DEEP PURPLE 50 - Part 2: The Guitarists

DEEP PURPLE 50 - Teil 2: Die Gitarristen

Deep Purple is a band for guitarists. With Deep Purple you can and must become a hero as a guitarist. Ritchie Blackmore created the template and filled it with life like no other rock guitarist. Huge footsteps a Tommy Bolin couldn't grow into because of the drugs. And a role that Joe Satriani, despite all his brilliance on the guitar, did not want to accept. Even on Steve Morse, after two and a half decades in the band, the mighty shadow of Blackmore still falls.

Ian Gillan likes to call the guitarists who work for Deep Purple "mandolin players". This trivialization has a method, because only in this way can the frontman bear the fact that Purple's eyes and ears are always on the guitarist. A good Purple song is always judged by how memorable the guitar riff is and how virtuoso the solo is.

"When I got the call in 1993 that I could join Deep Purple, I said in a nutshell: 'Nobody can replace Ritchie Blackmore!' and hung up," Joe Satriani likes to say again and again. In the end, he let himself be spread out. "Then I called back and asked if the job was still available, because playing with the original Deep Purple in a band was too tempting." There is a reason for Satriani's inner turmoil: Blackmore left deep traces in Deep Purple's career between 1968 and 1975 and between 1984 and 1993. Of course all other instrumentalists and vocalists contributed to the overall result, but Blackmore's riffs and solos were almost always in the front line, they shaped the songs and the sound of Deep Purple and thus the sound of the seventies.

Blackmore, driven to match and even surpass Jon Lord, who was endowed with more profound musical knowledge, was in a state of intoxication from 1970, from the "In Rock" monument onwards. His capricious nature was his musical plus. A man at rest in himself would never have composed such rock musical masterpieces and at the same time implemented them so precisely and razor sharply. He combined the explosiveness of a Jimi Hendrix with the virtuosity of a Jeff Beck and added the richness of melodies of Hank Marvin and Buddy Holly. In
addition, the mood of musical awakening of the years 1967/68 in the early seventies had not yet disappeared. Blackmore's guitar sound jumped into your face, and his sound was audible among thousands.

"When I talk to other guitarists today," says Blackmore, "I'm amazed at how much theoretical knowledge this guitar has. I connected my guitar to the amp and played around a bit until I was satisfied with the sound, then Paicey added a rhythm to it, and Jon got into it. This was just the right moment to confront them with a reef that had spontaneously occurred to me the day before while I was practicing." Even singer Ian Gillan is not averse to this view of things: "Purple are first and foremost an instrumental band."

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