Guitar master Ritchie Blackmore was recently asked by Alan Di Pernaon which “traits or qualities do you look for in musicians to work with,” to which he replied:
“Somebody who likes to drink is obviously important. [Laughs] You can make a joke of it, but I’ve met people who say, ‘I don’t drink at all. I stopped drinking five years ago.’ And those people I’ve always had problems with.
“They might not drink, but they do everything else that’s crazy. If someone says, ‘I don’t drink much; I just like to have a few,’ that’s fine. But it’s when they make that big statement that I say, ‘Oh dear, then, what’s your real problem? I might be dealing with the wrong person here.’
“Of course, there are other things I look for as well. In a bass player, rhythm is very important. Is he tight with the drums? I don’t like a flashy bass player that runs across the stage waving to the audience half the time. And I’m thinking of one particular person who does that. He’s quite famous actually.”
Can we say who?
“You know, I actually can’t remember. What was the name of that band? It was back in the ’80s, ’90s. It wasn’t Foreigner, but something like that.”
Are there any current guitarists you like?
“I’m not really listening to too much rock and roll these days. I find it sometimes feels a bit generic. I feel, ‘Well, I heard that years ago.’ Although I think the standard of guitar playing is so high now.
“I was watching a documentary the other day called ‘Hired Gun,’ [featuring Jason Newsted, former Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVitto, Rudy Sarzo, and FFDP guitarist Jason Hook] and it’s excellent. I didn’t realize the guy in Pink’s band was such an excellent player. And there was Brad Gillis from the old Ozzy Osbourne days, and Steve Lukather and all these country players like Brad Paisley who are phenomenal.
“And I’m wondering, ‘Where are all these guys coming from?’ Too much competition. I’m going back to Renaissance music. [Laughs]”