Happy Birthday: Ian Paice of Deep Purple

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Monday, June 29, 2015
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Happy Birthday: Ian Paice of Deep Purple

Turning 67 years old today: the only member of Deep Purple to have remained within the band's ranks since the very beginning…and given how many members have passed through Deep Purple over the years, that's a major testament to the man's dedication to the band he helped found way back in 1968.

Born in Nottingham, England in 1948, Ian Anderson Paice has been a professional drummer since the late 1950s, having gotten his first kit at age 15, after which he began playing in his father's dance band. From there, Paice bounced around a bit, handling the sticks for Georgie and the Rave-Ons (later known as The Shindigs) and The MI5 (later known as The Maze), but in 1968, he and fellow Maze member Rod Evans helped form the first lineup of Deep Purple, alongside Ritchie Blackmore, Nick Simper, and Jon Lord.

During the period from the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s when Deep Purple was on hiatus (or whatever you want to call it), Paice was - along with Tony Ashton and Jon Lord - part of the group Paice Ashton Lord, after which he joined Whitesnake for a time, which was followed by a stint with Gary Moore. When the Purple found their way back together again, Paice was right behind the kit again, as he'd always been…and, it seems, always will be. That doesn't mean that he hasn't worked outside the confines of the band, however: he's also done sessions with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Eddie Harris, Jim Capaldi, and -believe it or don't - William Shatner, who covered “Space Truckin'” for his 2011 album, Seeking Major Tom. (Let it never be said that Ian Paice doesn't have a sense of humor.)