Jon Lord of Deep Purple has died at the age of 71.
The co-founder and keyboard player with the metal pioneers passed away today (July 16) after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and was surrounded by his family at the London Clinic.
Lord founded Deep Purple in 1968, and along with drummer Ian Paice was a constant in the band during their existence from 1968 to 1976. Her co-wrote many of the band’s songs, including the seminal ‘Smoke On The Water’ and was responsible for the legendary organ riff on ‘Child In Time’. Watch the track below.
He remained with the band when they reformed in 1984 until his retirement in 2002.
Renowned for his fusion of rock and classical or baroque forms, he was perhaps best known for his Orchestral work ‘Concerto For Group And Orchestra’ first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold. The feat was repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.
He also worked with Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton And Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men.
A statement from his representatives reads simply: “Jon passes from Darkness to Light”.
A host of musicians and celebrities have paid tribute to Lord. Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine said:
RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou.
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) July 16, 2012
Richard Jones of Stereophonics commented:
Deep Purple in Rock was the 1st album I bought. RIP Jon Lord. Legend! RJ x
— stereophonics (@stereophonics) July 16, 2012
Very sad to hear of Jon’s death, following his battle with the demon cancer. One of the great musicians of my generation. Tony Iommi recently worked with Jon, and said what a lovely bloke he was. I met him a few times, but never got to work with him. Blessings.
Jamie Cullum called the late star a ‘hero’, writing;
RIP Jon Lord – a hero of the keys. I think I still have one of your Moogs! http://t.co/RG6hWKP7
— Jamie Cullum (@jamiecullum) July 16, 2012
Actor Ewan McGregor also paid homage, saying:
Deep Purple's Jon Lord dies at 71. Jon played with my great friend Tony Ashton. They'll be jamming upstairs now! http://t.co/0yheHWCL
— Ewan McGregor (@mcgregor_ewan) July 16, 2012