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.