English musician Jon Lord, best known as the keyboardist for the band Deep Purple and co-writer of the hit song “Smoke on the Water”, has died aged 71 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
A classically trained musician, Lord was the composer of the orchestral work Concerto for Group & Orchestra which was performed by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1969.
“Every rock band that has pretentions to being serious has worked with a symphony orchestra, but not before Deep Purple did it,” Baker said.
It’s a strong contrast between their work in classical music and at the same time being recognised as the world’s “Loudest Pop Group” in the Guinness Book of World Records after reaching 117 decibels in a performance in London’s Rainbow Theatre in 1972.
Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice were the only constant members of the band from its founding in 1968 through multiple incarnations until Lord retired from Deep Purple in 2002.
by Arthur Furrowfield