Ritchie Blackmore U.K. Blue Plaque Denied Because Guitarist Is Still Alive
A Ritchie Blackmore fan in the United Kingdom tried to get the influential guitarist's English hometown to install a commemorative blue plaque in honor of the musician. But the request was initially denied because the Deep Purple and Rainbow icon is still alive.
However, a different plaque was subsequently placed in the area to salute Blackmore.
That's according to Guitar World's reporting on the situation in Weston-super-Mare, the town in North Somerset, England, where the now 76-year-old Blackmore was born on April 14, 1945.
Last summer, John Cadwallader, also a Weston native, started a petition to get one of the U.K.'s signature blue plaques installed there in Blackmore's honor. The petition now has 2,300 signatures.
Blue plaques, administered by the English Heritage Trust from 1986, have been placed in and around London since the 19th century to highlight the location of a famous person's birth, a notable event or a historic structure. Blue plaques are also positioned elsewhere in the U.K. in various capacities not undertaken by English Heritage but by local authorities.
Influential late musicians such as The Beatles' John Lennon, Queens' Freddie Mercury and The Who's Keith Moon have blue plaques.
But despite Cadwallader's petition, Weston-super-Mare declined a blue plaque for Blackmore, reportedly because the guitarist isn't deceased. Still, they allowed a non-blue plaque for Blackmore to decorate the building where the rocker was born.
Cadwallader explained this week, "The good news is the nursing home where he was born has sponsored and installed a plaque on their front wall for all to see, and [they] let me design it. We hope to have a full unveiling ceremony on Ritchie's birthday in April."
The new plaque, fashioned in a golden hue, reads:
Born Here April 1945
Rock Superstar and Guitar Legend
Smoke On The Water, A Fire in the Sky
Blackmore currently performs with his wife, Candice Night, in Blackmore's Night. He's also a member of the recently reformed Rainbow. Blackmore's Night's latest album, Nature's Light, arrived last year.