Doug Aldrich recently talked about the jokes that Ritchie Blackmore used to pull on his Rainbow comrades, saying that they “terrified” them in an interview with Backstage Pass Rock-News. He gave the following explanation after bringing up a particular séance incident: According to anecdotes related by Ronnie Dio, Ritchie liked to play pranks on Jimmy Baldwin and scare him a little bit. One of the tricks was particularly vicious and involved fire. Everything was in Ritchie’s lightheartedness. Regarding the joke, the guitarist stated: “And then, he mentioned a time when they had a séance using a Ouija board while working on “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll.” They were conducting a séance, and instead of the Ouija piece, some spirits seized control of the shot glass they were using. He proceeded to describe what Dio had told him. Ronnie was reciting the story as if it were true, and you could see him getting chills when it began to move on its own.
Essentially, it was because the spirit they were speaking with desired to speak with Blackmore. The ghost was disturbed since Ritchie was not present. [Giggles] [Laughing] “Where’s Blackmore?” he exclaimed. According to information provided to Classic Rock in 2021, Glenn Hughes experienced one of these séance experiences while he was a member of Deep Purple in his 20s. Hughes reported that in the 1970s, Blackmore played a practical joke by hiding speakers in his chamber at Clearwell Castle while working on the record “Burn.” I heard all these ghost noises when I woke up in the middle of the night. I was so afraid! Ritchie, me, and Purple Roadie Baz Marshall had a séance the following night. Baz was a farmer who had suffered the recent loss of a cow. Regarding the séance, the bassist stated: The sound of a cow mooing abruptly filled the room as we began the séance. Just that it wasn’t a wind-up this time! Scared, Blackmore bolted outside. In the end, he was a little bit of a chicken. We all know that Ritchie was the master of practical jokes, though. He still carries a water gun with him at all times. I am the most authoritative about it. But Blackmore considered séances and Ouija boards to be more than just practical jokes.
The musician had acknowledged engaging in the practice for years, and he expressed his sincere interest in it in previous interviews. Actually, Tony Carey departed Rainbow in 1977 for a number of reasons, including this desire. In an interview with Vintage Rock Podcast from June 2023, Carey gave his reflections on his decision to depart. “I was relieved to leave that place. There was a strange situation where they were involved in the occult, or Richie was involved in it, and he was making calls and conducting seances using Ouija boards. It seemed like it was time for me to go since it was becoming unsafe, frightening, and even violent at times. I won’t say much more about it because it has essentially been documented. Below is a snippet from a recent interview with Doug Aldrich.