Ritchie Blackmore

The Story behind "Starstruck"

Here are some photos with a story. The photos were shot on March 29, 1975 in the Intercontinental Hotel in Cologne. We had contact with the Deep Purple management and asked if we could meet the band before the show in the Cologne Sporthalle.

That afternoon we were waiting for our heroes in the hotel. I met a beautiful French girl, she was a huge fans who followed the band on their tour. I had a few drinks and talked with her. She was dressed like Ritchie: black velvet clothes, a fur coat and a big black hat.

When the band finally arrived, they were travelling in a Mercedes with driver each, the girl got looks of recognition by four members of Deep Purple.

Only Ritchie didn't wanna know nothing about her. And that while she was there only for him. He pushed her away and ran away while she tried to embrace him. Glenn Hughes found it all quite funny, put her hat on and posed for the camera.

The name of the girl was Muriel and we found out later that she was very interested in Ritchie in a weird way. The Rainbow song "Starstruck" is based on her.

After the concert I saw her once more. She tried to get a lift to the hotel in one of the Purple cars. Finally she was lucky and she disappeared out of our vision. I never saw her again after that night.

René Veldhoen, Dutch Deep Purple/Rainbow Fanclub

Ritchie Blackmore: Starstruck is a mildly amusing tale. It's all about this lump named Muriel who's been following me all around Europe for the past few years, a real lunatic. We play a concert in Paris and she'd be there without fail, then we'd fly to Lyon and she'd be at the airport waiting for our plane to arrive. One day I looked outside my window and thought I saw one of my bushes move through my garden. I kept watching, and sure enough she'd found my house so I set my dogs on her. They're not mean or anything, just scary. One tried to have a go at her just as we pulled them away. And that's only the second to the last song on side one.

Circus Magazine June 1, 1976

Ronnie James Dio: "Starstruck" is about a real girl, named Muriel, who has followed Ritchie around for four, five years. She's a real fan of Ritchie's, she turned up in his garden in England, she's turned up in L.A. I think, hiding behind trees and all over the place so therefore writing it about this girl who's starstruck and Ritchie's being the object of her starstruckicity.

Ritchie Blackmore: Ah yes, Muriel is one of those people, as Ronnie was saying, in fact I don't know what Ronnie was saying as I wasn't listening. She tend to turn up everywhere. I was having my breakfast, one afternoon, about six o'clock and I looked out into the garden and the bushes moved. And out popped Muriel's head. It was Muriel and I couldn't believe it, so I set the dogs on her.

On Stage Radio Special 1976

Ronnie James Dio: Starstruck was a song I certainly remember because it was written about a real person, a girl who used to follow Ritchie around a lot. I think her name was Miriam. And she followed Ritchie everywhere. She was from Paris. She would always be at the front of the stage, and she would, at times, turn up at his house in England. And she's be in the garden somewhere and frighten the life out of him. He'd be walking his dog, and she'd pop out from behind a bush. So it was a really heavy-duty relationship. I guess, heavy stalking. So I wrote that song about her and Ritchie.

Ritchie Blackmore: I found a girl in my garden once. I saw some bushes move and a little head popped up. It was a French girl of 18 who somehow followed me to England. I set the dogs on her. They're friendly dogs; they just jumped into the bushes and she came out screaming. It was strange how she found my house. She went around touching the walls, caressing the house.

English Castle Magic by Martin Popoff