Ritchie Blackmore

The enjoyment of freedom

2019 is the year in which Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night will appear in two live worlds: Rainbow will have their only concert in Germany in the Olympiahalle in Munich and there will be six Blackmore's Night shows.

Ultimately, it was a single song called "Black Sheep Of The Family", originally by the band Quatermass, that Ritchie Blackmore suggested to his core group Deep Purple to cover. We are writing in late 1974, the rest of the hard rock icons refused to award the contract. What angered the English exceptional guitarist so much that he left the formation without further ado and returned to the public eye only a year later with Rainbow. With this heavy band he also sold millions of albums and played extremely successfully thousands of concerts worldwide.

The band disbanded in 1985 and reunited between 1995 and 1997. The combo has been giving live concerts sporadically since 2015. The old grumbler Blackmore, now 74, with his now 48-year-old American wife, singer Candice Night, in 1997 launched the equally successful medieval rock formation Blackmore's Night, married his Candy and had with her two children. The self-proclaimed "eternal lovebirds" tell us about their activities:

ONETZ: Why is the band Rainbow so important to you that you decided to reanimate it in 2015?

Ritchie Blackmore: I just wanted to strap on my beloved Stratocaster guitar again and get started. The singer I had by my side - Ronnie Romero - sounded great and was interested in playing some of the old Rainbow songs for the fans. I think nostalgia is an extremely important thing. Several old fans kept asking me if I would play old Rainbow stuff live for them at some point. I loved doing that! So unpacked the Strat and do something different from the 20 years with Blackmore's Night, where I primarily use acoustic string instruments.

ONETZ: What are the musical differences between Rainbow and Deep Purple for you personally?

Ritchie Blackmore: I enjoy more freedom at Rainbow. And Rainbow only gives a couple of shows a year, while Deep Purple tours continuously. I don't like traveling very much. I also tried a lot of different genres with Rainbow due to a change of staff. In comparison to Deep Purple, this group cannot be categorized.

ONETZ: Rainbow has had a completely new line-up since 2015, alongside you as the founder. What differentiates the "old Rainbow" from the "new Rainbow"?

Ritchie Blackmore: Not much at all. For me it was and is about having fun. For me, this old fabric paired with nostalgia is pretty powerful.

ONETZ: So Rainbow Live will sound very classic like in the 70s and 80s, right?

Ritchie Blackmore: There will be a few differences. New members have personalities. They want to bring them into the sound. Some songs will be very close to the originals. With others, I don't want them to become duplicates. I like to go back in time to my own musical past. But always from today's perspective.

ONETZ: Why is your band playing the only Germany concert in Munich in 2019?

Ritchie Blackmore: Because the city is very central. Many of our fans come from Austria and Italy. It's the perfect location for them.

ONETZ: What is your relationship with Munich?

Ritchie Blackmore: A friend of me and my family own a castle, we are always welcome guests there. I love the Munich area. The city center not so much, is too tiring for me. And otherwise the best beer ever is brewed in Munich for my taste.

ONETZ: In addition to Rainbow, you will be performing live with your regular band Blackmore's Night. What is the difference?

Ritchie Blackmore: Blackmore's Night is a bunch of friends and confidants. We don't have that much pressure from the outside. Everything is a bit more intimate than with Rainbow. The expectations of the old rockers are certainly higher.

ONETZ: What can we expect from Blackmore's Night live?

Ritchie Blackmore: Great songs, party atmosphere, organic gatherings, acoustic instruments.

Candice Night: 2018 was the first year in which we did not visit Germany as part of a concert tour in our two-decade career. Our record label sent us on a live mission to the United States. But we missed Germany very much. We both have an incredible connection with this nation.

ONETZ: You will be seen as a couple on stage with both Blackmore's Night and Rainbow. What are the main differences between these concerts?

Ritchie Blackmore: At Rainbow I stand in front of Candy, who acts as a background singer. At Blackmore's Night it's the other way around, she's the main actor. This is called emancipation.

Candice Night: It is an immense honor for me to be part of Rainbow. After all, I grew up with their music. And shook my hair wildly in the car.

ONETZ: What can you expect from Rainbow and Blackmore's Night after the tours?

Candice Night: We recorded three new songs for our group, in the typical Blackmore's Night style. So very atmospheric and with ethnic bonds. You can expect a new record from us next year.

Ritchie Blackmore: As for another Rainbow disc: wait and drink tea. Another drink for me ...

Concerts: Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow: June 12, Munich (Olympiahalle); Blackmore's Night: July 6th Abenberg Castle.

© Onetz, Germany - May 17,2019 / Photo: Christie Goodwin