Connect with us

The guitarist that Ritchie Blackmore said it was his favorite in the 70s

Ritchie Blackmore
Images from Ritchie Blackmore's Facebook


The guitarist that Ritchie Blackmore said it was his favorite in the 70s

The legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore started his musical career in 1960 at the age of 15 when he worked as a session player for Joe Meek’s music productions and also was part of several local bands.


Eight years later he helped to form Deep Purple, which became one of the biggest and most influental bands in the history of music. His first stint with the band lasted until 1975 when he left and formed Rainbow, that also became an imporant and famous group.

During that same year, Blackmore gave in an interview to International Musician magazine and revealed which was his favorite guitarist at the time. Rock and Roll Garage selected what he said about that guitar player over the years and his connection with him.

The guitarist that Ritchie Blackmore said it was his favorite in the 70s

In 1975, Ritchie Blackmore already was considered one of the greatest guitarists in the world, especially due to the the successful albums released by Deep Purple like “Deep Purple In Rock” (1970) and “Machine Head” (1972).

Blackmore said many times that the group was influenced especially by what Led Zeppelin did on their first album, what made them change their sound, making it heavier on the first records they released in the 70s. But as Blackmore said, Zeppelin originally got that from Jeff Beck‘s Group, which is the guitarist that he told International Musician magazine that was his favorite back then.

“I like Jeff [Beck]. He’s my favourite guitarist. There are a lot of guitarists around that get overlooked. When you’re a guitarist yourself you tend to get so buried in what you’re doing.”

Blackmore continued:

“Being a guitarist, I obviously know a lot of tricks of the trade. But whenever I watch Beck I think ‘How the hell is he doing that?’ Echoes suddenly come from no-where.”

“He can play a very quiet passage with no sustain and in the next second suddenly race up the fingerboard with all this sustain coming out. He seems to have sustain completely at his fingertips. Yet he doesn’t have it all the time, only when he wants it,” Ritchie Blackmore said.

The Rainbow guitarist and founder, said many times over the years that one of the main reasons why he loved Jeff Beck was because he was a musician that was always taking risks in music and was never afraid of the consequences. He told Guitar Player magazine in 1973, that were nights that this approach would work, since Beck would be absolutely brilliant and on other occasions it wouldn’t and some shows could be a disaster.

What Ritchie Blackmore said about Jeff Beck’s death

Jeff Beck passed away on January 10, 2023 at the age of 78, victim of bacterial meningitis and Blackmore paid tribute to the late artist releasing an official statement. He recalled when they first met each other and said that he could do magic when playing.

“First met Jeff Beck around 64-65. It was a session where we were both playing guitars and Jimmy Page was producing. I couldn’t believe how incredible he was. Not only with his technique but his sound too. I became a fan of his ever since.”

“He could reach up into the stars and make magic with his playing. His choice of notes were always absolutely perfect. This whole thing is a shock. We shall always remember Jeff as the best rock and roll player,” Ritchie Blackmore said.

They knew each other before both of them became famous

Curiously, as Blackmore said when he paid tribute to Beck, they knew each other already before fame. They were part of studio sessions together when they were still teenagers. Blackmore had already recalled that moment in an interview for his documentary “Ritchie Blackmore Story” released in 2015 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage).

“It is strange how we all come from the same area. Like I said, with Jimmy Page, he was in the same village, it’s like a village. Really not even a town. Clapton was a few more warm miles out and course (Jeff) Beck was in another area, but course, the same age.”

Blackmore continued:

“Then 64 or 65, I met up with him (Jimmy Page), we did a couple of sessions actually with him. One was with Jeff Beck. Jeff took the solo and everybody was raving about the solo, that was a really good solo.”

“I noticed I was playing and he was looking at my hands. I’m like ‘why you are looking at my hands?’ and he responded ‘I don’t know where we are. I’m just following your chords’, Ritchie Blackmore said.

Jeff Beck had the chance to achieve fame a few years before Blackmore, especially after becoming a member of The Yardbirds, band which he played with from 1965 to 1966. Then he also gained recognition with the albums released with his own band, the Jeff Beck Group and with the project Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Deep Purple’s drummer Ian Paice said that in the 70s, Blackmore always said that Jeff Beck was the greatest one

The legendary Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice, that is the only member of the group that was part of every album the band ever recorded, chose Jeff Beck as his Rock God when he was interviewed by BBC Radio in 2021. The musician explained his choice and recalled that already in the early days of Purple, Blackmore kept saying that Jeff Beck was really the greatest one.

“I’ve chosen as my rock god the amazing Jeff Beck. When I was starting to play drums, I was 15, one of my favorite, favorite bands were The Yardbirds. I loved the energy, the fire, and every now and again, this madly amazing guitar solo would pop out.”

Ian Paice continued:

“And although I wasn’t at the age where I really cared who was playing, I just didn’t. I enjoyed it. I didn’t try to find out who it was until a little later. (So) 8I remember when I was in Purple and very, very early, Ritchie Blackmore said, ‘Oh, the best one’s Jeff. Jeff’s the best. Jeff’s better than all of them put together.’”

“He said that then, and he probably still believes it now, as I do. I think Jeff is a force of nature. Now I’ve met him probably a dozen times in my life. But I’ve never really met him. I always wanted to tell him how great I thought he was. But every time I’ve been in that situation, there were other people who do know him, people who work for him, people who worked with him,” Ian Paice said.

Blackmore believed that Jeff Beck was the only one that could be as good as Jimi Hendrix

Ian Paice is right and Blackmore continues to think that Jeff Beck is the best Rock and Roll player. The guitarist even recalled in an interview with Sirius XM’s Guitar Greats a conversation he had with Jeff Beck back in the late 60s when Jimi Hendrix appeared and everybody was in shock about what he was doing with the guitar.

“When (Hendrix) came to England, Jeff Beck came up to me and said ‘Ritchie, we’ve got to do something about this guy.’ And I said ‘who are you talking about?’ He said ‘Jimi Hendrix, he’s killing everybody over here. He’s upsetting everybody!’”

“I’m like ‘well Jeff if you can’t do it, nobody else is going to do it’. Because I always thought of Jeff as being the best rock player,” Ritchie Blackmore said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top