When Richard Hugh Blackmore was born on 14 April 1945 in Weston-super-Mare in the English county of Somerset, he did not even allow himself to be sworn into a bourgeois life. At the age of eleven - the family now lives in Heston near London - he is given his first guitar and wants to become a musician. He takes lessons from studio guitarist Big Jim Sullivan. His career as a musician began in 1963. The most important experience: the show lessons of Screaming Lord Sutch. He heard Ian Paice for the first time during a stay at a star club. The drummer impressed him so much that he later brought him into the band instead of Deep Purple founder Chris Curtis. This is how Blackmore's Hire and fire mentality became apparent early on.
After the first Purple years dominated by Jon Lord, Blackmore turned the band upside down in 1969. When he sees Robert Plant at Led Zeppelin, he also wants a similar shouter in his band. His name is Ian Gillan - with him the famous Mk. II formation was born. But when in 1971 the musicians, who were initially close friends, became enemies, Gillan's days at Purple were numbered. With David Coverdale and the Mk. III line-up, Blackmore treats himself to a bluesier orientation. But when the funk connection within the band became too big for him, he threw in the towel and founded his second "Supergroup" with Rainbow in 1975.
Ronnie James Dio takes the place of Gillan and Coverdale, respectively, and enables Blackmore to take off in further musical heights. The Mk.II reunion of 1984 begins grandiosely, but fails because of the differences between Blackmore and Gillan that cannot be bridged at that time. After a brief flare-up of Rainbow, Blackmore largely bids farewell to rock music in the late nineties and tours with his wife Candice Night, with whom he has been living on Long Island outside New York City for over two decades, as Blackmore's Night with pop medieval success. "No matter what we get out of this/I know we'll never forget/Smoke on the water/A fire in the sky"!