Jon Lord of Deep Purple has died at the age of 71.
The co-founder and keyboard player with the metal pioneers passed away today (July 16) after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and was surrounded by his family at the London Clinic.
Lord founded Deep Purple in 1968, and along with drummer Ian Pace was a constant in the band during their existence from 1968 to 1970. Her co-wrote many of the band’s songs, including the seminal ‘Smoke On The Water’ and was responsible for the legendary organ riff on ‘Child Of Our Time’.
He remained with the band when they reformed in 1970, until his retirement in 2002.
Renowned for his fusion of rock and classical or baroque forms, he was perhaps best known for his Orchestral work ‘Concerto For Group And Orchestra’ first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold. The feat was repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.
He also worked with Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton And Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men.
A statement from his representatives reads simply: “Jon passes from Darkness to Light”.