"Richard Harold Blackmore" (born April 14, 1945 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is regarded as one of the most influential and respected English guitarists of all time. He has been a founding member of both Deep Purple and Rainbow and is currently a member of the band Blackmore's Night.
After being born in Weston-super-Mare, Blackmore moved to Heston, Middlesex at the age of two.
He was 11 when he got his first guitar. His father bought it for him on certain conditions: "He said if I was going to play this thing, he was either going to have someone teach it to me properly, or he was going to smash me across the head with it. So I actually took the lessons for a year – classical lessons - and it got me on to the right footing, using all the fingers and the right strokes of the plectrum and the nonsense that goes with it."
Influenced in his youth by early rockers like Hank Marvin and Cliff Gallup, and later, country pickers like Chet Atkins, Blackmore began as a studio guitarist in England at a young age.