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Ritchie Blackmore Delivers Verdict On Deep Purple Successor Steve Morse

The rock giant talks about his fellow guitar figureheads.

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Ritchie Blackmore has posted a new, short interview on his YouTube channel in which he reveals his opinions about Steve Morse, his successor in Deep Purple, and Joe Satriani, who worked with Purple briefly in the 1990s.

“Joe Satriani is a brilliant player, but I never see him really searching for notes,” says Blackmore in the clip, which you can hear in full below. “I never hear him playing a wrong note. Jimi Hendrix used to play lots of wrong notes because he was searching all the time… ‘Where the hell is that correct note?!’ And when he did find that right note, wow, that was incredible.

“But if you’re always playing the correct notes, there’s something wrong, you’re not searching, you’re not reaching for anything. But that’s not to say that he isn’t a very brilliant player. Same thing with Steve Morse, fantastic player.

“I’m just glad they [Purple] found a guitar player to carry on because I thought I was going to be shackled to this band for the rest of my life. It was like a ball-and-chain thing, and luckily they said, ‘Well, we found someone.’ ‘Thank God I can get out!’ I haven’t listened much, I just know that Joe Satriani and Steve Morse are brilliant players. I remember Steve Morse with the Dixie Dregs, they’re fantastic.

“Certain people play from the heart and other people play from the head. I prefer a ‘heart’ player, I prefer…Jeff Healy, I think, is tremendous. If I hear someone really technical running up and down the fingerboard, I can hear that for a couple of minutes, then I start to get bored and I’m thinking of other things, like playing football. But I do like to hear someone reaching for something.”

He goes on to talk about technique, his fondness for distinctly non-rock instruments such as the lute and the crumhorm and his admiration for the classical guitarist John Williams.

Blackmore and his band Rainbow recently released the new live album Memories In Rock II, led off by the lead single ‘Waiting For A Sign.’

Explore our Rainbow Artist Page.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Paul

    May 9, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    That’s a ridiculous comment. Searching for notes. You don’t have to search for a note when you understand theory and know how to play. Just another excuse for mediocre play by an overrated musician.

    • Eric

      May 9, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      loll and your comment isn’t ridiculous?

    • Carl Morell Jr

      May 10, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      I don’t know what you guys are talking about. Ritchie Blackmore is one of the greatest guitar players to ever pick up the instrument especially a Stratocaster. I’m just glad he’s willing to finally talk about the music again he is not overrated maybe you didn’t grow up listening to him in appreciating him in the band setting legendary Deep Purple

    • Ian Anderson

      May 14, 2018 at 5:24 am

      I completely agree with this statement, what are you smoking Blackmore !…lol

  2. Robert Jump

    May 9, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Dissed for be being articulate players. And what has Ritchie Blackmore done that is noteworthy recently?

    Yeah – – I couldn’t think of anything either.

    • Chad

      May 9, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Ritchie is better then both those guys combined.

  3. Gary

    May 10, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Actually no,Steve is better.

  4. Sean Haggerty

    May 10, 2018 at 12:52 am

    So Ritchie Blackmore’s trying to tell us that he is leaving purple is contingent upon them finding another guitarist? That’s laughable.

  5. Jake Ster

    May 10, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Who ever is the best to you is the best to you who could say who’s better like beauty is in the eye of the beholder perseption is reality thing. For me it’s Hendrix then Perfect Strangers Blackmore then Both Zappa’s then Richie Blackmore I got to see Richies son Jurgen with Over The Rainbow with Joe Lynn I’m pretty sure Jurgen had Ted Nugents 5150s a right off the wall strat a Robin GTR and a maybe a cheap Korg effects box and he did wonderful because he pushed it he sounded great.

  6. Ron Grant

    May 10, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Richie Blackmore has always progressed and searched out his musical connection. He’s in a different place now and working out what’s in his head . Different Strokes for different Folks . Me myself Love what he did in Deep Purple and Rainbow but I respect what he’s doing now . What he said makes sense . And unless your at his level you can’t really understand . If you guys can’t say something nice don’t say anything unless you cand actually do better. Keep on Richie we have all the recordings to appreciate

  7. Eleni Fostini

    May 10, 2018 at 3:31 am

    I love Ritchie Blackmore. He’s such a metal talent! I am do glad he gave us do much music all these years and that he’s now able to have time of his own. God knows he deserves it! I love Rainbow but will continue to listen to the old-school stuff, if The Great Mr. Blackmore isnno longer there.

  8. Tommy Bomb

    May 10, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Smoke on the Water,simple, yet iconic
    Ritchie has it right. Too bad he didn’t recognize Tommy Bolin a true heart player who didn’t get to show what he could do in Deep Purple setting. People, please check Tommy out. True emotional playing. LP

    • Steve Smith

      September 19, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      Great words, indeed they all need to check Teaser out

  9. Tommy Bomb

    May 10, 2018 at 4:22 am

    Smoke on the water, simple,yet iconic. I wish he would have mentioned Tommy Bolin, a true emotional, heart player who never got much of a chance to showcase his talents. Please, people check Tommy out. You won’t be disappointed.Left us too soon.R.I.P. Dec3, 1976 25 yrs old

  10. Carl Morell Jr

    May 10, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    I left the reply to Paul I don’t know what you guys are talking about but I think Ritchie Blackmore is one of the greatest guitar players that’s ever lived. He’s talking about playing with feeling and soul he has a distinctive Style and you immediately know it’s Ritchie Blackmore. His work with the legendary Deep Purple in the days that mattered will be listened to for years to come

  11. Tom C

    May 10, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    So he is basically saying that you have to play 40% of the song badly to make the notes you do hit right sound brilliant. Ok so why not ask Joe Satriani to play Flying In A Blue Dream at 60%, people would think something is wrong or Satch was having an off day. Does that mean then Mr Blackmore that my guitar playing is brilliant too because I can only hit 10% of the correct notes each time. I think it is just jealousy that they took over from him Or he simply does not like the technical Shred style playing. Why not have a go at John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteem, heck even Eric Clapton plays near flawless.

  12. marc

    May 12, 2018 at 1:12 am

    he is not saying he is better he is just trying to explain the difference in styles between feel players and technically brilliant players I think that you can not teach people to feel but you can teach technique this is why Ritchie is always interesting to listen to Hendrix Page they haunt your soul

    • JWStuff

      May 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Agreed… it is a valid point. There is also the case of painting by the numbers vs making a painting from scratch. To me, creator of the riffs, solos, and songs is greater than those who are not as good at creating but can reproduce creations very well. There are many technically gifted guitarists who have created very little music I enjoy. What you do with the skills are far more important than the skills and some of the best technical players I like are among my favorites because of what they leave out just as much as what they put in.

  13. Peter H

    June 16, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I have seen Joe ,Steve and now Ritchie live. He may have come up with some great riffs back in the day but today Ritchie is a shadow of his old self and cannot hold a candle to Joe or Steve and for sure Deep Purple would not have had their ongoing success with Ritchie.

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