Jon Lord, one of the founding members of Deep Purple and Hammond B3 keyboard extraordinaire, died Monday (July 16th). He was 71 years old.
A note on Lord’s official website states: “It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.”
Lord joined Deep Purple in 1968, and helped write some of their most famous songs including “Smoke on the Water” and “Child in Time”. He went on to have a successful solo career, later playing with Whitesnake, The Hoochie Choochie Men, and then back with a reformed Deep Purple in 1984. He played with singer David Coverdale and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, and drummer Ian Piace until he retired from the band in 2002.
Lord was also an accomplished modern classical and experimental composer, having collaborated with orchestras across Europe throughout his career, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Hungarica, stemming all the way back to 1069 with his Concerto for Group and Orchestra performed by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1969.
The statement on his website concludes, “Jon was surrounded by his loving family.”
Wacth Lord go to work on this 1972 performance of Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’”