Jon Lord‘s distinct Hammond organ was as much part of the Deep Purple sound as Richie Blackmore‘s guitar or Ian Gillan‘s vocals. He of course spent more time in the band than both of them, Gillan not being in the original lineup and Blackmore not being in the reformed band of more recent years.
As well as Deep Purple, Jon Lord spent time in many other bands, both before and after his Purple career. They included Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods with Ron Wood‘s brother Art, Whitesnake, The Flower Pot Men and he played piano on The Kinks‘ debut hit, “You Really Got Me.” He never restricted himself to heavy rock either, playing everything from Classical and Jazz to Pop music.
Here’s a clip of the signature tune that he will always be associated with. Jon can only really be seen towards the end of this clip, but it’s a good live version and his hands and playing are featured from the beginning.
English rocker Jon Lord, who founded Deep Purple and co-wrote their most famous song, Smoke On The Water, has died aged 71.
The Leicester-born keyboard player, who had pancreatic cancer, died in London on Monday.
A statement on his website said he had passed “from Darkness to Light”.
The statement said Lord was “surrounded by his loving family” when he died.
Last year, Lord told fans he was “fighting cancer and will therefore be taking a break from performing while getting the treatment and cure”.
In a message on his website dated August 9, 2011, he added: “I shall of course be continuing to write music – in my world it just has to be part of the therapy – and I fully expect to be back in good shape next year.”
Lord started playing the piano in his family home and took classical music lessons before turning to jazz and rock’n’roll.
He moved to London at 19 to go to drama school, but was soon playing piano in pubs and bars and in 1964 joined cult blues band the Artwoods – formed by Ronnie Wood’s brother Art.
The band were critical favourites but never translated that into commercial success and split up.
Lord then went on tour with manufactured psychedelic pop combo The Flowerpot Men, who had scored a hit with Let’s Go To San Francisco, before joining Deep Purple in 1968.
The heavy rockers sold more than 100 million albums – many featuring Lord’s classically inspired keyboards.
But their most famous song was the simple Smoke On The Water with its trademark riff….More at Deep Purple’s Jon Lord dies at 71