Ian Paice was my biggest influence. He was the first guy that I heard do things like follow the guitar riff and go over the bar line with his fills. His fills on outros especially are stunning. Pictures of home, Mary Long, etc, he always added something to a song that was unexpected, and his groove was so identifiable. When you heard those sound edge hats on the radio, you knew it was deep purple. As a teenager, I remember telling my drum teacher, (a very accomplished player), about how impressed I was with Ian Paice, to which he replied, "That guy is not a drummer, all he does is single stroke rolls". Then he showed me all this stuff by Gadd and other more fusion type drummers, who were great, but didn't way me from Ian being the favorite. it is interesting that after playing drum now for over 30 years, and having developed a better understanding of technique, when I look back at Ian's playing I can see how wrong that teacher was. Although he is not as firey now as he was when he was young, no one was doing kind of drumming he did in rock music when he did it. That mule solo is still one of the truly great drum solos of all time. Not bad when you consider all the training videos etc that are out there today, and Ian never had the benefit of any of that. A true great. A true drumming pioneer, and still going strong.