Ritchie Blackmore – The Ritchie Blackmore Story

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Every time that a documentary surfaces that focuses on the life and times of Ritchie Blackmore is an ideal “excuse” for us to remember once again some of the highlights that marked not only Blackmore’s career but the classic rock genre in general. After all, everybody acknowledges Blackmore’s influence in the wide spectrum of the rock sound and this documentary underlines exactly this –almost self evident- ascertainment.

The most striking and really positive aspect of this DVD is the participation of some of the most renowned musicians in the world. Each and every one of them explain how Blackmore changed their lives or point down the fact that he was (and still is, actually) one of the most innovative guitarists that ever appeared in the 20th century (especially in between the years 1969 and 1996). So, we are treated with comments by such celebrities as Brian May, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Ian Anderson, Gene Simmons, Lars Ulrich, Phil Collen, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes etc. while the Man in Black himself has been interviewed exclusively for this DVD. What is being highlighted essentially is Blackmore’s contribution in rock while –of course- the lion’s share in the narration belongs to the two huge chapters of Deep Purple and Rainbow. Luckily for all the rockers out there, the Blackmore’s Night chapter occupies just a 10-minute section on this DVD.

I must say that you won’t find anything new or any untold story that wasn’t known to the average Blackmore fan around the world. Yet, it is always nice to see, for instance, Brian May praising Ritchie or witness Steve Vai claiming how “Machine Head” changed his life. I’d like to stick to two points though. The first being a comment by Gene Simmons and I quote: “Some people enter the music business for money, fame or chicks. It seems to me that Ritchie Blackmore became a musician exclusively for the music”. The second one belongs to Brian May who is astonished that not so many young kids are aware of Ritchie Blackmore’s name or contribution (although there is a perfectly rounded argument and explanation for that). There lies the big question: “why is Ritchie trying –not consciously of course- to demolish everything that he has achieved as a rock guitarist thus making almost impossible for a new generation to appreciate his achievement?”. The older rock soldiers are perfectly aware and will always be in awe of Ritchie’s guitar playing and compositional skills. But how about the younger ones…?