The founder of Deep Purple Jon Lord passed away yesterday, a man who has played a major role in the lives of dozens of millions of people. My own life would have been quite different without Deep Purple. I believe many of the readers can say the same.
I am a happy man, since I spent almost a day with Jon Lord in October 2010. I have already written that I was also present at the recording of Out of My Mind track of WhoCares supergroup. Today, I am going to tell you more about that day.
We were talking to Ian Gillan’s Manager Phil Banfield and waiting for the musicians to arrive to the studio. Phil Banfield told me:
- Jon Lord is coming and you will see what a true gentleman is like.
Out of My Mind track was almost ready and the London Sarm Studios should have recorded the parts of Jon Lord and Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain. I have heard the draft version of the song and couldn’t imagine how Jon Lord would’ve fit in with it. Phil Banfield said Ian Gillan had asked Lord to participate in the recording of the song when only the idea of the future song existed:
- I don’t think Lord will have enough space in this song to show all he can do. But let’s wait and see.
Jon Lord came when his legendary Hammond was already in the studio. He immediately captivated all those present with his grandeur and simplicity. It rarely happens when these two qualities are so naturally combined in one person. He brought the song notes with him, sat down at the Hammond, put on his earphones and started to work. He completely immersed himself in music and was only physically in the room.
The task was really tough: Jon Lord had to leave his mark on a virtually finished song but he had to do it without emphasizing his presence and staying unnoticed at the same time.
The musician worked a miracle after several hours of work. Listen to this song and just imagine how it would sound without Jon Lord:
Gillan and Lord were talking over a cup of coffee during the break, remembering old times.
Gillan paused and introduced me to Lord:
- Let me introduce Ara, he’s from Armenia.
- Nice to meet you, gentleman, Jon Lord said shaking my hand.
I think it makes no sense to describe my feelings…
Lord Jon passed away yesterday. He “passed from Darkness to Light” is written on his site. I have the notes of Out of My Mind single written in his hand. I’ll keep them as a memory of that fantastic day I had spent with people who were the heroes of my childhood and youth.
It’s a pity that we’ll say goodbye to our heroes more often in the coming 5-10 years. What can we do? Just listen to their songs and again feel those divine moments their music has granted to us.
Rest in Peace Jon Lord! You were a Great man and a Great musician indeed. We are launching the construction of Music School in Gyumri already this August. It became possible also thanks to your efforts. Maybe one day one of the graduates of that school will become a great musician and a hero for millions of people. Rest in Peace, Jon Lord!
Ara Tadevosyan is the Director of Mediamax.