Blackmore Blue Plaque Denied Because Guitarist Is Still Alive

A Ritchie Blackmore fan in the UK has tried to get the influential guitarist’s English hometown to put up a commemorative blue plaque in honor of the musician. But the request was initially denied as the Deep Purple and Rainbow icon is still alive.

However, a different plaque was later placed in the area to salute Blackmore.

It depends guitar worldreports on the situation in Weston-super-Mare, the town in North Somerset, England, where Blackmore, now 76, was born on April 14, 1945.

Last summer, John Cadwallader, also from Weston, started a petition to obtain one of the UK’s iconic blue plaques installed there in honor of Blackmore. The petition now has 2,300 signatures.

Blue plates, administered by the English Heritage Trust from 1986, have been placed in and around London since the 19th century to highlight a famous person’s birthplace, notable event or historical structure. Blue plaques are also positioned elsewhere in the UK in various capacities not undertaken by English Heritage but by local authorities.

Influential late musicians such as John Lennon of the Beatles, Freddie Mercury of Queens and Keith Moon of The Who have blue plaques.

But despite Cadwallader’s petition, Weston-super-Mare refused a blue plaque for Blackmore, apparently because the guitarist is not dead. Yet they authorized a non-blue plaque for Blackmore to decorate the building where the rocker was born.

Cadwallader explained this week: “The good news is that the nursing home where he was born sponsored and put up 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 in April 1945
Rock superstar and guitar legend
Ritchie Blackmore
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

Blackmore currently stars with his wife, Candice Night, in Blackmore’s Night. He is also a member of the recently reformed Rainbow. The latest album from Blackmore’s Night, light of naturearrived last year.

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