Monday, July 16, 2012

Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord dead at 71

Jonathan Douglas Lord
June 9, 1941- July 16, 2012

Jon Lord, keyboardist and one of the founding members of rock band Deep Purple, has died. Lord had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer since August of last year and had been receiving treatment. Lord was 71 years old. According to his publicist, Lord died today at the London Clinic surrounded by his family.

Lord was one of the five members in the original line-up of Deep Purple. The band was formed in 1968 by Lord, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice, bassist Nick Simper, and singer Rod Evans. The band had a hit single with their cover of "Hush". However, Evans and Simper were ejected from the band towards the end of the decade and were replaced by singer Ian Gillian and bassist Roger Glover. For many fans, this line-up is seen as the classic line-up of the band. Some affectionately call this line the "Mark II line-up". Deep Purple would go on to become one of the most successful rock bands of the 1970's with albums such as Deep Purple In Rock, Fireball, Machine Head and songs such as "Child In Time", Highway Star", and of course "Smoke on the Water". The Mark II line-up ended in 1973 when Gillian and Glover were fired. Deep Purple would go on until 1976 and then reunite in 1984 with the Mark II line-up in place. Throughout the band's history, Lord and Paice were the two stable members of the band. This changed in 2002 when Lord announced his retirement from the band in order to do other projects. Lord was also a member of Whitesnake for a period of time.

I'm very saddened to hear about Jon's passing. In all honesty, we all knew about Jon's cancer since last year. So in some way, this isn't too much of a shock. Still, Jon's passing has a pretty big impact on the world of rock music. He was without a doubt one of the greatest keyboardists in rock music. He will be missed.

Rest in peace, Jon.

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