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Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore was born on 14th April 1945 and is best known for his work with Deep Purple and Rainbow during the Seventies and Eighties.

Blackmore is what you'd describe as a "character" – often portrayed as "moody" or having a "bad reputation" especially when it comes to those in the press or the members of his various bands, most famously he fell out with Ian Gillan several times during the pairs time together in Deep Purple.

As is mentioned in the documentary, Blackmore is always looking for "perfection" both in himself and others, which is why he can be seen to hire and fire at will.

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If you put all that to one side, Blackmore is also known as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, up there with the likes of Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton and who has, in turn, influenced a generation of musicians including Iron Maiden's Janick Gers, Paul Gilbert of Mr Big fame, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads and Yngwie Malmsteen.

All well and good I'm sure you'll agree, but how much do we actually know about Blackmore's past?

Blackmore is notorious for not participating in interviews or giving the smallest amount of information away during them, and, perhaps, with the exception of Jerry Bloom's excellent 2008 book 'Black Knight: Ritchie Blackmore', there aren't many other sources for really information about what makes him tick – until now.

'The Ritchie Blackmore Story' is a look at Blackmore's career from the first steps of his career learning to play the guitar right up to examining his current band, Blackmore's Night.

The documentary excels as Blackmore has not only authorised the film but he also appears in brand new and exclusive interviews discussing various aspects of his life and career.

In the film, Blackmore comes across as a genuinely nice guy and is interspersed with ample footage from live shows with Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore's Night.

It also features interviews with those he has worked with or musicians he's influenced including Brian May, Def Leppard's Phil Collen, Glenn Hughes, Steve Lukather from Toto, the late Jon Lord, David Coverdale, Gene Simmons, Joe Lynn Turner, Steve Vai, Graham Bonnet, even Joe Satriani who filled in for Blackmore after he (finally) quit Deep Purple in 1995 - and not forgetting the ubiquitous appearance of Metallica's Lars Ulrich.

With a running time of two and a quarter hours, there's lots to savour here with Blackmore looking happy and relaxed as he talks about his life and career – at times joined by his wife Candice Night and at other times behind a bar in his house.

The live footage unfortunately doesn't contain any Deep Purple footage from the Rod Evans line up which is a shame, and Ian Gillan is, unsurprisingly, absent from the list of interviewees, but there's still plenty other things to keep the most avid Deep Purple/Rainbow fan happy.

If you get the regular version of the DVD, you're treated to over 40 minutes of additional interviews with Blackmore, but if you buy the deluxe edition, you also get a second exclusive DVD featuring Rainbow's last ever concert recorded at the Budokan in March 1984.

This features Roger Glover on bass guitar, Joe Lynn Turner on vocals, keyboard player David Rosenthal and Chuck Burgi on drums, which was filmed shortly before Blackmore disbanded Rainbow and, along with Glover, re-joined Deep Purple.

Add in an extra interview with the band before the gig (strangely without Blackmore himself) and a double audio CD of the gig – and it's well worth the extra money.

You can see the official trailer for 'The Ritchie Blackmore Story' here:

You can see Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow live here:
Friday 17th June – Freilichtbühne, Loreley
Saturday 18th June – Bietigheim-Bissingen, Stuttgart
Saturday 25th June – Genting Arena, Birmingham

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