DHAKA: Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with heavy rock band Deep Purple, has died aged 71.
Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the group’s songs including ‘Smoke On The Water’.
He also played with bands including Whitesnake.
He had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.
He died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family, a statement said, reports the BBC.
‘Jon passes from Darkness to Light,’ it added.
Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.
Tributes have been paid by musicians including one-time Deep Purple bandmate Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden and Anthrax.
Ex-Rage Against the Machine star Tom Morello wrote on Twitter: ‘RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple’s cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou.’
Former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman was a friend and said he was ‘a great fan’.
‘We were going to write and record an album before he become ill,’ he said.
‘His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly.’
Born in Leicester, Lord learned classical piano at an early age before being seduced by watching early rock ‘n’ roll star Jerry Lee Lewis and jazz organist Jimmy Smith.
He could have chosen a career as an actor after receiving a drama school scholarship, but started playing in pub bands including short-lived outfits with future Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and his brother Art.
He also worked as a session musician and played piano on The Kinks’ hit You Really Got Me.
BDST: 1740 HRS, JUL 17, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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