Tom Hamilton Says Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow Reunion Was a ‘Little Flat’
Tom Hamilton got an up-close look at Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow reunion while sitting in with fellow festival act Thin Lizzy – and he came away unimpressed.
Hamilton said Blackmore looked "pudgy" in an interview with Aerosmith bandmate Joey Kramer for WZLX. Worse, Hamilton said, he felt that Blackmore was going through the motions. "He was playing lead," Hamilton explained. "It sort of sounded, just like, right off the record, and not in a real passionate way. A little flat."
Hamilton joined Thin Lizzy as part of a tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of frontman Phil Lynott's death. It's also been four decades since the group released its breakout Jailbreak album. The initial two Thin Lizzy dates included festival stops just before Rainbow took the stage. That was Hamilton's only real interaction with Blackmore, who apparently kept things very hands off.
"Right before [Rainbow] went on, they booted everyone off the stage," Hamilton said. "They had to watch from the side. And then they put up this tape across the walkway, like 'Do not cross' red-and-white striped tape. Everybody's just kind of standing there, staring at them like, 'Oh, my God. Who's ever seen a band do that?' But he really did not want anybody on the stage while he was playing."
Blackmore briefly restarted Rainbow this summer after a long period focused on renaissance-style folk with Blackmore's Night. He was joined in an all-new lineup by two collaborators from Blackmore's Night (drummer David Keith and bassist Bob Nouveau), as well as keyboardist Jens Johansson and singer Ronnie Romero.
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