Don Airey Addresses Deep Purple’s Retirement Plans

During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey talked about the band’s retirement plans, implying they might do a lap of honor.

Deep Purple was expected to bid farewell to the music scene with a farewell tour named ‘The Long Goodbye Tour’ in 2017. However, the band members later revealed that they were not sure this would be the end of Deep Purple. During the lockdown, they also kept working and released two albums titled ‘Whoosh!’ and ‘Turning To Crime.’

In his recent conversation, Deep Purple’s keyboardist Don Airey talked about whether the band is planning to finish the farewell tour. As a response, he stated that the tour was due to end in 2019, but it is business that is running them, and they are not in control of it although they think they are.

Following that, Airey said there was so much demand for them to continue, and they are planning to do a lap of honor which will last longer than a year if things get better in 2022. Talking about leaving the music scene, Airey also stated that he thinks they won’t be able to know if that is these are their last shows, but he hopes to keep playing for a while.

In the interview by Rolling Stone, Don Airey said the following:

“We started the farewell tour in 2017. It was due to end in 2019. But the thing is, when you’re a musician in a band, you think you’re in control of it, but you’re not. The business is running you.

Of course, there was so much demand for the band to continue from the promoters and agents that we said, ‘OK, we’ll do one more year.’… I can’t say for certain, but hopefully, if things get better this year, we’ll be able to do a lap of honor. It’ll last longer than a year, is my guess.”

Talking about the retirement plans of Deep Purple, Airey continued:

“The words of T.S. Eliot come to mind: ‘This is the way the band ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.’ I think we won’t know it’s the last gig. We won’t have a clue that this one is going to be the last one. That’s how it’s going to end. It’s going to be no big scenario.

… I like what Buddy Guy said. He said, ‘Musicians don’t retire. They drop.’ You do have thoughts about being in the garden and bouncing the grandchildren on your knee, but it’s part of your blood system, playing and touring. It’s an addiction. I hope I keep playing for a while yet.

After releasing their twentieth studio album ‘Infinite,’ Deep Purple embarked on The Long Goodbye Tour on May 13, 2017, to support the record. Although fans thought this would be their farewell to the stages, they released an album titled ‘Whoosh!’ on August 7, 2020, and another one titled ‘Turning To Crime’ on November 26, 2021. So, considering Airey’s remarks, it seems they currently don’t consider retiring.