Watch As Ritchie Blackmore Plays His First Rock Gig in 19 Years

When Deep Purple was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who Rolling Stone named one of the top 100 guitarists of all-time, did not participate. This should not have been surprising, as Blackmore has not performed rock music since 1997. That’s not to say he hasn’t played music. He’s just been performing renaissance and baroque music since then, which must have been a real coup for the renaissance music community. However, at Germany’s Monsters of Rock festival on Friday, something momentous happened. Blackmore, with a new backing band, performed rock music for the first time in 19 years.

Blackmore and his bandmates are touring under the Rainbow moniker, which is the name of another of Blackmore’s bands from back in the day. He played songs by both Rainbow and Deep Purple. Yes, he played “Smoke on the Water.” Of course he did. He knows what the people want. Even though Blackmore wouldn’t reunite with his Deep Purple bandmates for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance, not even when they offered to do a “renaissance” take on at least one Deep Purple song, he does say that he plans to continue to tour under the Rainbow name. So, if you have been itching to see Blackmore playing rock music again, you don’t have to wait any longer.

(via Rolling Stone)