Ritchie Blackmore, from Deep Purple through to Rainbow and now Blackmore’s Night is one of our most influential guitarists and Ross started photographing him and Rainbow from 1980 onwards.
Ritchie Blackmore by Ross Halfin is an intimate portrait of Blackmore both on and off stage and captures the brilliance and madness of Rainbow during those years. Ross had unparalleled access for several years and the images in this book often show Ritchie as you’ve never seen him before. It finishes with shots of early Blackmore’s Night in action.
With an introduction by Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen who first saw Blackmore on stage at the age of 14 (and features in a photograph on the back of the legendary Made in Japan cover) and words by Ross and journalist Pete Makowski who knew and worked with Ritchie and Rainbow at the time. As Ross remembers…
“Around this time I met writer Peter Makowski who Geoff Barton (the features editor at Sounds) introduced us with the prophetic words “You two will be bad for each other”. Never has a truer word been spoken. Now the one thing I knew about Pete was he knew Blackmore – and I don’t mean “knew” him in a music industry sense – he really did know Ritchie and was a friend of his and as Pete said one day – “Let’s go and do Blackmore”. I actually can’t remember where I finally met him but I was pleasantly surprised. Ritchie, who I expected to be off and aloof, was completely the opposite. Once I’d met him he was funny, liked a drink and was fantastic company. Pete and I for the period around this book – I suppose you could say we’re in his inner circle. We traveled with him, we hung out with him. As you can see from some of the pictures in this book, Ritchie once you knew him was very accessible and as a photographer, I could shoot with him more or less anything I wanted – he would never say no – or I would have to give him a funny, twisted reason to want to do it.”
The book also includes contributions from Billy Corgan and Colin Hart.