Ritchie Blackmore: ‘I’m not a guy who likes jamming and having fun. Music is very serious’

From the Guardian

He fell out with his Deep Purple bandmates, parted company with 26 musicians in Rainbow, then ditched rock for Renaissance music. Now the guitarist has revived Rainbow, but has he mellowed?

Ritchie Blackmore in 1974. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

As is the wont of rock stars who prefer not to meet their public every time they fancy a drink, Ritchie Blackmore has a bar in the basement of his home in Long Island. When you walk in, he says, you would notice that it has “that vibe of being haunted”.

In the bar is a clock, a gift from a friend. And that clock, Blackmore says, contains a ghost. “It only chimes when it’s in agreement with something, or when we’re talking on a frequency the clock understands,” he says, solemnly. “It’s a very strange thing. And if we ever talk about religious things, it gets excited and it starts going off.”

Mind you, he says, that’s not surprising, really. He has noticed on those TV haunting shows that a disproportionate number of ghosts are attracted to religious people and religious symbols. “I don’t know if that taunts the ghost, or sets off an energy that excites them. I was watching a show last night, and they were investigating this house and sure enough there were crucifixes and religious pictures all over the place. It’s strange they hadn’t figured that one out and thought it might have been causing ghostly activity. I find it a fascinating subject, because we’re all going to end up going somewhere and it would be nice to know if it was a nice place.”

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