A new Ritchie Blackmore book by Ross Halfin will be released in December, featuring images from Halfins extensive library. The pre-sale is from 29 September at 3 pm at Rufus Publications.
Halfin started photographing Blackmore with Rainbow in 1980, and the collection of both on and off stage photos demonstrate his unparalleled access to the guitar master.
There is an introduction from Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen who first saw Blackmore on stage at the age of 14. Collen famously features on the back cover of the legendary Made In Japan Deep Purple album.
The stories in the book are from Ross and journalist Pete Makowski who knew and worked with Ritchie and Rainbow.
“Around this time, I met writer Peter Makowski,” Ross told Metaltalk. “Geoff Barton, the features editor at Sounds, introduced us with the prophetic words ‘You two will be bad for each other’. Never has a truer word been spoken.
“Now the one thing I knew about Pete was he knew Blackmore, and I don’t mean ‘knew’ him in a music industry sense, he really did know Ritchie and was a friend of his and as Pete said one day, ‘Let’s go and do Blackmore’.
“I actually can’t remember where I finally met him, but I was pleasantly surprised. Ritchie, who I expected to be off and aloof, was completely the opposite. Once I’d met him, he was funny, liked a drink and was fantastic company.
“Pete and I for the period around this book, I suppose you could say we were in his inner circle. We travelled with him. We hung out with him. As you can see from some of the pictures in this book, Ritchie, once you knew him was very accessible, and as a photographer, I could shoot with him more or less anything I wanted.
“He would never say no, or I would have to give him a funny, twisted reason to want to do it.”
The book finishes with shots of early Blackmore’s Night in action and also includes contributions from Billy Corgan and Colin Hart.
At 304 pages, the deluxe hardback book measuring 245mm x 345mm is signed by Ross.
The main edition, bound in white leather with a black sleeve, has just 350 numbered copies worldwide and sells for £199 plus delivery. A super limited, large format A3 edition, 50 copies only, will sell for £599 worldwide.
Both editions feature an animated 3D lenticular on the cover of Ritchie throwing his guitar into the air.