Interview by Mohsen Fayyazi
As part of our Tribute To Ritchie Blackmore week, we have invited well known names in the world of rock and metal to share their thoughts about Ritchie. For the next in the series, Mohsen invited a very well known rock and metal photographer, Bill Hale, who has a very successful and honourable career history.
Hello Bill, how are you doing today?
Just fine… thank you!
Would you please tell me what project or book you are working on at the moment?
I have two books in the works right now! Thrash Metal: The Global Metal Movement – A Photo Documentation by Bill Hale a cool book that picks up where my Metallica and Megadeth books left off… I was fortunate enough to work with some for the best bands of the time or their 1st or 2nd tours… very exciting! We have Viovod, Testament, Heathen, Hirax, Annihilator, Celtic Frost, Overkill and of course… Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax, Megadeth and a few un-leased Metallica pix… and the 2nd book is called “Dukes on Sunday” I have been working with the Hawaiian Super Star Henry Kapono. His gigs at this Waikiki Beach hot spot are LEGENDARY and I have been shooting this gig for well over 12 years now… So think Sunshine, Waikiki Beach, Bikini babes and Hawaiian rock and roll!!!
As you know we at MSF are organizing a week’s tribute to Ritchie Blackmore, the idea came from why shouldn’t we celebrate the artists who are still with us who we love, not just the dead artists. So what you think about this idea?
Awesome and you pick a great Legend to talk about!!!
Would you tell me your thoughts about Ritchie and his career and if you ever worked with him, taking photos of him on a stage, in a studio or even for a book?
Yikes!!! 1st saw THEMANINBLACK with Rainbow in 1979…WOW!!! Again with Rainbow with Joe Lynn Turner and they opened for Pat Travers… Ritchie smash his strat!!! but I ran out of film… was only 20 or 21 and still new to all this… the DP reunions with Gillan… tension… wow… and I did see Rainbow one more time in the 90′s with Doggy White… Stranger In Us All.. (the last Rainbow tour) what a great final CD and the track Hunting Humans (Insatiable)… just classic Blackmore!! Ritchie seem to always progress in his playing and song structure… even in Blackmore’s Knight his solos and sheer magic!
As a renowned photographer for many years, can you tell me how do you see his style when standing on stage and playing guitar?
WOW! Deep Purple was one of the first bands that I heard on my am radio way back in 1967-68! Hush was the track that stuck in my head back then…. Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix and The Who pictures of Lilies were the other songs that stuck out BUT HUSH was the SH*T!!! As I got older and more into Rock… Speed King, Highway Star, Child in Time and of course Smoke on the Water!!! But as then as a teenager later on and still following Ritchie.. Rainbow Rising with that power track “Stargazer”!!! That has everything that a Classic Blackmore track should have… Cozy Powell’s drum opening… Ronnie Dio’s words and vocals back with Ritchie’s killer guitars!!! On a side note… the AWESOME photos on Blackmore’s 1st solo album by Fin Costello made me want to be a rock photographer!!!
What is your favorite work by Ritchie and why?
Way too many too.. Burn! Stormbringer! the riff on Rat Bat Blue! Strange Kind Of Woman! Again the riff on Jealous Lover!!! Wow.. Good luck with so many killer tracks to pick from… Ritchie = Sheer power and intensity… Does what he wants… If Blackmore was in the Yardbrids… He would have over shadowed Page, Beck and Clapton… easily!!! There is a list of peeps from my generation that worship the man… Lars, Yngwie, Norum and Jonas Hansson (Silver Mountain) to name a few… beside the man never has played a bad solo… EVER!!!
Would you like to leave a message for our readers?
Yes I do… Keep it Heavy ~ Make it METAL!!! PS… I am very honored that you all have include my in this tribute… Alohaz!!!