Who’s the bassist in the black?

Ritchie Blackmore playing bass, Montreux, 1971

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!

Ritchie Blackmore pink bass guitar

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11 Responses to “Who’s the bassist in the black?”

  1. darren amos Says:

    i think it looks like Roger too.

  2. Les Hedger Says:

    I guess it was safe for Ian G. to turn his back to the Guitar player at this point in their history!

  3. Jeff Breis Says:

    When I saw Deep Purple in East Troy, Wisconsin in 1985, Roger came out playing the Strat, and Ritchie on the bass for the encore, which was “Woman From Tokyo”.
    They swapped back for “Smoke…”

    • simon robinson Says:

      They did this a bit during the reunion, we saw them swop at a few shows (is it swop or swap?).

    • Scott W. Says:

      To me and Jeff (Hi, call me) it is ‘swap’ over here in the US. I have noticed over the years that ‘swop’ seems to be the UK spelling. BTW, ‘pissed’ over here is angry, while to you Simon it is drunk!

      • simon robinson Says:

        I think I have to bow to Noel Edmonds and his TV show The Multi-coloured Swop Shop! Not that they ever took my spare acetate of Shades in for swopping….

  4. Mark Says:

    Not sure about that ‘tash either…

  5. Timothy Says:

    it makes you realise how ‘petite’ Ritchie is when compared to the size of a precision bass!

  6. Jamie Woodward Says:

    Looks like Roger to me!!

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