This was Jon Lord’s final concert appearance due to his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
John Douglas “Jon” Lord (9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012) was an English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice Ashton Lord, The Artwoods, and The Flower Pot Men. In 1968, Lord co-founded Deep Purple, a hard rock band of which he was regarded as the leader until 1970. Together with the other members, he collaborated on most of his band's most popular songs.
He and drummer Ian Paice were the only continuous presence in the band during the period from 1968 to 1976, and also from when it was reestablished in 1984 until Lord's retirement from Deep Purple in 2002. On 11 November 2010, he was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson College in Edinburgh, Scotland. On 15 July 2011, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree at De Montfort Hall by the University of Leicester. Lord was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 8 April 2016 as a member of Deep Purple.
As pioneered in rock by such players as Keith Emerson, Lord began experimenting with a keyboard sound produced by driving the Hammond organ through Marshall speakers in an effort to match the attack and volume of Blackmore's guitar. Lord's version was heavier than a blues sound, and it often featured distortion and a far harder, industrial type sound that became the trademark Jon Lord organ sound, admired by fans and peers alike but rarely replicated. Both Emerson and Rick Wakeman publicly expressed admiration for Lord's mould-breaking work on the organ. This delivered a rhythmic foundation to complement Blackmore's speed and virtuosity on lead guitar. Lord also loved the sound of an RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, which he used on such songs as "Demon's Eye" and "Space Truckin'".
In 1973 Lord's original Hammond C3 gave out and he bought another from Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Also around this time, Lord and his keyboard technician, Mike Phillips, combined his Hammond C3 Organ with the RMI. Lord kept this particular Hammond C3 until his retirement from the band in 2002, when he passed it to successor Don Airey. That instrument was retired from stage use a few years later, as it had become "pretty knackered" according to Airey.
Lord pushed the Hammond-Leslie sound through Marshall amplification, creating a growling, heavy, mechanical sound which allowed Lord to compete with Blackmore as a soloist, with an organ that sounded as prominent as the lead guitar.