OVER THE RAINBOW's BLACKMORE Is 'Very Happy' With Crowd Response To New Band

Michael Lello of Northeastern Pennsylvania's The Weekender recently conducted an interview with OVER THE RAINBOW guitarist Jürgen "J.R." Blackmore (son of RAINBOW/DEEP PURPLE guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On how RAINBOW fans are reacting to OVER THE RAINBOW, which features Jürgen alongside four former RAINBOW members:

"I would say in the beginning, nobody knew what was going on. One piece was liking it and was very happy that it was all happening again. Now, I'm very honest, I'm so happy, because all of the people that were talking, I wouldn't say bullshit, but those people are very happy. And we are very, very happy."

On receiving his father's blessing to pursue OVER THE RAINBOW:

"I talked to him about this happening. He said, 'Yes, OK, go on, do it.' He knew I was a guitar player, and said 'Do what you want.'"

On whether the reclusive Ritchie, from the U.K. and now based in Long Island, N.Y., will come out to check out an OVER THE RAINBOW show:

"I don't think so, because my father, how can I say. … He is not interested in all the things and the world. He doesn't even go on the Internet. I don't know what he's doing. It's his choice. I don't know how he's feeling. I talk to him sometimes. But I know people around him told me they have heard a little of stuff from OVER THE RAINBOW and always say it's great. And everybody says they are proud and 'Your dad is proud, too.'"

On being pleasantly surprised by the OVER THE RAINBOW crowds in Europe, not only by their size, but also their enthusiasm and diversity:

"It's like a big party, it's awesome. It's all ages. I was thinking at the beginning, 'We'll only get people over 35.' And when we started playing our first shows, you'd even see 6-year-old girls on (their parents') shoulders. I talked to these people and said, 'Why are you so young, you never saw this band?' They said, 'That's the point. My dad grew up with this, and he always told me stories about this.'"

Read more from The Weekender.

Fan-filmed video footage of OVER THE RAINBOW performing the RAINBOW classic "Street of Dreams" on July 10, 2009 at the Crocodile Rock Cafe in Allentown, Pennsylvania can be viewed below (courtesy of "Trouble9177").

OVER THE RAINBOW is:

Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW 1980-1984) - Vocals
Bobby Rondinelli (RAINBOW 1980-1983) - Drums
Greg Smith (RAINBOW 1994-1997) - Bass
Jürgen "J.R." Blackmore - Guitar
Paul Morris (RAINBOW 1994-1997) - Keyboards

Paul Morris replaced Tony Carey, the original keyboardist for OVER THE RAINBOW, prior to the band's performance in front of 12,000 fans at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 4, 2009 in Sölvesborg, Sweden.

Like all members of OVER THE RAINBOW (with the exception of guitarist Jürgen "J.R." Blackmore), Paul Morris was also a member of RAINBOW. He recorded and toured with them from 1994 through 1997.

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