Joe Lynn Turner Calls Ritchie Blackmore A ‘Genius’

The paths of two musicians, Joe Lynn Turner and Ritchie Blackmore, have crossed for most of their careers, from Deep Purple to Rainbow and even a tribute band composed of former Rainbow musicians called Over the Rainbow. Turner sat down with Linea Rock and shared his experiences working with the genius Blackmore through several groups he had the chance to jam together.

Turner, who had the chance to work with the father and the son, said, “Yes, and there is definitely proof of genetics; there’s no doubt about that. First of all, I mean, you know, working with Ritchie… Richie’s brilliant. In my opinion, he is a genius; he’s an innovator, and no matter how he got there or how he ciphers in his mind and spirit, he got there and is an icon. It was an honor and a privilege to work with Ritchie and write some great rock songs we came up with.”

“We had wonderful chemistry,” continued the singer. “When I met J.R., it was a similar feeling, and he wasn’t playing so much, and I said, ‘Look, what if we did a pinnacle Over the Rainbow and you played guitar? You’ll look like him. Can you play like him?’ He said, ‘Fortunately, or unfortunately, I do a play like him, but a little more modern,’ and I said, ‘That’s perfect,’ so I said, ‘Okay, be ready in six months. We’re going to start this project, and we’re going to go out, and we’re going to do this.’ Fortunately, it was a very good project.”

Although their tenure with Over the Rainbow didn’t last more than a few years, and they didn’t release an album, they still performed songs from all eras of Rainbow’s music until they went on a hiatus in 2011, so several of the band members could pursue other projects.

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