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Guitar World Lands Ritchie Blackmore!

Greetings once again, everyone...sorry it's taken me so long to make another Fine Print post. We've been a little extra busy these last few weeks between our company retreat in Monterey, California, an internet outage in the NYC office that lasted two full days, and just general magazine/CD-ROM/DVD/web site madness.

We've had some interesting visitors the past few weeks, all of which should amount for some cool content we think you'll enjoy. Earlier this week, Jeff Loomis, Ron Thal and Michael Angelo Batio were all up here for one reason or another. Loomis, the great shredder from Nevermore, was here to do an interview and lesson for an upcoming issue of the mag and an instructional DVD that you'll be able to purchase at the Guitar World Store in the near future. Thal, the Guns N' Roses guitarist otherwise known as Bumblefoot, was here for an interview and photo shoot that will appear in our February issue, which will be on sale a few weeks afterChinese Democracy hits stores. In the interview, Thal talks about his guitar work on Chinese Democracy, his life leading up to joining Guns N' Roses, and something about Axl Rose being a big-time hamburger connoisseur, but you'll have to wait until the issue comes out to read that. Batio was here filming a new round of super-shredderific "Time to Burn" columns for the mag and CD-ROM, so you Batio fans can look forward to that.

On an unrelated note, I was very pleased that we finally got an extended interview with the great Ritchie Blackmore! We've made numerous attempts over the years to pin Ritchie down for an in-depth interview, but always ran into some sort of roadblock along the way -- but that ended when our own Andy Aledort was able to spend an entire evening with Ritchie and his wife Candice at a restaurant on Long Island, NY, to discuss his life, career, and the most recent Blackmore's Night album, Secret Voyage. We hope to do even more with Ritchie in 2009, so stay tuned for some major coverage with the Deep Purple/Rainbow legend!

During the interview, Andy asked Ritchie to sign the Guitar World office guitar, and he happily obliged. You can see his signature on the black pickguard, joining the ranks of Slash, Paul Gilbert, Glenn Tipton/K.K. Downing/Rob Halford, Rudolf Schenker/Matthias Jabs, Yngwie Malmsteen, and all the other signatures we've collected the past few months. Click the photo to see a larger version. In any case, thanks to Ritchie and Candice for spending so much time with Andy for our story. Watch for the piece to appear most likely in the March issue of Guitar World, on sale in early January.

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As a teenager, Jeff Kitts began his career in the mid ’80s as editor of an underground heavy metal fanzine in the bedroom of his parents’ house. From there he went on to write for countless rock and metal magazines around the world – including Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Maniacs, Rock Power and others – and in 1992 began working as an assistant editor at Guitar World. During his 27 years at Guitar World, Jeff served in multiple editorial capacities, including managing editor and executive editor before finally departing as editorial director in 2018. Jeff has authored several books and continues to write for Guitar World and other publications and teaches English full time in New Jersey. His first (and still favorite) guitar was a black Ibanez RG550.