The Mystery of the Ritchie Blackmore Impersonators

Rock N' Roll Diary Extra | Matt Dolloff, 100.7 WZLX

Legendary Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is unmistakable when watching him perform on stage. The way he smashed guitars was just on another level in terms of showmanship. But that didn’t stop some alleged con men from pretending to be him, and at least somewhat successfully.

While little information on the incident can be found online, the story goes that on the night of November 13, 1974, an Iowa man conned some Deep Purple fans into giving him a place to stay while posing as Blackmore. And the charitable contributions somehow turned into a Porsche, which the guy ultimately crashed.

One thing’s for certain about that night: Blackmore was with Deep Purple performing at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. In fact Deep Purple didn’t play Iowa at all in 1974.

Decades later, in 2005, another story surfaced saying police in the U.K. were on the lookout for a man impersonating Blackmore, selling his autograph and even writing his own song. But according to the book Black Knight: The Ritchie Blackmore Story, the report lacked credibility and could have just been tabloid sensationalism.

But according to the book’s same “source” Blackmore poked fun at himself and the whole incident by saying “Why didn’t he pick someone more famous?”

At least some crazy impostors selling autographs is all he had to deal with. He could have had to deal with, you know, real identity theft!

What really happened with these supposed Blackmore impostors? Tell your side of the story in the comments.



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