Guitar Aficionado

Ritchie Blackmore: I'll Rock Again “For a Few Days Next June”

The former Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist has already begun choosing who he'll work with.

By Christopher Scapelliti

We’ve heard plenty of rumors of late that Ritchie Blackmore will return to rock and roll once again. The former Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist has been immersed in the world of medieval folk since 1997 with his group Blackmore’s Night, featuring his wife, Candice Night,

Those claims have always come from other artists with designs on Blackmore. But this time, it’s the guitarist himself who says he could be playing Deep Purple and Rainbow tunes in the near future, if only for a short time.

“Just for a few days, next June,” Blackmore told French newspaper Le Parisien in a new interview. “But for now, I’m not decided on the persons I want to work with. I’ve got a good idea about the ideal candidates, but it wouldn’t be fair to say anything now.

“I will know exactly in one month who I want to have in this band to play Deep Purple and Rainbow songs. We will probably play three or four shows in June; that’s all.”

It’s tempting to wonder just who Blackmore would work with. Two of his former bandmates have suggested a reunion in recent years. Whitesnake’s David Coverdale, who performed with Blackmore in Deep Purple from 1973 to 1975, says the group’s new tribute disc, The Purple Album, came about when plans to record with Blackmore fell through.

In addition, Joe Lynn Turner, who performed with Blackmore in Rainbow and Deep Purple, said recently that they were close to an agreement to record together this fall.

“He’s itching to do some rocking, and we’re going to get together in the fall,” Turner told Classic Rock on April 5, following a solo performance in London.

But Turner could be in for a rude awakening.

“I think that Joe will not be part of the adventure, and he doesn’t know it yet,” Blackmore tells Le Parisien. “He does his thing, I like him, and I made good albums and good songs with him, like “Street of Dreams’ [from Rainbow’s 1983 album Bent Out of Shape and later covered by Blackmore’s Night]. But I’m thinking about doing a mixture in the band, with famous people and not so famous ones. That’s my state of mind at the moment, and you’re the first person I’ve talked to about it.”

Given past rumors, this could easily amount to nothing. But one can always hope. Stay tuned, and let’s see what happens.