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More tributes to Jon from the Purple family

Jon Lord: 9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012

Bernie Marsden:

June and July have been very busy, but all has been brought back to base with the loss of my great friend and colleague Jon Lord on Monday 16th July. Jon Lord was to many millions of people THE keyboard player in the great days of Deep Purple, and so he was. But he was so much more than a musician.

I first met the great man in 1976; I was auditioning for a gig with his new band Paice Ashton and Lord. I had seen the demise of Purple, attending gigs with both Ritchie and Tommy Bolin, and so when I received a call from Cozy Powell regarding the new band I went for it. I went to an old cinema in West London, owned by ELP, Manticore. There I was ushered into a waiting room with about a dozen other guitar players, that story is not for this time, but is of interest.

I entered the heady world of DPO, Jon was waiting in the room, smiling, strong handshake and a grin when he said, “You do exist then”, I had been rather slow in following Cozy’s instructions, ouch! Ian Paice was a few feet away, raised his hand to say hello, Tony Ashton was opposite Jon, two keyboards set up, and one was Jon Lord, now I knew this was going to be different.

I had been listening to the guitar players going in before me, all pretty much trying to be Ritchie Blackmore, and failing! I thought I was on the right track when we played “How Long” by Ace, Ian knew the groove, I sang it and Jon said to begin, after a couple of verses Jon stopped the proceedings. He came over to me and asked me to show him the changes in the bridge of the song, the great Jon Lord asking me to show him. I state this to show what a man he was, he could have worked out, probably had already, knew the changes backwards, but by asking me he instilled huge confidence in me.

I played a lot of rhythm guitar, waiting for a nod from Jon to solo, took my time and tried to be as cool as I could. Bear in mind I am playing with Jon, and Ian Paice, this was quite a definitive moment for me. We played another couple of grooves, Ian came over and introduced himself, and Ashton kissed me on the forehead!

Jon just smiled, said thank you for coming down and that I would be hearing from them. He asked me if I knew any DP songs, I thought I was about to lose the gig, I said, “Not really, I know a bit of Dance on the Water”. He looked me in the eye, “Smoke on the Water”, he said, “Sorry” I said. They did call the next day.
Jon Lord, great musician, raconteur, writer, funny, intelligent, gifted, family man, friend for life.

Love to Vicky, Amy and Sara Lord
Rest in Peace my friend.


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.

6 Comments to “More tributes to Jon from the Purple family”:

  1. 1
    Josef says:

    Als ich vor gut einer Woche die Nachricht „Dear Jon is gone“ gelesen habe, hat es mich wie einen Schlag getroffen. Nicht, weil es leider absehbar war, nein, es war passiert.

    Ich habe lange überlegt, ein paar Gedanken dazu zu schreiben, weil ja schon vieles, auch sehr persönliches, dazu niedergelegt wurde. Und mache es erst jetzt, aus Anerkennung und Respekt vor einem außergewöhnlichen Musiker und Menschen.

    An diesem Abend habe ich mich an meine C3 gesetzt und wollte CiT anspielen, einfach so. Mit Tränen in den Augen musste ich nach 4 Takten abbrechen. Es ging nicht mehr.

    Jon Lord hat mich, wie sehr viele andere auch, in früher Jugend mit einem Virus infiziert, den ich als „Hammond-Virus“ noch immer in mir trage. Und ich bezeichne Jon als meinen musikalischen Vater, der mich bis zum 16.07.2012 begleitet hat. Im Gegensatz zu meinem leiblichen, der mir nie Vorbild sein konnte.

    Es ist trotz der erfreulichen und breiten öffentlichen Teilnahme in den Medien meines Erachtens sehr schade, dass Jon dort weitgehend auf DP und die bekannten Hits reduziert wurde.
    Ich habe in keinem Nachruf gelesen, dass er für sein Lebenswerk den „Dr.h.c. of Music“ der Universität seiner Geburtsstadt Leicester in 2011 erhalten hat. OK, die Queen hat ihn nicht zum „Sir“ geschlagen und als Lord war er bereits geboren worden.

    Ein Ausnahmemusiker ist aus unserer Welt gegangen, der sich bereits zu Lebzeiten ein Denkmal errichtet hat. Seine Musik wird uns für immer erhalten bleiben, auch wenn er nach eigenem Bekunden noch viel mehr vorhatte.

    Der wirkliche Verlust ist die herausragende Persönlichkeit von Jon Lord, die durch Respekt, Bodenständigkeit und jede Menge (britischem) Humor geprägt war und in der heutigen Zeit nahezu nicht mehr anzutreffen ist.

    Zur Ankündigung von „I’ll send you a postcard“, das Jon seinem Freund und Weggefährten Tony Ashton gewidmet hatte, gab er in Köln folgenden, gekürzten Kommentar:

    „I know where he is, if there is a bar up there“.

    Jon, you will find all your friends up there again. Thanks for all these years and thank you for the music. Rest in peace or rock heaven, God will let you know what to do.

  2. 2
    Roy says:

    Dying is not easy, but it takes a very special someone to meet a certain death…

  3. 3
    evillouie says:

    One tribute from a Purple family member not shown here is Don Airey. He has some kind words about Jon on his website!

  4. 4
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    I hope the band will pay a hommage to the late great keyboardist, and add the vocal parts of the Concerto to their set list. They would make fine songs.

  5. 5
    Correze Ford says:

    What a crappy year this has been! All of the best people are leaving us behind. Now Jon is gone too. God bless him. But what a life he had, didn’t he! Not bad, baby, not bad at all. Cheerio, Jon. See you on the other side!

  6. 6
    Frank Bad Nauheim says:

    smoke on the water and fire in the sky
    Thank you John Lord and Deep Purple
    and a blind man cries:
    “I’m not expecting people anymore”

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