Don Airey Accepts Entry into Hall of Heavy Metal History; Speaks of Writing Mr. Crowley

I had the chance to meet Don Airey after he accepted his award for his lifetime of achievements. Having played on studio albums for both Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, he has no shortage of bragging rights and an unlimited pile of chips to wear on his shoulder having written parts such as the legendary intro to the track ‘Mr. Crowley’. And yet, Airey is an unassuming, quiet guy.

Pictured left to right: Eddie Trunk, Mikkey Dee, Rudy Sarzo, Don Airey and Kathy Rhoads, sister of Randy Rhoads


When asked during the panel discussion here about writing for ‘Mr. Crowley’, Airey said that Ozzy told him one afternoon to to go get the song done, emphasizing the ‘go get” part pointing his finger as if he was being told to do a chore. Airey recalls sitting down in a room moments later and wrote his part in twenty minutes. Ozzy liked it and as they say the rest was history.

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Pictured Left to Right: Mikkey Dee, Rudy Sarzo checking his cell phone, Don Airey


Don Airey accepting his award


During this moment, Don offered the most humbling and grateful speech I heard the whole evening. He said that he couldn’t believe that ‘some guy’ could do the things he has done. He also spoke of Ozzy, and alluded to the ‘crazy times’ he had touring with him. Ozzy must have done as many drugs as everyone says he has done – Airey made mention of how often Ozzy was blitzed out of his mind during the recording and touring for Blizzard of Oz.

Airey has solo records and plans on touring in March 2017 promoting a box set full of things he’s worked on. Way to go, Don. It was an honor to meet you.

Don Airey with his award at the Hall of Heavy Metal History induction ceremony






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