DEEP PURPLE's Ian Gillan Discusses JON LORD On Planet Rock; Audio Available

July 17, 2012, 2 years ago

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Former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist JON LORD lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 71 yesterday, Monday, July 16th, 2012.
Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan discussed Jon Lord yesterday on Planet Rock Radio. Listen below:
Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse has released the following statement: "Jon just died. I'm shocked and don't know what to do, so I'm going to try to tell you a little about Jon. Jon was the powerhouse keyboard player that brought rock and classical directly together many times. The first was his timeless organ solo on 'Highway Star'. The next was his 'Concerto for Band and Orchestra'. I was able to perform with the whole band as it was played at Albert Hall before we toured extensively with it. Just weeks ago, I was able to play on a studio recording of Jon's concerto and share some heartfelt thoughts and words with him. Jon was the guy that would stop us from giving up on an idea in songwriting because it wasn't immediately obvious. I remember him encouraging me in the studio to keep doing what I was doing as I played around with an idea that I was intrigued with. After writing something as amazing as his concerto, he still had the imagination to hear ideas on top of anything I suggested. He always had a regal, gentlemanly manner. Like any of us, he could get annoyed, but he would only show it with his wry and dry wit. Mostly, he was upbeat and a pleasure for anybody to be around. His humor was right up my alley, with us exchanging ridiculous thoughts like,"If Brenda Lee married Tommy Lee, her new name would be Brenda Lee......" Or having him finish the tune when an announcement at an airport would start with several musical notes to get your attention. It's hard to give anecdotes that convey an ease that somebody could give you, but he sure had that ability. We all love people that will pay attention to our kids, and years ago he charmed my (then) 5 year old son, Kevin with a Donald Duck imitation even while he was being hurried to get out of the dressing room and go to the green room for after show greetings. Jon retired from the endless DP tour schedule, but continued to do appearances with original material and performances of his concerto. I knew he missed the band he helped start, but at the same time couldn't stand the relentless travel. From time to time, we would see him on tour, and he would sit in with us. The last time we played, less than a year ago, at the Sunflower Jam at Royal Albert Hall, he had just come offstage from performing with Rick Wakeman. Later I talked with him and his wife about how strange it felt to look around at the keyboards and not see him there at Albert Hall. We promised to do something together. Soon thereafter, we all learned of his battle with Pancreatic cancer. I kept hearing hopeful, positive reports that they might be making progress, but this sudden death caught me totally unaware. I thought we would meet and do a recording project in the future when he recovered from the chemotherapy. Well, we sort of did, but I had to record it and send it to him, as we were in different countries. If you have friends, family, especially kids, don't ever miss a chance to do or say something special.... or simply appreciate the fact that they are there. One day, they won't be."
A message at Jon Lord's website states: It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday, July 16th at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family. Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including 'Smoke On The Water' and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career. Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto For Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple. Jon’s solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002. Jon passes from Darkness to Light. Jon Lord - June 9, 1941 – July 16, 2012.

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