Born in Weston-Super-Mare (a seaside town on the west coast of Britain), April 14th 1945. Blackmore moved to Heston, in Middlesex when he was two. At school he joined The 2I's Coffee Bar Junior Skiffle Group on wash-board. He then bought a Framus acoustic and took classical lessons for a year.

At 15 Blackmore left school to work at Heathrow and with school-friend Mick Underwood, formed The Dominators. They then joined The Satellites before Blackmore moved on to Mike Dee and The Jaywalkers, becoming accomplished technically as a result of rigorous practising. He bought a cherry red Gibson ES335 and took lessons from Big Jim Sullivan, guitarist with The Wilde Cats.

In early 1962 Blackmore joined Screaming Lord Sutch's Savages and at the end of the year he and Underwood joined The Outlaws, working for producer Joe Meek on their own records and as session musicians for three years for artists like Heinz, Tom Jones, Burr Bailey, John Leyton, Glenda Collins, Deke Arlon, Mike Berry, Davy Kaye, Freddie Starr, Gunilla Thorne and many more. The Outlaws also played live for Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent. Blackmore joined Heinz & The Wild Boys in May 1964, cut a solo single in 1965, produced by Derek Lawrence, before returning to Lord Sutch. He then toured Germany and moved to Hamburg.

In late 1965 he formed The Three Musketeers who did just one concert, and then joined Neil Christian's Crusaders for six months before playing in Italy with The Trip, then joining Sutch's latest band The Roman Empire in 1966. Blackmore got a band together at the end of 1967 in Hamburg, called Mandrake Root. It was at this time he was contacted by manager Tony Edwards and returned to the UK to be in at the start of Deep Purple.

Blackmore stayed with Deep Purple from 1968 - 1975 (Mk 1, 2, 3) before starting his own band, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. In 1984 Deep Purple reformed with Blackmore (Mk 2, 5) but he quit in 1993. He briefly reformed Rainbow for one album before moving on to acoustic based music with his girlfriend, in Blackmore's Night. Their first album was issued in 1997.


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