Deep Purple Keyboardist Jon Lord Dies; created one of rock’s signature sounds

Who was Jon Lord?

The name might ring familiar to early 70’s stoners and bluesy brit prog-rocker fans.  Lord was the keyboardist who enveloped Deep Purple (and later Whitesnake) with a deep, muscular over-driven organ sound.

He died Monday. He was 71. A statement on Lord’s official website says he died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Here’s what I know of Lord, and why he mattered in rock: Lord co-wrote “Smoke on the Water.”

Isn’t that enough?

Deep Purple was Lord, singer Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover. And it was Lord who wielded a Hammond organ that drove “Smoke on the Water” “Hush,”and “Lazy” and ”Highway Star.”

A signature sound. Wrote one of the iconic rock songs of the past 50 years.

RIP Mr. Lord.

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