Classic Rainbow concert almost didn’t happen as band leader raced across Europe from jail

Rock supergroup Rainbow’s 1977 Munich, Germany show almost never happened because bandleader Ritchie Blackmore was in jail in Vienna, Austria. The show, which has spawned a new DVD concert movie, was put back a day as lawyers desperately tried to get the rocker out of jail after he attacked the venue manager during a concert in the Austrian capital – and even then he only just made it.
In a new interview for the Live in Munich DVD, former Rainbow bassist Bob Daisley says, “There was a problem with the hall manager; he had an attitude and I think when we went onstage, the audience got a bit rowdy and this manager was being a bit of a d**k. I think he put the house lights on, which really p**sed Ritchie off. Ritchie lashed out with his foot… and he caught him right on the jaw and down he went.
“At the end of the show, the police were called in and they had sniffer dogs. Ritchie was hiding in one of the drum cases and the crew were gonna try to smuggle him out but the sniffer dogs and the police found him and they handcuffed him and jailed him, and he was in jail for a couple of days.”
Daisley admits he started to give up on the show in Munich, which was scheduled to be filmed by a national broadcaster for a TV special: “We didn’t know when he was gonna get out or if the tour was gonna end or what was gonna happen. We were supposed to go on around 8.30 or nine o’clock at night and Ritchie had just got out of jail in Vienna and he’d just made it to the gig. We ended up going on at about 11.30 at night… but the audience were very patient.”
Tour manager Colin Hart adds, “He was (in jail) for three days before we got him out. We had lawyers working from both sides of the Atlantic trying top get him out and we got him to Munich within minutes of being too late to do a performance… Somebody drove him from Austria to there, in the same clothes he was wearing for the Austrian show.
“We went onstage about 12 o’clock… and it turned out to be a great show.”
The concert movie of the gig was released on DVD last week (30Apr13).
Blackmore was later fined $5,000 (£3,125) for breaking the Austrian venue manager’s jaw.