Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy 70th Birthda Jon Lord

Jonathan Douglas ‘Jon’ Lord was born on June 9, 1941 in Leicester, England. Jon was trained in classical piano from the age of 5. He absorbed blues sounds that played a key part in his rock career. Lord moved to London in 1959 to pursue an acting career and enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama. Small parts followed and to make ends meet he played piano and organ in local clubs. In 1960 he started his band career in a jazz group called The Bill Ashton Combo. Ashton and Lord later moved on to Red Budd’s Bluesicians aka The Don Wilson’s Quartet which feature singer Arthur ‘Art’ Wood. When this group broke up Wood, Lord and drummer Red Dunnage formed the Art Wood Combo. Lord then founded Santa Barbara Machine Head. In 1967 Jon met businessman Tony Edwards who wanted to invest money into the music business by forming a new band. Lord, Ian Paice, Nick Simper, Ritchie Blackmore and singer Rod Evans and Deep Purple was formed. Jon married Ian Paice’s wife’s twin sister Vickie. Between 1968 and 1976 Lord’s trademark keyboard sound was developed with the use of the Hammond organ. Jon also continued his focus on classical compositions and was commissioned by the BBC to do several works. In 1978 Lord joined the group White Snake and played with the group until 1984 when he reemerged with Deep Purple. Lord still performs today and is working with a supergroup called WhoCares featuring Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, Mikko Lindström, Jason Newsted and Nicko McBrain. Lord recorded the score with Ashton, Gardner & Dyke for "The Last Rebel" (1971). Today we celebrate legendary keyboard musicain Jon Lord’s 70th birthday.

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