Tag Archives: Deep Purple

Deep Purple Founder And Keyboardist Jon Lord Dies At 71

Jon Lord: God Of The Hammond Organ, June 9, 1941 – July 16, 2012

More and more of the people I grew up admiring are leaving us. In the last couple of weeks actor Ernest Borgnine, Encyclopedia Brown author Donald Sobol and director William Asher died and on Monday, July 16, 2012 the announcement of Jon Lord’s sudden death really hit home.

Lord who had been battling pancreatic cancer, died unexpectedly at the London Clinic of a pulmonary embolism. He leaves behind his second wife Vickie, their daughter, Amy, and Sara, his daughter with his first wife Judith Feldman whom he married in 1969 and divorced in 1981.

I grew up admiring Deep Purple and they have always been one of my favorite bands. I had seen them perform live which was a very festive and loud experience.  After seeing them live I came away with the first hand knowledge that Jon Lord was without a doubt one of the most exciting and greatest rock keyboard players ever.

Being an extremely amateur musician myself, there are two things I wish I had the ability to do. One is to play stride style piano like James Johnson or Fats Waller and the other is to flawlessly play the guitar solo or keyboard solo to Deep Purple’s driving locomotive of a song, Highway Star.

Jon Lord was a classically trained musician and that training always came through in Deep Purple’s music. The structure of many of the bands songs are clearly classically influenced and this is due to the fact that both Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore drew a lot of their inspiration from the classical realm.

(l-r) Ian Paice, Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord

In rock n’ roll there are many talented composers that are not great performers. There are great live bands, without good original songs. Then, there are phenomenal studio bands who can’t cut it live. During the height of their fame in the 1970’s,  I don’t think there was a more talented group of individuals playing together as a band than Deep Purple. What I mean is each individual was a virtuoso in his own right, a master at their instrument. Together they were able to write great songs, record them in the studio and play them effortlessly with an edge in front of a live audience as few rock bands could. To do any one of these three things well is an accomplishment.  Deep Purple was in a rare class as they did all three. Continue reading

Ritchie Blackmore Explains The Origin of Some Of Deep Purple’s Greatest Songs

Is Anything Original?

In this fascinating interview with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, he briefly explains and demonstrates how he came up with the riffs to some of Deep Purple’s greatest songs, including Mandrake Root, Black Night, Speed King, Smoke On The Water, Lazy and Highway Star.

Musicians and public alike look at Blackmore and see a complicated and private man who has an immense talent for songwriting.

What Blackmore acknowledges in this interview (which I wish was complete) is that previous works by others can play a big part in your own creativity.

Inspiration can come from anywhere. From Mozart to Jimi Hendrix.

Hush – Deep Purple with Playboy’s Hugh Hefner

Playboy After Dark –  Featuring the Original Deep Purple

Hugh Hefner’s swinging, late 1960’s TV show, Playboy After Dark had a wide variety of musicians, comedians and interesting people appear as  guests. This clip recorded in late 1968,  is one of the earliest television performances and one of the last to show the original Deep Purple performing their breakthrough song Hush.

This line-up is known as Deep Purple Mark I.  By the time this segment aired November 14, 1969, original vocalist Rod Evans and bass player Nick Simper, both founding members of the band, had been out of the band since July 1969 and were replaced by Ian Gillan and Roger Glover.  The new incarnation of Deep Purple would go on to have worldwide commercial success and set a standard for other hard rock and heavy metal bands to follow. Continue reading

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Knows Nothing About Hard Rock Or Heavy Metal

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame’s 5 Biggest Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Snubs

I am not one for lists. They are subjective and open to arguments.

Having written that, I will still compile a few lists here and there on this site and possibly instigate something Palin-esque (Michael not Sarah.)  So, with that warning, this list concerns one of the most meaningless institutions ever created – the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.  Who cares about who is in and who is not? I certainly don’t. The idea that you are given an award or recognized by some all knowing group of people has never excited me.  I’m sure most bands really don’t care and it makes no difference in validating their career.

Yet to legions of dedicated fans of various bands, it does matter. They start online petitions, vent in Rolling Stone or on blogs about their band not being included in The RNRHOF. Every year when the inductees Continue reading