Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Fascination With The Guitar (Part 1)

My facination with the guitar started in Brooklyn 1974 when my friend was bragging about the band Deep Purple being Puerto Rican in those days I was exposed to Salsa as well as the Jackson Five, Beatles, and Donny Osmond (WTF). The closet thing to heavy rock that I was exposed to was the Bay City Rollers. The Deep Purple album that my friend played was Deep Purple Made In Japan. I was mesmerised by Ritchie Blackmore's lead in Highway Star. My friend also knew how to play by playing Smoke on the Water. From that time I got hooked with the band. Screw Donny, the Jacksons, or KC and the Sunshine Band; I was hooked to Deep Purple well actually Blackmore's guitar playing. My friend tried to teach me to play guitar but being left handed I made a couple of attempts to play right handed but I quit in fustration (20 years later I started to learn how to play after purchasing a left handed guitar-more to come on this journey. )
The first album I purchased was Deep Purple's Stormbringer this was Blackmores last album with Deep Purple in the 70's. The second Ritchie Blackmore album I purchased was Blackmore's Rainbow, with Dio as the singer.

Featured Guitarist
Since Ritchie Blackmore was the first guitarist I’ve listen to he will be our first featured guitarist
Ritchie Blackmore was a session guitarist in England before co-finding Deep Purple in 1968. He left Deep Purple in 1975 and created his own band Rainbow (formerly Elf). In my opinion I think his lead guitar playing for Rainbow was better than Deep Purple, this was the time that he was playing more in a neo-classical style. He did not have the lighting speed that Malmsteem possesses but was a flashy guitarist. Between him and Uli Roth I consider them the “Godfathers of Neoclassical”.  One of his downfalls is not getting along band members, large ego, and numerous changes of line-ups.  In 1984 he disbanded Rainbow and to rejoin Deep Purple. I did see Deep Purple in concert in Germany in 1986; during live shows he puts his showmanship ahead of his playing abilities making him at times sloppy.  I think the only person that could get away with it while throwing Kung-Fu kicks and spinning his guitar around his back without missing a note is Malmsteem. In 1997 he formed Blackmore’s Night a Rock-Folk band. I have to say his acoustic playing ability really shines with this band.

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