FROM THE ARCHIVE: Yngwie Malmsteen chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life.
My sister gave me Fireball for my eighth birthday, June 30, 1971, and that day my life forever change.
I knew immediately that I was going to be a guitarist for life and there would be no turning back. It's like one minute I was a kid playing with cap guns, and then someone handed me a fuckin' nuclear bomb! My life was never the same, to say the least.
I'd already started playing guitar. I had Hendrix and Clapton records in my house, and I liked the Beatles and the Monkees, but Deep Purple were it to me.
When I heard Fireball, I didn't have many albums to compare it to, and even if I did, it would've still kicked my ass to hell and back. There is amazing guitar playing on it. Hendrix is godlike to me, but for a kid who wants to play guitar, the early Ritchie Blackmore solos were more challenging to play.
I worked on the guitar solo to "Demon's Eye" forever until I could play it.
There's no question that Blackmore was a big part of my development. I learned how to play the blues from studying him. He has a unique sound a look, and there's a cool mystique about him. There's no one like him.