Rainbow reportedly performed their final set of the year on this day in 1979 in Royal Oak, Michigan.
All the Royal Oak dates were supposed to happen in late November, but were postponed for an unknown reason. There is no poster or ticket I have found confirming that this third date in Royal Oak happened, unlike the December 11th and 12th dates. However, Rainbow Fanclan Legacy’s site lists it here. Furthermore, while a poster only lists two dates, there were tickets for three, making it likely that a third date on the 13th occurred to fully compensate for previous dates.
Like previous dates I have covered, this concert was done to support Rainbow’s most recent album, Down to Earth. It had been going on since September, four months total.
The band had been through quite a bit, including a physical fight between three members on October 7th caused by Ritchie Blackmore’s unprofessional behavior. There had also been illness within the band of unknown members (at the very least, Graham Bonnet and Ritchie Blackmore were affected, with one of the other three possibly as well) serious enough to cause several cancellations on tour. I hope to cover those in more depth at some point in the future.
As a result of this sometimes hard scrabble, however, Rainbow managed to hit the US market and made names for themselves. The two newcomers of this lineup who’d previously had little exposure, singer Graham Bonnet and keyboardist Don Airey, have remained mainstays on the hard rock/heavy metal scene. All in all, it seems the tour was a success.
One of the concerts at Royal Oak has been recorded, though it’s not quite clear which. Information on this, as well as the venue, can be found here.
Now that they’d conquered the U.S., Rainbow was ready to move on to the next testing ground: Europe…