Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore Honors His “First Guitar Idol” Duane Eddy With Touching Tribute Following His Death

Finding his own place in music when he helped form the group Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore developed the perfect blend between hard rock and classical music. With unique guitar riffs that seemed to honor the blues genre, Blackmore eventually landed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Even Rolling Stone considered the musician one of the greatest and most prominent guitar players of all time. While continuing to share his talents with the world, Blackmore recently paid tribute to one of his influences and the King of Twang, Duane Eddy. 

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Battling cancer for some time, on Tuesday, news broke that Eddy passed away at the Williamson Health Hospital in Tennessee at 86 years old. Surrounded by loved ones, Eddy left behind a legacy that helped inspire future performers like Blackmore. Sharing a post on Facebook, the guitarist wrote, “Just heard about the passing of the wonderful Duane Eddy who was my first guitar idol with songs like Rebel Rouser, Shazam, Some Kind Of Earthquake. I would always rush out and buy his long playing records. My favorite all time tune from him was The Lonely One.”

Ritchie Blackmore Recalls Trying To Meet Duane Eddy

Recalling his countless attempts to meet Eddy, Blackmore recalled when he was 12 years old. “One particular time, when I was 12, I went to London airport to meet him. I sat there for hours waiting, so I could get a glimpse of him. After 2-3 hours, I asked the ground staff what time his plane would be in as it was obviously delayed. They told me his plane actually came in early and I missed him. That was my first of many futile attempts to see him.”

Continuing to play his music “night and day”, Blackmore explained how Eddy eventually reached out to him with a special Christmas present. “He was very kind to me last year, because I had missed him on so many occasions, he sent me a Gretsch Guitar as a present for Christmas. I couldn’t believe it.”

With Blackmore honoring Eddy, he insisted, “He will always be my number one inspiration from the time I took up the guitar until now. He was so unique in his playing. The world has lost a great guitar player. A truly unique guitar player.”

(Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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