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Big tourist in the mornings

Don Airey, Keyed Up promo, photo: Paul Bergen

Apparently, Deep Purple’s visit to India is making a splash in the local press. This time, Don Airey was interviewed by the Hindustan Times:

Speaking to us about the current popular music, keyboardist Don Airey shares, “It’s slightly annoying. You listen to an artiste like Taylor Swift and it’s all about spamming; it never stops! There’s no ups or downs, there’s no contrasts. It’s all just compressed and full-on.” Ask if he has a favourite artist from the current crop of musicians and he says, “I really like Billie Eilish, she writes some wonderful songs.”

Read more of Don’s thoughts in the Hindustan Times.

35 Comments to “Big tourist in the mornings”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    Steady on there Don that is TAYLOR you are talking about. The new Messiah, people throwing themselves at her, camping out all night on the streets just to buy a ticket, collapsing in the front rows etc. The strange thing is I do agree with Don though, fancy that. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Gregster says:


    Not a bad interview really, short & sweet ! And it appears Don likes the Who’s “Who’s Next / Life House” project, at least in the form of the gift that he received last visit !…

    Perhaps the over-compression on Taylor Swifts new albums is to aid the original issues sales on the 2nd-hand-markets ???…Not likely…Still, she must protect her ASSets, & if that means a little more hands-on-compression, so-be-it.

    I agree with Don stating that today’s music not being very good at all, but that’s what happens when people chase the $$$, by simply trying to out-do the other guy & his rap-crap or what ever…That said, it’s also a revelation of what the public purchases & so listens to…

    The sure-fix for this starts within schools, & having music as a subject, along with a school band for students to play in. After a few decades, you’ll find the music improving once again.

    More DP on the menu please !

    Peace !

  3. 3
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “The band is slated to perform some of their hits like Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Soldier of Fortune, Perfect Strangers and more.”

    Ah, good to hear that Big Ian has finally relented and will be performing Mk III material! Worth a trip to India certainly, doesn’t happen often.

    Naw, I’m nitpicking, nice to read something of DP in one of India’s top news media (the other one is The Times of India).

  4. 4
    George Martin says:

    In the article it says ” The band is slated to perform some of their hits like Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Soldier of Fortune, Perfect Strangers and more”. I had to laugh, I’d bet my last dollar there’s no chance in the world they would play Soldier of Fortune. I think they meant to say Hush.

  5. 5
    Jean says:

    Well then, I’m very much looking forward hearing Gillan sing Soldier of Fortune… 🤣🤣
    Or wait… did i miss something in this timeline? They swapped singers, took Coverdale in and Gillan will be performing In the Still of the Night somewhere else?

  6. 6
    Mathias says:

    “The band is slated to perform some of their hits like Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Soldier of Fortune, Perfect Strangers and more.”
    SoF – that would be quite something 🤣

  7. 7
    Rob says:

    Wow! Article says they will play Soldier of Fortune! Any other suggestions for unlikely inclusions? I reckon McBride’s Don’t Dare with Gillan on the Ulster accent is being planned…

  8. 8
    Max says:

    I sure do hope someone told IG the news and will record that version of Soldier of Fortune … Can’t wait.

  9. 9
    Friedhelm says:

    What a pity that I don’t live in India. I really would like to see the current band playing “Soldier of Fortune” … 🙂 Ok. They write hits “like” SoF. But to be earnest: How different the characters of the DP members are. Paicey has been around the world 20 times and he saw nothing, Don gets up early in the morning and visits some museums or so …

  10. 10
    Rick says:

    (The band is slated to perform some of their hits like Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Soldier of Fortune, Perfect Strangers and more.)

    I’ll guess Soldier of Fortune probably won’t be played, but hey, ya never know.

    And yes, “God himself is a musical note” is indeed very profound. Nice interview, hope Don enjoys the sites.

  11. 11
    G.S. says:

    Quote from the article (the writer, not Don): “The band is slated to perform some of their hits like Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Soldier of Fortune, Perfect Strangers and more.”

    “Soldier Of Fortune”, really !?

  12. 12
    Daniel says:

    Is he describing his own solo spot? 🙂

  13. 13
    Georgivs says:

    I’m not surprised one little bit about the SoF. I guess Paicey had a serious word with the rest of the band. He must have made a point that the song is a high point of DP career commercially and artistically. He was there recording it, and he wants to make sure people hear the song live and, especially, his amazing drum part. After such reasoning, I can’t imagine Gillan to have said ‘no’. Can you?

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The fact that they mentioned it at all shows just how popular “SoF” is in Asia:


    Jon played it a the gig in Seoul in 1995 at the recommendation of the promoter because of the song’s popularity there (at 03:33), you can hear the recognition cheers in the audience and they sing along towards the end.

    Same gig where they also did a very nice version of CiT (minus the ultrahigh parts) with Steve:


    As for Ian Gillan’s voice singing one day over SoF, have no worries, the blessings of AI already have Bon Scott rather than Brian Johnson singing Back In Black:


    It can’t be long until an AI replica of Ian’s voice follows suit.

  15. 15
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Reality has caught up with me, the Indians knew more than we do!!!


    It’s not yet really a close ‘impersonation’ (by a machine!), but over time people will be getting there I’m sure, it’s already reminiscent of perhaps a very young Gillan in places. You get the gist.

    For fairness’ sake, here’s the real David Coverdale ad libbing CiT as he sometimes would with Mk III:


  16. 16
    MacGregor says:

    What about the other article: guitarist Roger Glover, bassist Simon McBride & Don Airey on drums. Oh & the intro ‘the psychedelic rock group’ & maybe they noticed the MK3 logo of DP at some stage & presumed it encompasses one & all. Good humour though. You cannot deny their admiration or sensationalism for a good story. Covering anything from H(B)ollywood, to fashion to food to lifestyle to entertainment etc. Cheers.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    I forgot the ‘ vocalists Ian Gillan & Ian Paice’, go Paicey & who would have thought that. Maybe he is a closet vocalist after all. Cheers.


  18. 18
    Premdio says:

    No way is Gillan gonna sing mk III material. Just that Mr Aayushi Parekh didn’t do a detailed research on the band history. Having seen both DP concerts in bengaluru, it will still be something to see with the new banjo player.

  19. 19
    Gregster says:


    This may be what Don is referring to, enjoy !


    Peace !

  20. 20
    Jim Sheridan says:

    For what it’s worth, I would absolutely love to hear Ian sing “Soldier of Fortune.” I certainly love “Wasted Sunsets,” and it would be in the same vein.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The explanation for the over-compression of music like Fräulein Swift’s is easily explained: 95% of her fans hear her songs via earbuds, simple as that. The music is produced to sound great (= massive) on those just as Stereo mixes of records became de rigueur by the mid to late 60ies to sound good over the ever more available stereo systems as opposed to over a mono radio. The music’s sound followed the appliance and by the same token created demand for it. Such is the beauty of capitalism.

  22. 22
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “God himself is a musical note …”

    So is the other guy!




  23. 23
    MaxGregor says:

    The Moody Blues ‘In Search of the Lost Chord’ is a classic, although they also dabbled in LSD. Did they find the ‘lost’ chord, probably not but it was most likely enjoyable for a while trying to. @ 2 – “The sure-fix for this starts within schools, & having music as a subject, along with a school band for students to play in. After a few decades, you’ll find the music improving once again”. Excellent comment & so true, also getting a piano back into every house, well almost every house use to have one it seemed all those years ago. Music was everywhere & the fascination of it all. It has changed it’s appearance these days, some of it at least has. Thankfully the traditional aspects to music are still there & people are still playing instruments etc from ages gone by. Well who knows, after we have cast off our mortal coils things may change for the better. Maybe it is our generation that ‘ruined’ everything with rock ‘n roll & as soon as we are all gone they can kick the machine back into action ha ha ha. Those pesky rockers did it! But then again maybe it isn’t meant to, evolution eh & who knows where it is all heading. Everything is related to time as we know & today so many do not have the time, for whatever reason to stop & learn & listen etc. That takes too long etc etc, the ‘I want it now mentality’! It will all be like a nano second or blimp in time when looking back, as everything is in the grand scheme of things. A bit like one of those notes on that Black Sabbath chart that Uwe sent a link to. Someone will hear it & say ‘what was that, go back & try to find it again, what was that? Cheers.

  24. 24
    Frater Amorifer says:

    Hey, it’s great to hear that our Indian brethren get to see DP. BUT: I don’t know if anyone is keeping track, but it seems like in the last few years they’ve been everywhere in the world, EXCEPT the western US! Hey, DP! Come back to California!!!

  25. 25
    Gregster says:

    @21 Leiber Uwe said…

    qt.”The explanation for the over-compression of music like Fräulein Swift’s is easily explained: 95% of her fans hear her songs via earbuds, simple as that”…

    That’s possible, but that leaves several “holes” that would need to be filled for other mediums…Generally speaking, the aim is to produce a sound / product that sounds good through every medium.

    The answer here is not an easy one to determine, as one has to know what the source of the sound actually is, & then the process it’s actually played through. Here are some variables…

    * CD
    * LP
    * Tape
    * Stereo system & type, & settings.
    * Home theatre systems & settings.
    * Computer, & Windows or Apple have inbuilt further compression standards that can be turned on or off, & generally they are turned on, & need to be turned off.
    * i-phone, as above with computer.
    * The above 2 devices also have set-points for when head-phones / buds are used so as to save your hearing, such that when maximum volume levels are reached, compression is added as you dial-in more volume, to save you from going deaf. So the music sounds louder, but actually isn’t pushing out more db’s. Quality buds & headphones have this inbuilt too, once voltages / signal levels reach beyond the set-points.
    * Digital formats such as MP3, Wav, Flac etc,etc, are less critical in sound reproduction, since whatever the compression used, the player has to decompress the bytes/files once again to play the music. These formats are only used to save hard-drive space, & generally speaking, the larger the file-size, the less chance of digital degradation over time. So this is file-size-compression, NOT music reproduction / sound compression, as some folks fail to grasp. It is complicated however.

    There’s a preset on all computers & likely i-phones too that has compression installed & operating to keep the sound-levels equalized song-to-song…This means softer songs may come-on / play louder, & louder songs play softer to keep them even in volume.

    As a tell-tale, you often hear this compression / volume equalization if there’s say an acoustic guitar intro, that’s clear & loud, & when the band thumps in, it seems quieter.

    One only needs to turn off these presets to get back to normal mode listening. There are other settings too that need to be checked for operation, such as bass-effects, WOW effects, theatre effects & EQ presets that need to be removed / turned off to get the purest sound possible. And it’s worth checking, since most by default are activated, so turn these off for purest & arguably best sound possible, as engineered & mastered by the pro’s.

    Finally, programs such as “Pro-Tools” in the early 2000’s seemed to be over-compressing recordings, to get maximum volume without distortion from the music recorded. Lots of people complained about this, & it’s generally called “brick-walling”…It’s possible that Taylor’s new rerecorded stuff has been “brick-walled”, but I’m not the one that’s going to determine that & waste money & time. Besides, I’ve got “A Band On” playing that will be followed up with “Bananas” LOL ! Much better music to have on !

    Peace !

  26. 26
    Frater Amorifer says:

    Since Big Ian occasionally does a Mk. I song, he should do a couple more. I’d love to hear him do “Why Didn’t Rosemary” or “The Painter”.

  27. 27
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Who is this Max(!)Gregor @23? Is there an impersonator amongst us I cry?!


    Death to all false marsupials!

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    I was hoping to sneak in a few points without anyone knowing who it was, he he he. Maybe a new pseudonym is in order, but then again my waffling’s that do go on may yet still be detected. Oh well it was a worth try & now I had better get back to the drawing board, again. Cheers.

  29. 29
    Rock Voorne says:

    Mmmhhhhhh, I seem to recall some one saying Paicey wasnt supposed to be on SoF.

    Ritchie originally designed/wanted it as a duet with DC?

  30. 30
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Nope, Paice wasn’t overjoyed playing it, because he found that there was very little he could do with it as a drummer. That again bothered Ritchie. Around the recording of Stormbringer, Paicey had been bitten by the funk flea that Glenn had brought.

    Happens all the time: Paul Weller has said that The Jam’s drummer Rick Buckler would always complain if he brought a ballad: “Those aren’t drummers’ songs!” Weller found it restricting to “have to write so everyone has something to do”. It was one of the reasons that led to the demise of The Jam.

  31. 31
    MacGregor says:

    A strange one that, a musician thinking they ‘have to’ contribute something even if they cannot see why. I suppose it is being a ‘team’ player of sorts, however leaving it out is often not a bad thing in the end. Less is more etc. Bill Bruford was given a writing credit (it may have been a joke, who can tell) for instigating a no drumming or percussion take on a 1974 King Crimson song. He simply didn’t think it needed any & after much deliberation the others agreed & it worked out really well. So yes indeed, who wants what & musical differences is the saying isn’t it? A common issue with composition & recording etc. Cheers.

  32. 32
    Georgivs says:

    @30 (and referring to @31’s point, too)

    I think Herr Udo has seen how percussionists in the classic ensembles play. They may play like five or ten notes through the whole show, but those would be exactly the notes that are needed for the coherence of the composition.

    I think Paicey has been exposed to a lot of music since 1974 and been influenced by much more than just hard rock and funk. So, he knows it perfectly that less may be more and he might have reconsidered his position on playing SoF.

    Even if big Ian refuses to sing it, I say: bring it on! Do an instrumental. That would be absolutely awesome!

  33. 33
    MacGregor says:

    Quite ironic on the same day I commented re ‘no drumming required’ I heard a ‘new’ ELP song that was left off the original Tarkus album from 1971. The song is a Greg Lake classic ballad, an ode to his late father titled Oh My Father. And guess what, Carl Palmer is meandering about all over it, why did he do any drumming at all? A few other listeners commented the same on the tube regarding that, leave it out, it is a ballad & some ballads do not require those sort of things added on. Some work out ok though so it does depend on the feel of the song. It probably is the fact that the band is a rock band, so we have to have drums as well as everything else, I don’t know. In regards to Soldier of Fortune I have aways liked the way the drums come in & keep it simple, a nice touch & it works to my ears on that song. Each to their own. Cheers.

  34. 34
    Georgivs says:


    Truth be told, there’s a bit too much of Carl even on Lucky Man.

  35. 35
    Uwe Hornung says:

    A lot of drummers have a hard time drumming a ballad well, but I personally thought that Little Ian was always rather good at it, even in his early days. He had that Ringo/Ginger Baker feel for it. And of course he was a Bobby Elliott fan who as the Hollies drummer did his fair share of ballads.




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