All posts by Mike MacKechnie

Jon Lord

(9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012)

Jon Lord and Nick, Seattle, Washington, Nov 9th 1966
Jon Lord and Nick, Seattle, Washington, Nov 9th 1966

During the last few years, the music business has lost some of its most seminal players, people who inspired me and many others. We said goodbye to my three favourite guitarists, the three “Micks” as I called them, namely Mick Keane, Mick Green, and Mickey King. We also lost Tony Dangerfield, Neil Christian, Jet Harris and the man who played a big part in our lives, Jim Marshall.

 

This week another name has been added to the list, as we learned of the death of Jon Lord.

 

I first met Jon, very briefly, late one night at the famous Shepherds Bush pie stall, one of the few places where food (of a kind) could be obtained during the early hours. It was the summer of 1966, and we were both, in those days, at the top of our game. I was playing with one of rock’s biggest names, Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, whilst Jon was with the Artwoods, one of the country’s top R & B groups. Neither of us spoke, just exchanging nods, as Kidd spoke animatedly with the Artwood’s drummer, an old friend. Little did we know that in less than two years we would be best friends, climbing the U.S. charts together, and creating a supergroup that would still be working nearly half a century later!

 

Fate was to throw us together in late ’67, working with the chart-topping group the Flowerpot Men, and it was Jon who talked me into leaving this money-spinning outfit to create a new band. Together with Ritchie Blackmore, and briefly, Bobby Woodman, we sowed the seeds that became Deep Purple. Jon and I hit it off from the first day that we worked together, and for the next two years we lived together, firstly at my parents’ home, then at Deeves Hall, and finally sharing a room at the Deep Purple house in Acton, West London. On tour we always roomed together, and life was one big round of fun! He called me his best friend, and I thought of him as the brother that I never had.

Sadly, as is well documented, none of this was to last! During the next forty years we both moved in different directions, but strangely, in the last couple of years, whilst our paths did not cross, they came very close to doing so. During my recent trips to Europe with Nasty Habits, we played where Jon had been very recently, or was due to perform very soon. Several times I came across his contemporaries who would pass on “greetings from Jon”. It seemed only a matter of time before we met up again on the same bill, or in the same town. Finally it looked on the cards as we were both appearing on the same weekend at a festival at St. Veit in Austria. Sadly, Jon cancelled his appearance, and it was then that I learned of the seriousness of his illness. During our show I asked the audience to join us in sending good vibes to Jon for a speedy recovery, and the resulting roar from the crowd said it all!

 

Since that gig, last September, we all constantly enquired after Jon’s health, hoping for a happy outcome, but sadly it was not to be. However, his music will live on, a fitting memorial to a great musician, and the memories of those exciting, pioneering days will remain with me forever. Rest in peace Jon.

 

Nick Simper 18th July 2012

2011 dates

Savages & Flowerpot Men

 

 

Chapter 15 of Nick’ Story recalls how he was almost wooed (in a business sense) by Lady Henrietta Guinness, how he braved fire and water as a member of Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, and how a call from Carlo Little resulted in him becoming one of the Flowerpot Men! Click on the picture to read more….

 

 

 

Nasty Habits in Germany, 2011

 

Pictures of Nick and Nasty Habits at their gigs in Germany and Austria during 2011, courtesy of Peter Brkusic. Click on the picture to see the whole set.

 

Peter has also given us a translation of an article from the ECLIPSED Magazine from Germany 11/2010:

 

After his leaving from D.P., Nick Simper recorded 2 great albums with “WARHORSE” and later on some mainstream projects. Together with the Austrian Band “NASTY HABITS”, Simper worked on important songs from the 1st DEEP PURPLE Lineup and brought it with the Youngsters on stage.
The result is amazing, cause they performed the old songs with a lot of feeling, joy of playing and power. “Emmaretta” is steaming, “Chasing Shadows” is played with drive and a 60´s atmosphere, “Lalena” is beautifully through the lyric phrases- and “Hush” they played also of course. Believe it or not- this lineup sounds more authentic then the actual lineup from DEEP PURPLE.

Nick & Nasty Habits, Live at Szene, Vienna

 

Click on the image above to order from the Angel Air Web Site

 

NICK SIMPER & NASTY HABITS Live at Szene, VIENNA

 

 

Click on the image to order from the Angel Air Web Site

 

On 8th March 2011 playing to a sold out audience at Vienna’s legendary Rock Club “Szene” NICK SIMPER (founder member DEEP PURPLE) performed with NASTY HABITS (Austria’s finest Classic Rock band) original tracks from Nick’s period in Deep Purple (Mk 1).

 

With Deep Purple today only having just one original member from their MK 1 days it is highly unlikely that the band will perform these now neglected classic songs in concert.

 

The mantle is therefore passed to Nick and Nasty Habits to bring some long forgotten classics back to life and bring them back to life they do. They performed eleven tracks from the first three Deep Purple albums plus one new track “Slinky” from the forthcoming new album.

 

This release is both a CD version and an actual DVD of the concert at The Scene, Vienna.

 

 

Artist: NICK SIMPER & NASTY HABITS

 

Title: Live at Szene, VIENNA

 

2 disc set CD and DVD (Sound & Vision)

 

DVD5- NTSC all regions

 

Cat No: SJPCD386

TRACKLISTING

1. And The Address

2. The Painter

3. Mandrake Root

4. Emmaretta

5. Chasing Shadows

6. Lalena

7. Wring That Neck

8. Bird Has flown

9. Why Didn’t Rosemary

10. Slinky

11. Roadhouse Blues

12. Kentucky Women

13. Hush

 

MUSICIANS:NICK SIMPER, CHRISTIAN SCHMID,HELMUT PUSCHACHER,CHRISTIAN HEISSENBERGER,PETER BRKUSIC