Ritchie Blackmore hoping to play Rainbow shows in the US after COVID-19 crisis abates


In 2016, founding Deep Purple and Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore relaunched the latter band with a new lineup, although, to date, the group’s latest incarnation has only performed in the U.K. and mainland Europe, and only sporadically.

Blackmore, whose main musical project for the last two decades has been — and continues to be — Blackmore’s Night, the Renaissance folk-rock band he leads with his wife, singer Candice Night, tells ABC Audio that plans were in the works for Rainbow to play its first U.S. shows before the COVID-19 pandemic put all live events on hold, adding that he’ll still be “up for it” once things are safer.

“[W]e were all ready to do some American shows in New York and various other places,” he reveals.

Adds Blackmore, “[W]e’ll see how it goes. I’m up for it. I like to kind of get the Strat and bash out now and again, and the band’s all ready to go…It’s in the pipeline, doing some shows.”

Meanwhile, this December marks the 50th anniversary of the recording of Deep Purple‘s signature song “Smoke on the Water,” which Blackmore co-wrote. Ritchie tells ABC Audio that he isn’t planning anything special to commemorate the milestone.

“I’m not too keen on all these anniversaries, myself,” he maintains. “I think sometimes it’s a bit of an excuse to kind of rerelease something, and I think that’s been released enough.”

As previously reported, Blackmore’s Night released its 11th studio album, Nature’s Light, earlier this month. The band recently debuted a visually stunning music video for the album’s final track, a cover of “Second Element,” a song first recorded by British soprano Sarah Brightman in 1993.

By Matt Friedlander
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