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Don Airey: “You have to keep on going”

Don Airey at the Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Jun 10, 2009. Photo: Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA.

Don Airey recently gave an interview to Get Ready to Rock that covers a lot of his career, from the very first gig on a cruise ship to the recent (and now infamous) Oasis story.

What have been your highs and lows in the music industry?

Oh God! Well, the highs, they keep coming thick and fast with Deep Purple. We’ve just had an amazing thing happen to us, taking over from Oasis and getting away with it, at our age, very gratifying. When I first played with Purple with played a concert in a natural amphitheatre in Athens, against a backdrop of rock, 5000 people there, and a full moon. I’ll never forget it. And the keyboard solo I played “Never On Sunday”, they all went mad, it was wonderful.

Low points, I guess the gig after Randy Rhodes died, back out on the road, that was awful. There’s been a lot of low points actually. Some gigs I’ve done and I’ve thought “How’s it come to this?” But if you’re a musician that’s what happens, you just have to keep on going. Playing’s better than not playing, that’s the thing.

Got and read the whole thing, it’s well worth your time.

Thanks to Daniel Bengtsson for the info.

19 Comments to “Don Airey: “You have to keep on going””:

  1. 1
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    Great interview…One of the most used players out there. He needs to put out a Biography. Great to see him giving so much homage to being in Deep Purple. He’s played with some astounding musicians over the years, and has been involved in almost every spin-off group connected to Purple, and now he is In Purple and seems to feel that is the Best Yet.

    Glad you got the gig Don. You are the right man for the job and show it all the time.

    He seems to be on the same page as Gillan regarding the Next Album, stating writing to begin toward the end of the year and the record to follow hopefully this time next year…..CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. 2
    Thomas says:

    Interesting that Hansson & Karlsson was the last album Don bought.

  3. 3
    Crimson Ghost says:

    Good stuff! Don is second to Mr.None.

  4. 4
    stoffer says:

    Oh yes Don, you do DESERVE it, thanks for being a part of Deep Purple history. Well deserved!!

  5. 5
    Moreblack says:

    It was great.This guy is a big part of the Britsh rock history.Great memories of a great period in my life.

  6. 6
    George says:

    I read Don’s interview on Rockpages.gr and it was probably the worst one I’ve read by Purple guys. I don’t know he was drunk or whatever. For example, he said that it was money that kept Deep Purple going for so many years. I bet Gillan hasn’t read that interview, or he would kill Don, as Ian, Rog, Jon, Ritchie and every of them always say that it’s their love of MUSIC that kept band, not their love of MONEY!

    but this interview on GetReadyToRock is quite interesting ona, I enjoyed it…
    but again, Don says quite different thing about the new album, he predict it to be released in September 2010, while Gillan thinks they’ll record new album in October-November 2009, or February 2010…

  7. 7
    Svante Axbacke says:

    I think while Gillan seems to be focused on saying the “right things” – he has himself said, “never let the truth come in the way of a good story” – Don is telling it like it is. I don’t doubt for a minute that they are doing their job for the love of music. Otherwise they could just retire or start working with something that is easier than being on tour for most part of a year. But as other have said already, this is their job and they also need to get paid for their job. They can’t play for free, that’s why money is an important, if not the most important factor.

    Regarding the new album, if they record in February 2010, then September 2010 sounds like a likely release date to me.

    I don’t think you should put everything one member says against everything another member says. I don’t think they meet up and decide for a common truth to be put forward in all interviews and then of course the details will differ. As of course also their personal opinions…

  8. 8
    Moreblack says:

    So sincere this guy Don.

  9. 9
    George says:

    What? D’you really think that DP will release new album in September 2010, if they record it in February?
    It seems quite ridiculous for me, to have the album recorded and ready, and then to release it after 8 months…
    Remember Rapture Of The Deep – it was recorded/mastered in 3 weeks, and released very soon…
    So I doubt if they begin jamming/writting in October-November ’09, and if they’ll record material in February, we’ll have new Deep Purple CD at least in Spring 2010…
    They never need a lot of time to record. Gillan himself says, that if the song needs more than 15-20 minutes to begin writing and to have some stable form/structure of it, then put it in the recycle bin, coz it won’t be natural and fresh…

    5 years passed after their latest album, so they may be flying with new ideas, I’m sure they’re full of new ideas and it won’t take so long (till September 2010) to release new album…

    I’m just getting more and more warm emotionally, just imagine, we’ll have new DEEP PURPLE ALBUM soon.
    the things got started! great!

  10. 10
    Carl says:

    In #7 Svante said:

    “I don’t think you should put everything one member says against everything another member says. I don’t think they meet up and decide for a common truth to be put forward in all interviews and then of course the details will differ. As of course also their personal opinions…”

    Man – I could not have said this better! An excellent point and well expressed too. Good on you Svante!

  11. 11
    Chrissy says:

    Don Airey is one of the best.

  12. 12
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    “Things I Never Said” comes to mind…..
    Quite the reality check these days when referring to ROTD for present day reference….


  13. 13
    BlackSparrow says:

    just read on the rolling stones website that ron wood will be deciding the entire set list for the next stones tour YEAH RIGHT and they are doing the entire tour for no money.

  14. 14
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Things I Never Said is a nice song which should have been on the first original release before they tried to pull out some more cash out of your pockets.

    Besides that its a copy of earlier work, FIRE IN THE BASEMENT is the first thing that springs to mind.

    I think it was CG that brought up a few more references, a GILLAN track, I think…..

    Nothing wrong with those old GILLAN songs.

    Great albums as well.
    Wish I had not missed out on seeing them tour…..

  15. 15
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Trying to find that Molly Hatchet song Flirting With Disaster……
    Old CG said it was the blue print for Gillans Breaking Chains or Things I never said.

  16. 16
    purplepriest1965 says:

    It kinda dissappointed me.
    MUST admit the DP track suits me better.
    But ofcourse that does not prove anything.

  17. 17
    Tracy Heyder aka Zero the Hero says:

    I am and have been a ‘Molly Hatchet’ fan for YEARS. I listened to Both Tunes after CG gave his analogy, and I looked into it….I don’t agree….

    Two totally different tunes.

    Surely you can find a version of Flirtin’ With Disaster in the ‘Old Country’ Priest…..look under a rock or something….


  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Me dont get it…..

  19. 19
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    What do you need…stick people?????

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