Don Airey took over for the legendary Jon Lord in Deep Purple when the elder Lord decided to retire from the band. Airey is Heavy Metal’s best known keyboard player. In a genre based on the electric guitar, Deep Purple’s love affair with the keyboard is well-documented, but it was Airey that brought the instrument to new heights when he wrote and performed the opening to "Mr. Crowley" on Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Oz. Now, after two decades, Airey has released his second solo album, an ode to the universe titled A Light in the Sky.
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Free was a learning experience for the young Paul Rodgers. Now in his mid-20s, he was already a veteran in the music business. Rodgers put a band together called Peace and toured the U.K. with Mott The Hoople. He struck up a friendship with Mick Ralphs, and they began writing together. The rest, as they say, is history.