[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Ian Paice Drum clinic Manchester

We made the pilgrimage from Sheffield to see the worlds greatest drummer at the Hole in the Wall Manchester. The Hole in the Wall is a big pub with a stage and a small balcony. There was a very large turnout for this sort of thing with, i would guess, around 400 people in attendance. A show of hands during the clinic showed that drummers were in the minority.
With the venue being a pub a good time was had by all and a very good friendly atmosphere was created. Due to the amount of quaffing by memory is a little vague on a few things so nothing is to be taken as verbatum, it's just my best recollection of the spirit of what was asked and what Ian replied.
There was a fair scattering of DPAS members and at least one amdp'er who I met. I wish we had got our act together more to meet but nevermind.
The whole event lasted about two hours and involved Ian playing some 'solo's' and then answering questions. The questions were atything goes so drumming questions ended up in the minority.
The highlight to the drumming was Ian showing the Fireball intro which he did a couple of times. After his first solo he seemed quite out of breath but I think he's maybe a little out of condition and perhaps the smoky atmosphere got to him a bit.
One thing that being that close showed me was the amount of hard work he actually puts into his drumming.
He had an interval half way through for a break and happily signed and posed for photo's chatting all the while. He seems a genuinly nice chap! Anyway some of the answers he gave were on the following lines but please note my provisor above (i.e. I got pissed)
On jazz drummers - doesn't like jazz, it's a totally different art form. Jazz drummers can't play rock.
On Bonham - A big guy who ised to really hit the drums. Once hired in the early days to drum with a folk singer and ended up drowning the poor guy out.
On Moon - recalled a story where Moon went round all the studios with a butler dispensing vintage Brandy. After the Barndy had been drunk off he went to the next studio.
On Gallagher - great guy but always used to play the same set staring with his mandolin piece.
On Bolin/Hughes - You can't play if you're messed up on drugs apart from a one note solo. Recalled story of how Bolin took some sleeping tablets which were meant for the whole nband then promptly fell asleep for two days. The band was no good with two on drugs and three not. Also recalled story about bolin messing his arm up after taking Heroin and only playing bar chords for 'Last Concert in Japan' gig.
On Bassists - Likes them to stick with the drummer otherwise he gets lonely. If they start playing up the fretboard shouldn't they be playing lead guitar.
On Phil Lynott - nice guy with a great voice but couldn't play in tune. He was only young at the time though. The session tapes are probably worth more than what's on them.
On bass drum pedal - old habit of stamping on his and not toee and heel job. Stems from the past when everyone was amplified but the drummer so had to play really hard.
On second PAL album - The tapes were given away as someone's wedding present. Tony Ashton could't cope with lareg audiances.
On working with Blackmore again - Didn't rule it out. He then explained what happened with Blackmore and how he thought the only good ideas were his and how the rest thought they could't survive without him. This was a mistake in the end.
Paice then gave Blackmore credit for starting the whole thing with a great phrase. Without him (Blackmore) the whole thing would't have started and with him the whole thing would have finished.
On Hendrix - Recalled the gig where Lord jammed with him. He missed out on a drum because of Carmine (Appice?).
On Fireball - The studio version used a double drum set up where the other drum was borroweed from Keith Moon's kit which was left in the same studio.
The Mule - The basic drum riff (?) was borrowed from Ringo Starr. (He did mention the piece but I forgot it - soz)
On click tracks - Hates them and it takes all the swing out of drumming.
On the new album - his bit's done.
On Rod Evans - Recalled the fake Deep Purple episode and how Rod still gets royalties but they go to pay off the damages he incurred. The rest of the band just walked and it all dropped on Rod to pay.
On Pearl drums - used to use Ludwig drums and they were very good and he was well looked after by the family firm, but they got taken over and the quality dropped so he went to Pearl where they look after him now.

There were many more question particularly some drumming ones but they were over my head. He mentioned his basss drum size, his kit set up, his tom-toms, how to play Smoke properly etc.

Some wag asked him with his hair the way it was was he going to come through the door as Leo Sayer in Stars in their eyes, which was taken in good humour.

A great night and if you ever get the chance go to one of these clinics for 5GBP it was more than worth it. i also got autographs and about 20 photo's before departing back to the capital of the North of England.

John Alflat
writer of Purple People column for British Mensa's Rocksig - Feedback

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