Hundreds of previously unseen images of Ritchie Blackmore will be published for the first time in a new book from rock photographer Ross Halfin.
Ritchie Blackmore By Ross Halfin is described by Rufus Publications as ‘an intimate portrait of Blackmore both on and off stage’, and features shots of the former Deep Purple/Rainbow guitarist from 1980 onwards. It promises to reveal the mercurial guitar hero ‘as you've never seen him before.’
The book features an introduction by Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen, an essay from Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan, and text from Halfin and journalist Pete Makowski, who worked with Halfin at Sounds magazine in the early ’80s.
“The one thing I knew about Pete was he knew Blackmore, and I don't mean 'knew' him in a music industry sense, he really did know Ritchie and was a friend of his,” Halfin recalls. “Pete said one day, 'Let's go and do Blackmore.' I actually can't remember where I finally met him but I was pleasantly surprised. Ritchie, who I expected to be off and aloof, was completely the opposite. Once I'd met him, he was funny, liked a drink and was fantastic company. Pete and I for the period around this book, I suppose you could say, were in his inner circle. We traveled with him, we hung out with him. As you can see from some of the pictures in this book, Ritchie, once you knew him, was very accessible, and as a photographer, I could shoot with him more or less anything I wanted. He would never say no — or I would have to give him a funny, twisted reason to want to do it."
This 304-page deluxe hardback book (measuring 245mm x 345mm) is signed by Halfin and comes in two limited editions. The main edition, bound in white leather with a black sleeve, is limited to just 350 numbered copies worldwide and sells for £199 plus delivery: a super limited, large format A3 edition at just 50 copies, will sell for £599 worldwide. Both editions feature an animated 3D lenticular on the cover of Blackmore throwing his guitar into the air.
The book will go on pre-sale on September 29 at 3pm (UK time) and will ship in mid-December.