Monday 26th January 2015
NME News
July 17, 2012

Legendary keyboardist and Deep Purple founding member Jon Lord passes away

He was the man whose incredible keyboard solos formed the perfect foil for Ritchie Blackmore’s fiery fret runs and, in time, became one of Deep Purple’s signature sounds. It seems unbelievable but Jon Lord, the man who helped ignite the fireball we know and love as Deep Purple is no more. He was 71.

“It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism on Monday, 16th July, at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family,” reads the post on Lord’s official website,

Understandably, the world of music is in deep shock. “Sad day in rock ‘n’ roll. Jon Lord has passed on. One of the biggest, baddest, heaviest sounds in heavy metal. One of a kind. RIP,” Tweeted former Guns N Roses guitar player, Slash.

“We were going to write and record an album before he become ill,” stated former Yes keyboard player and a humungous musical talent in his own right, Rick Wakeman. “His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly.”
Lord, who co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the band’s huge hits including ‘Smoke On The Water,’ had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.

“He has passed from Darkness to Light,” reads the post on

Be mesmerised by Lord’s incredible soloing here:

R.I.P. Jon Lord and thank you for the music!

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