Mick Box Compares Jimmy Page And Ritchie Blackmore To Himself

In a recent chat, Uriah Heep’s guitarist Mick Box reminisced about the days of ’70s rock, compared it to contemporary bands, and mentioned whether his playing was anything like Page and Blackmore’s. As a close witness of the era, Mick observed that one of the key differences between then and now was the individuality each band member brought to their bands’ sound.

He likened it to a jigsaw puzzle, where each piece fit perfectly and contributed to the overall picture. However, according to Box, this element of individuality seems to be missing in today’s rock bands. He, Jimmy Page, and Ritchie Blackmore all had different personal styles, which made them irreplaceable.  So, when a member left, the sound would change. He believes this is what sets the classic rock bands of the ’70s apart from their modern counterparts.

Mick Box said the following:

“Yeah, I think we should get back to that. I think it’s got very individualist in many ways, and the great thing about a lot of the ’70s bands, including ourselves, is that the music stood the test of time. And I think one of those reasons is that everyone was an individual within the bands. And it’s each individual band had their own flavor. For instance, if we look at Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. I didn’t play like Tony Iommi; he didn’t play like me. He didn’t play like Richie Blackmore; Richie Blackmore didn’t play like Jimmy Page.

And all the guitarists, all the instrumentalists, all the bass players or the drummers or the keyboard players, and all the vocalists were all individual. And it’s some of those parts that gave Deep Purple its sound, Uriah its sound, Black Sabbath its sound, and Led Zeppelin its sound. And I think today it’s a bit too samey. I think you could take one person there and put him in there; you wouldn’t know any difference.

It’s like a big jigsaw. Take the pieces out, you can put them in anywhere, and it’ll all fit. Whereas in those days, we were too individual, and we worked really hard at being there. And as I say, I think that’s why those bands have the longevity they have, certainly in people’s listening parlors, if you like home, cars, and everywhere else.”

Bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Uriah Heep created a sonic landscape that was as diverse as it was iconic, with each member adding their own unique touch to the overall sound. Guitarists, in particular, played a crucial role in defining the decade’s music, their solos and riffs soaring higher and reaching further than anyone thought possible. Fast forward to the present day, and the music scene is a completely different beast.

Modern technology has allowed musicians to create sounds that would have been impossible back in the ’70s, and production techniques have made it easier than ever to craft polished and professional sound. Yet, while these advancements have allowed for greater musical expression, some, including Mick Box, argue that they have also taken away the raw energy and individuality that defined the bands of the ’70s.