Ex-Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

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Former Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord has pancreatic cancer, though band drummer Ian Paice says the disease was caught in its “really early stages.”

[BREAKING NEWS UPDATE, MONDAY, JULY 16, 2012: Pancreatic cancer claims co-founding Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord at age 71, even as he’d planned big comeback.]

Lord is seeking treatment in Israel, but the 70-year-old is hoping to return to music later this year, Paice told the Canadian radio station CIRK K-97. Lord played with Paice in Deep Purple from 1968-76, and then again from 1984-2002.
He’s also worked with Whitesnake and the all-star group Paice Ashton & Lord, among others.

“There are no more cancer cells being produced,” Paice said, “and those that are lying dormant are being, hopefully, wiped out as we speak by a brand new treatment which he is over in Israel having right now. So we’re already thinking that he may be back working in April or May.”

Paice is the only founding member of Deep Purple to have appeared in all of its many incarnations over the years.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Deep Purple. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

DEEP PURPLE – SHADES OF DEEP PURPLE (1968; 2011 REISSUE): Coming together in 1967, Deep Purple were like a lot of bands of the day, as their mission was to push the sonic envelope as far as possible and create something new and exciting. Based out of Hertford, England, the group achieved their goal straight away. Dramatic and bombastic, Deep Purple played a tumultuous blend of heavy metal and progressive rock before such labels arrived into being, tagging them pioneers of the genres.

ONE TRACK MIND: DEEP PURPLE’S ROGER GLOVER, “THE CAR WON’T START” (2011): A tune that couldn’t be further away from the dark organ-based groove of his band, “The Car Won’t Stop” finds Deep Purple’s Roger Glover indulging in a childhood passion for skiffle. There may not be a more surprising connection to be made between this homemade amalgam of roots influences and Glover, unless you know the history: This British folk-rock tangent influenced many of Glover’s generation, including the Beatles.

FORGOTTEN SERIES: EPISODE SIX – THE ROOTS OF DEEP PURPLE: THE COMPLETE EPISODE SIX (1994): Formed in the summer of 1964, Episode Six quickly developed a star-studded reputation as a hotshot live band. The English group, which included lead singer Ian Gillian and bassist Roger Glover, who eventually gleaned even more accolades in Deep Purple, also cut a flock of brilliant singles that are featured on this set, along with a brace of previously unreleased material.

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