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Born: June 9, 1941, Leicester, United Kingdom Died: July 16, 2012, London, United Kingdom

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Jon Lord's Style

Hammond organs were at first mostly used by Blues and Jazz players --- Hammond gods like JimmySmith, JimmyMcGriff, and Popular artists (e.g. LennyDee). Jon Lord employed the "hard rock" style on the Hammond, and he often used tube distortion and overdrive through regular speakers, as opposed to the Leslie. He was also known for playing heavy and fast keyboard riffs, in the same way that Blackmore would on his guitar. The best example of this is the song "Fireball," where he used thrash metal-like riffs, and he used a Maestro RM-1A ring modulator in the solo. He was also the first to play a Hammond through a (Marshall) guitar amp.

True analog ring modulators are available from Moog Music's website for around 200 USD.

Some of his techniques are soloing in F blues (F - A flat - B flat - B natural - C - E flat - E natural - F) with repeated licks. Oftentimes he would play a lick three times, expound in the fourth, and then move on to something else. He also played extremely fast triplets (Hush, for instance), and strived to make his organ sound as dirty as a guitar.

As a classically trained musician (his father was a church organist) Jon Lord's style is a mixture of baroque, rock, blues and funk. A good example of this blend is the "Sarabande" album.

He is known for being the keyboardist of "Deep Purple" , but he played for many other great artists as well; The Kinks, Ian Gillan, Artwoods, Whitesnake, Sam Brown, and Tom Waits, among others.

He really trashed a C3 in one concert (Scandinavian Night); a key jumped out of its place and Jon put it back in. You can just imagine how hard and fast he played.

--Mohammad Pourkhessalian,

--Edited: PeterCsere

Jon Lord's Modified C-3

The following information comes from a March, 1983 Keyboard Magazine interview between Jon Lord and Bob Doerschuk. The interview is reprinted in the book RockKeyboard. (Thanks to KonZissis for the reference.)

Jon had (the guts of) an RMI Electra Piano wired into the key contacts of his C-3 so that on the upper manual he can play organ, RMI piano, or both at the same time. Also, the bottom two octaves of the lower manual can be hooked up to trigger a synthesizer (e.g. a ?Minimoog).

Dawk - The man behind the mods

Jon Lord's Hammond was modified by John "Dawk" Stillwell of Dawk Sound Limited

Dawk is the man behind Ritchie Blackmore's Marshall Majors and Fender Strats. Dawk also built the gear that put Manowar in the books for the loudest concert.


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