Today (June 9) we remember keyboardist Jon Lord of Deep Purple on what would have been his 77th birthday. Other birthdays include former Saxon drummer Pete Gill (67) and drummer Gregg Bissonette (former drummer for the David Lee Roth band) is 59.

John Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and along with the other members collaborated on most of the band’s most popular songs. Deep Purple’s 6th studio album, Machine Head was released in March of 1972 on Warner Bros. Records. The album has been considered a major influence on the early development of heavy metal music and it was Deep Purple’s most commercially successful album. It was No. 1 in the UK for 20 weeks and top 10 in the U.S. for 118 weeks. Classic songs on Machine Head include  “Smoke on the Water”, “Highway Star”, and “Space Truckin”.

Lord also spent some time in Whitesnake (1978-1984) during a time that Deep Purple had split up, rejoining them for the Perfect Strangers reunion album and tour in 1984. He retired from Deep Purple in 2002. In 2011 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and on July 16, 2012 he died after suffering a pulmonary embolism.
Saxon/Youtube
Gregg Bissonette/Youtube