- Special Features
- Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Keyboardist Jon Lord died on Monday at the age of 71. He was a founding member of the legendary hard rock band Deep Purple and played with several other bands throughout his career. Since his death, famous friends and fans have paid tribute to Lord.
Lord’s death was announced on his website. The statement announced that he had suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism after a battle with pancreatic cancer Monday. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his death.
Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and went on to co-write many of their big hits, including the iconic “Smoke on the Water.” He also had an interest in classical music, which was in full display when Deep Purple performed “Concerto for Group & Orchestra” with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Albert Hall in 1969. Lord and the group performed the composition again in 1999.
The original version of the group broke up in 1976 and Lord went on to play with other groups like Whitesnake and Paice, Ashton & Lord. They did reunite in 1984 and Lord continued to be a presence in the band until he left in 2002.
Former Yes keyboardist Yes Rick Wakeman told The BBC that he was a friend and “a great fan...We were going to write and record an album before he became ill. His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly."
"I knew Jon from the early days,” former Showaddywaddy frontman Dave Bartram told ThisIsLeicestershire. “We owe him a debt of gratitude – he gave us a lot of support when Showaddywaddy were starting out. He was a fantastic musician and a workaholic and Leicester can be proud to call him one of their own. He'll be sadly missed.”
Fans of Lord took to Twitter to mourn his passing, including actor Ewan McGregor, who wrote, “Jon played with my great friend Tony Ashton. They'll be jamming upstairs now!”
Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello tweeted, “RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou."
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich wrote a touching tribute to Lord, writing, “Rest in peace Jon and THANK YOU for everything.”