[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

Watching The Sky

There’s a full-page interview with Don Airey in the September issue of BBC Sky at Night magazine.

In the interview, Don talks about his passion for astronomy and how it inspired his solo album Light in the Sky. Interestingly, he also mentions how he takes inspiration from Rob Hodgkinson, Deep Purple’s sound engineer. Rob recently won our monthly ‘Hotshots’ competition when he sent in an amazing picture of a galaxy.

There’s more info about Sky at Night magazine at www.skyatnightmagazine.com

Thanks to Graham Southorn for the details

48 Comments to “Watching The Sky”:

  1. 1
    R says:

    I think now is time for new Deep Purple line-up changes.
    Mark II for example.
    Please Blackmore and Lord back again for new album and final tour.

  2. 2
    andresihotang says:

    Are you out of your head, R? You should absolutely know your wish is a real joke, real shame, stupid idea, crazy, and won’t be there even if the world is going to an end. Don’t you follow the story of how Deep Purple can be here touring to the very enthusiastic fans all over the world this time around? After they step on Blackmore’s animosity and almost lost their momentum 15 years ago??
    I convince you stop dreaming and enjoy Deep Purple joy and fun nowadays, which means if they are happy now, then we are all happy too. God bless Deep Purple!!

  3. 3
    Bo says:

    To R: YES – I agree 100%, but I’m afraid it will neber happen. I could also vote for a Mrk III reunion or a new and 101% powerfull ROCK (like in ROCK!)album. Back to the “In Rock” roots. I’m sure they can do it if they want to.

  4. 4
    McLovin says:

    will these kinds of comments never stop….

  5. 5
    SEVEN-47 says:

    Jon Lord yes, Ritchie Blackmore? No Thanks! I’ve grown tired of his immature antics.

  6. 6
    R says:

    Why not! If we/fans/want it. Why?
    I can’t accept Airey and Morse. There are no purple soul in their playng. They just work /job/ in Deep Purple, simply and only for money.

    Ritchie is the Greatest.

  7. 7
    XL says:

    >R: They have more soul then Boring Blackmore has!!!

  8. 8
    R says:

    Imagine present concert without RB ideas, but set only of MK 7 and 8 songs. The crowd will sleep on the third song and leave after 7-8 songs.

    Without R.Blackmore and Jon Loed you /me too/ never be hear and listening Don Airey or S.Morse. And never coment them on this site.

  9. 9
    McLovin says:


    Steve Morse is the only reason i am on this site

  10. 10
    Carlos says:

    R, I think that you should go back to the Mental Institution from where you escaped today! Lol!

    P.S. BTW, I am also a huge Ritchie Blackmore fan but in the present I would rather have Candice Night in Deep Purple than Ritchie…for different reasons! (he, he, he)

  11. 11
    Martin Cook says:

    Bo, a Mk3 reunion could never happen. Who would sing? After the concert I saw this year it certainly couldn’t be Coverdale, his voice is gone and there are only a small number of sing-a-long Purple songs! Couldn’t take a night of Glen Hughes’ vocals either and I don’t know if RB and JL sing (if they could be coercerced, along with IP), into a MK3 reunion in the first place.

  12. 12
    stefan says:

    First of all…Good to see you back on the blog again Seven-47!

    You´re quite clearly totally GaGa, and I`m not gonna waste to much time on your imbecill comment other than:I would certainly attend a gig with Morse era songs only!It would be refreshing and an oppertunity, to finally get rid of the Blackmore stigma once and for all!Hope this comment don´t cause you a heart failure!Let the slaughter of the holy cows commence!ROCK ON!

  13. 13
    stoffer says:

    Right On!!!!!!!! stefan….a show of Morse era songs would go over quite well, I’m sure….

  14. 14
    SEVEN-47 says:

    Thanks a lot stefan, it’s good to have time to participate again. Unfortunately my city hosted the Republican National Convention, and I was subjected to 12 hour days seven days a week since August 28th, dealing with protesters and demonstrators. It’s over now, and time to relax a little. I’m going to spend the day having a few Bud Lights, and enjoying some Deep Purple Mark 7 & 8. And perhaps “House Of Blue Light” and “Who Do We Think We Are”.

    Have a great weekend everybody, and see you on the next interesting topic!

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Should I really bother?
    Does it really matter?

  16. 16
    stefan says:


    Sure you can bother…..does it matter??Probably not…Ritchie´s gone and will never come back,get over it!

  17. 17
    andresihotang says:

    Oh..come on. Each marks has their own style, and of course this forum can’t cover all of our unstoppable opinions and senses. There’s no problem for any different reason, but I prefer mark7 and 8, coz’ they are a real happy family, not just only rock band.

    To R: Yes, mark 2 is the best incarnation, but hope of mark 2 reunion nowadays is totally joke and won’t be happen. It will just like a ‘hell freezes continue’ thing if it happens. But, if only they could survive in 1973, I’m definitely sure Deep Purple II would have much bigger than the ‘totally overrated’ Led Zeppelin.


  18. 18
    SEVEN-47 says:

    10-4 andresihotang; I enjoy all Marks, and will be a fan of Mark 9. HMMM; Mark 9, I wonder who that will consist of?

  19. 19
    Tracy Heyder says:

    The MK-2 crap again?……

    “Clearly Quite Absurd”…..

    Priest, do you have some unclaimed children running around?


  20. 20
    andresihotang says:

    hMM, maybe boring but this is my opinion (most only positive sides):
    Blackmore : wild, king of riffs, unique songwriting, absolutely rocker, and entertaining on stage(if he’s on good mood) but I LOVE HIM when he drive his hand along the fret and lifted his hand front and beyond for ex: You tube Rainbow-All Night Long (Budokan1984)
    Lord : wild, creative, communiative,a bit selfish when playing, like putting his classical fav’ into “to the point” rockin’ DP songs)
    Morse : technical, motionless, discipline, HAPPY MAN, lack of songwriting for a song-oriented band(SMB,DDregs,Well Dressed??),down to earth
    Airey : focus and discipline playing, wide-taste musically, calm, motionless, professional (playing Lord licks for hundred concerts?)

    Unless MIB, the rest I think always gave their best in every Deep Purple concert as far as I know. Get me wrong?

  21. 21
    Tracy Heyder says:

    HE’S GONE TO THE FOREST TO BE a MINSTREL, and it seems he is on a Permanent Mistral Cycle, along with his crying fans.

    Take a Midol and get over it.

    But I do agree with one thing you posted:


  22. 22
    Thunderhawk says:

    Don’t get me wrong from posting this, becaus i realy find that Don is one of the best Key players on this planet.

    But what is tarting to bother me is that he’s like playing al the album solo’s.

    Like for example, Lord’s solo’s were always dfferent on Highway Star, but Don is playng the album version solo over….and over..and over…and over again.
    That;s the reason why i mis Jon, the suprise of what wil he play this time is gone.
    I want to se a little improv. from Don, see how he would play the Highway Star, the Fireball or the Pictures of Home solo in his own way and style.

    If hope he wil do that someday, and not just be the guy that replaced and copies Jon Lord.

  23. 23
    Roberto says:

    I love this actual Mk but I really would like to see MkIII.

  24. 24
    SEVEN-47 says:

    A Mark III reunion would probably be more likely than a Mark II reunion!

  25. 25
    Tracy Heyder says:

    The only way a MKIII reunion would hinge on MK8 disbanding. Ian Paice is not going to jeopardize his loyalty to the band that he is finally a part of after all these years….A Happy One.

    Also, I would have to disagree with the Don Airey description. I’ve seen him live with Purple a few times and also have many DVDs of other shows….he does his own thing, while staying true to what he believes are the Purple Staples.
    That is also what he has told me himself….

    Funny how the complaints go from the constant critics. Either the guitar sounds nothing like Blackmore or the Keys sound too much like Lord.

    How about, they are all playing some great music and are happy doing it. The constant criticism points one to think you are only beating yourselves up. Find a band you are happy with. Change the Channel. Get over it.

    So keep on Dreamin’ Boys….ME? I’m crankin’ up some Bananas and enjoying a little Reality……while all you Whiney Dreamers keep going back to “The House of Pain”…


  26. 26
    Annemie says:

    To Andresihotang, R ,Thuderhawk,Bo… It is so great to read your replies and wishes for mark 2 or 3 and your true comments over RB and SM and JL and DA.Not boring at all!
    For such a long time,I opposed to any kind of reunion of DP…just like a fanatic with fear to harm the current line-up!I just ‘forgot’ the Magic of Mark 2 and 3, and my blindness concerned most of all RB !
    PurplePriest, it seems that you are getting a lot of unclaimed children running around you… 😉
    You brought me back my honnest memory and opened again my ears and eyes!Despite all my love for
    Mk 8,is my heart and soul forever filled with the
    mk 2 passionate and wild and moving music! Ritchie is the master in any direction…Same for Lord!
    Mk 2 will stand forever and never lose anything of his majesty,even not in the forest.This also for
    Mk 3 , brilliant and sparkling!
    Cheers to all of you! 😀

    To Purplepriest:It was great drinking white wine and beer, and admiring your late evening swimming in the icey North Sea!Next time I will add DP-music to make the beach toast complete!which DP Mk ??! 8)

    To AndreA : Supeeeerbbbb, amááááááázing, wonderful
    Berliner Stoutbeer..eeuuh…I mean holidays! 😀

  27. 27
    Roy says:

    In the words of General “Insanity” Melchett (Black Adder): Now then, now then, now then, now then…now then, then now, now then…. A MKII reunion would be great, but I wont hold my breath waiting for it to happen. Seems like the band are happy the way things are.

    About Don Airey, IMO he’s one of the best Hammondplayers around, and he’s doing a great job in Purple. He is mixing his own style with Lords famous licks, so to have a genious like Don in the band is a benefit for us fans. Morse on the other hand…I’ve never seen the point in bringing in someone who obviously don’t know anythng about playing hard rock when there are so many other great players out there. What the hell was the point???

  28. 28
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Although I dreamed of a family…..
    I certainly have/had no children.

    There once was Irene(…)
    I HAD(…)Ian and Zoe…….

    As some may remember, Ian and Zoe are/were my cats…..

    I think this RB vs Morse discussion will go on for a very long time, with or without me.
    To much honour to credit the longing for Ritchie on fora to me……
    IMHO, I d say…..

    You may go on and act or write with discontempt towards the people who passionately speak out their UNDYING LOVE for the one and only…….
    It won’t help.
    On the contrary, it seems to me……The harder you resist ……


    I have more things on my mind than DP and co but…….
    It seems to me you dont have to be very smart or utterly objective to recognise the FACT that MK 2 and everything included will be THE line up Deep purple will be associated the most…….

    I won’t deny that things outside that, espescially BURN and the MK 1 albums, can be satisfying, enjoyable, and so on…..
    But it will always stay behind that ONE really magical entity called MK 2.

    You may call me a dreamer but I guess I m not the only one……

    Which, I know that!!!!, is not an argument.
    Loads of people eat McDonalds or visit Madonna concerts, so……..numbers are not always decisive.
    Which also means that it does not mean anything that nowadays DP have such large audiences……
    Lots of people just don’t know…..
    Well, they are happy……That’s true…..

    I wonder, is Steve Morse really the happy man he always looks?

    I guess he is……

    Everything is better than playing in small bands for the rest of your life, never achieving a cult status because you just don’t write legendary stuff like some others.
    Money IS important.
    I know!
    But integrity wise…….it remains doubtful.

    And now……let’s thoroughly enjoy the crucifixion again…..

  29. 29
    Tracy Heyder says:

    Like I stated…….

    “Dream On…..Dream On…..”

    As far as Morse being truly happy….YES HE IS. As with the rest of the band. I’ve spoken to them all……..THEY ARE HAPPY, and don’t really concern themselves with your selfish desires for the past.

    I don’t think they have any CATs though. Lot’s of pussy, but no cats. Cats are usually the sign of an unhappy single chic or less manly type dude who misses something they will never have again……Hmmmmmm.

    Maybe you should name your next feline replacement ‘MK2’ or ‘Ritchie’….
    That would be just PUURRRRFECT.



  30. 30
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Indeed, boriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiingggggggggggggg

  31. 31
    Roberto says:

    Yes it’s really time for a change.
    Deep purple are becoming boring and they never used to be so…
    change line up even if this one is very good.
    they could even change producer and style a little bit.

  32. 32
    SEVEN-47 says:

    I only meant that I could see Blackmore, Lord, Coverdale, and Hughes getting back together way before Gillan and Blackmore ever working together again. I enjoy Mk VIII, and in no way longing for any type of reunion. (Although I would attend one if opportunity permitted)

  33. 33
    Sami says:

    Well, I’m longing for any type of reunion(but you all do know that already)…seriously though, luckily we have Mr. Hughes, who’s keeping those wonderful MkIII/MkIV-songs alive, and does he deliver, OH YES!!!

    I’m going to listen to Abandon now, didn’t like it at all when it originally came out, got to give it a second shot.

    Cheers to Seven-47, Tracy, Priest, Annemie etc. etc., be well.

    What was the topic again 🙂

  34. 34
    Sami says:

    As for Don Airey : with a track record like that,

    RESPECT!! Stepping into Lord’s shoes couldn’t be easy…

    it’s hard enough for a keyboard player to establish his own identity playing-wise, more so when you have to succeed
    a legend like JL. Like a real skilled craftsman, I think
    Airey has done amazing job!

    Now, I have a little time for myself, so it’s back to Abandon & a few well deserved beers.

    Tracy, I had two cats long time ago…no problem pussy-wise…and still getting it 🙂

  35. 35
    SEVEN-47 says:

    Cheers to you also Sami! I recommend “Almost Human”, “Seventh Heaven”, and the radio friendly “Any Fule Kno That” when you give Abandon a second look. Personally Purpendicular is my favorite new era release; followed by Bananas, Abandon, and finally Rapture Of The Deep.


  36. 36
    Tracy Heyder says:


    I have had a cat or 2 as a pet over my life-time also. It’s when you identify with it as some part of your persona that it usually becomes as I discribed above. I have found that after having a couple, the best use for them is Bar-B-Q “Cat on a Stick” at Chinese Buffets. Tastes Like Chicken….


  37. 37
    Sami says:

    Thanks, Seven-47, Seventh Heaven is a gem indeed!

    I know Tracy, just wondering what dog tastes like…



  38. 38
    Tracy Heyder says:

    Hmmmmmm…..had hot dogs but that’s pig noses, ears and lips all ground up and compressed. I bet it tastes like chicken mixed with homeless person…..


  39. 39
    R says:

    I just write the truth and the opinion of the most of people who listening DP music and going to Deep Purple concerts. Not of die hard forums members.
    It is facts. MK II material is fundament of every DP concert after 1973.
    Machine Head is the greatest DP album.

  40. 40
    andresihotang says:

    And I want to point out again. IF DP MK II could survive in 1973, they would be the best hard rock band in this world than the “totally overrated” Led Zeppelin (objective opinion, but I’m a huge LZ fans too!)

    And Blackmore – as I’ve seen many videos – is much creative, genius, fast, wild, crazy, and more entertaining than the “overrated” Jimmy Page. Ian Gillan maybe in the same level as Robert Plant, as Paice with Bonham in my opinion. But Jimmy Page??

    The MAIN REASONS why Led Zeppelin was more popular than our lovely Deep Purple, I think, are laying on these two words : 1. SONGWRITING (only SMOTW, CIT, HS, and Burn could achieve the level of Black Dog, Whole Lotta love, Rock’n ROll but no way to Stairway and Kashmir) 2. BROTHERSHIP (these forums and our comments clearly explain this one!)

  41. 41
    Roberto says:

    Paice and Gillan are far better than Bonham and Plant.
    I know them technically…

  42. 42
    Metal says:

    Paice is comming more from Jazz and Bonham from Motown.

    They both have excellent technic but whats more important: they have both a very individual style. Thats is what the new drummer don´t have any more, for example Chad Wakerman is better in technic than both Ian and John, but his own style is not so dominat an fantastic than Ians and Johns….

  43. 43
    Geo says:

    Talk about going off topic. I thought this blog would be about Don’s interest in astronomy, how he takes inspiration and the fact that a member of the Purple crew had some space photography published. Instead we get the same old guff that has been done to death. This news article is refreshing and has nothing to do with spouting nonsense.

    Anyway, I tried to find mention of this on the Sky at Night website with no success (I may have been looking in the wrong place). Is there a possibility that THS can get permission to post some of Rob’s photography, maybe as a slide show with some of Don’s music? Call it Space Truckin’….

  44. 44
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Geo, you are absolutely right

    Let,s go Space Truckin,!

    I ve read what I am about to post, I know I ll not be able togo back and make corrections

  45. 45
    Whatever1771 says:

    Sorry still off topic but:
    @R (entry number 39)
    you THiNK you talk for the most people and you defenitly NOT speak for Deep Purple Fans:
    You speak for die hard Blackmore Fans.
    Blackmore was great in the seventies and then stayed there. But now we’re in the 21st century.

    I would like to have a show with songs just since “purpendicular”.

    To me the most essential part in DP is the combination Paicey/Glover/Gillan.
    I love Steve Playing but without Paicey an Glover. Purple is no Purple
    And Don has a favourite hobby like I do …
    so this is my Line Up and i wish I could watch the sky with Don some night.

  46. 46
    Andreas says:

    What a dicussion.
    Mk I to Mk 8. 40 Years of Rock’n’Roll. What do you want more ?
    The times are changin’ and the musicans too, but all do a great job in their way/style.
    Some things we can’t change and I think we should not change.
    RB or SM. JL or DA. IG or JLT. IP … never changend. RG or GH.
    They found their way over the last 40 years and I think we have to look forward and not keep in the past. There are some good tracks in all Mk’s. So decide for yourself, but stop the discussion about changing the musicians.
    I’ve seen them since 1987 every year. There were some good concerts and some concerts I don’t remind. I can’t tell you which one.
    I think or feel, that they go on stage and play there music with fun. Sometimes we can celebrate with them and sometimes they celebrate with us. That is a good basic.

    So, whatever you prefer – play it loud.

  47. 47
    Tracy Heyder says:

    Andreas, you have finally reached the very point in all of this that I have been expressing all along. Welcome Aboard the ‘Ship of the Present and Future’…..

    Now, if we can just get Priest and his little band of Blackmore Worshipers to walk the plank, the ship will sail much happier waters…


  48. 48
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I dont like cold water except for when I m leaving the sauna.

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2022 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star