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Even more family tributes to Jon

Jon Lord: 9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012

Eddie Hardin:


My first encounter with Jon, well, I must have been 16! He was playing with THE ARTWOODS and I was rehearsing in a room nearby; I was immediately struck by the growling sound of his Hammond. I tried my best to be inconspicuous, though Jon spotted me in the shadows and asked me to leave.

Little did I know that in future years I would go on to tour with DEEP PURPLE when HARDIN & YORK were at their peak and DEEP PURPLE were playing the Albert Hall. I went on to work with Jon on several of my own projects, WIZARDS CONVENTION, THE BUTTERFLY BALL, WIND IN THE WILLOWS.

Personally I remember him with great affection and during one of our meetings at The Speakeasy in London he flattered me by saying, “There are only three Hammond players and they are Keith Emerson, myself and yourself”!

He will be greatly missed, not only as a friend but as a fine musician. All my sincerest condolences go to his family.

My thoughts will always be with you, Jon, and maybe one day we will meet again.

Don Airey:

England has just lost one of it’s finest. With happy memories of all your kind words and actions towards Mike and Myself over the last few years, and the monumental musical example you set over the last 40. RIP

Nick Simper:

During the last few years, the music business has lost some of its most seminal players, people who inspired me and many others. We said goodbye to my three favourite guitarists, the three “Micks” as I called them, namely Mick Keane, Mick Green, and Mickey King. We also lost Tony Dangerfield, Neil Christian, Jet Harris and the man who played a big part in our lives, Jim Marshall.

This week another name has been added to the list, as we learned of the death of Jon Lord.

I first met Jon, very briefly, late one night at the famous Shepherds Bush pie stall, one of the few places where food (of a kind) could be obtained during the early hours. It was the summer of 1966, and we were both, in those days, at the top of our game. I was playing with one of rock’s biggest names, Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, whilst Jon was with the Artwoods, one of the country’s top R & B groups. Neither of us spoke, just exchanging nods, as Kidd spoke animatedly with the Artwood’s drummer, an old friend. Little did we know that in less than two years we would be best friends, climbing the U.S. charts together, and creating a supergroup that would still be working nearly half a century later!

Fate was to throw us together in late ’67, working with the chart-topping group the Flowerpot Men, and it was Jon who talked me into leaving this money-spinning outfit to create a new band. Together with Ritchie Blackmore, and briefly, Bobby Woodman, we sowed the seeds that became Deep Purple. Jon and I hit it off from the first day that we worked together, and for the next two years we lived together, firstly at my parents’ home, then at Deeves Hall, and finally sharing a room at the Deep Purple house in Acton, West London. On tour we always roomed together, and life was one big round of fun! He called me his best friend, and I thought of him as the brother that I never had.

Sadly, as is well documented, none of this was to last! During the next forty years we both moved in different directions, but strangely, in the last couple of years, whilst our paths did not cross, they came very close to doing so. During my recent trips to Europe with Nasty Habits, we played where Jon had been very recently, or was due to perform very soon. Several times I came across his contemporaries who would pass on “greetings from Jon”. It seemed only a matter of time before we met up again on the same bill, or in the same town. Finally it looked on the cards as we were both appearing on the same weekend at a festival at St. Veit in Austria. Sadly, Jon cancelled his appearance, and it was then that I learned of the seriousness of his illness. During our show I asked the audience to join us in sending good vibes to Jon for a speedy recovery, and the resulting roar from the crowd said it all!
Since that gig, last September, we all constantly enquired after Jon’s health, hoping for a happy outcome, but sadly it was not to be. However, his music will live on, a fitting memorial to a great musician, and the memories of those exciting, pioneering days will remain with me forever. Rest in peace Jon.

11 Comments to “Even more family tributes to Jon”:

  1. 1
    Moreblack says:

    Great to hear from Nick.Great.

  2. 2
    George Martin says:

    Nick Simper showed a lot of class. It’s amazing how death brings out the best in people. He has reasons to be bitter about his dismissal from Deep Purple but has nothing but nice things to say about the man who called him once his best friend. I don’t know if Nick will ever read this but if he does God bless you Nick. It’s time for members of Deep Purple to bury the hatchet as we say in America. I’m not saying they need to play together again but no one gets younger and it time for them to hang out at least one more time. Don’t wait for another death to do it. It would be nice to here from Rod Evans. Good job Nick! Rest in peace Jon.

  3. 3
    stoffer says:

    Nick Simper………..WOW………..I envy you, you knew Jon Lord well, don’t fret………you are still a member of Deep Purple to many of us.. KEEP ROCKIN’ thanks : )

  4. 4
    Andy worthington says:

    Wonderful words from Nick, thoughtful and so obviously from the heart.

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I always kept on hoping Jon would find his way back to Nick, but it appears that things like that almost always never come true : (

    I mean, how simple it should have been to do (musical) meetings in the last 10 years?

    My wish was the original nucleus of DP, or combined with Nick and Rod.


    Anothewr great musician I still miss is Lonesome”Dave Peverett” of FOGHAT.
    See his selfmade tribute, just before he died, and weep :


  6. 6
    stoffer says:

    priest…….. Foghat was one our favorite bands when we were much younger, we used to sit around and drink many a beer listening to Foghat and of course MKII & III. Songs like Road Fever, Drivin Wheel, Fool For The City bring back a lot of memories, got to see them a couple of times and they were quite loud!! Great Memories of Lonesome Dave

  7. 7

    met jon in 2002 he was a gentleman rip jon

  8. 8
    Sami says:

    Wonderfully put from Mr. Simper, a gentleman’s a gentleman.

    p.s. Priest & stoffer: ‘discovered’ Foghat just a few years back(don’t know why I never listened them before, but…), great boogie-laden stuff, always brings a smile to my face…and yeah, a few beers of course, essential 🙂

  9. 9
    Scoot says:

    Such a great tribute from a man who could have chosen to remain silent, and understandably so.

    What a hoot it would have been had Jon and Nick wound up playing the same bill…

  10. 10
    nijam says:

    He’s a remarkeble man saw him in singapore during the slaves and masters tour in the 90’s.
    He was such a legend and many thanks for what he did thru out the years RIP jon…

  11. 11
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I am often bewildered and sometimes annoyed noticing how media cover an artist’s death.

    Ronnie James Dio’s death got into TT , and ofcourse was linked to Love Is All instead of gates Of babylon or Heavenn and Hell, but it all went silent after that.
    Jon Lord did get a short piece in the daily news and Teletext and that was it.

    In Dutch magazine this month Aardschok there is a small bit about Jon.

    The mag always predominantly leaned more to metal than classic rock.
    As long as I remember when I bought 1 of their magazines I often felt down and dirty after because I also had to pay for the large part of shit in it about “so called important trash metallers or whatever.

    Again they have put a silly bunch of childish metal wannabees(With the retarded metal poses and all that) on the cover and Jon was given a small section a few pages later.

    Overhere the Boney M singer, who never sang on the records, was an item for a whole week!!!

    Yesterday I entered my local supermarket and noticed something odd.
    Here we also have people that are said to be homeless and selling a so called “streetpaper”.
    They have put Jon on the cover!!!!

    Inside some pics and a DP discography.
    No mentioning of this solo works or Whitesnake though : (

    No names telling me who wrote the articles.
    Is this just a selection of copy and paste things they collected on the Net?

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