IAN GILLAN: JON LORD Was The 'Godfather' Of DEEP PURPLE

DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan (pictured below) spoke to the U.K. digital radio station Planet Rock yesterday (Monday, July 16) about the passing of former DEEP PURPLE/WHITESNAKE keyboardist Jon Lord. You can listen to a snippet of the chat using the SoundCloud player below.

"He was just an amazing character and, I suppose, the godfather of DEEP PURPLE, and we all looked up to him with tremendous admiration," Ian said. "If there was such a thing as a typical English gentleman in rock music, then it was Jon Lord. We've all been touched by Jon one way or another — anyone who's involved in music, not only the fans, but also behind the scenes. We all know Jon for the inspiration and the incredible talent that he was. I could speak for hours about what he's given us. We shall carry his memory forward and his music, of course."

Jon Lord died yesterday (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 — the band led by ex-PURPLE singer David Coverdale — 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.

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