Best known as the drummer of the English rock band Deep Purple, the English musician Ian Paice was born 29 June 1948. Since Jon Lord’s departure in 2002, he is the only continuous member of Deep Purple, and as such is the only member to appear on every album the band has released. Born in Nottingham, Ian Paice got his first drum kit at 15. He began his professional career in the late 50s playing drums in his father’s dance band. The first band he was in was called Georgie & the Rave-Ons, which after being renamed for The Shindigs released their first single featuring 17-year-old Ian Paice and George Adams. In 1966 Paice joined The MI5, which soon changed its name to The Maze and produced a number of singles, recorded mainly in Italy and France. The band featured Rod Evans, who alongside Paice was to form the original line-up of Deep Purple in February 1968. Ian Paice was also heavily involved in doing sessions for various artists from the stable of the famous 60s producer Derek Lawrence.
After Deep Purple split, Ian Paice went on to form a new supergroup, Paice Ashton Lord in 1976. The band, comprising also singer/pianist Tony Ashton, organist Jon Lord, guitarist/vocalist Bernie Marsden and bassist Paul Martinez recorded one album, Malice in Wonderland and they played only five live shows. It was put on hold in 1977, halfway through recording the group’s second album. They subsequently broke up. In August 1979, Ian Paice was asked by David Coverdale to join Whitesnake on the Japanese Tour for the Lovehunter album. He stayed with the band for almost three years. He appeared on the Whitesnake albums Ready an’ Willing (1980), Live…in the Heart of the City (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981) and Saints & Sinners (1982). This incarnation of Whitesnake also featured Jon Lord which meant three members of the Mark III line-up of Deep Purple were in Whitesnake. Following musical differences with David Coverdale, Ian Paice left Whitesnake in January 1982.
In November 1982 Ian Paice joined Gary Moore for an album date (“Corridors of Power”). It turned out so nicely that Moore’s manager came up with the idea of Moore and Paice putting a band together under Moore’s name, so that his management would take the business side of the project with Paice having a sizeable interest in the band. The collaboration turned out to be a successful one and produced a couple of albums and extensive tours. Ian Paice left Moore’s band in April 1984 to rejoin Deep Purple, and he remains in Deep Purple to the present day. In 1973 Ian Paice was among English rock musicians invited by Eddie Harris, an American jazz player, to take part in the saxophonist’s London sessions at Morgan Studios. Paice played on two songs: “He’s Island Man” and “I’ve Tried Everything” along Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech. The album called E.H. in the U.K. – The Eddie Harris London Sessions, produced by Geoffrey Haslam, was released the next year thru Atlantic Records.
In 1983 Ian Paice took part in one of the first tribute recordings by symphonic orchestra paid to a rock band. Arrested – The Music of Police was a joint venture by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Airey and assembled rock musicians (other artists involved included Neil Murray, Graham Bonnet, Chris Thompson, Gary Moore, Roy Wood, Keth Airey and Raff Ravenscroft to name a few). The sessions took place mainly in London, primarily at Abbey Road, but also in Los Angeles. In July 1989 Ian Paice took part in George Harrison’s recording session at Friar Park, which resulted in three songs “Cheer Down”, “Cockamamie Business” and “Poor Little Girl”, which also featured Jeff Lynne, Jim Horn and Richard Tandy among others. The songs were recorded for the compilation album Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989, released in October the same year. The purpose of this album was to close Harrison’s contractual obligations to Warner Brothers. “Cheer Down” was also released on the Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) soundtrack album.
In March 1999 Ian Paice joined Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios for the recording of Run Devil Run, released in October that year. The line-up also featured Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and The Pirates’ Mick Green. Paice also joined the album’s line-up at three one-off performances in September and December 1999, including a show at the famous Cavern Club. In 2001 Ian Paice guested Jim Capaldi’s album Living on the Outside. He plays on a 1960s style rock and roll song “Anna Julia” and guitar-driven “We’re Not Alone”. “Anna Julia”, which was also released as a single and turned out a considerable hit, also features George Harrison and Paul Weller. Ian Paice has worked on numerous occasions with former Spencer Davis Group drummer, Pete York. In December 2001 the two played a low key club tour of Germany, playing two drums on one stage, supported by Colin Hodgkinson (bass) and Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals). Apart from the regular setlist consisting of songs from York’s and Paice’s back catalogue, the shows featured impromptu drumming demonstrations and Q’s & A’s sessions.
Ian Paice often joins on stage Italian guitarist Tolo Marton, with whom he has performed on many occasions over the last decade. Marton’s live album Dal Vero (2002) features Ian Paice on Jimi Hendrix classics “Stone Free” and “Hey Joe”. Since 2005 he has also been involved in Moonstone Project led by Italian guitarist Matteo Filippini. The band performs on a regular basis mainly in Italy. They have also released two studio albums on both of which Ian Paice has guested. Time to Take a Stand (2006) featured two songs that featured both Ian Paice and Glenn Hughes, performing together for the first time since 1976. Ian Paice’s admirers includes Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith. On 21 June 2004 Smith and Paice joined forces at the launch of the London Drum Company. The next year they also played together at the Modern Drummer Festival at New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
In mid-2011 Paice took part in the all-star recording of William Shatner’s Seeking Major Tom, the actor’s fourth album, a collection of space-themed cover songs. Paice plays on a rendition of Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’” alongside Johnny Winter. The album also features former Deep Purple guitar player, Ritchie Blackmore. On 19 June 1992 Ian Paice was among guest musicians performing at the Leukaemia Research charity concert in Oxford. The concert featured members of Bad Company and Procol Harum as well as Gary Moore and Tony Ashton. On 20 October 1992 in New York, Ian Paice played at the John Bonham Tribute alongside Jason Bonham, Tommy Aldridge, Denny Carmassi, and Frankie Banali among others. Paice performed “The Rover” off the Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti. Ian Paice joined Tony Ashton at two performances at the Hell Blues Festival on 10 and 11 September 1999 in Norway. The band also featured Paul Martinez on bass who had played alongside Ashton and Paice in Paice Ashton Lord in 1976/1977. The group was, however, billed as Tony Ashton & Legendary Friends. Ian Paice entertained more than 1000 people at a special charity concert in Reading. This highly successful event, which raised over £7000, was organised by Chris Wright, MD of DrumWright. The show was organised in aid of Tong-Len, which supports primary education for highly deprived children in Northern India. In 2006 Ian Paice joined Don Airey, Thomas Blug and Thijs van Leer at impromptu performances held during the ProLight+Sound fair in Frankfurt, Germany. The show included songs from the highly acclaimed Billy Cobham album Spectrum as well as songs by Deep Purple and Focus.
Since 2006 Paice is also involved in The Sunflower Jam, a London-based charity founded by his wife Jacky Paice and also involving actor Jeremy Irons. Paice is usually featured as a member of the SunflowerJam house band. He has performed there with likes of Robert Plant, Brian May, John Paul Jones, Gary Moore and Bruce Dickinson. In2007 Ian Paice held a drum clinic organised by the University of Glamorgan. The show was organised in partnership with ATRiuM the University’s Cardiff School of Creative & Cultural Industries. Commenting after the show Paice said: “ATRiuM will be a great place for young musicians to learn their craft, not to mention all the other things they’ve got going on there. This drum clinic of mine will hopefully demonstrate that drummers are also musicians, despite the jokes!”. In 2008 Paice took part in the ChildLine Rocks charity concert in London, where he played with former Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes for the first time since 1976 and also participated in “Rock Legends Adventure” concert in Cologne, Germany. He joined an all-stars line-up featuring Pete York, Leland Sklar, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball and John Miles among others. Paice played on 10 of 32 songs performed that night, including The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”, The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Come Together”, Allman Brothers Band’s “One Way Out”, Steve Wonder’s “Superstition” and Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”.Ian Paice also appeared at the Pearl Day (Pearl drums event) at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, UK. Apart from Paice, guests included Jerry Brown, Mark Brzezecki, Jimmy Degrasso, Darrin Mooney, and Dan Foord.
In 2009 Ian Paice joined Neil Murray, Doogie White, Jonathan Noyce, Clive Bunker and Phil Hilborne at a “Night with Jethro Tull and Deep Purple” concert in Turin, Italy. In 2010 Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson joined leading actors (Gillian Anderson, Julie Christie, Sinéad Cusack, Emilia Fox, Derek Jacobi, Zoe Wanamaker, James Wilby, among others) to support Survival International at the Apollo Theatre in London for fundraising event “We are One – a celebration of tribal peoples”, created by actor Mark Rylance. In 2012 Ian Paice performed at the Buddy Rich 25th Anniversary Memorial Concert at the London Palladium. He was joined on stage by the Buddy Rich Orchestra and Bruce Dickinson. Paice also appeared at the Sunflower Jam charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, performing alongside guitarist Brian May of Queen, bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, and vocalists Bruce Dickinson and Alice Cooper.