Over the years, we’ve been able to share a lot of different footage of Jon Lord and his music. This playlist is our selection. Sit back and enjoy both informal and official footage of Jon in rehearsal and onstage all over the world.
Surfing Youtube and other video platforms, what are your favorites videos featuring Jon and his music? Please share in the comments below.
To honour and remember Jon today we invite you on a bit of time travel. In early 1984 Jon was special guest on the BFBS Monday Rock Show with Jon Bennett.
With Whitesnake, Jon had just released the Slide It In album, so the interview includes talk about this and the Deep Purple reunion, which hadn’t been announced yet Jon expresses surprise at how often talk of a Deep Purple reunion came up – and much more.
In this highly recommended uncut interview footage, Jon discusses some key elements in his musical life – the influence of and connections between classical music and rock music; discovering improvisation; and his first experiences with rock’n’roll.
Jon mentions Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis as some of his heroes of improvisation that he studied. But at heart, Jon believes improvisation is not something you learn.
Later in his career Jon would perform Brubeck’s Unsquare Dance at his own concerts.
The footage comes from Canadian film maker Sam Dunn‘s archives of interviews prepared for his documentaries on the history of heavy rock music, and has been pulled out to coincide with the third anniversary of Jon’s passing yesterday.
Thank you very much to Mr. Dunn for opening his archives like this.
In this third and final part of our exclusive interview with conductor Paul Mann, he looks back at the rockier second half of Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall last April.
Paul was instrumental in helping The Sunflower Jam create this unique musical evening – a successful celebration of Jon Lord and his life of music.
Paul Mann discusses the concert’s second half as well as the aftermath and the emotions that ran through the Royal Albert Hall during the concert.
by Rasmus Heide
As we move into the second half of the concert, the orchestra wasn’t involved in the Artwoods segment with Paul Weller singing. His involvement puzzled a few people. What was his connection to Jon?
– I think that Jon and Paul Weller were friendly, met occasionally and were mutual admirers, but I don’t think there’s necessarily any reason why we should have been restricted in our choice of performers only to people who were especially close to, or associated with Jon – especially when you have the chance to have someone like Paul Weller to do those songs.
– When we decided to include Artwoods material, he seemed the perfect choice, and besides which, I’ve always been a huge Jam and Weller fan.
How were these two particular Artwoods tracks chosen?
– I think Paul Weller must have chosen them himself, in conjunction with Wix.
The Paice Ashton Lord pieces were a great surprise. How did you choose those two tracks?
In part 2 of our exclusive interview with conductor Paul Mann, he looks back at Celebrating Jon Lord, the concert event staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 4 this year.
Paul offers insight into his experiences in helping The Sunflower Jam create the unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 2 of 3.
The first half of the concert consisted mainly of orchestral or semi-orchestral pieces by Jon. Some of the highlights were three sections from Sarabande as well as Pictured Within and Afterwards.
Read a detailed run through of the first half including details on the pieces and parts that had never been performed live before.
by Rasmus Heide
Having seen Jon perform with several different orchestras over the years, I can only say I’d rarely heard his music performed as well as it was at Celebrating Jon Lord – even allowing for Jon’s absence.
– Well, that’s lovely to hear of course! I would say straight off that it was clear from the first couple of minutes of rehearsal that the Orion Orchestra had their hearts in exactly the right place for this. I was afraid they might have thought they were just there to play lots of long string chords behind a rock band. But there was none of that – they grasped very quickly the true scope of what they were being asked to do.
– It’s a tall order for an orchestra to be so many things at once: playing rhythmically intricate symphonic music such as the Durham Concerto, providing hard-edged backing for rock songs, as well as subtle and lyrical accompaniments. It was all in there, from one extreme to the other, which is of course a tribute to Jon’s unique scope as a composer, but also to this young orchestra’s ability to encompass so many things in such a short time.
– One of the things I did in the preparation for this concert, having made the new editions, was to set about re-studying them as if they were by just another composer, someone I didn’t know. I wanted to keep my approach to the music fresh – you know those wonderful T.S. Eliot lines, “to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Let’s look at the setlist and start with Fantasia from Sarabande and the excellent decision of opening with this.
In this exclusive interview, conductor Paul Mann looks back at Celebrating Jon Lord, the concert event staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 4 this year.
Paul offers insight into his work in assisting The Sunflower Jam create a unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 1 of 3.
Since Jon passed away, Paul Mann has been working on producing updated editions of all of Jon’s musical works. This work made him an integral partner for The Sunflower Jam when the preparations for Celebrating Jon Lord began.
Apart from adding his input to the setlist of Jon’s music to be performed at the concert, one of Paul’s first ideas was to add orchestral arrangements to two tracks off Deep Purple’s most recent album, NOW What?!
Read here about the initial meetings to get the concert plans off the ground, the hectic rehearsals, and much more.
by Rasmus Heide
Looking back at Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall on April 4, would you agree that this was much more than a regular evening of music?
– Yes, there was a very strong element of catharsis about it for very many people – a way to deal with their feelings about losing Jon. With all of that emotion together in one room, even (or perhaps especially) one as big as the Albert Hall, something special was bound to happen. And that incredibly moving appearance of [Jon’s wife] Vicky onstage with Ian [Paice] by her side – it was so brave of her to do that – this set the emotional tone of the whole evening.
If you go back to that evening in your mind now, what do you remember going through your head?
Today, Friday March 7 at 3.30pm GMT, singer Steve Balsamo will guest with Wynne Evans on BBC Radio Wales.
The show will play a world exclusive premiere of All Those Years Ago, the unreleased song by Jon and Balsamo, from which Jon Lord’s photo book takes its title, and which will be released together with the book.
The song itself is a gentle ballad with Jon on eloquent piano and Balsamo on eminent vocals, recorded in February 2010. Balsamo has confirmed that he will sing the song at Celebrating Jon Lord on April 4.