Jon Lord (Deep Purple & Rainbow) 1941-2012

Lord, who co-wrote many of the group’s legendary songs including Smoke On The Water, had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.

He co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and also played with bands including Whitesnake during his career.

He died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family. “Jon passes from Darkness to Light,” a statement said.

A classically-trained pianist, Lord was influenced by blues and jazz but approached his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.

The band established their sound and success at the start of the 1970s with albums including Deep Purple in Rock and Machine Head.

The group split up in 1976 but reformed in 1984 and the line-up has undergone numerous changes over the years, with Lord a mainstay until he left 2002.

In its classic years, the band also included guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover.

Born in Leicester on 9 June, 1941, Jon Lord began playing piano and taking classical music lessons from an early age.

He received a scholarship to drama school in London at the age of 19, during which time he began playing jazz and rhythm and blues in pub gigs.


Jonathan Douglas “Jon” Lord D.M. (9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012) was an English composerpianist and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock and classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, besides WhitesnakePaice, Ashton & LordThe Artwoods and Flower Pot Men.

In 1968, Lord founded Deep Purple, where he was virtually the leader of the band until 1970. In addition, Lord wrote the organ riff on “Child in Time“. He and drummer Ian Paice were the only constant band members during the band’s existence from 1968 to 1976 and from when they reformed in 1984 until Lord’s retirement from Deep Purple in 2002. On 11 November 2010, Lord was made an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson CollegeEdinburgh. On 15 July 2011, he was granted an honorary Doctor of Music degree by his home town’s University of Leicester. Lord passed away on July 16, 2012 after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and was surrounded by his family at the London Clinic.