In a moving farewell to his former bandmate in Deep Purple, David Coverdale says the terrible loss of founding keyboardist Jon Lord just might serve as the spark the band needs to get back together.
“I have no doubt that with the healing passage of time,” Coverdale says, “something wonderful will take place somewhere, where his former colleagues and I can come together and celebrate his extraordinary life — and his many musical gifts — and share it with Jon’s multitude of fans.”
Lord, who co-wrote a number of Deep Purple classics, including “Smoke on the Water,” died at 71 last summer after a lengthy bout with pancreatic cancer. The keyboardist was a part of Purple from the group’s inception in 1968 through its initial split in 1976, and then again from 1984 through 2002.
Coverdale first met Lord when one of the singer’s early bands opened up for the Mk.II edition of Deep Purple. He would eventually join the Lord and Co. in 1973, staying through ’76. “Suddenly,” Coverdale marvels, “I was part of the best band in the world.”
Later, both Lord and Coverdale were part of Whitesnake, as well. Though Coverdale remains that group’s frontman, he clearly still holds a deep affection for both his time in Deep Purple and for Lord.
“A sweet, sweet man,” Coverdale says. “He knew how to elevate your spirit. He had poetry and rhetoric in abundance, and he was a great, great guy to have a long, expensive dinner with … Jon Douglas Lord, I salute you.”