In Memory Of Jon Lord

On July 16, 2012, we lost one of the most beloved, iconic and unique musicians to ever take the stage. Jon gave Deep Purple their signature keyboard sound, it was unlike anything else, before or after. We have asked some of our rock star friends to say a few words about the man whose music touched all of our lives.
- Jeb Wright, Editor, Classic Rock

Our beloved Jon passed away on this day Monday 16th July 2012. We have lost a dear friend, a brother and a wonderful musician. His dignity and graciousness touched us all. His music was an inspiration and took us to places beyond our imagination…A truly great man. We humbly express our eternal love and great respect. – Deep Purple

“It’s unthinkable that Jon is gone. My thoughts are for his wife Vicky and all his children and family at this sad moment in their lives. I wish them all strength. A great sadness and sense of loss hangs over me. Not only has the music world lost a fantastic musician but a gentleman of the finest order. He was a giant in my life, a great friend, a fellow traveler, a teacher, not only of music, but of life. I am devastated at his passing.” - Roger Glover of Deep Purple

Jon just died. I'm shocked and don't know what to do, I literally turned around 180 degrees to hear who had just instantly copped the exact lick that I was throwing out during our very first time of playing together. Then he turned and twisted it in a great way and threw it right back. Huge talent, ears, and so easy to jam with.
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.
If we miss him this much, I can't imagine what his family is going through, and pray for them.
- Steve Morse, Deep Purple

“He was the most amazing character, and I suppose the Godfather of Deep Purple. We all looked up to him with tremendous admiration. If there was such a thing as a typical English gentleman in rock music, it was Jon Lord.” - Ian Gillan of Deep Purple

“Jon was not only a great musician, he was my favorite dinner companion. We are all deeply saddened. We knew he was sick but the word was that he was recovering and doing much better. This news came as a complete shock. “Without Jon there would be no Deep Purple. He lives on in our hearts and memories.” - Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple

So much has been written about my friend and fellow Hammond warrior and I think it´s basically enough.

We were friends … not close, but with a lot in common… and we were adversaries in a way.

Deep Purple was born a bit before Uriah Heep and we walked a common path in the early days of rock & roll as we re-invented the genre.

Heep and Purple once shared a rehearsal building in West London, Hanwell Community Centre I think it was, and at times it could have been mistaken for a volume contest! But those times of uncertainty and experimentation were very special, as we laid the groundwork for hard rock as it became then and is today.

Please don´t think that today´s rock bands invented the things they do, they didn´t!

We did!

The Hammond organ was and still is a rare instrument in rock but Jon attached his musical genius to it and created his own easily identifiable sound, another thing we will miss, but which will live on in the memorable recordings the band made over so many years.

His genius is one of the reasons I was always amused to be included in magazine polls for favourite keyboard player, alongside Jon, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman!

This was amusing to me because all of those guys could really play. I was just fumbling around!

And we toured together in Europe and the US, my most memorable recollection being the tour we did together along with Buddy Miles. In those days musical styles were often blended on tour and it worked well, especially for the audiences.

And I will use this space to confess something openly. I wrote "Salisbury" as a direct reaction to Jon´s "Concerto for Group and Orchestra"! I wanted so desperately to write something like that and "Salisbury" was as close as I could get, mainly because I have never been formally trained and don´t know how to read or write music in the formal, tradition way. Jon, of course was a master at this and it really is a shame that we won´t get to hear him performing his most recent works.

So, farewell maestro. You were and still are an inspiration to me!

Ken Hensley, July 19th 2012

It was a shock to me to hear the news on a dreary Monday morning, One of my heroes Jon Lord the man who made the organ sound cool in hard rock had passed away on this day. I began my work with the band In 1997 with the album ABANDON and have worked on every one of their studio albums since. The conduit to the band was Roger Glover whom I worked closely with creatively. During the work I was like a teenage fan listening to the stories and escapades he told me of the band. I was in awe when I met Jon Lord, a class act, a gifted musician a real gentleman and an amazing musician. Having lost both my mom and uncle to pancreatic cancer, I can only imagine how hard this must have been for him and his family. My heart goes out to all of his loved ones, friends and associates R.I.P. Jon, you will never be forgotten, Highway Star and Space Trucking will never sound the same again. - Ioannis

“There will be many tributes to Jon as a musician, because of course, he was simply a unique and visionary performer, composer and latterly, orchestral conductor. I hope the accolades will not fail to mention that he was a man of wit and substance, with a huge and generous heart. I have been lucky enough to sing with him and count him as a friend, and we speculated only last year about future ideas. His legacy will live on in so many ways, but selfishly, I would rather have him back. So on you go Jon, but we will all miss you terribly.” – Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden

Ever since my father took me to see them in 1973 in Copenhagen, Deep Purple has been the most constant, continuous and inspiring musical presence in my life. They have meant more to me than any other band in existence, and have had an enormous part in shaping who I am. So obviously I’m beyond bummed, saddened and devastated. We can all be guilty of lightly throwing adjectives like ‘unique,’ ‘one-of-a-kind’ and ‘pioneering’ around – but there are no more fitting words than those right now and there simply was no musician like Jon Lord in the history of hard rock. Nobody. Period.” – Lars Ulrich of Metallica

“Growing up listening to music, Jon Lord and Deep Purple had one of the biggest influences on me both vocally and musically. The first Deep Purple album I listened to was In Rock. The keyboards totally blew me away, and continued to do so on every one of their albums there after. A huge piece of rock history for me is now gone.” – Michael Anthony of Chickenfoot

Jon Lord ...the most powerful keyboard player that ever lived! No one played with the attack and aggression of Jon Lord. The interaction between him and Blackmore was a dueling of the Lords. A leader , a creator, a Lord he was. R.I.P. Sir Jon Lord. - Lita Ford

My wife and I wish to respectfully send out condolences to the Lord family. News of the recent passing of Jon Lord has been met with sadness in our house. Reflecting upon his keyboard sounds, I must endorse how much he brought in originality and vision to the defining edge of Hard Rock. He is well-proven as a part of Rock's historical journey and will not be forgotten.

Thank you, Jon Lord. Rest in peace. --Bill Ward of Black Sabbath

Jon Lord changed the sound of rock keyboards in the late 1960's. He was the first to run his Hammond B-3 through a Marshall stack. Classically trained, he played with fire and passion. There will never be another like him. - Howard Leese of Paul Rodgers band and Heart.

“Sad day in Rock & Roll; Jon Lord has passed of the biggest, baddest, heaviest sounds in Heavy Metal, one of a kind. RIP." - Slash

Jon Lord left a powerful mark on music and enriched millions of our lives with his soulful musical statement. We performed with Deep Purple over the years and Jon's authority on the mighty Hammond organ was profound and moving. Plus he was a gentleman and consummate professional. His touch will live forever. –Ted Nugent

We were all huge Deep Purple fans, and Jon Lord was@a god. That distorted organ solo on the entrance of "Lazy" still sets the standard for ultimate blues rock keyboards. R.I.P. Jon. You've left a mark unparalleled. - Don Barnes, 38 Special

"Jon was a one of a kind musician who changed the sound of rock music. The way he made his Hammond sing and bite, as well as rival guitars blend, and make then bigger sounding was a task. To say he was an innovator is a huge understatement. His gift touched and influenced us all and he will never be forgotten." - Steve Lukather of Toto

The keyboard sound and songwriting ability of Jon Lord defined and set the model for the perfect blend between guitars and keyboards that brought rock music to a new level of creativity. He will always be missed and remembered" – Bobby Ingram of Molly Hatchet

Jon was amazing. Jon was a beautiful person and I loved@him dearly. I must say of late I didn’t see him much, but every time I saw him it was always a big hug and he always asked how the Vanilla Fudge guys were.@We will miss him for sure. He’s up in rock and roll heaven with so many great talents. God bless you@my friend, I love you and rest in peace. - Carmine Appice

Losing Jon is very sad. Jon Lord is solely responsible for making keyboards cool in Heavy Metal music. – Rachel Bolan of Skid Row

I loved how he played and made the Hammond smoke. Very sad indeed to have lost him; end of an era. – Billy Sherwood, formerly of Yes

We have lost a very special man, not only a Hammond player for the ages, but one of the nicest people ever to grace this planet. I will always cherish the fondness we had for each other that started in the late 1960's to the present. Jon, you were one of the cats!@Rest well my old friend.@@- Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge

"RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great, great songs and that incredible SOUND of his...Thank you." – Tom Morello

I am deeply saddened about the passing of Jon Lord. I am proud and humbled to have known him both personally and professionally ...and blessed to share a special time with him. He was a true and gifted original, a Gentleman of the industry and he shall be greatly missed!

My sincerest sympathies to his family and relations...and to all of us who have lost one of the great musicians of our time!...R.I.P. Jon...may God hold you in his hands. - Joe Lynn Turner

Jon Lord was the finest rock organist that ever walked the Earth, and a great inspiration to me. Jon's performance on Deep Purple's version of "Hush" was and is the Greatest Rock Organ recording ever. From the beginning four awesome power chords, to the rhythmic Jimmy Smith-like opening, to the unequalled solo, it simply stands head and shoulders above any other Rock Organ performance. Shame on me for never following up to actually meet Jon Lord, as one of his favorite Bass Players, Colin Hodgkinson, is a friend of mine, and played on my first two solo LP's back in the 1980's. Jon Lord will be missed, but his music shall live on foreve!
- James “JY” Young, Styx

Jon Lord put the 'deep' into Purple; he contributed greatly to their sound. Whatever he did, it was first-class. I feel privileged, honoured and grateful to have been able to work and create with him. He was a great musician and a gentlemen. He gave his Hammond organ and Leslie speaker a special 'growl', my joke nickname for him was 'Growly Hammond'.

Jon has departed, as we all must, but he'll never be forgotten, he was truly one of the greats. Rock on Jon, you're in the 'real world' now! - Bob Daisley.

Jon Lord was one of my early keyboard heroes because he was one of the few that played with balls and fire . RIP Jon. I will carry the torch. -Derek Sherinian of Black Country Communion

I learned the solo in Hush note for note when Styx was a cover band. When I wrote the opening to Blue Collar Man it was Jon I was thinking of. He will be missed. - Dennis DeYoung

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Jon. There was only one ... and I mean one...keyboard/ B3 guy that influenced all of us in the rock world. Sure, there was Jimmy Smith and Groove Holmes that took all us fans to that place in B3 heaven, but it was Jon...Purple...Highway al...that really moved us/me. RIP JL. - Mike Levine of Triumph

I was so sad to hear about the passing of the great Jon Lord from Deep Purple fame. I met Jon back in 1983 in England on our very first tour which was with Whitesnake. We used to stay up all night and he would tell us old war stories about Deep Purple. He was such a good soul and you could just feel that when you were around him. We were like kids in a candy store listening to his stories and I think he enjoyed sharing them with us. My deepest condolences to his family. RIP - Mark Kendall of Great White

I have just landed in LA from London, to hear the sad news of the passing of our brother Jon Lord. I will miss him. Prayers please." - Glenn Hughes

"It was an absolute joy and pleasure for me to know him & to work alongside him. He is missed already." - David Coverdale

Jon Lord was the classic rock keyboard player of all time. He literally wrote the book! Jon's compositons are timeless, and his Hammond Organ sound was legendary, and always seen as the sound to get, it was that good.
When he was with Deep Purple, and Heep have toured with them many times, I spent most nights standing on the side of the stage spellbound by his virtuosity.
Jon was one of Classic Rock Music's elite, and his music will stay with us, and inspire us forever. He was also one of the nicest men in the music business, may he rest in peace.

- Mick Box of Uriah Heep

"Farewell To A Gentleman. Jon has left us now but his music and inspiration will live forever. I am deeply saddened by his departure." - Keith Emerson.

RIP Jon Lord... Very sad to hear of Jon's death, following his battle with the demon cancer. One of the great musicians of my generation. Tony Iommi recently worked with Jon, and said what a lovely bloke he was. I met him a few times, but never got to work with him. Blessings. - Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath

Very sad to hear of the passing of Jon Lord, who I had the great pleasure of working with from 1978-82 in Whitesnake. Wonderful musician and a nicer person would be hard to find. R.I.P. - Neal Murray, formerly of Whitesnake

A great pioneer of the Rock music , Jon Lord,keyboardist for the band Deep Purple passed away today. His music and his band inspired me to pursue my dream. His songs will echo in my mind for ever. We have to be thankful for what we have and share our wealth talent and love with others, because our time on earth is very limited...So long my friends you were indeed, a "Highway Star" - Terry Ilous of Great White