Jon Lord, R.I.P.

fan portrait of jon lord deep purple keyboard player

Jon Lord R.I.P.

It has been reported that Deep Purple co-founder Jon Lord (9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012) passed away today, age 71.

Mr. Lord wrote many of the rock band’s greatest hits, including the fabled song “Smoke on the water”.

That song, as the story and the lyrics go, was written by Jon Lord after seeing the aftermath of a Frank Zappa show in a venue in Switzerland, across the lake from the hotel where Deep Purple where staying.

The venue was the location where DP where booked to play the next night, and the band was simultaneously trying to write the last song of their next album. That venue had burned down during the Zappa show, due to a fan in the crowd who set off a flare gun under a flammable roof, which caught and spread quickly.

The smoke on the water was literally the smoke seen rising above the ashes of the concert location in the morning, when the band was rehearsing, early in the day.

What the story makes me think of is the way that such random flare-ups can cause such massive creative success.

Mr. Lord will be missed by his family, his friends, and his fans.

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