DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover (pictured below) has released the following statement regarding the passing of former PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord:"It’s unthinkable that Jon is gone. My thoughts are for his wife Vicky and all his children and family at this sad moment in their lives. I wish them all strength. A great sadness and sense of loss hangs over me. Not only has the music world lost a fantastic musician but a gentleman of the finest order. He was a giant in my life, a great friend, a fellow traveler, a teacher, not only of music, but of life. I am devastated at his passing." Jon Lord died on Monday (July 16) at age 71 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Lord, who was known for his keyboard virtuosity and his reinvention of the Hammond B-3 organ sound, co-wrote such PURPLE classics as "Smoke On The Water" and "Child In Time", among others. Lord and drummer Ian Paice were the only original members to last through the band's initial run from 1968 to 1976. He was on board for their 1984 reunion and stayed on through to his 2002 retirement from the band, after which he's worked primarily in the classical field. Over the course of his career, Lord also worked with the ARTWOODS, FLOWER POT MEN, PAICE, ASHTON AND LORD, WHITESNAKE and good friend and neighbor, George Harrison.