Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jon Lord: Master of the Keyboard

I am grateful that my dad introduced me to Deep Purple. He is responsible for bringing my attention to many wonderful bands as a kid. As my tastes matured and I started looking for music on my own, I became a bigger fan of Deep Purple and always marveled at the great musicianship all the band members possessed.

The passing of Jon Lord hits hard because he was one of the greats and of the musicians I grew attached to. As with many bands that came before my time, I wished I could have been alive in the seventies and experience “Machine Head”, “In Rock”, and “Burn” when they first came out. The way Lord attacked the keyboards and was able to create something so memorable was always astounding to me. There are also not too many people that could play alongside the great Ritchie Blackmore and dare him to come up with something that the master keyboardist couldn’t match. The interplay on the title track to “Burn” is the prime example of how those two would go at it and remains my favorite Deep Purple song.

There would be no Deep Purple without Lord. The man is responsible for making the ivories heavy and being like the Neil Peart of drumming. Both of them are the absolute best at their craft. The intro to “Lazy” remains a landmark moment on how to create a slick organ groove and the somber tone of “Child in Time” are memorable moments that I cherish as avid fan of the purple sound.

I never had the privilege of meeting Lord or seeing him live, but the comments from those who knew him and played with him say he handled himself like he handled the ivories: with class and dignity. It may seem silly to feel sad for someone you did not know personally, but Deep Purple were one of the foundations of me becoming a heavy metal fan and I have memories of sitting in the basement with my dad discovering Deep Purple for the first time. Thank you for the countless memories Jon Lord and your music will always be alive with this fan.

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