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Don’t panic

At the yesterday (March 14) show in Mexico, Deep Purple performed with Jordan Rudess on the keyboards. Don Airey could not make it to the gig “for reasons that have not been disclosed”. This leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but it’s not the time to panic. Not yet, anyway. It could be for a number of reasons — for one, international travel is severely disrupted at the moment.

Rudess is one of the best keyboard players on this planet and his day job is with the prog metal phenomena that is known as Dream Theater. He’s not a newbie to the Purple family either, having had a stint with Dixie Dregs in the 90s.

[Update] Mike Airey posted on his Instagram:

Due to my dad currently being in hospital awaiting an operation, @jcrudess from @dreamtheaterofficial stepped up to the plate here in Mexico and did an amazing job of covering the keys position. I looked after #rogerglover and as such switched from stage left to right. A very different perspective and sound! Show went great. Crowd loved it. Hope to have dad behind the organ in no time!

Thanks to Blabbermouth for the info and to Nigel Young for the update.



29 Comments to “Don’t panic”:

  1. 1
    Ian Clements says:

    Dons son Mike says bad is in hospital and should be back soon .

  2. 2
    Alexis Ximenez says:

    lei por algun lado que Don AIrey se tenia que operar

  3. 3
    Sal Grisaffi says:

    Big News.

  4. 4
    Bo Olsson says:

    And Dream Theater have performed the whole album Made in Japan live, so this isn’t the first time for those songs. I’ve got a bootleg.

  5. 5
    Keith Palmer says:

    Is there any update on whether the European tour will go ahead? I have tickets for Colmar in France, travelling from Australia …. but this is getting more difficult by the day.

  6. 6
    Mark Sheehan says:

    Deep Theatre? Dream Purple?

  7. 7
    nupsi59 says:

    “It’s so easy to play with this band” (Joe Satriani)
    Jordan Rudess is GREAT, and DREAM THEATER are GREAT!
    In the Time of CORONA-VIRUS don’t panic, stay at home

    and have a nice Day!

  8. 8
    Thom Krause says:

    A great player 🎹

  9. 9
    Matti Alakulju says:

    Even if Jordan Rudess was not familiar with the Purple stuff, he would probably learn the whole back catalogue in about half an hour. He really is a fantastic player.
    By the way, Dream Theater’s version of Made In Japan was released as an ”official bootleg” via Mike Portnoy’s website at the time. I suppose it is now out of print.

  10. 10
    Jørn Vegard Nybakken Johnsen says:

    Panic? I’m seriously sick of that B3-catscreaming of Airey I won’t Even concider going to se them anymore. They could do with a fresh approach. Dare I pray for Steve to follow shortly…?

  11. 11
    Tommy H. says:

    Get well soon and good luck, Don!

  12. 12
    HardRockPete says:

    So cool😎 Who wouldn’t sit in with Purple? Hope Don will be back soon👍

  13. 13
    Dennis Willoughby says:

    Jon lord what a classic keyboard player could play anything on anything what a genius never be another makes airey look like an amateur

  14. 14
    ANDRÉ BARROSO says:

    Wonderfull

  15. 15
    Marcus says:

    Hope Don made it before they started cancelling non critical operations.
    Get well soon
    And everyone else stay safe.

  16. 16
    Nathan Croft says:

    Jordan Rudess is a monster player. I reckon he’d make a better fist of taking on Jon Lord than Don Airey.

  17. 17
    maurane says:

    deep purple existe encore?

  18. 18
    MacGregor says:

    @ 16 – I doubt it, no doubt Rudess is a very good player, but Airey is old school, enough said there. Cheers.

  19. 19
    Ricrae says:

    The Don issue notwithstanding this is not how I want to remember DP. A lifelong fan from 1970 and as a drummer a huge fan of Paicey. I’ve never seen him play with so little energy or drive. And on a slimmed down kit as well. Can’t hear the vocals that well but Gillan clearly struggling big time. Shame. Time to stop I feel.

  20. 20
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Don Airey an amateur? Clean your ears. ; – )

    Jon Lord was a lovely man and musician, with huge musical feel and a crucial contribution to what Purple was, but technically Don can play circles around him (on piano und organ) and I’m sure Jon would agree. It’s not really the point though …

    Jon’s major contribution to DP were not his flashy solos, not his songwriting, but his idiosyncratic groove as a Hammond player. He was to DP what Keith Richards’ rhythm Guitar groove is to the Rolling Stones.

    That groove is gone, Don has a different one and put his own stamp on Purple’s sound.

  21. 21
    Mona says:

    Strength to Don

  22. 22
    Feller Housi says:

    Best ever

  23. 23
    Brian Cantwell says:

    Errr!…why are the gigs still on?…global pandemic…makes no sense.

  24. 24
    RB says:

    @20 Sorry Uwe, but that’s not the case. I’ve a friend who has played with both and he said Jon was definitely a level above Don. Jon was just as proficient technically as Don, but he had charisma and stage presence, which Don sadly lacks. I recently read a piece about Steve, and he apparently had a real problem with Don’s playing when he replaced Jon. He didn’t go into every detail but he said it was as if Jon was telepathic musically. Jon was a humble man, but there’s a reason he was part of the three best and most influential keyboardists of all time, because he had amazing chops, and you’re the first person I’ve known to say that wasn’t the case.

  25. 25
    RB says:

    However, I certainly wouldn’t call Don an amateur, he’s a very good player and fits the band well.

  26. 26
    Marcus says:

    On Don’s website the first gig listed is 24/6 in Germany.

    Not sure if this means that the earlier gigs are now cancelled, or if Don will not be out of hospital or simply a snau on his site.

    Whatever, I like his playing – though he is not and never will be or could ever be Jon.
    And Steve is not and never will be or could ever be Ritchie.

    But Purple is and will always remain Purple.

  27. 27
    James Gemmell says:

    An absolute disgrace. The world is in the throes of a global pandemic and Ian Gillan’s got them touring and spreading the virus? If nothing else, very poor taste.

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    RB @ 24 – I recall a 1990’s interview with Morse where he said playing with Jon Lord was a major reason he joined the band. Lord is his favourite keyboard player. That & the fact Purple were a big influence in his younger days & also that he wouldn’t have to lug his own equipment anymore.
    Cheers.

  29. 29
    Micke says:

    @ 27 Ian Gillan did it all by himself..? really…

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