Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Ritchie Blackmore is sharing a preview of his upcoming shows with Rainbow, which mark the guitarist’s return to rock for the first time in decades.
Blackmore will be joined by Lords Of Black singer Ronnie Romero, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore’s Night drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau when they perform the Best of Rainbow and Deep Purple at the Monsters Of Rock festivals in Loreley, Germany on June 17 and Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany on June 18, as well as a solo headlining date at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, UK on June 25.
"The nostalgia aspect certainly has a role in the upcoming shows,” Blackore tells Dutch magazine Aardschok. “Some people will use this project to check if I can still do it, while others will probably see it as an opportunity to see me on a bigger stage once again. I don't want to sound morbid, but I do believe that thoughts like these come with the age that I have. I turned 70 and that has its disadvantages. Having a sore back or stiff fingers on stage is no fun. However, all this comes totally from myself.”
"There were moments, a few years ago, when I thought of how much fun it would be to play some of the old songs again,” he continues. “However, the longer I thought about it the less appealing it all became. It was not until I found out about Ronnie [Romero] that the whole idea came back again and when I started realizing the idea. He has a great voice and his fresh input is what gave me the final push. I am quite demanding when it comes to singers, but with Ronnie is absolutely feels good. This guy has a great future in the scene. He sounds like a perfect fit for this job because he has a voice that reminds of Ronnie James Dio but is versatile enough to also handle the Ian Gillan songs well."
"The setlist will be Rainbow songs for about 70 percent, including 'Stargazer', because apparently that's a song everybody wants to hear,” explains Blackmore. “About 30 percent will be Deep Purple songs. We will focus on the best-known songs. The Dio era will be a central part of the show, but we will also play songs from the Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet periods. As far as Purple is concerned; we will play the Gillan era but will also play something from the David Coverdale period."
Ahead of the Rainbow shows, Blackmore will be inducted into the 2016 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on April 8 in New York as a member of Deep Purple.
The present day lineup of the group have refused to perform with Blackmore at the event, so the guitarist has decided not to attend the ceremony.
“Ritchie was honored by the offer of induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” read the official statement from his camp. “He was discussing the possibility of attending, until we received correspondence from the President of the Rock Hall of Fame, who said that Bruce Payne, management for the current Deep Purple Touring Band, had said "No"..........!!!!!" Therefore Ritchie will not be attending the ceremony. He sincerely thanks all the fans that voted for him for their support.”
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