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Don Airey in Sweden Rock Magazine

Don Airey is interviewed in the latest issue (01/2020) of Sweden Rock Magazine.

On Jon’s gear:

As soon as I joined [Deep Purple] officially, I started using my own gear. In the beginning I toured with the band because Jon was ill. I used Jon’s equipment then and realised it wasn’t in good shape. Everything was pretty worn down, the nuts were rusty and stuck to the cabinet and that sort of stuff, so I brought in my own equipment. Which introduced some problems. The keyboard tech asked, “What should I do with all my equipment?” I told him, “My advice would be to throw it in the river.” I would have wanted to keep the Hammond organ but it was in an woeful state. I had it repaired but it never got any good so I brought in my own A-100.

Where is Jon’s old Hammond now?
It’s in a warehouse waiting to be restored. Then Jon’s widow … I don’t know what she wants to do with it but she wants to do something. Maybe put it in a museum or something. What happened to the organ was that it fell to it’s death from a loading bay in Russia, ha ha! It was a six meter fall and that was pretty much the end for it.

On Ritchie:

Ritchie is probably the person I have met who is the most unsure of his own capacity. That is so strange. I read a biography about Woody Allen. The man is a brilliant comedian, a brilliant director, but he never gives himself a second of relief. He always tried to outshine himself, changing things in the last minute. Those thoughts gnaw on you all the time. The last thing on your mind is that you are good.

On “difficult” musicians:

The other day someone asked me what is the worst about the music business and I reply, “What do you think?” He said, “Travelling, getting along?” I said, “No, the hardest thing about the music business is music.” If you want to be in the music business, you have to create music and that can be very hard, and very demanding. If you then are surrounded by people who don’t have that ability, but you still have to be around, you can become a bit difficult. That is something people don’t talk about. If you are in the rehearsal room with Ritchie Blackmore you better be alert, have your chops ready and be prepared to just go along. Same thing with Gary Moore. They don’t suffer fools gladly, as the saying goes.

On Abba:

I remember doing a soundcheck [with Rainbow] in Gothenburg. It was only me and Cozy and we played “All my love” by Led Zeppelin. In front of a Russian ice dancing team! It was their day off but they all came to listen, everyone in their big fur hats. There they were and we played for them. Then, all of a sudden, Agnetha Fältskog walks into the arena. We stopped playing and the Russians stood like they were frozen. Her beauty was astounding. I think she was there for a meeting about a solo album she were about to do and she wanted Ritchie to play on it. But I don’t think that ever happened.



5 Comments to “Don Airey in Sweden Rock Magazine”:

  1. 1
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    Would have loved to have heard an album with Agnetha & Ritchie… perhaps a different kind of Blackmore’s Night?…
    Blackmore’s Fältskog!. 🎸👦🎤👱🎵🎶🔊🎉🎊🌐

  2. 2
    Krister Adolfsson says:

    Interesting things discussed in the interview….
    Really what a pity the collaboration between Ritchie and Agneta never happened……..well, not yet anyway 😉

  3. 3
    Mathias says:

    It’s a shame what happened to Jon’s Hammond C3. Let’s hope they can restore it somehow.
    Would be interesting to get someone to document all the modifications it got/had over the years.
    As far as I recall it had quite some.

  4. 4
    nupsi59 says:

    Jon Lord’s Hammond is a musical icon like Rory Gallagher’s old Fender guitar. Hope it can be restored.

    Have a nice Day!

  5. 5
    Staffan says:

    One song on Agnethas album “Wrap your arms around me”, the one called “Once burned twice shy” sound like Ritchie on guitar. Not impossible since he is av huge Abba fan. The guitar is in the style that Ritchie sounded around that time, 1983.
    No cred on the album though but that can depend on contractual issues. Just speculations.

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