September 20, 2006

Anyone wanting to study the tricks and licks of the Sorcerer of the Stratocaster, Ritchie Blackmore, will have to add Rainbow’s Live In Munich 1977 to their DVD stable. Killer footage abounds of the former Deep Purple kingpin summoning all sorts of magical tones out of his Strat/Marshall stack cauldron (in some shots, Blackmore’s infamous reel-to-reel can be seen providing echo), and his chops are in savage form, as he proves with a preponderance of furious tremolo picking and the occasional slide excursion. But, as Blackmore fans know, the legendary Whammy Bar Warlock’s onstage demeanor can be, well, a tad indifferent. On Munich, Blackmore rarely averts his steely gaze from his fingers or the floor, making vocalist/ rock god Ronnie James Dio and the kick-ass rhythm section of bassist Bob Daisley and the late drummer Cozy Powell the only things standing between an honest-to-goodness rock show and a really loud dress rehearsal. But Blackmore kicks the theatrics into high gear at the show’s climax, and his ringer Stratocaster pays the ultimate price. (Eagle Vision.)
—Darrin Fox

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