

The rules for the Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Tribute Shred-Off 2011

The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011" which will officially begin on Friday, 25 March 2011 @ 12 am PST (USA) and last until Sunday, 10 April 2011 @ 11:59pm PST (USA). The contest winner will then be announced on Ritchie's 66th birthday, April 14th. From April 11-13, Fans will be able to press the "like" button to their favorite protege. However it will be up to guest judges - Karl Cochran, Andy DiGelsomina, and Stuart Smith to determine the winner of this years' contest.


a) This contest is open to anyone around the world who plays guitar and who wants to showcase 'their' hidden talent to the rest of us here on FB. Your submitted links will then be posted on a separate FB page, entitled "The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011", beginning (on or about) 11 April through 13 April 2011 for fan voting.

b) All entries need not be original, but in the 'style' of Ritchie Blackmore.

c) Only one entry per contestant. And if at all possible, please try not to submit a video already uploaded on your channel, unless you feel that video is the 'best' representation of your playing and it meets the time limit for this contest.

d) An entry can be performed solo, or with accompaniment (a band, or a musical device such as a keyboard or drum machine).

e) Time Limit: No more than 3:30 seconds. - This means the last note of your entry must not go over the 3:30 mark or it will be disqualified.

f) Entry can be presented in any format, but video is strongly preferred for identification purposes.

g) All entries must be copyrighted by the contestant.

1. This means posting to your own site first, then sending us the link to the following address:

Very Important

2. When sending the link to your video, please include the following information:

- Your First and Last name

- City and Country to which you are submitting your entry from.

- A valid email address where we can reach you, in order to 1) notify you that we received your video for consideration, and 2) just in case we have problems posting your entry*

- On the "Subject Line" of your email, clearly state "RE: RB Shred Off 2011" with the time and date you are sending your video through to us (i.e. 1345 hours 27 Mar or 0130 hours 3 April).

Please Be Honest. Absolutely, no early or late emails will be accepted OR considered in the final voting tally.


a) All entries will be considered and judged upon when they reach the following email address: beginning Friday, 25 March 2011 @ 0:00 hours (12 am) through Sunday, 10 April 2011 @ 23:59 hours (11:59 pm) PST (USA).

b) Although YOUR peers will have a chance to vote for their favorite protégé’s by pressing the "like" button between the 11 April 2011 until 13 April 2011, this, however; will not determine the eventual winner of this year's The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011 contest.

c) Three-Judge Panel will determine the winner. This Year's Three-Judge Panel consists of three professional guitarists, Karl Cochran, Andy DiGelsomina, and Stuart Smith, who have taken their valuable time (from their own touring and recording schedules) to judge this contest on behalf of the administrators managing Induct Ritchie Blackmore into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.


a) The winner of The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011 will be announced on Thursday, April 14, 2011 (Ritchie Blackmore's 66th birthday) at approximately 9am PST (USA).


1) Blackmore Productions, their respective management, as well as the members of Blackmore's Night, including Ritchie Blackmore (in whose honour we dedicate this IR site and Shred Off contest to) and Candice Night, are in no way affiliated with "The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011" Contest.

2)* Induct Ritchie Blackmore Into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, nor The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011 will be held liable for any lost and/or misdirected transmission of the video links unable to reach the official contest email address of: However, in order to confirm the receipt of your video; we will use your personal email address to notify you upon receipt of your video. Note: Your message will be from "Shred Off Contest".

3) If you have questions about this rules of the contest, please feel free to contact us at:

4) This is an independent Contest on Facebook being conducted solely by the administrators of the Induct Ritchie Blackmore into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

©2011 IRBinHOF2012
All Rights Reserved (USA and International)
www: facebook site

[thanks to: Julie Barela Mills, writer for the Dutch Rainbow Fanclan Legacy]

Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Shred-Off 2011 Announced

Julie Barela Mills, writer for the Dutch Rainbow Fanclan Legacy site, has officially announced The Ritchie Blackmore Protégé Shred Off 2011, which is in conjunction with the Induct Ritchie Blackmore Into The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame site on Facebook (found here).

The contest winner will be announced on Blackmore's 66th birthday, April 14th. More details to follow later this week, including the page to send the videos, etc.

Lyraka songwriter/lead guitarist Andy DiGelsomina is slated to be a part of the three judge panel. More information will be available soon.

[source: Brave Words link]

Ritchie Blackmore wins the 2008 Best Guitarsolo Poll at 'God of Guitar'

The 2008 Greatest Guitarist Poll winner is Ritchie Blackmore for his solo in Highway Star. This makes it 5 years in a row for Ritchie at

This year the God of Guitar website had changed the format completely. They was no longer to be voted for a guitarist directly but for a specific well known solo. So, they ended up with a list of 10 classic guitar solos which you had to choose from.

Jim Brodie will be doing his tribute to Ritchie and Highway Star shortly - so don't forget to return to
Let Ritchie get the recognition he deserves!

More about the 2008 Greatest Guitarist Poll can be found on

[thanks to: GodofGuitar]

Ritchie Blackmore fanzine "Cartouche" issue #2 is now available online

The online Ritchie Blackmore fanzine "Cartouche" issue #2 is out now.

The 2nd issue of the magazine has 112 pages, that's almost twice as much as the first issue. There are many features like interviews with Ritchie Blackmore ("The paranormal interview"), Candice Night and Bernie Torme (ex-Gillan, now GMT). There are retrospectives of "Under A Violet Moon" and "Fires At Midnight" plus Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers". Live review of the 2008 Blackmore's Night Tour and Joe Lynn Turner with Big Noize in Iraq. And lots more.

The magazine is free for download on Rapidshare.

You can now also watch and download it from Photobucket or MySpace.

Cartouche issue #1 is also still available:


[Thanks to: Mike Garrett & Kevin Dixon]

Top Heavy Metal Musicians Select Favorite Guitarists Of All Time: Ritchie Blackmore on #5

Thiago Sarkis of Roadie Crew magazine (web site) organized a poll in which 330 guitarists were asked about their favorite guitarists of all time. Among the participants in the poll were current and former members of such bands as GUNS N' ROSES, KISS, MACHINE HEAD, NIGHTWISH, MEGADETH, SCORPIONS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY, KING DIAMOND, SEPULTURA, DIO, TWISTED SISTER, KAMELOT and DOWN.

The results of the poll — published in the new issue of Roadie Crew (#112) — are as follows:

01. Jimi Hendrix
02. Eddie Van Halen
03. Yngwie J. Malmsteen
04. Randy Rhoads
06. Jimmy Page
07. Tony Iommi
08. Steve Vai
09. Jeff Beck
10. Michael Schenker

Check this link for the full top 50.

[source: Blabbermouth]

New Free Ritchie Blackmore fanzine available online

A new online Ritchie Blackmore fanzine called "Cartouche" is now available for download.

Editor Mike Garrett tells: Our idea is to produce a free Ritchie Blackmore fanzine, which involves putting the resultant JPEG fanzine pages onto certain fan forum boards, so that fans can read them and /or copy the pages to their own computers and thus print out the pages at home. We thus present to you, a trial issue to see if the idea works. Thank you so much, to the fans that have contributed to this project already and also especially, to Candice Night who gave us some brilliant and comprehensive interview answers! Lots of thanks also, to Carole Stevens for all her help and encouragement!

The fanzine includes a lot of interesting features like several Blackmore's Night reviews, an exclusive interview with Candice Night, a tribute to Cozy Powell, a couple of articles on Rainbow, Blackmore's Night & Deep Purple tribute bands and much more.

You can read, download or print the 58 page magazine from MySpace and Photobucket.

[Thanks to: Mike Garrett & Kevin Dixon]

Ritchie Blackmore wins the 2007 Best Guitarplayer Poll at 'God of Guitar' after recount

The 2007 Greatest Guitarist Poll winner is Ritchie Blackmore. Arise Sir Ritchie! This makes it 4 years in a row for our Ritchie at

Yes, following the internal investigations it was found that over the last weekend of voting there was an automated multiple voting program being used by a single person for Derek Trucks, as pointed out by many of our readers on this website. We have now taken these votes out and following a recount we can confirm that Ritchie Blackmore has indeed won the poll for the 4th year running.

The following are comments left by voters when choosing Ritchie as their favourite guitarist. We've not included them all as it is very repetitive; however here are around 500 of them in alphabetic order. You may recognise yours. The spellings are by the voters! Our favourite fan comment (from jcs4jbem) has Ritchie being knighted! Now there's an idea. In the meantime please vote for Ritchie to be inducted into the hall of fame here. Any comments about the poll results please contact us.

One common thread throughout the fan comments is the lack of recognition Ritchie gets. Well, there's plenty enjoy!

[thanks to: GodofGuitar]

The 2007 Best Guitarplayer Poll of 'God of Guitar' Results

First of all apologies for the delay in getting the Poll results out. We were inundated in the last few days of the poll and in the end had to delay the results to ensure that all of the votes were counted. Bearing in mind the problems at the BBC and ITV of late I am sure you understand it is important to preserve transparency and fairness in this process. No thanks to Irene Carter from Southampton who suggested that we sack the "little old lady" that we were using to count the votes (we are using a Series 39 Level 35 Mainframe with VME version 2.94 to count the votes, thanks Irene).

Pre-result we had contacted Ritchie Blackmore's management to advise that Ritchie is the likely winner for the 4th year running as Ritchie had a good lead over the other contenders. To our great surprise the last few days voting changed the complexion of the whole vote and we have ended up with the narrowest ever result.

Much to our embarrassment we have to announce that Ritchie Blackmore is NOT the winner this year.

This year’s winner is Derek Trucks. Derek has hardly had a mention on over the last few years. We have tried to contact Derek but we understand he has no longer plays with the Eddie Stobart Blues Band and have not managed to congratulate him as yet.

Top 10 Results in Full (There were 103,938 votes altogether)

1. Derek Trucks (17.3%)
2. Ritchie Blackmore (17.1%)
3. Jimmy Page (12%)
4. Slash (7%)
4. Michael Angelo Batio (7%)
4. Tony Lommi (7%)
7. Eric Clapton (6%)
8. John Petrucci (5%)
8. Steve Morse (5%)
10. Eddie Grant (4%)
Others (20%)

update December 17:

We at acknowledge that this years votes for the Greatest Guitarist Poll were very close indeed. Following a barrage of complaints from Ritchie Blackmore and Eddy Grant fans about the results of the Greatest Guitarist Poll 2007 we have decided to do a recount of the votes and are delighted to announce that Jim Brodie will be personally attending the GodofGuitar datacentre in Reading to oversee that the process takes place fairly and that no intervention has taken place to incorrectly tarnish the outcome. All being well we should be posting a video of this event tomorrow showing again true transparency in the voting process. We expect the results on Wednesday at the earliest.

update December 19:

Following the recount performed at the GodOfGuitar datacentre we can confirm that the results as per the original results database were correct and that Derek Trucks is indeed this year's Greatest Guitarist 2007 winner.

We do however have a new controversy. Many fans have written in saying that they have spotted some irregularities in the voting pattern which can be seen from the sample of results provided at the bottom of this page. For example the following from John Sherman "After reviewing your Greatest Guitarist Poll, it appears that a Derek Trucks fan stuffed ballots Chicago style. Using the guise Lyoung Pyoung etc, it appears as though a member of the Young family posted several phantom votes. I demand an investigation and re-count immediately!" It would appear that Derek Trucks might have received multiple and false votes from the same person or family which have pushed his result to a win. Certainly up to 3 days before the result Ritchie Blackmore was the clear winner.

We have therefore asked the Zimbabwean Election Monitoring team to take another look at the results and in particular at the final few days of voting to see if they can spot any trends of this nature and if we need to isolate any specific votes which were made on these last few days. We have given them five days to come back with the results so therefore it will be 24th December when the result can be finally validated. We will not accept any further challenges to the result after this. Also we will be providing the winner with a full listing of the comments left for him. Should make a good Christmas Present!

[thanks to: GodofGuitar]

The 2007 Best Guitarplayer Poll of 'God of Guitar'

The 2007 Poll at GodofGuitar has got underway at last, here. Can Ritchie make it a 4th year as the winner?

The Godofguitar website has it's 4th annual Poll to find the worlds greatest guitarist. As usual it's open to the general public. There are some new rules this year, the main one being that the poll only covers living guitarists as the poll opens in February 2007.

You can choose from this selected list: B B King, Brain May, Carlos Santana, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, Keith Richards, Mark Knobler, Mike Oldfield, Paul Giblet, Pete Kershaw, Peter Frampton, Ritchie Blackmore, Ry Cooder, Steve Morse, The Edge, Tony Lommi.

The result of the Greatest Guitarist poll is postponed till 10th December.

The God Of Guitar site adds: In terms of the result, well Ritchie might get pipped at the post this time I think as the US fans are continually voting for the shredders. Come on Ritchie fans!

Also I've made the Guitar God Delusion podcasts available as mp3's. They are pro-Ritchie most of the time I think!


News today: We have under 20 days now before the greatest guitarist Poll 2007 is announced on 10th December . Anyone who hasn't participated needs to vote now. Please note that the Zimbabwe election monitoring team will be looking for discrepancies so please do not cause us a last minute hiccup and delay the vote. We subscribe to Voting by the rules of Section 5 Clause 9 of the Online Voting Subscriptions Act 2006 (one of Tony Blairs finest legislative moves). Rumour has it that the previous winner, Ritchie Blackmore, is no longer the front runner despite an early lead.

update December 2:

I've made contact with Carole Stevens to advise on the likely Poll results. I’ve not lied about the website (and that it is just a bit of fun) however the comments from fans are genuine and she has kindly sent them onto Ritchie. Carole has allowed me to include her quote below. Bearing in mind I get a lot of Fanclan feedback I thought the people from your site might be quite pleased that their comments had got direct to Ritchie himself. See explanation from the Godofguitar site below.

02.12.07: With only 6 days to go now until the Greatest Guitarist Poll 2007 is announced we have been in touch with the Ritchie Blackmore's management (Carole Stevens) and have forwarded some of the amazing comments people have posted on the poll which Carole has sent direct onto Ritchie. Carole says "Thanks to the open communications between the fans and Ritchie's Managment-he has received many of the comments that were posted on this poll and he is thankful to all his fans for taking the time to write in"

Here are a small sample of some of the comments from the Poll about Ritchie Blackmore that have been sent to him. We particularly liked "He is the total opposite of generic" sent in by Svilen Trifonov. We wish Ritchie all the best and good luck in the Poll! Don't forget, results on Sunday evening (9th December)

update December 11:

To all readers wanting information about the Greatest Guitarist Poll 2007: We have had to do a recount here at as there was an unexpected avalanche of votes during the last 3 days, we want to ensure that all relevant votes are cast and bearing in mind the recent criticisms of the BBC and ITV network we thought we'd better take extra precautions. The result will now be announced on Friday evening 14th December.

[thanks to: GodofGuitar]