Bassist Peter Baltes (pictured below) of reformed heavy metal legends ACCEPT has released the following statement regarding the passing of former DEEP PURPLE/WHITESNAKE keyboardist Jon Lord:"Just like Ronnie [James Dio] was the master on vocals, Jon Lord was the king on the Hammond organ... "R.I.P., Jon Lord. "I grew up on DEEP PURPLE. He was truly the best... [It's a] very sad day for rock." Jon Lord died earlier today (Monday, July 16) in a U.K. hospital at the age of 71. He suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism at the London Clinic after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was "surrounded by his loving family," a message on his official web site said. In addition to DEEP PURPLE, Lord played in WHITESNAKE from 1978 to 1984, having appeared on the albums "Trouble", "Lovehunter", "Ready An' Willing", "Come An' Get It", "Saints & Sinners" and "Slide It In". Jon Lord is survived by his wife Vickie and two daughters — Amy and Sara.