The 30 Most Badass Guitarists of All Time
Players whose talents, attitude and style have made the guitar the coolest instrument ever.
Born April 14, 1945
Bands Deep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore’s Night
Iconic Guitar Fender Stratocaster with scalloped neck
Coolest Riff “Smoke on the Water”—Machine Head (Deep Purple)
The original dark knight of metal guitar, Ritchie Blackmore boasts a surname that evokes Medieval England and a pedigree that goes back to the beginning of classic rock. Early studies in classical guitar left him with an astounding legato technique that laid the groundwork for the neoclassical and shred movements several decades later.
In the early Sixties, Blackmore did sessions with legendary British producer Joe Meek and apprenticed with U.K. session ace (and Jimmy Page mentor) Big Jim Sullivan. Blackmore founded Deep Purple in the late Sixties and led the group through various incarnations. He also spearheaded metal icons Rainbow with the late Ronnie James Dio and has more recently played a role in Blackmore’s Night with his wife Candice Night.
The history of metal wends ever onward, but, much like Mephistopheles, Ritchie Blackmore has a way of always turning up.
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