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© John Atashian/Corbis
When your influences are Hank Marvin, Duane Eddy and JS Bach, you’re bound to write the world’s most famous guitar riff, Smoke On The Water.
Rising to fame in the early '70s in Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore became one of the first post-Hendrix guitar gods. His playing, almost exclusively on olympic white Strats of that era, was a blistering mix of bluesy pentatonic runs and ascending/descending arpeggios.
The notoriously combative musician - he’s quit Deep Purple twice, and his association with his own band, Rainbow, was no less stormy - started ’scalloping’ his guitar necks in the ’70s to increase his vibrato and emulate classical instruments. Yngwie Malmsteen followed suit a decade later.
Today, Blackmore is done with rock and now performs renaissance music with his wife, Candice Night, in the inventively named Blackmore’s Night.