Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord has passed away at the age of 71. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Deep Purple issued the following statement:
“It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.
“Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including “Smoke On The Water” and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.
“Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto for Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.
“Jon’s solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.
“Jon passes from Darkness to Light”.
Jon Lord was born on 9 June 1941. In 1968, he cofounded Deep Purple with Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Paice and original singer Rod Evans and bass player Nick Simper. That line-up released three albums before Evans and Simper departed and the best-known line-up featuring Ian Gillan on vocals and Roger Glover on bass was formed.
Lord left the band in 1976 but reunited with that iconic line-up back in 1984. He stayed with Deep Purple until 2002 when he retired from the band.
In between Deep Purple, Jon Lord was also a member of Whitesnake between 1978 and 1984. He played on their biggest hit ‘Here I Go Again’. In 2003, he also recorded the ‘Live At The Basement’ album in Sydney with guest vocals by Jimmy Barnes.
Lord was married to Vickie Lord, the twin sister of Ian Paice’s wife Jackie.