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It was just about three years ago that Ritchie Blackmore’s group, Blackmore's Night, released their album Dancer and the Moon. The album contains an instrumental track called "Carry On...Jon," which Blackmore wrote as a tribute to his former Deep Purple bandmate, Jon Lord, who died July 16, 2012, at age 71.
Today would have been Lord's 75th birthday. We thought it was a good time to present "Carry On...Jon" for your listening pleasure.
The minor-key track clocks in at nearly six minutes. Throughout it, Blackmore uses a creamy, overdriven Strat tone that works perfectly with the recording’s almost “live” feel. Pay attention to the 1:01 mark, where it seems like you can hear Blackmore flipping his five-way pickup switch.
Blackmore recently told New Jersey's Star-Ledger newspaper how the track came about one wintery day.
"We were snowed in,” he explains. “The engineer and myself, the producer, we had nothing to do. I said, ‘I have an instrumental I’ve vaguely finished. Do you want to try it?’
"I wrote it on the spur of the moment. I had a very melancholy kind of tune. Then I started thinking about Jon. I thought maybe we should do an organ part at the end, as a tip of the hat to Jon.”
For that, he turned to Pat Regan, whose keyboard work can be heard on albums by Blackmore's Night, Warrant, Billy Sheehan, Vanilla Fudge, Mr. Big and others.
“We put the organ sound on, and off he went,” says Blackmore.
"It was a throwaway idea that turned into something. It was something to Jon, a way of saying thanks for the years. It’s hard to talk about, when someone says, ‘What did you think of Jon?’ I’d rather play a tune. We wouldn’t have put it on if we hadn’t been snowed in. Maybe Jon caused the blizzard."