IN REMEMBRANCE OF JON LORD
As usual, yesterday I was at beach on a deckchair to enjoy the warmth of the evening hours, when the sun is not too strong greeted by a gentle sea breeze, and opened a magazine I read that terrible news. Jon Lord, the legendary keyboardist of the famous Deep Purple band, had died aged 71. Those two lines chilled me, in disbelief I read and reread them several times to make sure I had understood.
< It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.>
The world fell on me!
This happens when people who die have made history, are our idols, and that for us become untouchable, kinda immortal. Jon Lord along with Ian Paice and Ritchie Blackmore for me mean music, rock and hard rock most. Just my favorite band, a point of reference whose I have followed in the years the whole discography. I just was 14 when the drums became an obsession for me, I loved it so bad and wanted to learn to play it, a passion that grew in subsequent years and that today still is inside me. Those were hard days, no allowance, no internet, isolated from the world with few people who could afford to have a stereo or buying LPs and magazines. Only two television channels which occasionally talked about music and less about rock groups, though they already were very famous worldwide. About rock bands we knew little or nothing and I could think to be lucky if in the jukebox’s bar there hardly were a Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin forty-five record, which from time to time I could listen. I had the opportunity to hear some more Deep Purple’s songs through a friend of a friend who, son of a doctor, had at home a “Selections from the Rider’s Digest” stereo-set and could afford to buy LPs, including those of Deep Purple. Since my friend played drums and appreciated Ian Paice, sometimes he was invited by his friend to listen to some tracks of an album he had bought, and if it happened to me to be with him, I then was lucky to accompany him and have the honor of seeing the vinyl’s cover and listen it. Two or three pieces only, but it was plenty for me. I learned to play drums banging my hands on knees or using pans with wooden spoons, and when at last the good soul of my grandmother, determined to please me, bought me a real drums ….. I did not sleep that night. But still I had to suffer a lot before playing it, because my parents did not let me assemble it at home. On the other hand, a small house, already insufficient for 6 of us. I was eighteen when I started to earn my first money as post-school teacher for boys and girls students, and the first purchase just concerned that coveted record-player by “Rider’s Digest”, and then the first Deep Purple LPs. To buy these I had to go downtown and still remember now, when seated on the bus back to home, I kept it as a relic in my hands, eager to unpack, view photos and listen it, strong emotions indeed. On that time a LP priced about 4000 lire (about 2 euros today), a not insignificant sum for me. When I had the good fortune to bring the drums in the small living-room at home, if alone I closed doors and windows and, put a Deep Purple LP on the player, started to play together trying to imitate Paice, my favorite drummer. To me he was the non plus ultra of drummers, a legend … a god! What I would have done to meet, talk or just watch him playing drums by close. A dream for a suburban boy like me, who knew not feasible. I had to wait Internet and a computer before I finally could know something more about Deep Purple and see some videos too…. what a satisfaction. But I’m talking about a period in which the group had already disbanded and their name no longer on the go.
I grew up listening to hard rock, I loved it so visceral as I loved my idols: Deep Purple. Now you’ll understand why yesterday, while on the deckchair, the world fell on me.
Goodbye Jon and thanks a lot for having given me strong emotions by your performance.