My Ian Paice Knowledge Finally Comes To Fruition
It was back in 2010 that Stephen Clare tracked me down from an article I wrote about an Ian Paice drum clinic I’d helped to promote to ask me if I’d care to write some words about Paice’s playing and general style for a potential book. There was no release date, but it was going to go through the Deep Purple fan club channels and officially sanctioned by the band members and my knowledge would be greatly appreciated on the analysis of his playing on the ‘In Rock’ album.
Well, “Why not?” I thought; it would be nice to get into print again on hard copy (everything is just so digital these days) so set to work with an appraisal of the man’s work on this classic album.
Not my favourite Deep Purple album, but revisiting it once again, revealed how much Ian Paice has been to an extent overlooked, in the 30+ years rippling wake of John Bonham’s death. If you listen to any of Paice’s work, he shows himself as an absolutely astounding, musical drummer, easily on a par with his Midland’s contemporary. The fact is, both guys were cut from the same musical cloth, but it may just be the case that Bonham got a slightly bigger slice of the legend cake when it came to bands. Maybe the line-up changes endured by Deep Purple proved too divisive, whereas Zeppelin managed to keep their fall-outs under the tight wrap of Peter Grant. Either way, my personal opinion is that I don’t think that Ian Paice is lauded enough – and that’s coming from Bonham disciple.
Truth be known, I got into Paice before Bonham, so both men must be accountable for shaping my early drumming physiology.
Ian Paice grew up listening to the same music as John Bonham, due to the limited access to vinyl at the time and both drummers were pretty much self-taught. Both relied heavily on Big-Band licks they’d picked up from Buddy Rich/Gene Krupa recordings (Paice gaining exposure via his father’s dance band), both had big, phat, swinging grooves and both had the ability to solo ferociously like 1940’s showmen.
When John Bonham died and Zeppelin called it a day, Paice was still extremely active on the A-List Rock circuit. Deep Purple had finished in 1975, but Bonham’s premature death seemed to signal the death knell for the classic British Blues-Rock based bands of the 70’s. Although still working, Paice had almost been forgotten by the end of the 1980’s and into the 90’s when the Olympic drum-slingers really started to take hold. The Bonham legend had set a foothold in the psyche of drummers, but in my opinion, there was never enough being talked about Ian Paice. Hence, when the opportunity to share my critical appraisal of the man appeared out of the blue, I didn’t hesitate (much) to offer my contribution.
Initially, with all my Bonham-worshipping, my short-lived reservations were that I may not be able to do Paice justice. Once I got into the job however, it was very easy. The man’s drumming did all the talking and I was reminded what was so good about being an impressionable 14 year old wannabe drum God, back in my schooldays. This was my chance to do the man justice in a book people can actually hold, put on a shelf and be forever in the archives of the British Library.
With a little bit of help from Bill Ludwig III, I was able to obtain the exact drum setup used during the recording of ‘In Rock’ and judging by the rest of the content in the book, the research on other band members instruments has been kept to the same high benchmark. If you are a Deep Purple fan, this is a book you shouldn’t think twice about buying; it really is a gem and a true labour of love from Simon Robinson & Stephen Clare that I am proud to be associated with.