Great Collaborations

Rainbow_-_Ritchie_Blackmore's_Rainbow_(1975)_front_coverThis album, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow was a watershed moment for me, musically.  I discovered Rainbow when my first husband and I moved to Bellingham Washington to go to college. We had one child, our daughter Leah.  We were pretty broke, and couldn’t go to many concerts, but we did invest in new music as often as we could.

I was the one who was the Rainbow and Led Zeppelin freak. I liked Deep Purple, but something about Rainbow really grabbed me. Darryl was into The Who and Argent.  We were also crazy about Procol Harum,  Focus and Genesis. Heart also figured largely in the noise that erupted from our small apartment.

The thing about great bands that inspires me is the chemistry between the members that lead to great collaborations.  Some of the most powerful music of my generation was created during the 1970’s.  The collaboration that still reigns supreme in my heart is the Ronnie James Dio and Ritchie Blackmore collaboration in the band Rainbow.  Separately, they were brilliant, unmatched in their skill and talent. Together they were pure magic, creating thunderous, powerful, bone-shaking music like The Gates of Babylon and the beautiful, lyrical Catch the Rainbow. Alas, Dio passed on in 2010 but his legacy lives on.

In books, there are great collaborations that produce incredible tales that change the face of the fantasy genre.  MythAdventures by Robert Lynn Aspirin and Jody Lynn Nye were the game changers for me as far as my reading material went. They brought the fun to the party!

The Darkover Series that was begun by  Marion Zimmer Bradley and which included collaborations with various authors such as Mercedes Lackey and Deborah J. Ross was wildly popular among my friends. The Dragonlance series, which came out of TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons game empire was another series that introduced the fantasy genre to a wide audience of young people. This collaboration between Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss hooked my son Daniel as a teenager, and turned him into a rabid fan of speculative fiction.

Currently I’ve been reading The Adventures of Don Valiente and the Apache Canyon Kid. It  a book that is a collaboration between John A. Aragon and Mary W. Walters, and it’s one that is not only NOT a fantasy (it’s a WESTERN) it’s an actual physical book as opposed to a Kindle book.  This awesome book details the adventures of Roz, a young lesbian cowgirl and her mentor, caballero Don Valiente. I’ve never been a fan of westerns, but THIS book is a game changer for me.

I love books and music that expand my boundaries.  Every time I hear something new and powerful, like Apocalyptica, Rammstein or Evanescence or read a book in an unfamiliar genre I am inspired to create on my own and my work benefits.  Music, art and books are like yoga for my soul!


Filed under Adventure, Battles, Books, Heavy Metal, Humor, Music, writing

7 responses to “Great Collaborations

  1. I love this album, and I can’t believe it’s the only Dio-Rainbow disc that hasn’t been issued yet as a deluxe edition. Shame, that. I listened to this album again last week. I absolutely love (LOVE) “Temple of the King”.


  2. I’ve long been a Deep Purple fan, and have been lucky to have seen some of the spin-off bands live. Ritchie Blackmore had some great collaborations: Ian Gillan, David Coverdale etc. sometimes the friction between band members inspires them to greater heights. Keith Richards/Mick Jagger being a good example. Lennon and McCartney were musically not the same after they split. It’s fascinating how band dynamics can forge the music that is being created. Thanks for posting this.