by Robert Wilkinson
Today we send up a birthday tribute to one of the godfathers of Metal music, Jon Lord. We have some Deep Purple video clips that really rock!
John Douglas "Jon" Lord (9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012) was an English composer and keyboard player who fused rock with classical music and then founded Deep Purple, one of the first truly heavy metal bands. As I gave you in his RIP tribute two years ago, Deep Purple was founded in 1968. One of the first "proto-metal" bands, besides being one of the first bands to really crank it up on stage, they rocked, and rocked VERY hard!
I first saw Deep Purple open for Rod Stewart in 1970, and Jon literally rocked his organ the length of the stage and back, never missing a note, while Richie Blackmore’s screaming guitar wailed at 11 on a scale of 10! After a full 30 minute standing ovation by the crowd, Rod Stewart finally took the stage, looked chagrined, and said "well, I'll try....." And yes, Rod and the Faces also rocked, and rocked hard! It was one of the best concerts I've ever seen.
While I don't have a lot of time to assemble a couple of dozen performance clips, I found a few that are truly great, with his more memorable songs and performances:
From "Playboy After Dark" in 1968, their first hit! "Hush."
Here's the studio version of their second hit. From "The Book of Taliesyn," their rocking version of the Neil Diamond song, "Kentucky Woman."
From the BBC in 1970, one of Jon's most memorable riffs and compositions from the "Deep Purple In Rock" album, the amazing and haunting "Child In Time." Here's another great live performance from 1972 of "Child In Time."
Here's his most famous composition, performed live with Deep Purple in 1973, the grinding "Smoke On The Water." I also found the entire 22 minute set of this 1973 NYC concert, so if you want to take the trip, here's the Deep Purple 1973 New York ConcertWe'll close this brief tribute to Jon Lord with a full hour and 37 minute live concert from their "Machine Head" tour in 1972! For your enjoyment, at their best, here's the Deep Purple Machine Head Concert Live in Copenhagen 1972
Thanks for all the amazing tunes over the years, Jon. You turned me on to the fact that a rock organist could do classical riffs to electric guitar and a rock beat and create a totally original and exciting sound! RIP, and thanks for the memories.
ps - All thanks to friend of the site Ken for reminding me of Jon's birthday!
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson