Don Airey was a guest on Rick Wakeman’s Key to Keys this Wednesday, December 21, which aired on BBC Radio 2.
In this first show Rick also chats to fellow rock pianist Don Airey. Keyboard player with Deep Purple since 2002 he has also written and played keyboards for artists like Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Rick and Don chat about how he started his career playing on a cruise ship before being spotted playing live in a London club and being invited to play with Cozy Powell. Don also treats us to a live version of one of his own compositions on the Elton John piano.
Lots of hilarious anecdotage in this one, from the story of Jon Lord meeting Brian Wilson, to the 5-minute audition for Purple, to “I surrender, I surrender, livin’ down the road from our Brenda”.
The show is also available via BBC iPlayer (and will be available there until January 20th). Don’s interview starts at approximately 32 minutes into the show, right after Hush.
Thanks to Nigel Young for the info and the clip.