The Ritchie Blackmore Band Ian Gillan Called ‘A Waste Of Time’

After Ritchie Blackmore officially called it quits with Deep Purple in 1993, the guitarist pivoted to a different genre with his band Blackmore’s Night alongside his wife Candice Night. However, Ritchie’s new venture into folk music was not well received by his former bandmates Ian Gillan and Ian Paice.

In a 2007 interview with The Sun, Simon Copeland asked Gillan what he thought of Blackmore’s solo venture in which he dresses up in costumes to play medieval music; the vocalist said:

“I think Ritchie’s wasting his time. I know he’s always loved medieval music. He always used to play Greensleeves, and he is eccentric. He spent a lot of time playing with Screaming Lord Sutch, and I think some of it rubbed off.”

He continued:

“He’s an amazing guitar player, a phenomenal, articulate player – just incredible. And I think a lot of fans would like to hear him lay rock n roll again. But he’s found a niche that keeps him happy, and as far as I’m concerned, if he’s happy, we’re all happy.”

Paice had a similar response to the same question. The drummer explained:

“I don’t think it’s what he should be doing. I think he can write a devastating rock’n’roll album. He’s a master of creating riffs. If he had the urge to do it, I’m sure he could do it tomorrow. But whether he’ll ever let the monster out again, I don’t know. Good luck – but to me, it’s the waste of a really great rock’n’roll guitarist.”

Rumors were going around that the feud between Gillan and Ritchie ended with the latter’s departure. Even though the singer saw Blackmore’s Night as a ‘waste of time,’ he also shared in an interview in 2013 that Blackmore’s departure saved Deep Purple. He expressed:

“If you want to talk about Ritchie, I guess we have to. Not many people do these days. The truth of the matter is: the band was dying. If Ritchie had stayed, it would have been the end of Deep Purple. The shows were getting shorter and shorter. The audiences were getting smaller and smaller.”

You can read Ian Gillan’s 2007 interview with Simon Copeland from The Sun here.