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Ritchie Blackmore

From Academic Kids

Richard Hugh Blackmore, (born April 14, 1945) is a noted British guitarist. Born in Weston-super-Mare, he moved to Heston, Middlesex at the age of two. His father bought him his first guitar when he was about 10 in 1955 and he then took some classical guitar lessons.

In the 1960s he started out as a session player and performed in several bands, Heinz & Wild Boys, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Outlaws, Glenda Collins and BOZ. He was a co-founder of the hard rock group Deep Purple in 1968, and continued to be a member, and the main creative anchor, of Deep Purple from 1968 through 1975 and again from 1984 through 1993. The influences to become The Man In Black were derived from Lord Sutch. Other musicians who followed the Black-Outfit of Lord Sutch were Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page and Tom Jones.

Blackmore almost exclusively played a Fender Stratocaster, often with the middle of its three pickups ripped out or disconnected. His most famous riff (and forbidden in many guitar stores) is probably the one from Smoke on the Water. The riff is properly played without a pick, using two fingers to pluck two adjecent strings held in a IV interval. In his soloing, Blackmore combined blues scales and phrases with minor scales and ideas from European classical music and established what some call the "neoclassical" school of guitar, often heard in so-called Neo-classical metal.

In 1971 Blackmore participated in a project called the Green Bullfrog.

After Deep Purple, Blackmore formed another well-known progressive-metal/hard rock band called Rainbow from 1975 through 1983. He reformed Rainbow after leaving Deep Purple a second time in 1993.This Rainbow line up with the great Doogie White lasted into 1997 and produced the stellar Stranger In Us All cd. His current venture is quite different (but also extremely successful), as he teamed up with Candice Night to create the Renaissance-style group Blackmore's Night.

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