There are many words to describe organist Jon Lord, but one fits the bill far better than most:
As founder member of Deep Purple, Jon Lord was – and will continue to be – a hero to rock fans of a certain age, while commanding respect from younger generations as one of the key figures in the birth of hard rock. His organ style and the absolute flair he bought to Purple’s work throughout the late sixties, the seventies and beyond has been influential to millions and emulated by many.
Throughout a musical life, Lord played on many songs now considered classics within the hard rock genre. While so many people will be familiar with Deep Purple, perhaps one of the finest records on which Jon Lord appeared was ‘Malice In Wonderland’ by Paice, Ashton, Lord, a short-lived supergroup which teamed him up with another heavyweight British keyboard player, Tony Ashton and his Purple band mate Ian Paice. On their sole studio outing, Lord lays down some great funky keyboard lines, constantly pushed forward by Ashton. It’s a record which any self-respecting fan of seventies rock should hear, if they’ve not already done so.
Following the dissolution of PAL, Lord played a pivotal role in the early Whitesnake where, as with Purple, his organ playing was essential to the ingredients that helped create the band’s classic blend of blues and hard rock. In later years, he could be heard playing with The Hoochie Coochie Men, a band which focused more on his love of blues.
Factor in Lord’s many classical compositions (including the much celebrated 1969 ‘Concerto For Group & Orchestra’) and it’s hard not to agree that this was a man with a great talent.
Most musicians would love to have a CV with any of the above credits. We should never under-estimate the mark Jonathan Douglas Lord left on the music world. We certainly won’t forget.