Jon Lord dies after cancer fight
Deep Purple icon Jon Lord has died from a health complication as a result of his fight with cancer. He was 71.
Last year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the fourth most-common type of the killer disease – but vowed to return to health, saying music would play a major part in his recuperation.
An official press statement says: “It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16 July, at the London Clinic after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Jon was surrounded by his loving family.
“The legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the band’s legendary songs including Smoke On The Water, and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.
“Jon passes from Darkness to Light.”
In 2011 he said he’d be bowing out of the limelight to deal with his illness, but added: “I shall, of course, be continuing to write music. In my world it just has to be part of the therapy. I fully expect to be back in good shape next year.”
He was due to appear in Germany on July 6 to perform his Durham Concerto, but pulled out a week ahead of the show. Fans were told: “Jon wishes to assure everyone that this is not a matter for concern, but a continuation of his regular treatment that has just taken longer than anticipated.” He planned to reschedule the performance for later in the year.
Pulmonary embolism is the blocking of the main artery to the lung, caused by material which has moved from elsewhere in the body. It’s a common complication of the form of cancer suffered by Lord.
He co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and is best remembered for a style of keyboard performance that supported iconic guitarist Richie Blackmore’s trademark sound. His Concerto for Group And Orchestra gave Purple their first taste of fame.
Lord left the band for good in 2002 to concentrate on his solo work. He’d played with Whitesnake, the Artwoods and the Flower Pot Men amongst other outfits.