Five drummers met their all-time drumming hero, Ian Paice of Deep Purple, at a special dinner at The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row, Oxfordshire on 4th July. The dinner had been organised by drumstore DrumWright. Managing Director Ian Wright explained:
"Last year, we asked Ian to design his ideal drum kit – number and type of drum. Sizes, colour, cymbal selection – and then commissioned a limited edition run of twelve to his exact specification. As part of the package deal, all of the drummers who bought the kits were to be offered the chance to meet Ian at a private dinner. We approached Paul Clerehugh at The Crooked Billet because we know he is Ian's favourite celebrity chef, and he put on a fantastic evening – the food, the wine, the ambience – all were superb."
The distinctive Pearl and Paiste set-ups went on sale and were quickly were snapped up by Deep Purple enthusiast drummers not only in the UK but in Australia, Canada and Norway too. Ian added:
"The first guy to buy one was a drummer from Sydney who played in an Australian Deep Purple tribute band. We were able to arrange for him to meet Ian when Deep Purple played Sydney."
The limited edition kit was a Pearl Masters MMP, with 24"x14" bass drum, 10", 12", 13", 14", 15", 16" and 18" toms and Ian's signature snare, plus Pearl hardware (including a Demon Drive pedal), Paiste 2002 cymbals and Hardcase cases.
Ronny Grindstein travelled to the dinner from Norway. "For me, this is a 35 year dream come true", he said.
Julian Parkes travelled to the dinner from Chester. "It was an incredibly enjoyable evening. I am sure I am not the only attendee who will cherish the memory for ever."
DrumWright founder and Chairman Chris Wright said: "I first met Ian 25 years ago when I discovered that we both lived in the same village. He is widely recognised as the UK's finest rock drummer, and I can well understand why the evening meant so much to these guys. Paul Clerehugh really did us proud, and Ian kept everyone entertained with anecdote after anecdote. It was a very special evening for everyone."
In the photo. Front Row: Ian Paice and Ian Wright. Back row left to right: Chris Wright, Ryan Dobson, Julian Parkes, Ronny Grinstein, Mark and Christine Norman, Vance Withers.