Monday, July 16, 2012
A statement on Lord's official website says the Leicester, England-born musician suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism in London on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Lord, considered one of the finest to ever play the instrument, was a founding member of Deep Purple, continuing to record and perform with the band until his retirement in 2002.
It was Lord's pioneering fusion of classical influences with heavy rock which helped propel the band to international fame during the early 70's on such classic albums as 1970's 'In Rock', 1971's 'Fireball' and 1972's 'Machine Head', which includes the iconic "Smoke On The Water", which the keyboardist co-wrote with guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.
In the interim between Deep Purple's first breakup in 1975 until their reformation in 1984, Lord was also a member of British blues rockers Whitesnake alongside former Purple bandmates drummer Ian Paice and vocalist David Coverdale. He was also 1/3 of Paice, Ashton & Lord, who released one album 'Malice In Wonderland' in 1977.
In addition to releasing numerous solo albums, Lord also did many studio sessions, including The Kinks' "Really Got Me" in 1964, also appearing on albums by ex Beatle George Harrison, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Scottish hard rockers Nazareth and many others.
Lord's last solo album 'To Notice Such Things', released in 2010, entered the UK's official classical chart at #4.
His Concerto for Group and Orchestra, re-recorded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a selection of invited guests, including blues rock titan Joe Bonamassa, current Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse and Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickenson, is set to be released by Edel Records in September.
Up until July 2012, Lord had been working on material with recently formed rock supergroup WhoCares, also featuring singer Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, guitarist Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, second guitarist Mikko Lindström from HIM, bassist Jason Newsted formerly from Metallica and drummer Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden.