Well we know who the bassist is obviously, but couldn’t resist the header! It’s Ritchie Blackmore, caught by a 15 year old fan at the side of the stage with his instamatic back in April 1971. Apart from the fact that Blackmore has made a swop with Roger for the Precision bass, the extra interest is that the band are playing at the Montreux Casino just 8 months before they would return there with plans to record an album on this very same stage. I think it’s one of the earliest shots of Ritchie with a bass, there are a couple of Ritchie playing bass with Alex Harvey from 1974.
Jean-Lou who took the shot can’t recall too much about the show (and to be fair my recollections of first seeing the band that same year are a little limited), but he has hunted out his original photographs so we can get hi-res scans which will appear in the upcoming Machine Head book Fire In The Sky later this year. If there are any other fans out there who saw the band at the time, or went to the infamous Zappa show in December, please do get in touch.
Thanks also to Stephen Clare. Here’s a recent pic of him doing the same thing, 40 something years on; not sure about the pink finish though!