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  JON LORD PASSES AWAY AGED 71
16th July 2012

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Legendary former Deep Purple and Whitesnake keyboard player Jon Lord has very sadly passed away aged 71.

Jon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and was undergoing special treatment in Israel hoping to recover and get back to music.

Jon was scheduled to perform in Hagen, Germany on July 6th. He was set to perform his Durham Concerto and a selection of other pieces but had to cancel due to ongoing medical treatment.

Our thoughts are with Jon's friends and family. RIP. Legend.



In 1968, Jon founded Deep Purple, where he was virtually the leader of the band until 1970. Jon wrote the organ riff on the classic 'Child In Time'. He and drummer Ian Paice were the only constant Deep Purple members from 1968 to 1976 and from when they reformed in 1984 until Jon's retirement from Deep Purple in 2002.

On 11 November 2010, Jon was made an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson College, Edinburgh. On 15 July 2011, he was granted an honorary Doctor of Music degree by his home town's University of Leicester.

Jon was born in Leicester on 9 June 1941 and started his London band career in 1960 with jazz ensemble the Bill Ashton Combo. He then became a founding member of The Art Wood Combo.

The Artwoods, as the band came to be known, made appearances on TV shows such as Ready Steady Go!, performed abroad and appeared on the first Ready Steady Goes Live, promoting their first single 'Sweet Mary', and had a chart single with 'I Take What I Want', which reached #28 on 8 May 1966.

Jon then created Santa Barbara Machine Head (featuring Art's brother, the young Ronnie Wood), writing and recording three powerful keyboard-driven instrumental tracks, giving a preview of the seminal Deep Purple style to come in the future.

jon lord

In early 1967, through his roommate Chris Curtis of The Searchers, Jon met businessman Tony Edwards who was looking to invest in the music business. Ritchie Blackmore was called in and met Lord for the first time and Curtis' erratic bahaviour meant the band went nowhere. But Edwards was impressed enough by Jon Lord to ask him to form a band after Curtis didn't work out so Nick Simper was contacted, and Blackmore recalled from Hamburg and Deep Purple, originally called Roundabout, was born.

It is in the Deep Purple period that Jon's trademark keyboard sound emerged, a rhythmic foundation to complement Blackmore's speed and virtuosity on lead guitar and with which he 'competed' with Blackmore as a soloist. Lord also loved the sound of an RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, which he used on songs like 'Demon's Eye', and 'Space Truckin''.



In 1973, Jon's original Hammond C3 gave out, and he purchased another from Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Around this same time, Jon and his keyboard technician, Mike Phillips, combined his Hammond C3 Organ with the RMI which he kept until his retirement from the band in 2002.

One reviewer stated in the time of the Deep Purple heyday: "Many have tried to imitate Lord's style, and all failed."

Jon himself said: "There's a way of playing a Hammond that's different. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that you can play a Hammond with a piano technique. Well, you can, but it sounds like you are playing a Hammond with a piano technique. Really, you have to learn how to play an organ. It's a legato technique; it's a technique to achieve legato on a non-legato instrument."

Deep Purple's first hit song, a cover of Joe South's 'Hush', features an extended organ solo and no guitar solo but Purple entered a totally different dimension in 1969 with 'Concerto For Group and Orchestra' which was one of rock's earliest attempts to fuse two distinct musical idioms.

Performed live at the Royal Albert Hall on 24th September 1969 (with new band members Ian Gillan and Roger Glover), recorded by the BBC and later released as an album, the Concerto gave Deep Purple their first highly-publicised taste of mainstream fame and gave Jon the confidence to believe that his experiment and his compositional skill had a future.



Purple then released 'In Rock', on their new label EMI in 1970, and this is now recognised as one of hard rock's key early works. Jon's experimental solo on 'Hard Lovin' Man', complete with police-siren interpolation, on the album is his personal favourite among his Deep Purple studio performances.



Deep Purple released a sequence of albums between 1971s 'Fireball' and 1975s 'Come Taste the Band'. Gillan and Glover left in 1973 and Blackmore in 1975, and the band disintegrated in 1976. Jon is quoted as saying about Purple: "We're as valid as anything by Beethoven."

Post Purple, Jon became a member of the then fledgling Whitesnake where his role was to round out a blues-rock sound that already accommodated two lead guitarists, Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody. He added a Yamaha Electric Grand piano to his set-up and finally a huge bank of synthesizers onstage courtesy of Moog (MiniMoog, Opus, PolyMoog) so he could play the 12-bar blues the band often required and recreate string section and other effects. This is most evident on tracks like 'Here I Go Again', 'Wine, Women And Song', 'She's A Woman' and 'Till The Day I Die'.



A number of singles entered the UK charts, taking the now 40-something Lord onto Top of the Pops with regularity between 1980 and 1983 but he later expressed frustration that he was a poorly-paid hired-hand. His dissatisfaction (and Coverdale's eagerness to revamp the band's line-up and lower the average age to help crack the US market) smoothed the way for the reformation of Deep Purple Mk II in 1984.

Jon Lord's last Whitesnake concert took place in the Swedish TV programme Mandagsborsen in 16 April 1984.



During his tenure in Whitesnake, Jon did have a chance to do two distinctly different solo albums. 1982s 'Before I Forget' featured a largely conventional eight-song line-up, no orchestra and with the bulk of the songs being either mainstream rock tracks ('Hollywood Rock And Roll', 'Chance On A Feeling'), or a series of very English classical piano ballads sung by mother and daughter duo, Vicki Brown and Sam Brown (wife and daughter of entertainer Joe Brown) and vocalist Elmer Gantry.

The album also boasted the cream of British rock talent, including prolific session drummer (and National Youth Jazz Orchestra alumnus) Simon Phillips, Cozy Powell, Neil Murray, Simon Kirke, Boz Burrell and Mick Ralphs. Jon used synthesizers more than ever before, principally to retain an intimacy with the material and to create a jam atmosphere with old friends like Tony Ashton.

Jon took on many projects during this period, including a commission by producer Patrick Gamble for Central Television to write the soundtrack for their 1984 TV series, Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, and was asked to guest on albums by friends George Harrison ('Gone Troppo' from 1982) and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour (1983's 'About Face'), Cozy Powell ('Octopus' in 1983) and to play on an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's classic, Wind in the Willows. He composed and produced the score for 'White Fire' (1984), which consisted largely of two songs performed by Limelight.

Jon's re-emergence with Deep Purple in 1984 resulted in huge audiences for the reformed Mk II line-up, including 1985s second largest grossing tour in the US and an appearance in front of 70,000 rain-soaked fans headlining Knebworth on 22 June 1985, all to support the 'Perfect Strangers' album.



Further Deep Purple albums followed but by the late-1990s Jon was clearly keen to explore where to take his career next. In 1997, he created perhaps his most personal work to date, 'Pictured Within', released in 1998 with a European tour to support it. Jon's mother Miriam had died in August 1995 and the album is a deeply affecting piece, inflected at all stages by Jon's sense of grief.

One song from 'Pictured Within', entitled 'Wait A While' was later covered by Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø on her 2003/2004 album 'My Heart'.

Jon finally retired from Deep Purple amicably in 2002, preceded by a knee injury that eventually resolved itself without surgery. He said subsequently, "Leaving Deep Purple was just as traumatic as I had always suspected it would be and more so - if you see what I mean". He even dedicated a song to it on 2004's solo effort, 'Beyond The Notes', called 'De Profundis'.

His Durham Concerto, commissioned by Durham University for its 175th anniversary celebrations, received its world premiere on 20 October 2007 in Durham Cathedral by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and featured soloists Lord on Hammond Organ, Kathryn Tickell on Northumbrian pipes, Matthew Barley on cello and Ruth Palmer on violin.

Lord was (almost) next-door neighbour to former Beatle, George Harrison, and played piano on Harrison's posthumously released Brainwashed album (2002).



Jon released his solo album To 'Notice Such Things' on 29th March 2010. Titled after the main work — a six movement suite for solo flute, piano and string orchestra — the album was inspired by, and is dedicated to the memory of Jon's dear friend Sir John Mortimer, the English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter, author and creator of British television series Rumpole of The Bailey, who died in January 2009.

Jon was working on material with recently formed rock supergroup WhoCares, also featuring Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, second guitarist Mikko Lindström from HIM, bassist Jason Newsted, formerly from Metallica, and Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain.

Once again Jon Lord, RIP - you will be sadly missed but your music and legacy will live on for many generations.








 
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Check out the new single from 'Heroes and Villains' right here. FM will be touring the UK in May with Romeos Daughter as special guests...

hrh 9 UFO AND MORE ACTS CONFIRMED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9
UFO, Toseland, The Screaming Eagles and Trucker Diablo are just some of the acts in today's announcement, joining Saxon this November in Wales...

hackett stolt STEVE HACKETT REVEALS NEW BASS/12 STRING PLAYER FOR UPCOMING TOURO
Multi-talented guitarist Roine Stolt joins the line-up. "It's marvellous to have both Swedish talents Roine Stolt and Nad Sylvan as part of the band for these Hackett solo/Genesis Revisited shows..."

hammerfall HAMMERFALL ANNOUNCE ONE OFF LONDON SHOW IN MAY
"We're pulling out all the stops to make this a triumphant return to British shores and this time there will be no restrictions on lights, sound or production..."

krokus KROKUS ANNOUNCE FIRST US TOUR IN OVER 25 YEARS
Following the Monsters Of Rock cruise the tour continues through several US cities, ending at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES SUNDAY NIGHT SPECIAL GUESTS, ACOUSTIC LOUNGE AND MORE
For 2015 the Acoustic Lounge is back, bigger and better than ever....

the darkness BREAKING NEWS: THE DARKNESS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UNVEIL NEW VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Summer 2015 sees the return of multi-award winning music band The Darkness....

jim cregan JIM CREGAN POSTPONES MARCH CREGAN & CO TOUR FOLLOWING CANCER NEWS
Soon I'll start treatment which I'm hopeful will lead to a full recovery and I'll be back doing what I enjoy most, performing with this great band in May and on tour in October..."

hang the bastard HANG THE BASTARD ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES WITH CORROSION OF CONFORMITY & UK HEADLINE DATES
"It's gonna be heavy and it's gonna be loud!!! Bang your heads, we are coming for you!..."

aaron keylock 17 YEAR OLD GUITAR HERO AARON KEYLOCK SIGNS TO MASCOT LABEL GROUP
One of the most exciting and brightest young talents in the UK, Aaron is a mesmerising live performer with over 200 shows to his name...

bruce dickinson BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN SINGER BRUCE DICKINSON UNDERGOES CANCER TREATMENT
Sometimes a news item breaks that shakes you to your foundations...

rock goddess ROCK GODDESS ANNOUNCE FIRST LONDON DATE IN OVER THIRTY YEARS
The waiting is over. The reformed South London hard rock trio have announced details of their first London concert in over 30 years...

nigel glockler BREAKING NEWS: SAXON DRUMMER NIGEL GLOCKLER PRONOUNCED 100% RECOVERED WITH ZERO DAMAGE
"This means that I am okay to get back to work, but I am told to ease back into it and on my own timeframe..."

turbowolf TURBOWOLF RELEASE BLISTERING NEW SINGLE 'NINE LIVES'
"Nine Lives is a song about making the most of our limited time; about living with no regrets; about changing our attitudes towards death and about life..."

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DATES FOR 2015
European fans will see Arch Enemy again in late April. The band are coming back with support from US Metal force Unearth and Drone from Germany...

motley crue EXCLUSIVE: MOTLEY CRUE PAY TRIBUTE TO GARY GLITTER ON THE FINAL TOUR
Debauched rockers Motley Crue are currently in Japan performing their last Asian dates on their much publicised Final Tour...

music for nations LEGENDARY HEAVY METAL LABEL MUSIC FOR NATIONS IS BACK
As well as reissues, the label will be signing new artists for the first time in over a decade...

satyricon SATYRICON SIGNS WITH NAPALM RECORDS FOR RELEASE OF SPECTACULAR LIVE DVD
"It's not a live album. It's a celebration of what Satyricon stands for as a band..."

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'IN SOME WILD UNIVERSE' PLUS TOUR UPDATE
This video features the touring line-up of the band for 2015...

rival sons RIVAL SONS WITHDRAW FROM SOUNDWAVE 2015
Australia will have to wait a little longer to see Rival Sons in the flesh as family matters take priority...

the answer THE ANSWER RELEASE BRAND NEW LYRIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'LONG LIVE THE RENEGADES'
"The song is about just doing what you do best and having a bit of a bunker mentality..."

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPE HEADLINE TOUR FOR JUNE 2015
US punk pioneers will bring their distincitve sound to four countries over ten dates...

carl sentance BREAKING NEWS: CARL SENTANCE ANNOUNCED AS NEW VOCALIST FOR NAZARETH
Persian Risk vocalist Carl Sentance replaces Linton Osbourne to start the next chapter for the Scottish hard rockers...

rockingham firefest BREAKING NEWS: ROCKINGHAM RELIGHTS THE FIREFEST; GOTTHARD, DAN REED, STAN BUSH AND MORE ANNOUNCED
The AOR flag will be raised high yet again over Nottingham Rock City...

pentagram PENTAGRAM RE-SIGNS WITH PEACEVILLE RECORDS - ALBUM RECORDING UNDERWAY
Through four decades of adversity and triumph, Pentagram have become a legendary international act...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP 2015 UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
This tour follows on from the release of the band's acclaimed album 'Outsider' which enjoyed excellent reviews...

godsmack GODSMACK VOCALIST SULLY ERNA TO MAKE AN ONLINE POKER COMEBACK
For Godsmack fans this could be disheartening as Erna shifts his attention from music to poker...

quo convention FIRST EVER STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION ANNOUNCED
There will be live music, very special guests and a packed programme this October for this very special celebration...

queensryche THUNDER CONFIRMED AS VERY SPECIAL GUESTS TO ZZ TOP AT WEMBLEY ARENA PLUS MINI UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
The group's first studio album in six years, 'Wonder Days', reminds us why Thunder are now more revered than ever before...

queensryche QUEENSRŸCHE TO TOUR EUROPE AND RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN 2015
It's a busy year for Queensrÿche with headline shows and festival appearances before the new album release...

dir en grey dir en grey RETURN FOR TWO EXCLUSIVE SHOWS
The Islington O2 Academy will be the scene for Japanese avant-garde Metal in May...

unleashed SWEDISH LEGENDS UNLEASHED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND ARTWORK
The founders of the Viking Death Metal movement are back and as brutal as ever...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'MY REMEDY'
Get a taste of the new album with 'My Remedy', the third single to be released...

Shattered sun LEGENDARY BRITISH MELODIC ROCKERS FM RETURN WITH 'HEROES & VILLAINS' ON APRIL 17TH
"We're on a roll! Some of the tracks on this album are better than anything that the band has ever produced, and Steve's voice is as good as ever..."

nightwish NIGHTWISH ANNOUNCE ONLY UK DATE THIS YEAR WITH ARCH ENEMY SUPPORTING
"Who would have thought about headlining at Wembley Arena one day when we were starting our UK touring history..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS GO UNPLUGGED AND PERSONAL: ACOUSTIC DATES ANNOUNCED
After last year's highly acclaimed unplugged tour, The Quireboys are pleased to announce a very intimate string of evenings early 2015...

killit KILLIT UNLEASH DEBUT VIDEO AND ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER LIVE SHOW
'Shut It Down' is the first single from the album and is out now and available...

state villains STATE VILLAINS TO RELEASE SECOND EP IN SPRING
State Villains have an honesty that harkens back to an era of integrity and a distinct lack of gimmicks...

chris slade BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS SLADE IS BACK IN AC/DC
Chris will rejoin the legendary hard rockers for their appearance at the 57th annual Grammy Awards as well as the band's upcoming tour...

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