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RIP Jon Lord
The Deep Purple organist has passed away.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 17 Jul 2012
The sad news reached Hot Press yesterday evening that, a year after he had been diagnosed, Jon Lord had lost his struggle with pancreatic cancer. The Leicester-born musician died of a pulmonary embolism at the London clinic, surrounded by family. He was 71.
Lord was best known for his innovative work with legendary British hard rockers Deep Purple. Having joined the band in 1968, he was the man behind their distinctive, pioneering Hammond organ sound and also co-wrote many of their biggest hits, including the evergreen 'Smoke On The Water'. He stayed with the group until their initial break-up in '76, and played a part in various reunions over the years, a constant member alongside Ian Paice, until his retirement in 2002.
Lord was also known for his efforts to combine rock 'n' roll and orchestral scores, starting with his Concerto For Group And Orchestra, which teamed his band up with London's Royal Philharmonic in 1969. Right up until this month, Lord had been involved with WhoCares, a new supergroup also featuring ex-Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan, Black Sabbath;s Tony Iommi and Iron' Maiden's Nicko McBrain.
Lord is survived by his wife Vickie Lord and his two daughters.
In September 2009, HP's Roisin Dwyer interviewed the late musician as he prepared to bring his Concerto to Dublin's National Concert Hall. Read it here.