Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ian Paice and R.A.I.N, Arba 03/08/2012

They say that the drummer is the “keeper of the beat”.  Well, a man who’s been keeping the drum beat since 1968 is certainly living proof of that statement as Ian Paice, the drummer of one of the all-time greatest rock bands (and an inspiration to other bands such as Metallica), Deep Purple, hit the stage with the group R.A.I.N., the Italian Deep Purple cover band, in the small town of Arba, Italy.  R.A.I.N. is the longest surviving D.P. cover band in Italy, going back to 1986.

At one point I also caught him dozing off as he was waiting for the opening band to finish with their set. I looked at him and said, “Good God, just how many concerts have you been to, played in and had to wait for on the side-stage”!  And to think that DP were also once holders of the Guinness World Record as the world’s LOUDEST band! 

The 64 year-old drummer, who kept the beat on a song that came out in 1972 and which has since then inspired millions and millions  of would-be guitarists around the world, “Smoke On The Water”, gave it his outstanding best in a two-hour free concert at the local summertime fete in Arba and with about 30° Celsius too!   The evening’s repertoire also included “Burn” (a song originally song by David Coverdale with D.P.), “Woman From Tokyo”, “Lazy”, “Highway Star”, “Fireball” (1971!) and even “Hush”!

Paice’s performance, on his legendary Pearl drum set, also included a tremendous solo (quite the spectacle for all young drum students out there).  And for a free concert Paice not only played a non-stop set but also didn’t give any inclination whatsoever that he WASN’T enjoying the evening either.

Somewhat exhausted, Paice did have the time though at the end of the show to spend a few words on his former colleague, keyboard player Jon Lord, who succumbed recently to a lengthy illness.  

He and his original band will be on tour at the end of the year and will also hit Russia, whose Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev just happens to be a great, great fan of Paice and Co.  And how can one NOT be when Paice has also played with the likes of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour together with Sir Paul McCartney in the musical DVD, “Live At The Cavern Club” (December 14, 1999)?  

Amazing rock history indeed in Arba, and at just a few meters away from you too!

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