European Tour 1977

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki Finland - September 23, 1977

Rainbow cancelled

The Finnish pop concert action was again a dismal tune when Richie Blackmore's Rainbow's performance at Helsinki's Finlandia Hall had to be overthrown at the last minute, due to the inexperienced customs officers on the side of Pohjan-Lande. Trucks did not catch up on time to the ferry.

The karmic truth was only revealed to the fans at the doors of the concert hall, it was not possible to announce the cancellation to the redeemed ones. So the people of the Finlandia Hall came to work, but telling the audience to leave becauser the concert is not going to take place is unfortunately not a nice job.

News Report - Finland Press 1977

Stockholm Konserthuset, Sweden - September 25, 1977

After a delay of nearly an hour, the show finally started. The public was on their feet from the first tune to the last - Rainbow really did prove themselves that they are one of the best hard rock groups today.

Ritchie was en his best mood tonight, and played some really great stuff. I wonder if anyone else could do what he did on the guitar this concert?

The Greensleeves intro was about three minutes and really superb. Ronnie worked hard with the public and got a good response.

Cozy worked like a woodsman (that's a lumberjack to you!) on the drums and had a fine solo in Still I'm Sad during which he was lifted high in the air. The new keyboard man had some strong solo's but maybe Carey was better.

New bassman Daisley worked hard and did a good job too. The negative side - apart from the delay - was that it was too much like the record; although they did every number better. One new number from the forthcoming album Long Live Rock'n Roll a fast rocker in the Starstruck style. No guitar smashing!

Bjørn Sahlberg

Trondheim Nidarohallen, Norway - September 28, 1977

The show should have begun at 8.00 but it was half an hour late. It was nearly 2,000 people and they were all in good tune. When Kingfish came an the stage it was wild shouting from the crowd - but after same few numbers the shout went to Blackmore and Rainbow. In Norwegian, papers before you could read that Kingfish could maybe overshade Rainbow but I doubt it. They played for 45 mins. After 30 mins it was ready for the high part; Rainbow.

When Judy Garland came out of the speakers the crowd stormed the front of the stage. Kill The King drove them wild. Then came Mistreated with a nice but short intro from Blackmore. He had also an amazing solo in the middle. After this came Greensleeves and it was superb with amazing drumming from Cozy. 0n Man On The Silver Mountain took Blackmore a superb solo - and he smiled and laughed over to Daisley and Stone. After a short and bad blues it went on to Starstruck. Then came the highpoint of the evening, first with a new number, Long Live Rock'N Roll a hard and heavy number with very good bass. So was it Catch The Rainbow where Blackmore played God Save The Queen.

Under this solo someone shouted "Rainbow".Blackmore stopped playing, "shut up and listen to this" and he took a superb solo again with Dio and Daisley shaking their heads in disbelief. Still I'm Sad was the last but best number. Blackmore, Dio and Powell were good. Ritchie's solo's were too short I think. Daisley I think is better than Bain. I think they played too loud. I hope you can understand what I have written!

Above concert went ahead even though the rainbow didn't turn up in time for the show as the driver had got too much to drink.

Svenn Barstad

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 4, 1977

Blackmore's Rainbow greatly improved

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow performed again for the first time in a year, on Tuesday evening in the Congresgebouw in The Hague. The hall was completely sold out. Blackmore was the guitarist in the extremely popular hard rock band Deep Purple for many years, from which he separated in 1975. He formed the group Rainbow with whom he made three records, the fourth is in the pipeline.

Rainbow has been subject to significant changes in the last year in particular and, as the concert the night before last showed, this has resulted in a greatly improved result. The core of the group is still primarily formed by Blackmore himself, who is thoroughly supported in this by the heavy drummer Cozy Powell and the elastic singer Ronnie James Dio. Bass guitarist Jimmy Bain and organist Tony Carey were however, without detours, replaced by respectively Bob Daisley (formerly Chicken Shack) and Canadian David Stone. After a reasonable support act by the group Kingfish, Rainbow performed around a quarter past nine, in front of a hall that was already turned upside down with enthusiasm. Blackmore, as always in black satin, Ronnie Dio in a sixties hippy outfit with his jeans visibly with ballpoint-drawn moon and stars. In any case, he was therefore very close to the public, who similarly provided their clothes with Rainbow characters. The dcor of the Bolstein Castle with a rising moon had still not been replaced, nor - and this is very justified - as the beautiful rainbow at the front, which is constantly changing color.

Rainbow can be seen as a much improved continuation of Deep Purple, a group that stands with both plateau shoes and feet in the sixties hard rock tradition. Blackmore (nowadays he looks a bit like Roger McGuinn) is only the speed man who beats around him with thundering riffs and chords. At the same time, however, he is also a very good and very subtle guitarist, who seems to draw the refinements he puts into his style directly from Bach and medieval classical music. The contrast between these two sides is the essence of Rainbow's music and the balanced way in which those sides were put together made it a largely captivating concert. In contrast to last year, there was now much more peace, space and flexibility in the music. The pathos that largely determines Rainbow's work, especially through Dio's vocals, makes a more empathetic impression and was therefore more acceptable.

The group played almost only well-known songs. There was Mistreated, already known from Deep Purple, and there were Sixteenth Century Greensleeves, Catch The Rainbow (three highlights by the way), Man on the Silver Mountain and Still I'm Sad. One of the few new songs was the title song of the upcoming LP, Long Live Rock'n'Roll, which, as the name suggests, was an old piece of cake, suitable for clapping and singing one more time. Rainbow's pathos was detrimental in two respects: some excellent song performances were somewhat spoiled by long-winded, belligerent finals; and the concert itself also suffered from that excess: it lasted too long.

Elly de Waard, Volkskrant - October 6, 1977

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 4, 1977

Rainbow overshadows Purple

Just like last year I also had an excellent animal day this year. This time it was thanks to Rainbow's performance in the Congress Center in The Hague. Rainbow consists of the core Ritchie Blackmore guitar, Ronnie James Dio vocals and Cozy Powell drums and the newcomers David Stone keys (ex-Symphonic Slam) and Bob Daisley bass and vocals (ex-Widowmaker).

It soon became clear that Rainbow stands or falls with the regular core and so it may be a bit strange, but certainly not in any way whatsoever that Blackmore changes keyboard and bass players so often. Both gentlemen did exactly what they had to do in The Hague, no more and no less. Just like on the double album 'On Stage', Rainbow started with the excellent opening track 'Kill The King' and much to the relief the sound was very reasonable in contrast to the previous time. Everything could be distinguished from each other and it was still quite hard; that's the way it is supposed to be.

The entire 'On Stage' was played, so 'Man On The Silver Mountain' (fine !!), Blackmore's blues, 'Starstruck', 'Catch The Rainbow', 'Mistreated', 'Sixteen Century Greensleeves' and 'Still I'm Sad' plus 'Do You Close Your Eyes' from the second album 'Rainbow Rising' and the title song of the album 'Long Live Rock And Roll', expected in January '78, a swinging rock and roller that promises a lot. The group was really in excellent shape with the driving and penetrating drumming of master drummer Powell, who can fully enjoy himself in this group, the excellent vocals of Dio (much better by voice than last time) and the flashy guitar playing of Blackmore, of course. Dressed in black with a neatly haircut for the occasion. At the moment Rainbow is in top form and it has to be said that Blackmore has succeeded in putting together a group that Deep Purple cannot match. Rainbow has grown into one of the better hard rock groups of the seventies.

Kees Baars, Muziekkrant Oor - October 19, 1977

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 4, 1977

Blackmore's Rainbow in a dead end street

After an absence of about a year, Ritchie Blackmore's group Rainbow played the Hague Congress Center again yesterday. For the shortly after the start, fans already heated to the boiling point, a spectacle took place,a spectacle unfolded that would have caused a tingling in the auricles even with the stick deaf.

Ritchie Blackmore is therefore the former guitarist and only remaining heir to Deep Purple, the champion of the hard rock groups. His group, now officially called Rainbow, has shed a lot of manpower since it was founded in 1975. Only himself and the American singer Ronnie James Dio remained from the original line-up. After the previous performance here, the line-up has been turned upside down again. Drummer Cozy Powell was allowed to stay, but keyboard player Toney Carey and bassplayer Jimmy Bain were unceremoniously dismissed. Bain's successor Mark Clarke didn't last long either, which was hardly a problem for the erratic Blackmore, as there turned out to be a long list of musicians in the closet. So now the Canadian David Stone touches the keyboards and the Australian Bob Daisley picks the bass, but it is not a breath of fresh air that they let blow, because Blackmore continues to determine the course of events completely. The repertoire played, of which the double live LP Rainbow on stage faithfully reflects, gave him an unimpeded opportunity to act as a soloist.

Blackmore has a cool technique, but his application shows little imagination. Variations on classical themes, one of his hobbies, were without exception to such an extent, such as Alle Menschen became Bruder, to name one, that they could hardly add any strength to Rainbow's performance. The huge chunks of music Catch the Rainbow, Mistreated, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and the title song from the fourth 1p Long Live Rock and Roll, due out early next year, generally had the same effect as the well-aimed throw with a solid oak coffee table to someone's head. So crushing.

Ronnie James Dio, not touched, sang as if in pain anyway, with long, plaintive strikes, but it seems that way. Under the computer-controlled rainbow, which spanned the stage as ever, the Yardbirds song Still I'm sad finally opened wide the tap for the theatrical solos: a drum set that uplifts itself under dazzling light, orgasmic blaring shawms and bells for nothing good of it. On the technical side, Rainbow has made some progress, but the poignant lack of vision is now hopeless as a blank wall at the end of a dead end street.

Peter Koops, NRC October 5, 1977
Photo: Lex van Roossen

Congresgebouw, The Hague, The Netherlands - October 4, 1977

Tuesday 4 October 1977 it was so far. For the second time Rainbow gave a concert in our country in the Congress Center in The Hague. The hall had been entirely sold out and restlessly public was waiting for Rainbow. After the disappointing support Kingfisher and a short pause, the tones of "Over The Rainbow" sounded through the hall. Then crowd kept it no longer. Everyone ran to the stage, or was standing up.

Suddenly the lights goes on and the band bursts into the nothing sparing "Kill The King". Ritchie runs over the stage and obtain his guitar along the edge of the rainbow. Then Ronnie come on stage, shake a couple of hands and start to sing. "Kill The King" is played much faster then on "On Stage" whereas the guitarsolo beats everything. Ritchie play alternatively with his bottle neck and fingers. Cozy hits behind his huge drumkit, whereas the two new ones, keyboardplayer David Stone and bass player Bob Daisley rocks there on loose like crazy.

Bob is a very good show man and David does delicious things on his keys. The band is superb. After "Kill The King" Ronnie greets the public and announces "Mistreated". Also this sounds better as the "On Stage" version. You get the feeling each time that you have another band for you eyes. Ritchie plays superb, gentle guitarpieces, and the public claps with it. The show is also superb. The huge rainbow, the guitar castle on the backdrop and the bright light equipment have a hypnotising impact.

Man On The Silver Mountain ", with the beautiful Blues and "Starstruck" included, "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" and "Catch The Rainbow" is successively interpreted with a fantastic public assistance. Then it is time for a new song, "Long Live Rock'n'Roll", the titlesong of the forthcoming LP. Ronnie get the complete hall applauding with the hands above the heads. Ritchie goes wild. Swaying with his hand and playing he moves wildly on stage. Ronnie announce the last number "Still I'm Sad", the absolute highlight.

Halfway the song Ritchie starts a piece of Bach, and the band joins in. This continues till, except for Cozy, everyone leaves the stage. He plays the drums on his own and brings a crazy solo. At that moment the drumkit goes slowly up in the air. Cozy play the drums in the meantime furious, whereas the drumkit reaches on about six meters high a hold.

Everyone looks bewildered, until a magnesium bomb does dazzle all eyes. When the crowd have the eyes again under control, the drumkit has again gone down and the band returned to the stage, where they bring back "Still I'm Sad" to a monumental end.

The crowd immediately starts a "we want more". Rainbow returns indeed with "Do You Close Your Eyes". The band give their selves now entirely. Ronnie sway with the microphone stand, David plays himself crazy, Cozy gives the last from his sweaty body and Bob slides over the frets of his bass. Above all there is Ritchie who empties a bottle wine in the public, runs back and forth on stage and almost got pulled off the stage by the public. Just as fast as Rainbow has come, they are disappeared. Ronnie thanks the public and the tones of "Over The Rainbow" sound in the hall.

The Book Of Taliesyn no 8, Dutch Rainbow Fanclub

Essen Grugahalle, Germany - October 6, 1977

Three hours before the doors opened about 1,000 fans were there, cramped in front of the entrance. After sitting through the Kingfish set they were only to glad to welcome Rainbow. As Ritchie played the opening riff to Kill The King (with his thumb) they were on their feet. All the songs were greeted with much applause, but Long Live Rock'n Roll had them all singing along under the 'direction of the magnificent Ronnie Dio.

Highlight of the evening was the beautiful intro to 16th Century Greensleeves. It lasted five minutes and left me spellbound! Ritchie puts so much feeling into every note... McLaughlin would have to write a whole book to achieve the same feeling! During Stone's solo, half the audience including me, fell asleep! The guy next to me kept yelling "We want Carey." Daisley got a dirty look from Ritchie when he missed a bar once - he ain't going to be with Rainbow long!

Dio and Powell made up for them though. Powell - during the 'overture' is heaved up by some hydraulic system!! After a flash of lightening he goes back to earth - gggrreat! (Well it makes a nice change from dry ice and ballroom mirrors!). During the encore Ritchie took another guitar, and we all know what that means! He threw it around but misjudged one threw, and it landed in one piece in the audience. The tug of war began, but Ritchie lost and I managed to secure a guitar lead. A great finish to a great gig!

Cologne Sporthalle, Germany October 8th, 1977:
One guitar demolished with Dio reading out the football scores to the crowd "Deutschland 2:Italy..... 1! Yeaaaaaaah!"

Hannover Sporthalle, Germany October 14th, 1977:
The group missed the intro to Kill The King. "We must he over the Rainbow, Rainbow,Rainbow......"
Nothing! No encore.

Werner Gortz

Vienna Stadthalle, Austria - October 18, 1977
Rock Star is held after a scuffle

EX DEEP PURPLE guitarist Richard Blackmore, 32, is in jail in Vienna after a scuffle in which a security guard's jaw was broken at a concert given by his current group Rainbow.

Beer was poured over the head of the guard, who was trying to stop fans storming the stage. And the scuffle broke out when he protested. One of the group's technicians, American Gerald Oxford, was also arrested when a free fight broke out as the police arrived.

Rainbow were due to start a British tour, the last leg of a 42-date trek through Europe, on October 31, playing four dates at London's Rainbow Theatre from November 11 to 14.

Police took Blackmore from the Vienna Stadthalle Theatre after the Tuesday night concert. Bail was refused and he missed a concert engagement in Munich last night. No charges have yet been brought. The British Consulate in Vienna expects he will appear in court before the weekend. "He looked as well as you could expect anyone to look after they found themselves unexpectedly in foreign jail."

The group's publicist, Jenny Halsall said: "So far I've heard half a dozen conflicting reports of what happened, and I'm amazed by it all. Anyone who has been to one of Richie's shows knows that he often ends his act by showering the front few rows with champagne and red wine. All I can assume is that the Austrian security guards objected, or that the guards were getting heavy with the kids and Ritchie objected. He's certainly not one of the wild men of rock. He's a very quiet person. And he's experienced enough not to let his act get out of hand."

Sue Mastermann, Evening Standard, October 20, 1977

© All above photos by Tonny Steenhagen

Vienna Stadthalle, Austria - October 18, 1977

A quarter of a million on the table in the house - it got celebrity lawyer Dr. Othmar Slunsky, my neighbor at the Belafonte concert, Thursday afternoon 15.30 hours the wild rock star Ritchie Blackmore out of jail.

Ritchie, former guitarist with Deep Purple and Tuesday evening in the Vienna Stadthalle with Rainbow, had, as announced, the Stadthalle owner beaten and kicked and left him a broken cheekbone and jaw.

A "Gorilla" of Ritchie tried to, hidden him in a big flightcase, roll out of the Stadthalle. But the police was not so easy to fool. They took Ritchie out of the case and locked him along with the "gorilla" in a cell.

Meanwhile 'Voices of the World' manager Joachim Lieben hat got on fire. Because Wednesday night Blackmore and Rainbow should play in Munich. 5000 Rockfans had to wait till Thursday.

"The court was great," confirmed Dr. Slunsky, "eventually the exit in the flightcase was considered an escape risk. Otherwise they had brought Blackmore, who told he lived in Los Angeles, only to the police station."

Attorney Dr. Slunsky now faced the 250,000 Shilling bail fee. Managers Lieben didn't pay Ritchie's wages, and they all hope the now utterly gentle pop star comes early November to the court case.

Because of the fog Ritchie could not fly to Munich. Also travel by car was delayed because his bodyguard was still in jail. Lieben: "The view was in places only 15 meters, we had rescheduled the concert, but the star was not in Munich at 22.00 hours".

The Vienna police had due to the 48-hours prisoner of this rock star at least one of their most striking entries. Registered in the jailbook during Ritchies stay it said: 1 pair of red boots and black silk clothes - embroidered with a green cactus...

Star Geflüster - October 1977

Porte De Pantin - Pavillon de Paris, Paris, France - October 27, 1977

I was at the concert at the Paris Puppet Pavilion in 77 with Ronnie James Dio. Great concert, by contrast Blackmore not pleased with the room proposed by the Parisian producer kcp, had hung the producer on the ceiling. During the concert he had watered the public of champagne mot, and broke several stratoscaster, but he is a genius, and a virtuoso, he is for me the best guitarist.

Today he's wiser, he doesn't break anything, but still has a strong ego. Last concert in Paris, he imposed on his fans of the first rank, to be dressed medieval.

Zou Gaunard
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