Tag Archives: . “Theo Vermeer”

4th Round Finalist! (of the Artistprolist.com’s Music Talent Competition!)

Dear Friends,

Unbelievable, what began as a joke seems to get serious.
I’ve have been selected as the 4th Round Finalist in Artistprolist.com’s Music Talent Competition!

The winner will be selected from the Top Ten Finalists based on Vocal or Musical Performance (Including song Covers) and the Originality of Performance.
So please take a look and if you live please provide me a positive comments, opinions and reviews on my Artistprolist.com music listing page! The winner will be Announced by March 14, 2014.

About the song:
As a rock guitarist, I wanted to create a song in remembranceof the 70’s. I played a funky bass riff and a new song was born. Listening to the rythm guitar I think I’ve made a good rythm track. Of course a 70’s piano and solo.
The song wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a guitar solo

So, please enjoy watching and listening!

http://artistprolist.com/list/listing/funky-70s/

The Birth of the Ibanez JEM series

Ibanez JEM is an electric guitar manufactured by Ibanez and first produced in 1987. The guitar’s most notable user is its co-designer, Steve Vai. As of 2010, there have been five sub-models of the JEM: the JEM7, JEM77, JEM777, JEM555, JEM333, and JEM70V. Although the Ibanez JEM series is a signature series guitar, Ibanez mass-produces several of the guitar’s sub-models.

The design of the Ibanez JEM series was heavily influenced by the superstrat style of guitars of the early 1980s such as the Jackson Soloist, Kramer Beretta and Hamer Chaparral. This type of guitar is more aggressively styled in terms of shape and specifications compared to the Stratocaster on which they are based.

Ibenez neon

Earlier guitars

Previously, Vai used a handbuilt guitar by Charvel Jackson. With Joe Despagni and Tom Anderson he created various custom guitars and used Tom Anderson’s model to record the demo of the David Lee Roth album Skyscraper. Vai also began to bring his Tom Anderson guitars on tour:

“… He built this for me after my old green monster, which I used out on the road last year until it died. I was pulling on the whammy bar and ripped the bar right out of the guitar [laughs]; it was actually ripped out before the show at Madison Square Garden. I was dying. So I started using Tom’s guitar as my main guitar for the rest of the tour, and I really like it because it has a very heavy sound to it. So I took the best of the sounds from that guitar and had them incorporated into the Ibanez.”

Ibanez and Steve Vai

Vai decided to stop using his Anderson guitar in favour of a guitar deal with a bigger company. Just before Christmas 1986 Ibanez received Vai’s guitar specification; they were similar to Despagni’s guitars. Ibanez built one of their “Maxxas” guitars for him with a palmrest for the tremolo. Vai liked the model and decided to produce that particular guitar with Ibanez. It took five months to make the new model samples in Japan, the JEM guitar and the RG range which launched at the NAMM Industry Trade Show in June 1987.

Design and production

Steve Vai with Ibanez JEM

After the JEM series was launched at the NAMM show, Ibanez with Steve Vai began to design and produce the guitar actively. Rich Lasner of Hoshino explained that Vai used a “Chinese menu approach” to design the guitar (i.e. choosing from many different categories). The first design was by Vai, when he sent Hoshino his ideas from many different guitar features he liked and combined it into one guitar. The essential considerations were the weight, wood types and pickups. For the latter specification, Vai decided long before Ibanez contacted him, that he would use DiMarzio pickups for his guitars.

Later, Lasner asked Vai to explain the guitar specifications further: “‘The first thing he did” Lasner explains, “was disassemble them on the spot. Neck from body, pickguard off, tremolo out… took ’em apart. I was shocked, to say the least. But Steve looked at me nonchalantly and said, ‘Relax, I do this all the time.’ He wanted to check Mace’s detail and craftsmanship.””[2] Mace Bailey, who was also involved in the production, later went to Japan to the Ibanez factory to really begin producing the guitar. He sat there with the craftsmen and made ten guitars for Vai.

Naming conventions

Ibanez has not revealed much about the naming system of the JEM models(JEMxxx) but letters always refer to the name of the color pattern used for each models (JEM777LNG > LochNess Green). However, it is known that the number 7 came from Steve Vai himself as he likes the number 7. Steve Vai has also released an album titled “The Seventh Song” which contains ballad songs from albums before “The Seventh Song”. Steve Vai  stated on the CD cover, “Traditionally, I have made the 7th song on all my CD’s the mellifluous guitar ballad that serves the melody on a silver platter. In numerology, the number 7 is shrouded in mystique. In a record sequence, it has always felt like the sweet spot. These songs are more devotional in nature than technical. They are a reflection of one man’s desire to expose a glimmer of the depth of his longing for spiritual communion.”

There are 4 JEM sub-model numbers: 7, 77, 777 and 555. JEM777 was the first JEM sub-model, created in 1987. Currently Ibanez no longer sells this model, thus some of these models are quite rare, especially the JEM777LNG, which was a limited run and each model was hand-signed by Steve Vai. On the other hand, JEM77 models are more widely available compared to the JEM777 guitars. Some of the 77 models are very easy to make out and are especially interesting for collectors-these are models with a floral or multicolor pattern, for example, the JEM77FP (Floral Pattern) and the JEM77PMC (Purple MultiColor). However, a variant of JEM77, the JEM77BRMR is not a multicolor guitar, but it has dot inlays on the fingerboard and a “rock mirror” finish and the 77VBK, which is basic black with a mirror pickguard and the vine inlay. The JEM 7 series was derived from Steve’s current main guitar, “Evo” and is still in production, with the 7VWH being the longest run production model of all JEM guitars. The 7VWH is still in production today. Different from other JEM models, JEM555 is produced in Korea and in terms of quality, this variant is considered by many to be poorer than the others. As of 2008, the only production model JEM guitars are the 7VWH and the 77VBK. The cheaper Korean- made 555 was discontinued in 2000 for the USA market. JEM505 needs mentioning, the JEM333 is no where to be found, the other jem77 models. etc. etc. In 2008 there were more models than the 7vwh and 7vbk.

80s guitars 2

JAM with an Ibanez JEM 777DY

As the artist Farlake I’ve made a video of a jam with the Ibanez JEM 777DY.
To get some more visits I use the famous name of my grant grant grant (etc.) father; Johannes Vermeer. A famous Dutch painter (1632 – 1675)

I’m using the following parts:

  • Ibanez JEM 777DY (Desert Yellow)
  • Carvin Legacy 3 Amp
  • 2 x C212E Cabinets
  • Morley Bad Horsey Wah (2)
  • Ibanez Jemini
  • Digitech Harmonyman
  • Logic X Pro
  • Addictive Drums
  • Vintage Organs
  • Trilian Bass

 

JamUp XT Review

 

JamUp XT Review

Post Image

Hallo guitar fans. This month I am presenting JamUp XT Pro iOS app developed by Positive Grid. This is not only one of the best guitar amp simulators out there in my own opinion, it is much more than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JamUp XT review by Daddo Oreskovich

 

Some time ago, with the appearance of the first iOS apps for guitarists, iPad, iPod, or iPhone were merely a tool for great practice, warm-up or hotel room jam. Android is still not even close to iOS because of its latency issue.

I remember almost two years ago when I bought my iRig audio interface. I downloaded free AmpliTube app and I was amazed with an opportunity to practice virtually anywhere without harassing my neighbors with Progressive Metal and Rock music by turning my amp and the full gear on 🙂 The sounds were decent and the app served its purpose -> to be used as a practice tool.

jamup xt pro

 

After I found out about JamUp, honestly, I thought this is just one of the many variations of the same thing. I was so wrong 🙂 It is not only the perfect practice tool, it is truly every guitarist’s “Swiss army knife” app. All magazines like: MacWorld, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitarist and Premier Guitar were reviewing the app with high appraisals, introducing the best seen symbiosis of Apple iOS and actual musical instrument.

What is JamUp? It is guitar amp and FX simulator, multi track recording device, loop/phrase sampler, guitar tuner and professional backing track player with tempo and pitch tweak possibility. What makes possible using this app live is ability of pairing with a third party MIDI controller pedals.

Amp simulators

jamup xt pro

Virtually almost every amp is emulated here; Fender, Marshall, Messa Boogie, Orange, Peavy, Laney are just to name a few. Regardless of what version of JamUp you downloaded (free or pro version), all additional amps and stomp boxes can be obtained through the “in app purchase”. There are 3 categories of amps: acoustic, electric and bass guitar amps.

 

Stomp boxes

jamup xt pro

There are 6 stomp box groups in JamUp:

  • nosie gate FX
  • modulation FX (chorus, flanger, wah, phaser…)
  • reverb FX
  • delay FX
  • EQ
  • Compression and overdrive/distortion group

All effects and amps can be moved in the signal chain order. For example, you can drag the Tube Screamer stomp to be the first in the signal chain, Noise Gate on the last spot, etc… like the “real-world” pedalboard. All parameters are very easy and straightforward. Just use your imagination and tailor to your taste. All settings can be configured as a “patch”. There are 4×16 patch slots including factory presets. Each slot and patch name can be renamed of course.

 

Jam Player

jamup xt pro

Jam player is professional grade audio file player. You can import your favorite guitar backing tracks and regulate their tempo and speed. This comes very handy if you have string lock on your guitar and the backing track is half step down for instance. Just raise the pitch parameter half step up to “1 o’clock”  and you can jam without retuning your instrument. Very cool. This is also great aid for singers. Not every male singer has a vocal range of David Coverdale or Bruce Dickinson, so backing track pitch comes very handy -> great karaoke player as well 🙂

If you are “one-man-band “, it is great to control both your guitar sound and backing track in the same app, without a need for a separate CD/Karaoke player. Both volumes (guitar and backing track) are controlled separately.

 

Phrase sampler

jamup xt pro

Let’s say you are on a guitar clinic or you have your guitar solo section on the gig. You can record and loop a phrase, and then play over it. You can also load a drum loop from your iPod library and jam with it and also save it for later exploit. Loop and instrument levels are controlled separately.

 

8-track recorder

jamup xt pro

One of the best tools in JamUp. I use it frequently when filming lessons for Live4guitar. I record video on the HD camcorder, I play backing track on iPad and record live guitar track on iPad. This eliminates dragging the computer to the best spot in my apartment for video recording.

Lets say you have your ProTools or any DAW session. You can export each track and the drums stem, and import into 8-track recorder for better control. You can also copy audio file from another app such as Garage Band as well. You can also record your guitar or bass in another app on the same iDevice using “Audio Bus” app. I briefly explain it how in the review video.

Many, many possibilities and options. This is why I claim JamUp to be the “Swiss Army Knife” music app.

Tone/Patch sharing

jamup xt pro

This is one of the unique features in JamUp. You can share your patches on-line with JamUp community. People can like or comment your patch.

I am truly honored to be chosen by Positive Grid as their featured artist. You can download and jam with my signature “Preset Pack“. More about my Preset Pack in this video:

 

 

Using JamUp live

jamup xt pro - controler

There are vast possibilities of connecting your guitar to JamUp and your iDevice to your pedal board. I am using Griffin pedal controller with JamUp. You can configure 4 different stomp switches from the app. This controller also has an expression pedal input, so you can control volume and Cry Baby wah. At the time of this writing, Positive Grid is developing emulation of Digitech Whammy so stay tuned for that one 🙂 There are many different third party external MIDI pedals that can be used with JamUp. For complete list visit www.positivegrid.com 

In the next video, I’m showing my Griffin controller and talking about my hybrid pedalboard in details.

 

 

The Verdict

I am giving JamUp 10/10 points. This is universal “guitar Swiss army knife app” for every guitarist and bassist. It can very astoundingly emulate all vintage amps and stomp effects. It can be used for making music, recording and sharing the ideas and patches. It can be used as a source of recording in other apps via “Audio Bus” app, so you can use JamUp sounds in Apple Garage Band for instance. With third party MIDI controllers, it can be used live on stage.

What else one needs? It’s all in there, in iOS app called JamUp XT.

Download free version and see it for yourself. Here is direct iTunes link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jamup-xt-amp-effects-processor/id449820506?mt=8

 

(by Daddo Oreskovich in Reviews | 08. 06. 2013.)

Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 36 Amp Head

Hughes & Kettner’s Tubemeister has a few new tube heads. The 5 watt mini amp, the 18 and 36 watt. I was impressed of the feature set and huge sound of the 5 watt. The  Tubemeister 36, with 36 watts of output and three channels, offers considerably more features in a compact package that’s only about twice the size of the Tubemeister 5. The Tubemeister 36 may still qualify as a mini amp, but the only things small about it are its physical dimensions and affordable price. It offers versatility, performance and functions that aren’t available on many three-channel amps nearly four times its size.

FEATURES

The Tubemeister 36 is a stylish amp head featuring chrome handles on its sides and a clear Plexiglas faceplate that lets you see the transformers and glowing tubes inside. The interior is also illuminated with cool blue LEDs when the amp is powered up. Four EL84 tubes drive the power amp section to provide 36 watts of output, while three 12AX7 tubes drive the preamp section. To keep the size as small as possible, the Tubemeister 36 features onboard digital reverb instead of a bulky spring reverb tank. The reverb is also programed to sound full and lush with clean tones and become less pronounced with crunch and distortion tones to avoid the smeared mush that often occurs when using reverb with high-gain sounds.

The front panel is logically laid out. It has separate gain and master volume controls for the Clean, Crunch and Lead channels, three-band EQ (treble, mid, bass) controls for the Clean channel, and three-band EQ controls that are shared by the Crunch and Lead channels. Each channel has its own push-button selector switch, although you can also switch channels with an optional footswitch controller or via MIDI. The rear panel reveals most of the Tubemeister 36’s “secret” weapons, which include its Power Soak feature, Red Box DI output and TSC (Tube Safety Control) self-adjusting bias feature.

The Power Soak reduces power to 18 watts, five watts or one watt and provides a speaker-off setting that allows guitarists to use the head without an external speaker cabinet or load box. The Power Soak is also MIDI programmable, allowing users to program different settings for each channel (such as 36 watts for the Clean channel for maximum clean headroom, 18 watts for the Crunch channel to produce full-bodied power amp overdrive and five watts for the Lead channel to generate singing sustain at lower volumes). Up to 128 different combinations can be saved. The Red Box is an XLR DI output with 4×12 speaker emulation for sending the preamp and power amp tone to a mixing console or recorder. The TSC automatically adjusts optimum bias, and rear-panel LEDs indicate if the power tubes are malfunctioning.

A MIDI input lets guitarists use an external MIDI controller to switch channels, reverb, effect loop and Power Soak settings, and a MIDI Learn switch makes it easy to assign amp settings to a program-change number. The seven-pin MIDI connector also provides up to 20 volts of direct current for powering a MIDI controller without an external power supply.

PERFORMANCE

I thought the Tubemeister 5 sounded huge, but the Tubemeister 36 sounds absolutely colossal, especially when connected to a 4×12 cabinet. Like most Hughes & Kettner amps, it has its own sonic personality, so you’ll want to try a variety of cabinets to find the best match. With 1×12 cabinets, the amp sounded best through speakers with scooped midrange characteristics, as the Tubemeister 36’s inherent midrange is quite pronounced and assertive. I use it with the Carvin Legacy 2 x 12 speaker cabinet.

The Clean channel offers more than ample undistorted headroom, and it can generate lush, gorgeous tones with the reverb dialed in. The Crunch and Lead channels deliver plenty of supersaturated gain and sustain, but if you prefer muscular power amp thump you can get that even at low volume levels thanks to the Power Soak. Don’t let the Tubemeister 36’s small size and 36-watt output fool you—this is a truly gigworthy amp that’s more than loud enough for the stage. And if you need more volume you can feed its glorious tone to the house PA via its impressive Red Box DI.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 36 may be a mini amp head, but it provides outstanding tones, versatile professional features and distinctive innovations that many full-size amps don’t offer.

Ibanez UV70P (Universe 7-string)

 

Product Description

Inspired by Steve Vai, Ibanez has created another excellent playing guitar which is the Universe UV70P. Featuring DiMarzio pickups for great tone and jumbo frets on a Wizard 7 neck, the UV70P Universe guitar has easy playability and an awe-inspiring tone. The iconic Steve Vai has influenced guitar players all over the world and now the UV70P Universe is designed to break boundaries.

 

Specs

– Neck: Wizard-7 5pc Maple/Walnut with KTS TITANIUM rods
– Body: American Basswood
– Frets: Jumbo with Premium fret edge treatment
– Fretboard: Rosewood
– Inlay: Green dot
– Bridge: Edge-Zero II-7
– Hardware: Cosmo black
– Pickups: DiMarzio Blaze

Gig FX Megawah Stereo Multi-Wah Pedal

 

One of the best wah these days is the Gig FX Megawah. Not only a wah, but it has also five other features.

Product Description

The Gig FX Megawah is much more than great-sounding classic wah. You can adjust the gain, resonance peak, bass response and trigger sensitivity to produce the ultimate in wah sounds. And with two independent channels, you can run your signal in stereo for one-of-a-kind wah sounds.

The Megawah is Six Wah’s plus a volume pedal
– Classic Wah: The original analog classic Wah sound, mono or STEREO in a lightweight, noise-free optically controlled package
– Mega-Wah: Gig FX took the classsic wah and put it on steroids. Tons more OOOMPH on the bass frequencies and a tooth-rattling upper end
– Trig-Wah: The Mega-Wah sound triggered by a note. Sounds awesomely funky
– Auto-wah: Auto-wah: Why buy a pedal wah, envelope filter and auto-wah? This…pedal does them all
– Stereo-Wah: Two circuits give twice the Wah and can be used in a stereo effects train
– Stereo-Reverse-Wah: Flick a switch and reverse one channel for a neat melodic effect
– Foot-volume control: At the flick of another switch, the pedal becomes a foot volume control

Fed up with trying to master the wah pedal? Turn it on auto-wah and set the tempo as you wish. Don’t want to be limited by tempo and want every note to be wah’d? Set it to trig-wah and every note will trigger a wah so you can fire your synth player.

Then you can switch it to become a volume pedal. Keep pressing and it adds up to 3dB of clean gain. Even the cleanest amp will start to rip and burn (with no loss of frequency response that distortion pedals give).

Bored with all that? Hook it up in stereo and switch to reverse the wah on one side…CHECK IT OUT. This is no ordinary wah. It is the ultimate in wah and volume / gain pedal technology.

For the most extreme wah tone ever, plug the output of the left channel into the input of the right channel and hear the most extreme wah sounds on the planet.

How it works
The Megawah has two entirely independent Wah circuits in one package giving stereo in, stereo out capability. The effect also will accept a mono input signal automatically provide a stereo output. If the pedal is stepped on and rocked from the off position (all the way back), the optical linkage will automatically and noiselessly turn the unit on and then provide the classic wah or wah of choice as pedal is pressed down. The resonance control allows adjustment of the peak value of the wah determining how much wah range the pedal provides. The gain control allows control over how much gain the pedal provides to allow soloing at higher volume levels.

 

(Author: zZounds)

Ibanez Goes To Seventh Heaven With New Vai JEM

Ibanez, “The First in Seven, The Leader in Eight” have introduced what some may consider to be a 7-string guitar of flagship stature. The new JEM 747 is the latest product of the guitar-builder’s long term collaboration with axe master Steve Vai.

The JEM 747 ($4,399.99 List) sports a 5-pc maple/wenge JEM-7 Prestige neck featuring Vai’s trademark “Tree-Of-Lif” inlay, made from Pearl Abalone Vine. And among its many other high-end appointments, 7-string fans are particularly fond of this guitar’s DiMarzio Blaze pickups, designed to leverage the 747’s low-end power without allowing the lower-mid to turn to “sludge,” instead providing a well-defined sonic shape.Specs:- White finish
– 5pc maple/wenge JEM-7 Prestige
– Alder body
– Jumbo frets
– Rosewood fretboard
– Pearl Abalone Vine inlay
– Lo-Pro Edge 7 bridge
– DiMarzio Blaze neck pu
– DiMarzio Blaze neck pu
– DiMarzio Blaze bridge pu
– Hard shell case includedList: $4,399.99

Fender Custom Shop Introduces Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster At The NAMM 2013

After waiting for years, Fender decided to honor the work of Ritchie Blackmore; The Fender Stratocaster 1968; a real beauty. The Fender Custom Shop is introducing a replica of Richtie Blackmore’s black Fender Stratocaster, the instrument on which he gave birth to Deep Purple’s legendary “Smoke on the Water” riff. This 2013 limited edition guitar is reportedly as close as it gets to the original used by Blackmore during the early 70s and specifically on Purple’s best selling album Machine Head.

 

Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster

The Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster features a lightly worn urethane finished two piece alder body, a 7.25” radius maple fingerboard on a ’69 U-shaped rounded neck and of course medium jumbo frets. Fender guru Abigail Ybarra took personally care of the ’69 custom make hand –wound pickups which are controlled via a three way switch. Other details of the Blackmore Tribune Strat include the typical ¼” tremolo arm (which I’m sure only Ritchie himself would manage to break), Schaller tuners and Micarta nut, rear headstock tribute decal and a certificate of authenticity.

Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster features:
  • Body: two-piece Alder with a lightly worn Black urethane finish
  • Neck Shape: Custom “U”
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
  • Position Inlays: Black Dot
  • Fingerboard Radius: 7.25″ (184.1 mm)
  • Neck Material: Plain-Grain Maple
  • Nut Width: 1.625″ (41.3 mm)
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Headstock: Large ’70s Style
  • Neck Plate: 4-Bolt “F” Stamped
  • Pickup Configuration: S/S/S
  • Bridge Pickup: Custom ’68 Hand-Wound Single-Coil Strat
  • Middle Pickup: Custom ’68 Hand-Wound Single-Coil Strat
  • Neck Pickup: Custom ’68 Hand-wound Single-Coil Strat
  • Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Middle Pickup, Position 3. Neck Pickup
  • Controls: Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge/Middle Pickup)
  • Hardware Finish: Chrome
  • Bridge: Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • Tuning Machines: Vintage ’70s Fender “F” Stamped
  • Tremolo Arm Handle: 1/4″ Tremolo Arm
  • Colour: Black

For more information around the Fender Custom Shop Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster please visit the Fender website.

Biography Ritchie Blackmore

Richard Hugh “Ritchie” Blackmore (born 14 April 1945 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is an English guitarist, who was a founding member of hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He left Deep Purple in 1993 due to a growing rift between Blackmore and other members in spite of renewed commercial success. His current band is the Renaissance influenced Blackmore’s Night.

Blackmore was ranked #55 in Rolling Stone magazine list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Childhood and early life

Blackmore was born in Weston-super-Mare, England, but moved to Heston, Middlesex at the age of two. He was 11 when he got his first guitar. His father bought it for him on certain conditions: “He said if I was going to play this thing, he was either going to have someone teach it to me properly, or he was going to smash me across the head with it. So I actually took the lessons for a year ? classical lessons – and it got me on to the right footing, using all the fingers and the right strokes of the plectrum and the nonsense that goes with it.” Whilst at school he did well at sports including the Javelin. Blackmore left school at age 15 and started work as an apprentice radio mechanic at nearby Heathrow Airport. He was given guitar lessons by Big Jim Sullivan.

He was influenced in his youth by early rockers like Hank Marvin and Gene Vincent, and later, country pickers like Chet Atkins. His playing improved and in the early 1960s he started out as a session player for Joe Meek’s music productions and performed in several bands. He was a member of the instrumental combo, The Outlaws, and backed Heinz (playing on his top ten hit “Just Like Eddie”), Screaming Lord Sutch, Glenda Collins and Boz among others. While working for Joe Meek, he got to know engineer Derek Lawrence, who would later produce Deep Purple’s first three albums. With organist Jon Lord he co-founded hard rock group Deep Purple in 1968, and continued to be a member of Deep Purple from 1968-1975 and again from 1984-1993.

Recording career

(1968-1975) The first Deep Purple years

Blackmore co-founded the hard rock group Roundabout with Wayne Blade in 1968 with Chris Curtis (vocals), Dave Curtis (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards), and Bobby Woodman aka Bobbie Clarke (drums). Later on the name was changed to Deep Purple and vocal, bass and drums were changed to Rod Evans (vocals), Nick Simper (bass) and Ian Paice (drums). It was Blackmore’s idea to call the band Deep Purple, after his grandmother’s favorite song. The band had a hit US single with its remake of the Joe South song “Hush”. After three albums Evans and Simper were replaced by Ian Gillan (vocals) and Roger Glover (bass).

The second line-up’s first studio album, In Rock, changed the band’s style, turning it in a hard rock direction. Blackmore’s guitar riffs, Jon Lord’s distorted Hammond organ, and Ian Paice’s jazz-influenced drums were enhanced by the vocals of Ian Gillan, who Blackmore has described as being “a screamer with depth and a blues feel.”

 

The next release was titled Fireball and continued in the same hard rock style established on the previous release, with Blackmore’s guitar remaining a prominent feature of the band’s style.

 

Deep Purple’s next album was titled Machine Head. The band originally intended to record the album at a casino in Montreux, but the night before recording was to begin the casino hosted a Frank Zappa concert (with members of Deep Purple in attendance) at which an audience member fired a flare gun which ignited a fire inside the building and the casino burned down. The entire tragedy is documented in the lyrics of what was to become Deep Purple’s historic anthem “Smoke on the Water”.

In 1973, shortly after the release of the album Who Do We Think We Are, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left Deep Purple.

They were replaced by former Trapeze bassist Glenn Hughes and an unknown singer named David Coverdale. The album recorded by the new line-up was entitled Burn.

Deep Purple continued to perform concerts worldwide, including an appearance at the 1974 ‘California Jam’, a televised concert festival that also included many other prominent bands. At the moment Deep Purple were due to appear, Blackmore locked himself in his dressing room and refused to go onstage. Previous performers had finished early, and it was still not sundown, the time at which the band had originally been scheduled to start. Blackmore felt this would dull the effect of the band’s light show. After ABC brought in a sheriff to arrest him, Blackmore agreed to perform. At the culmination of the performance he destroyed several of his guitars and threw one of his amplifier stacks off the edge of the stage. He also struck one of the ABC cameras with a guitar, and in recorded footage can be seen arranging for his road crew to set off a pyrotechnic device in one of his amplifiers, creating a large fireball that was quickly extinguished. The band quickly exited the venue by helicopter, avoiding fire marshals, police officers and ABC executives.

Deep Purple’s next album, Stormbringer, was publicly denounced by Blackmore himself, who disliked the funky soul influences that Hughes and Coverdale injected into the band. Following its release, he departed Deep Purple to front a new group, Rainbow, which was originally thought to be a one-off collaboration by Blackmore and the Ronnie James Dio-fronted band Elf, but was later revealed to be a new band project.
(1975-1984) The first Rainbow years
Blackmore, right, with Rainbow in 1977

After Deep Purple, Blackmore formed the hard rock band Rainbow. The name of the band Rainbow was inspired by a Hollywood bar and grill called the Rainbow that catered to rock stars, groupies and rock enthusiasts. It was here that Blackmore spent his off time from Deep Purple and met vocalist Ronnie James Dio, whose band Elf had toured regularly as an opening act for Deep Purple.

The band’s debut album, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, was released in 1975. The band’s musical style differed from Blackmore’s previous band and much of Blackmore’s inspiration came from his love of classical music which matched nicely with Dio’s lyrics about medieval themes.

Blackmore fired every original band member except Dio shortly after the first album was recorded, and recruited a new lineup to record the album Rainbow Rising.

For the next album, Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blackmore kept the drummer Cozy Powell and Dio but replaced the rest of the band. Blackmore had difficulty finding a bass player for this record so he handled all the bass duties himself, except on three songs: “Gates of Babylon”, “Kill the King”, and “Sensitive To Light” (the bass on these songs was performed by Bob Daisley.) After the album’s release and supporting tour, Ronnie James Dio left Rainbow due to “creative differences” with Blackmore.

Blackmore continued with Rainbow and the band released a new album entitled Down To Earth, which featured his ex-Deep Purple bandmate Roger Glover on bass. The album contained Blackmore’s first chart successes since leaving Deep Purple, as the Graham Bonnet-fronted single “Since You Been Gone” (a cover of the Russ Ballard penned tune) became a smash hit. In 1980 Blackmore’s Rainbow headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in England. Bonnet and Cozy Powell would leave after this, Powell would go on to join former Deep Purple members in Whitesnake.

The band’s next album, Difficult to Cure, introduced vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. The title track from this album was an arrangement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a personal favourite of Blackmore’s.

Rainbow’s next studio album was Straight Between the Eyes and included the hit single “Stone Cold.” It would be followed by the album Bent Out of Shape, which featured the single “Street Of Dreams”. The song’s video was banned by MTV for its supposedly controversial hypnotic video clip. The resulting tour saw Rainbow return to the UK and also to Japan where the band performed with a full orchestra.

By the mid-1980s, Blackmore and his former Deep Purple bandmates had reconciled past differences and a reunion of the successful “Mark II” lineup took place. A final Rainbow album, Finyl Vinyl, was patched together from live tracks and “b” sides of singles.
(1984-1993) The second Deep Purple years

In April 1984, it was announced on BBC Radio’s Friday Rock Show that the “Mark Two” line-up of Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord, and Paice was reforming and recording new material. The band signed a deal with Polydor in Europe and Mercury in North America. The album Perfect Strangers was released in October 1984. A tour followed, starting in Perth, Australia and wound its way across the world and into Europe by the following summer. It was the highest-grossing group tour of the year. The UK homecoming proved mixed as they elected to play just one festival, ‘The Return of the Knebworth Fayre’, at Knebworth Park on 22 June, 1985. Despite poor weather conditions, an audience of 80,000 attended the show that also featured Scorpions, Mama’s Boys and Meat Loaf amongst others. BBC Radio One broadcasted the set.

In 1987, the line-up recorded and toured in support of the album, The House of Blue Light. A live album, Nobody’s Perfect was released in 1988. A new version of “Hush” (sung by Gillan, who had not yet joined the band when the original recording was made), was also released to mark the band’s twentieth anniversary. In 1989, Ian Gillan was fired from the band because of a poor working relationship with Blackmore. His replacement was former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. This lineup recorded one album titled Slaves & Masters (1990). Though the album was a favorite of Blackmore’s, his bandmates were disappointed with the efforts of the album and tours.

Neither the album nor the tour were critically or commercially successful. Following its conclusion, Turner was fired from the band. Both Jon Lord and Ian Paice argued that Deep Purple needed Ian Gillan as the band’s frontman. Blackmore relented and Gillan returned prior to recording The Battle Rages On in 1993. During the support tour in late 1993, tensions between Gillan and Blackmore reached a climax and Blackmore left the band permanently. His last show with the band was in Helsinki, Finland on 17 November, 1993.

Gillan said: “Joe Satriani came in at the last minute. Blackmore walked out and the tour was taking off to Japan… it was all very dramatic. He said: ‘Alright, that’s the end of the band,’ and assumed because he left that we were going to fold up.” Satriani was asked to join full time but had to decline as he was tied into a long recording contract. A permanent replacement for Blackmore was eventually found in another guitar legend, Steve Morse of Dixie Dregs, who joined the band in 1994.

Ian Gillan, who had been Ritchie Blackmore’s roommate during the early days of the band, stated in a 2006 interview that Blackmore had “turned into a weird guy and the day he walked out of the tour was the day the clouds disappeared and the day the sunshine came out and we haven’t looked back since.” Gillan noted that after Blackmore “walked out, things picked up and recovered unbelievably, remarkably well and the band’s in great shape now”. He added that “there are certain personal issues that I have with Ritchie, which means that I will never speak to him again. Nothing I’m going to discuss publicly, but deeply personal stuff.”
(1993-1997) The second Rainbow years

Ritchie Blackmore reformed Rainbow after leaving Deep Purple a second time in 1993. This Rainbow line up with singer Doogie White lasted until 1997 and produced the album Stranger in Us All. In the years Rainbow was together, Blackmore was the only consistent member. Stranger In Us All failed to measure up to the critical and commercial acclaim of previous releases, possibly due to the popularity of grunge rock at the time and the fact it was not particularly well publicised. In 1996, he appeared on the tribute album to Hank Marvin and The Shadows “Twang” on Sting’s Pangea label with a rendition of Gerry Lordan’s Apache.
(1997-present) The Blackmore’s Night years
Ritchie performing with Candice Night

In 1997, Blackmore and his (now) wife Candice Night formed the Renaissance-inspired pop group Blackmore’s Night. They have also performed the music for MagiQuest, a live simulation game located in Myrtle Beach, SC. Their debut album Shadow of the Moon (1997) went gold in Japan and enjoyed some success in Europe. In subsequent albums, particularly Fires at Midnight (2001), there was an increased incorporation of rock guitar into the music, whilst maintaining a folk rock direction.

 

Musical style

 

With Deep Purple and Rainbow, Blackmore almost exclusively played a Fender Stratocaster. He is also one of the first rock guitarists to use a “scalloped” fretboard where the wood is shaved down between the frets.

One of Blackmore’s best-known guitar riffs is from the song “Smoke on the Water”. He plays the riff without a pick, using two fingers to pluck the D and G strings in fourths.

In his soloing, Blackmore combines blues scales and phrases with minor scales and ideas from European classical music. While playing he would often put the pick in his mouth to play with his fingers.

He has two guitar solos ranked on Guitar World magazine’s “Top 100 Greatest Guitar Solos” (“Highway Star” at #19 and “Lazy” at #74, both from the album Machine Head).

Equipment

During the 1960s Blackmore played a Gibson ES-335 but switched to a Fender Stratocaster after buying a second hand Stratocaster from Eric Clapton’s roadie. However, the guitar was deemed unplayable by Blackmore due to the fact that the intonation was too off to be fixed. Since then and right up until his Blackmore’s Night project Blackmore has used Stratocasters almost exclusively. The middle pickup is screwed down and not used, with only the bass and treble pickup selector set. Blackmore has also occasionally used a Fender Telecaster Thinline during recording sessions.

In the 70s, Blackmore used a number of different Stratocasters. However, around the time of the Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll album, Blackmore found one particular Strat that was his main guitar up until Blackmore’s Night. Like most of Blackmore’s guitars, this Strat had its fingerboard scalloped. The pickups in it have been changed quite a few times, as described below. Blackmore added a strap lock to the headstock of this guitar as a conversation piece.

His amplifers were originally 200W Marshall Major stacks which were modified by Marshall with an additional output stage (generated approximately 278W) to make them sound more like Blackmore’s favourite Vox AC-30 amp, cranked to full volume. Since 1994 he has used Engl valve amps. One of the reasons he cited was that the Marshall heads did not sound as good as the Engls at low volume.

Blackmore frequently used effects during his time with Deep Purple and Rainbow, (despite claims to the opposite). He used a Hornby Skewes Treble Booster in the early days. Around the time of the Burn sessions he experimented with an EMS Synthi Hi Fli guitar synthesizer. He would sometimes use a wah-wah pedal and a variable control treble-booster for sustain. Moog Taurus bass pedals were used during solo parts of concerts. He also had a modified Aiwa TP-1011 tape machine built to supply echo and delay effects. The tape deck was also used as a pre-amp. Other effects that Blackmore used were a Schulte Compact Phasing A, a Unicord Univibe, a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face and an Octave Divider. In the mid 80s he also experimented with Roland guitar synths. A Roland GR-700 was seen on stage as late as 1995-96, later replaced with the GR-50. Guitar synths are also used quite a bit in Blackmore’s Night. As an example, Blackmore plays with a slide over what is probably an organ patch in the beginning of Way to Mandalay.

His strings used during his tenures with Deep Purple and Rainbow were Picato brand (.010, .011, .014, .026, .038, .048) Blackmore has experimented with many different pickups in his Strats. In the early Rainbow era they were still stock Fenders, later Dawk installed overwound, dipped, Fender pickups. He has also used Schecter F-500-Ts, Velvet Hammer “Red Rhodes”, DiMarzio “HS-2”, OBL “Black Label”, Bill Lawrence L-450, XL-250 (bridge), L-250 (neck). He used Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Flat SSL-4 for several years and since the late 80s he has used Lace Sensor (Gold) “noiseless” pickups. Blackmore’s gear was modified by John “Dawk” Stillwell of Dawk Sound Limited Dawk modified his Marshall Majors as well as his Fender Stratocasters. Dawk designed the Master Tone Circuit that was installed in all the guitarist’s guitars. Dawk worked for Elf with Ronnie James Dio when Elf toured with Deep Purple.

Plagiarism claim

Nick Simper, the bassist with DP Mk I, claims that he showed Ritchie Blackmore the riff from Ricky Nelson’s “Summertime” and that it was the basis for the first Mk II Deep Purple single “Black Night.” Roger Glover agrees in an interview with Rumba Magazine, November 1993 and says that he (Glover) insisted that they write new words and put it out as the single the record company wanted them to make. In mitigation he claims that they were all drunk. Nick Simper also identifies It’s a Beautiful Day’s Bombay Calling as a tune “which Mark II borrowed, and turned it into Child in Time“; Ian Gillan confirmed this in several interviews. It’s a Beautiful Day in return borrowed Purple’s “Wring that Neck” and turned it into “Don And Dewey” on their album Marrying Maiden. Blackmore also confirmed some of these claims in a Japanese TV interview.

 

Personal life

Blackmore has a son, Jorgen R. Blackmore (b. 1964), from his first marriage to a German woman named Margrit. Their marriage ended in 1969. He married another German woman, named Borbel Hardie in September 1969. His third marriage, in May 1981, to Amy Rothman, ended after divorce in 1987 (they separated in 1983). He and bandmate Candice Night have been living together since 1991 (they first met in 1989). The couple currently resides in Mount Sinai, Long Island, New York, USA. On Oct. 5, 2008, Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night married at the Castle on the Hudson. According to Ian Gillan, Blackmore is known to be a very difficult person. Gillan states, “He’s very difficult, he wants everything done his own way, he won’t listen to anyone else, and he doesn’t want anyone else to make any contributions to the music, as well as canceling tours at the last minute.” Ian Paice has also described him as being difficult, and Jon Lord has commented that he can be childish.