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

A genius at keyboard

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

Don Airey was interviewed by Classic Rock Revisited. he talked about Now What?!, Bob Ezrin, the spirit of Jon Lord, Wurlitzers, and the great guitar players he worked with.

Don Airey had the seemingly impossible task of replacing the amazing Jon Lord when he joined Deep Purple eleven years ago. To say he’s done okay is a huge understatement. While he had been with the band for over a decade, he is still considered the ‘new guy’ in the group.

Iconic producer Bob Ezrin, who was brought into to lead the charge for Deep Purple’s latest album Now What?! had this to say about working with Airey, “I was most impressed with Don Airey, who I had never worked with before and I didn’t know. He is one of the best keyboard players I have ever seen in my life. He is beyond amazing; he’s a genius.”

His bandmate and other DP newbie, twenty year member Steve Morse, also had praise for Airey, “Between Jon Lord and Don Airey I have really been blessed to work with two of the very best rock keyboardists in history.” Stalwart Roger Glover, who has been with Purple since 1969, added this “It is very difficult with Don Airey and Steve Morse, who are such great musicians, to play anything simple. They come up with ideas that I would have never thought of.”

Continue reading in Classic Rock Revisited

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info.

20 Comments to “A genius at keyboard”:

  1. 1
    podzilla says:

    Well, that record is awesome. And if someone stands out, it is Don Airey. The production is wow ..
    Gillan wow …
    Paice, always wow …
    Glover, super wow …
    Morse, is somehow hunting himself from track to track, mega wow …
    But Airey, he is fuckin’ double-wow !!!
    This album is dedicated to Jon Lord and that’s what he puts he into to the whole record, dominant all over the place, amazing.
    It is a real pleasure to hear this piece of art, all the time. Amazing, Sir Jon Lord would be proud of it. This is rock’n’roll, this is Deep Purple, it is overwhelming. End of. Fantastic. Pure pleasure. Wow.

    And Don Airey –> Double-Wow …

    Cheers from Vienna


  2. 2
    David Naber says:

    don airey saw him in the rainbow band awesome key him & david were great

  3. 3
    al says:

    Great musician,great guy,great interview.They are making a video for “Vincent Price “.Deep Purple doesn’t make videos,so I really want to see this and looking forward to it.I hope it is not done in a cheap way ! lol

  4. 4
    Thomas Pettersson says:

    Outstanding keyboardplayer!

  5. 5
    Michele Teso says:

    He’e a great keyboard man but he’s not been able to leave the same mark as Jon Lord…

  6. 6
    oleg says:

    Rainboe’s “Eyes Of The Word”‘ solo , Ozzy’s “Mister Crowly” intro just few examles of such great musician !
    And of course his fantastic job with DP!

  7. 7
    Jens Meier says:

    … I like his nervous, angry Hammond … Don is Don … not Jon … and that’s good!

  8. 8
    cyclone says:

    no doubt underrated keyboard player. same as axeman Steve M. both playing under the shadows of the best in JL and RB. They did not fold under the pressure of critics or the fans…. good job.

  9. 9
    Xavier says:

    -one thing that Jon Lord and Don Airey have in common is humility. this is a rare trait in the world of rock or music in general. Don came into the band that had giants towering in the land of highway stars. nevertheless, he has found himself in a round about way in this album. it does not take a purple fan to see his admiration and respect for Jon, and we could not asked for someone better to carry on Jon’s spirit and dept. Shine on Don! the “Sun Goes Down and the Moon comes up…”

  10. 10
    al says:

    @5 there we go with the comparisons !

  11. 11
    Finn says:

    5 – Nobody can beat Jon Lord, but Don is VERY close.

  12. 12
    Dave U says:

    Don really is something else. It can be said before even hearing the new album, but listening to what he offered in Colosseum II. It’s hard to believe he helped the late, great Gary Moore become the musician he did.

  13. 13
    Andre says:

    #5 I am really bored with all this comparison things. Why don’t you just sit down and enjoy the new album, rather than making reviews about who is the 1st and the 2nd???

  14. 14
    GB says:

    Don is very good, but knowing someone who has played with both him and Jon I’m afraid Don isn’t in the same league.

  15. 15
    Jack says:

    Airey is a genius!!! Different from Lordy, but equal exciting!!! Hope Deep Purple´s new album to be a smash!!! It has to be!!!

  16. 16
    Peed Rupple says:

    There is no ranking or best when discussing artists in the league of Airey and Lord. Either you like them or you don’t.

  17. 17
    cyclone says:

    @16 you mean….you like ’em or you really.. really.. really like ’em : )

  18. 18
    Martin says:

    The whole album is a fitting tribute to Jon Lord. Paicey has his own inimmitable style, Roger Glover’s bass is immense all through, Big Ian has thrown back the years, Steve Morse is playing rock and not blues, and Don Airey has made this his own dedication to the great man’s memory! I absolutely adore the intro to ‘Uncommon Man’ and the whole track is Deep Purple back to their majestic best!

  19. 19
    purplepriest1965 says:

    The whole album is more a tribute to Keith Emerson.

    The great solo in HTT, the only good part IMHO, is taken from Mandrake Root.
    And Jon took it off a NICE track.

    And what to think of this :


  20. 20
    Tracy(Zero the Hero)Heyder says:

    Good old Ritchie, the Riff thief….


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
© 1993-2024 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star