|Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE) in later years|
We were very sad to hear that the DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord passed away on 16 July 2012 from pancreatic cancer aged 71. Jon Lord was the inspirational and brilliant keyboard player who was the perfect counterbalance to guitar hero Ritchie Blackmore in DEEP PURPLE MARK II. Lord played on the classic Mark II albums Deep Purple In Rock (1970), Fireball (1971), and Machine Head (1972). He wrote and led Concerto for Group and Orchestra (1969) 30 years before METALLICA and KISS made playing with symphony oprchestras trendy. Lord remained with DEEP PURPLE after Ian Gillan (vocals) and Roger Glover (bass) left. They were replaced by David Coverdale (vocals) and Glenn Hughes (bass / vocals) to form DEEP PURPLE MARK III. Ritchie Blackmore later left and he was replaced by young guitar hero Tommy Bolin (RIP) to form DEEP PURPLE MARK IV which still featured Lord and Ian Paice (drums). This line-up toured Jakarta, Indonesia in 1975 and on this tour one roadie was killed and 750,000 pounds were lost. The streets of Jakarta were very crowded this day as people welcomed the band to Indonesia. Lord played on the Mark II album Who do we think we are (1973), the Mark III albums Burn (1973) and Stormbringer (1974), and the Mark IV album Come Taste The Band (1975). I was in senior high-school in Perth, Australia when the classic DEEP PURPLE MARK II line-up reunited and released the excellent Perfect Strangers album in 1984. Although Canadian heavy-metal author Martin Popoff may be slightly biased when he gives later PURPLE albums ten out of ten the DEEP PURPLE of the 1970s was a brillant band and a huge influence on later groups such as IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA. Lord was a real gentleman who did not slag off other bands in the press and he was also perhaps the greatest keyboardist to ever play heavy-metal. He will be deeply missed.