Keyboardist Jordan Rudess (pictured below) of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has released the following statement regarding the passing of former DEEP PURPLE/WHITESNAKE keyboardist Jon Lord:"I'm very sad to hear about the passing of Jon Lord. He was an inspiration to me!" 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.