Donald Smith Airey, better known as Don Airey (Sunderland, June 21, 1948) is an English keyboard player and an important name on the British heavy metal and hard rock scene since the 1970s.
Airey has worked with bands and artists such as Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, Colosseum II, Sinner, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Rainbow, Ten, Divlje jagode, Living Loud, and theatrical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, among many others. Airey is also a composer and arranger; In addition, he is about to embark on a new chapter in his solo career with the release of his one hundred and twenty-second album, A Light in the Sky. Deep Purple retreat.
He was born in Sunderland, northeast England, in 1948, and inspired by his father, Norman Airey, he developed a love of music at an early age and learned to play the classical piano when he was seven years old. He supplemented his musical education with an MA from the University of Nottingham and a BA from the Royal Northern College of Music.
He moved to London in 1974, and entered the world of rock at the hands of Cozy Powell and his band C.P. Hammer, which he had scheduled to tour for a year. When this one was over, he moved on to a more "esoteric" level with a fusion band.
Three albums followed this project: Strange New Flesh, Electric Savage, and a collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber, which landed him on the charts with Variations. In 1977 Airey participated in the first formation of Gary Moore's band alone, with the album Back on the streets, composing the arrangements for the theme Biscayne Blues, which Phil Lynott's lyrics turned into Parisienne Walkaways, a Topten in all the world.
When Colosseum II broke up in 1978, he became part of Black Sabbath, making his debut on the album Never Say Die!, shortly before becoming a member of Rainbow with his friend Cozy, where he participated in albums such as Down to Earth or Difficult to cure, with hits like I Surrender or Since You've been Gone that occupy three years of his personal life.
He took a break to later participate in the album that would open Ozzy Osbourne's solo career: Blizzard of Ozz. On this album, his contribution is vital for it to be heard on American radio stations, and finally concludes the Rainbow tour, from where he left in 1981 to form a stable part of Ozzy Osbourne's band for three years (until Bark at the Moon).
He returned to the UK in 1985, and was in a number of bands (including Gary Moore's where this interview is from, and Bernnie Marsden's ALASKA) before returning to Vancouver to add his keyboards to an album that became one of the best sellers in rock history: Whitesnake's 1987. Once this chapter is over, Don travels again in 1987 with Jethro Tull on a tour of the US and Europe.
A new project in 1988, after collaborating with Eddie Clark and his FASTWAY together with Neil Murray and a new band on the MCA label, together with Gary Moore, Cozy Powell, Chris Tomphson and Colin Blunstone, he created K2 and recorded a job that he saw the light in 1989 in a limited way in Japan and Germany only, and served as a bridge to the keyboardist before returning to Whitesnake and creating Slip of the Tongue, to, shortly after, participate in the rehearsals of the new facet of Gary Moore and his wave more blues, creating the best-selling blues album in history: Still got the blues, which contained three hit-singles: King of the Blues, Still Got the Blues and Walking by Myself, whose presentation tour took him for a whole year.
Between 1991 and 1997, he created Don Airey Music, a "music factory", making soundtracks, commercials and tunes of all kinds, and collaborating sporadically with artists such as Brian May, Cozy Powell, Tony Iommi, Katrina and