According to Dailymail.co.uk, Guitarist RITCHIE BLACKMORE is involved in legal fight over DEEP PURPLE royalties:
As the lead guitarist with Deep Purple, he played scintillating solos on some of rock music’s greatest anthems. But Ritchie Blackmore also helped write many of the heavy metal band’s most famous songs, including Smoke On The Water, Black Knight and Highway Star.
And now, 40 years after leaving the band, he says he is owed £750,000 for his part in creating them and is locked in a legal battle for royalties and legal costs.
Blackmore, 70, who once declared ‘I just wanted to make as much noise and play as fast and as loud as possible,’ is suing two management companies, claiming he has been significantly underpaid over the years.
He joined Deep Purple in 1968 but left in 1975 to form his own band, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, following personality clashes with other band members.
In 2003, the surviving stalwarts from the band’s most successful line-up – Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice – sued the two management companies, HEC Enterprises and Deep Purple (Overseas). They reached a settlement over royalties, but Blackmore was not involved.
In documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, Blackmore is now arguing that the agreement they reached should have included him. He says he is entitled to receive one fifth of up to 85 per cent of the income from 14 of the band’s albums, including the 1972 Machine Head which featured Smoke On The Water.
And he says that an audit by a specialist accountant covering the years between 2007 and 2013 showed ‘very substantial’ under-accounting by both management companies.
The claim says HEC Enterprises, set up in 1967 by Deep Purple’s original investors, made incorrect adjustments, failed to report some publishing income and applied charges in excess of agreed limits, leading to a shortfall of £102,318.
The legal documents also say Deep Purple (Overseas) charged too much, failed to report income received, and used an incorrect exchange rate, and owes £607,797.
Blackmore, who lives in the US, also claims £43,400 costs for the audit. According to the documents, a former director of both management companies admitted last November that £370,561 was due to Blackmore, and later revised this upwards to £480,638.
Deep Purple were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book Of World Records as ‘the globe’s loudest band’ and have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
Blackmore’s financial situation is not known, but he has recently suggested he might be going back on tour. The four-times married guitarist plays in a folk band called Blackmore’s Night, formed with his girlfriend Candice Night.
His biographer Jerry Bloom said: ‘Ritchie is a shrewd guy. He always understood about publishing rights.’
A director of HEC Enterprises declined to comment.