On tour with Rainbow

Light mixer John is the most important technician for Ritchie. He designed the gigantic rainbow based on his ideas.

3000 light bulbs in red, yellow, green and blue span the stage. It cost over 200,000 marks. The play of colors is computer controlled by John.

The highlight of the Rainbow Show: At the end of the show, Ritchie Blackmore threw his guitar meters high, caught it again, played with his feet and teeth and occasionally smashed it - if he liked the concert and the audience enthusiastically went along - like in Munich.

Jennie is the good spirit of the group: the young English woman was hired by Ritchie for the tour. She arranges interviews, appointments with photographers, makes sure that everyone shows up on time for the concert, knows the hottest discos and best restaurants in every city and protects the group from curious fans.

A cold buffet with milk, orange juice, beer, whiskey, cola, fruit and bread was set up every time to refresh at the concert.

That was one of the points in the twelve-page contract. However, the food is more intended for the roadies; the musicians themselves eat after the performance - mostly chicken.

Organist Tony Carey likes dogs. "Unfortunately, I can't take my Beagle on tour because of the strict vaccination regulations," he says.

But when he sees a dog, he strokes it like that bastard he met. Tony was born Anthony Lawrence Carey on October 16, 1952 in California.

He worked as a plumber and insurance agent. He has been married to Sharon since August 13, 1976.

Drummer Cozy Powell sits in the dressingroom, completely exhausted. At every concert he lost about five pounds. Often his hands had to be bandaged after the show because they were bleeding.

Cozy discusses his big solo show with Ian, his personal roadie, before the performance: Ian receives final instructions.

He has to replace broken drumsticks, be on the spot immediately when an eardrum bursts. Cozy's big appearance comes with his drum solo after the song "Still I'm Sad".

He drums to the sounds of Tchaikovsky's "Overture Solonelle 1812" - until the end with a flash of light and smoke.

Singer Ronnie Dio is the most important man for Ritchie Blackmore. He also composes a large part of the songs.

He was born on July 10, 1948 in New Hampshire; he studied pharmacy and graduated as a pharmacist. He played for Group Elf for six years.

Ronnie Dio is a comic fan: His goal is to make the funny Gaul Asterix as famous in America as he is here.

Ritchie had 15 guitars at the beginning of the tour - at the end there were only six. He plays a Fender Stratocaster with his spare strings in his case.

Bassist Jimmy Bain (born December 19, 1947 in Newtonmore / Scotland) loves Mexican jewelry and clothing.

Left: Rainbow drove through Germany with private cars - two Mercedes 280s and a Volvo (here Cozy Powell stowing luggage). A Mercedes got bumped in an accident on the autobahn near Nuremberg.

Right: Old friends met again: ex-Deep Purple singer David Coverdale (left) came to the concert in Munich and talked to Rainbow manager Bruce Payne.

Bravo Germany 1976 - Photos by Didi Zill