Ritchie Blackmore Sues over Deep Purple Royalties

Ritchie Blackmore Sues over Deep Purple Royalties
As the guitarist who played "Smoke on the Water," former Deep Purple axeman Ritchie Blackmore is responsible for arguably the most recognizable rock riff of all time. Now, he's seeking to reap some of the rewards from that lick (and others), since he is suing the band's two management companies over allegedly underpaid royalties.

Blackmore is suing Deep Purple (Overseas) for £607,797 ($1,203,718 CAD). According to legal documents [via the Daily Mail], he is claiming that the company used an incorrect exchange rate in addition to charging too much and not reporting income that had been received.

He's also claiming he is owed £102,318 ($202,637 CAD) from HEC Enterprises over similar issues. He also wants £43,400 ($85,952 CAD) for the audit that took place between 2007 and 2013 to determine these numbers.

All told, Blackmore is seeking £753,515 ($1,492,307 CAD). According to documents, the former director of both companies has acknowledged that Blackmore is owed £480,638 ($951,884 CAD).

Blackmore's former Deep Purple bandmates sued both companies back in 2003 and reached a settlement. Blackmore wasn't a part of that agreement, but he claims that he should have been. He says he is owed one-fifth of the band's earnings from 14 albums (those made prior to his departure in 1993), most notably the iconic 1972 LP Machine Head.

Meanwhile, Blackmore's medieval folk group Blackmore's Night will release All Our Yesterdays on September 18 through Frontiers Music Srl.