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Elizabethan age of music

Don Airey in Quebec City, June 4, 2011; photo © Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

The Emirates’ Khaleej Times has a brief interview with Don Airey. Reflecting on the differences in the music scene between now and ‘back then’, he says:

I hear some good things, but I don’t hear anything like I used to in the ‘70s. I don’t hear the guitar players anymore. You don’t have the raw sound or primeval feeling which used to tumble out of the Marshall amps.

From around 1963 to 1975, there was just a succession of amazing guitar players: Hendrix, Clapton, Ritchie. I don’t think we’ll ever experience it again. I often think it’s like the Elizabethan age of literature when you had Marlowe and Shakespeare and Ben Jonson – the most wonderful plays that have ever been written – and it really has never happened again.

Regarding the mystery of the new album title:

Well…I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s under wraps. Apparently there is a title and I’ve been told that I know what it is – I don’t know if it’s something I suggested.

Read more in Khaleej Times.

31 Comments to “Elizabethan age of music”:

  1. 1
    Jaro says:

    Clapton,Hendrix ,Ritchie… Thanks Don.

  2. 2
    tony lind says:

    and how does steve rate compared to them ?

  3. 3
    CARLOS RUBIO S. says:

    A parte de estos excelsos guitarristas que menciona D.Airey con toda autoridad,tambien deben estar otros como:Page,Beck,Gilmoure, Iommi,etc ,hay otros?

  4. 4
    Robert says:

    This whole new album thing looks really weird. Musicians are not allowed to play live tracks off new album prior to its release… One of the band members has now clue about the new album title… I’d understand if Don was a hired gun who naturally wouldn’t have a say in such decisions. Or is he seen like one?
    Now I start wondering when we hear the new album, if the songs were chosen by the band and not the management and if the band had anything to do with mixing?
    It almost looks like they throw a bunch of songs on the table and the label does the rest…

  5. 5
    Drdp says:

    RE: New Album- Aren’t some outlets listing it as “?” ?

  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Maybe it is ok to put THIS one here :

    Recently discovered old interview with Jon Lord in 1969 by a canadian interviewer.


  7. 7
    oleg says:

    Also Page, Iommi, Gilmore & S.Morse..

  8. 8
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @4: To start with, Purple has said since the 70’s that they are a lazy band. Usually that means they don’t care much about things like this. And in any band of their age and popularity, the bands have less influence than fans might think. It’s usually in the hands of the label and the producer. And most bands are fine with that.

    In fact, I have many times wondered about when exactly a band goes from being obsessed with being involved in all details to letting go. If you look at most amateur bands going into the studio, everyone wants their hands on everything. They think they know best when it comes to deciding which takes are best, how to mix and so on. While most professional bands have producers telling them when the solo is good enough, how to change arrangements on the songs, which order the songs would be on the album, which songs to include on the album and whatever. I’ve heard lots of band members, including DP members, being disappointed about some things on their albums because they didn’t agree on certain mix decisions for example. But they are also professional enough to know they are too close to the material to be able to “kill your darlings” and leave certain decisions to a third part.

  9. 9
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Robert @4 and Svante @8,

    As much as I have bitched about Purple letting their management undermine their popularity, I have to give credit where due. Had it not been for the ‘management’ demanding another song for Machinehead, there wouldn’t have been a Smoke on the Water. Purple has never chased the Hit Parade and for that the Hit Parade has avoided them. Good management should have circumvented that ‘lazy’ approach to the business, but they didn’t. Management wasn’t pushed by the band and the band wasn’t pushed by the management. Therefore they have lived between the cracks and obscurity is their middle name. “Objectively Obscure” should have been the name of the new album. As for Don Airey knowing or not knowing the album title? Well, he seems ton fit in perfectly with this band. Gillan should have donated the name for the album he used for the Iommi/Gillan charity album to Purple Management….”Who Cares?”


  10. 10
    Ted The Mechanic says:


    Not part of the subject but thought I would lay this out as FYI. Check out this Blacker memento:


    A bit pricey to say the least, but quality is superb. Purchased Steve and then reeled in Jeff Beck. So much for this month’s budget. Blacker to be added in short time.


  11. 11
    TKpurple says:

    To swante:) Amateur bands or bands that do not make a living from a music tend to care more because it is something special for them. When you are seasoned pro it is more another day another dollar aproach. It is their job for forty years and it is hard to keep exitement beeing for the 100 time in the studio. But in my opinion it adversely affect the final album as there is often not enough care taken to develop the ideas, song structures and solos. It also effect purple in my opinion in recent times. You just play on autopilot mode and do not try to be as creative even if your potential skills and technicue are almost of the different planet.

  12. 12
    Buttockss says:

    Rory Gallagher & Thin Lizzy’s arsenal of magicians, “a little bit of irish in you” .

  13. 13
    ivica says:

    I love playing the Don Airey
    “Down to the Earth,” my best Rainbow album
    excellent intro to “Eyes of the World” and, excellent musical solutions “Denger zone” especially Blackmore solo duet together Airey ‘lost in Hollywood “with a thundering rhythm Cozy-Roger, in my opinion the best song Rainbow
    and then on your next album. songs “Death Alley Driver,” Stone Cold ”

    Deep Purple In his role is more important, especially as it’s got a role in the inheritance of the biggest … Jon Lord, keyboards Hammond sound trademark of Deep Purple

    and he’s doing fine
    Don Airey great musician
    he is not quality?
    would not have played in Deep Purple

  14. 14
    Bigger Al says:

    # 7 Give me a break, they’re good musicians, but easily lagging behind the 3 Don speaks of.

  15. 15
    gambler says:

    I think they should call the new album ‘Jon Lord’

  16. 16
    Jim Sheridan says:

    ahhh, what’s in a name anyway? A great album by any other name still sounds as sweet.

  17. 17
    al says:

    As much as respect Don as a musician,he is always going to be the”outsider” and gun for hire guy.This Deep Purple is Gillan/Glover band.If you notice he always refers to them as “they decided this and that “.

  18. 18
    Anthony says:

    @ 13 Dave Rosenthal played keyboards on ‘death alley driver’ and ‘ stone cold’ which are from “straight between the eyes” album. As well as “down to earth” don also played on “difficult to cure”. Great keyboard player and composer and a fabulous counterpoint for ritchie

    @ 14 I totally agree with ya there!

  19. 19
    Kenn says:


    I agree with #15, what a great idea.

    Also @7 Page and Iommi are good writers, but not the complete writer and player Blackmore is.

  20. 20
    ivica says:

    Yeah you’re right
    It has been many years …. hehe

    Yesterday, I listened to “Difficult to Cure”, I am convinced
    Don Airey’s keyboard player who best fulfill the Ritchie at the Rainbow
    Two musicians who love to add classical music to rock music
    “Spotlight Kid” solo, Vielleicht das nächste mal “course title” Difficult To Cure “,
    Good Rainbow album
    “Down to Earth” is my favorite

  21. 21
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Thanx Ted, but not interested.

    I do have great pics of my own as well : )

    See my fb page.

  22. 22
    purplepriest1965 says:


    I still find it amazing to know that DA recently proclaimed Down To Earth as the best album he was involved in.

    Sad as well.

  23. 23
    Anthony says:

    I think Down To Earth is a good album and highlights how great Ritchie is as a composer and also a music business brain by completely transforming the sound and direction of Rainbow. Two top ten hit singles and a collection of songs with a lot variety and sparkle. The album may not be everyone’s coffee but ya can’t argue it wasn’t a sucessful transformation from Ritchie

  24. 24
    cyclone says:

    Rainbow was on course to become the ultimate band. Funny how years ago several blokes dogged RB now thank him for being part of that band. No better player than RB period.

  25. 25
    Buttockss says:

    Doggie white sounds incredible on the new Michael Schenker live album, and of course Michael smokes!!!!.

  26. 26
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Ted @ 10,

    I’ll place it right next to my miniature violin that I play from time to time. The song of sympathy for those whom still haven’t accepted his resignation from the Strat.


  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    Down To Earth is a transitional album, that difficult cross over from the Dio medieval classic Rainbow, to the more contemporary Rainbow. A good album it is, but it was followed by a superb album in Difficult To Cure! What a great album that is & Don Airey is wonderful player. He is also on Sabbath’s Never Say Die album, & the first Blizzard of Ozz record.
    I remember reading an interview with him years ago & he stated his time touring with Jethro Tull in the late 80’s, was the most difficult & most challenging & most enjoyable live playing that he had ever been involved in! I was always disappointed that he didn’t become a full time member of Tull, many would have loved him being in that great band!

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    Ken @ 19 – Page, Iommi & Blackmore usually compose with the lead vocalist, excepting the odd instrumental & or cover song!
    Jimmy Page with Plant, Paul Rodgers & Coverdale! Tony Iommi with, well Geezer Butler is a bass player of course, but later on with R J Dio, Tony Martin & Hughes. Ritchie Blackmore with Gillan (Evans, Lord & Glover also), Coverdale, R J Dio, Joe Lynn Turner, Doogie White & his other half, Candice Night.

  29. 29
    Kenn says:

    Hi 19

    …is the point you are trying to make, that because they co-write they are not writers. I don’t understand the point of your posting, but good luck with copying album sleeves.

    Down To Earth and Difficult To Cure are decent albums, but there is better. Also the point Don Airey is a wonderful player. I’ve seen him play with Blackmore, Ozzy also Gary Moore, fortunately not considered Ian Gillan and the Yes Men. At best he is a good backing musian.

  30. 30
    MacGregor says:

    Kenn – If your comment at – 29 – is a response to my comment at – 28. It depends what the comment about Blackmore being a ‘complete writer’ means? I read it that ‘complete’ means entirely, or singularly. Maybe you didn’t mean that & I read into it differently.
    I was looking at it from a collaboration point of view, regarding those 3 guitar players & their songwriting. They are all wonderful composers, or should I say co- composers? It is only my take on it! But they all do most of their composing with other musicians, almost all of the time it would seem! But who can tell who really comes up with the songs, when we are not privy to that moment in time.
    I am not sure what the ‘good luck with copying album sleeves’ comment relates to? Also, Don Airey a good backing musician, sheeesh! He doesn’t come across as a backing musician from what I have seen & heard of him over the decades! Each to their own!

  31. 31
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Oh My Good Lord!!!

    Alvin Lee died!!!

    What a loss.

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