Friday, July 20, 2012
R.i.p - John Lord
Legendary Keyboardist John Lord of Deep Purple/Whitesnake died on July 16th of 2012 at the age of 71. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Before in the throes of his illness he was planning on recording an album with Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman and was in a super group called Whocares with Toni Iommi, Jason Newstead, Ian Gillan and Niko Mcbrain, hopefully that material will see a posthumous release.
A huge debt of gratitude is owed to him by all progressive metal as well as jam bands or any one who has employed keyboards in rock music after 1968 as he set the standard. He distorted the Hammond organ with Marshall amps to achieve a rock growl harder than most guitars of the day. Early in Deep Purple's career he incorporated more blues based styling but by the third album which was self titled Lord began to infuse classical baroque influence into his playing most noticeably on the track "Bird Has Flow". As Yngwie Malmsteen would admit Deep Purple at this point birthed neo-classical metal. Lord's virtuosity raised the bar for metal artist to come who cut their teeth on Deep Purple.
It was Lord that provided the bridge into classical music for the rest of the band leading to several ground breaking collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra , in a time period where hard rock was snubbed by the general public, some we take for granted in 2012 when a band like Dimmu Borgir films a live dvd with one, and interesting enough said band covered Deep Purple's Perfect "Strangers" . Other metal bands who have paid homage to Deep Purple in similar fashion include, Metal Church, Deicide, Bruce Dickinson, Soilwork, Ygnwie Malmsteen, W.A.S.P, Blind Guardian, Faith no More,Metallica, Buck Cherry, Type O Negative, Helloween, Opeth, Overkill, Venom
While is most monolithic body of work was with Deep Purple he was at sought after session player and his skills were used by such artists as George Harrison,David Gilmore and Nazareth. For metal heads, the track shown is an unmistakable testament to what he added to Deep Purple at the height of their creative powers.