I have just learned of the death today of Jonathan Douglas Lord, (1941-2012), founder member and original keyboard player with Deep Purple, and a considerable classical composer in his own right. He had been fighting a long battle against pancreatic cancer, and was just 71.
If ever I’ve had a musical hero, it was him.
I can remember the very first time I heard the distinctive roar of his Hammond C3 – I was 14 or 15 and in the school common room. ‘Have you heard this?’ asked a fellow pupil, hastening to put a disc on the record player. It was Deep Purple In Rock.
Lord was renowned in the music industry as a true gentleman in a business populated by sharks. Quite by coincidence I received a missive from the widow of another much loved Hammond player, though much less famous. Regular readers will recall my notice almost exactly two years ago of the passing of Ray Bartrip, Essex muso and a personal mentor. His widow wrote me a lovely letter enclosing a photo album bursting with pictures of Ray’s extensive keyboard collection.
There are no more heroes, and this dull evening will turn to Black Night.