Legendary guitarist Slash (pictured below) (VELVET REVOLVER, GUNS N' ROSES) has released the following statement regarding the passing of former DEEP PURPLE/WHITESNAKE keyboardist Jon Lord:"[It's a] sad day in rock and roll; Jon Lord has passed on. One of the biggest, baddest, heaviest sounds in heavy metal. One if a kind." 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.