The Unexpected Consequence Of Ritchie Blackmore’s Departure From Deep Purple

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Deep Purple burst onto the scene in 1968 when founding member Ritchie Blackmore had the vision to create a band that had a jam-style hard rock sound with complex guitar riffs and organ sounds. Although the band underwent several lineup changes, it succeeded in its quest to become a commercially successful band.

The band is considered a pioneer of heavy metal and modern hard rock and is one of the members of ‘The Unholy Trinity of British Hard Rock and Heavy Metal’ besides Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Even though this level of success is something many musicians dream of, some prefer to step out.

The band’s lead guitarist Blackmore has drawn significant attention from music lovers and critics with his distinctive way of playing guitar and unique sounds. Even though Deep Purple achieved great success in the music industry, the rocker ultimately decided to leave the band to focus on his solo journey.

Why Did Ritchie Blackmore Leave Deep Purple?

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Being a member of a band can shape an artist’s experience in the music industry. Therefore choosing the right bandmates to work with is crucial for musicians. Ritchie Blackmore’s rollercoaster of a ride with Deep Purple was tumultuous, leading him to leave the band he once created.

Blackmore quit Deep Purple twice, once in 1974, as he left to form Rainbow and focus on what he felt was missing while working with Deep Purple. However, he returned in 1984 and stayed with the band until 1993. During an interview with Mitch Lafon in 2015, Deep Purple’s bassist Roger Clover stated that he sees Blackmore as one of the greats like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

Roger added that although Ritchie is an iconic guitarist, he is also a single-minded individual. If he doesn’t need you anymore, he won’t be involved with you, which makes it hard to stay in a band. Clover stated that Blackmore’s decision to leave Deep Purple was the best thing he could have done for the band. The guitarist was not on board with the direction the band wanted to take, and all the disputes had turned them into an ‘unhappy band.’

Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover shared his thoughts about Blackmore’s decision to leave Deep Purple:

“Blackmore’s probably the most important musician I’ve ever worked with, alongside Jon Lord and Ian Gillan and Ian Paice and so on. He was a brilliant guitarist – still is a brilliant guitarist, but more than that, he was an auteur, if you know what I mean.

He wrote things in ways that people hadn’t heard of before. He doesn’t get his due as an iconic guitar player. People talk about Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton and stuff; Ritchie should be right up there with them. But, in a way, he’s made himself that way because he’s very single-minded. He works for himself. And if you’re along with him for the ride, then you’re privileged. But at the point where he doesn’t need you, he doesn’t need you anymore. We’ve had a few tough times with him, but we’ve also had some wonderful times with him.

He made his decision and left the band; actually, it’s the best thing he could have done for the band. We thank him for that. Because at that point, it was an unhappy band and became a happy band again. So he left us to be what we would be, which is great. And he is doing what he wants to do, which is great. If he wants to start playing rock again, I wouldn’t doubt it would be great, and I wish him luck.”

The break-ups of legendary bands like the Beatles, Oasis, and the Police, are not uncommon. The disputes regarding the band’s creative direction and the band members’ personal differences ultimately affect the overall harmony within the band. In the end, some bands resolve their problems and reunite, while others split indefinitely. However, there are also instances, like in Deep Purple, where the absence of one member can help restore the dynamics.