|A Question Of Scruples
Jon Lord, 57, is best known as songwriter
and keyboard player with the legendary band Deep Purple. He has been with his second wife,
Vicky, for more than 20 years and the couple have a 17 year-old daughter, Amy. He also has
a 28-year-old daughter, Judith, by his first wife. He talks to Lester Middlehurst.
Your agent suggests you dye your hair black for the cover of your new album cover, to
preserve a youthful image, would you?
Not now, but there was a time in the mid-Eighties when my hair was turning grey and I did
die it. But one of the great things about being a musician is that you can have the
courage to stand naked, metaphorically, and I was hiding the real me. It was only foolish
vanity and now I believe that my music is more important than my image.
You discover the charts have been rigged to give you a number one hit. Would you expose
Yes. The music business has gradually de-humanised itself so successfully over the past 20
years thats it's become more about business and less about music, so it would be good to
strike a blow for freedom by exposing it.
A beautiful groupie offers herself to you after a concert. Would you accept?
How old am I - and how beautiful is she? There was a time in my life when that state of
Nirvana did exist, which is probably why my first marriage broke up. Give a young lad from
Leicester a pocketful of money, surround him with lots of pretty women and the trappings
of a rock'n'roll lifestyle and I think anyone would agree the marriage didn't stand a
chance. But if it happened now, I'd turn it down. My wife and I are best friends, so I'd
be betraying my best friend as well as my wife.
Your daughter decides to abandon plans to go to university because she is pregnant. Would
you try to change her mind?
My immediate reaction would be to explode. I'd be desperately disappointed because you
tend to live vicariously through your children and I wouldn't want her to throw everything
away, which is how I'd see it at first. But I like to think I would calm down and stand by
whatever decision she made.
You have only six months to live. Would you tell everybody or keep it a secret?
I would immediately tell my wife because she is incredibly supportive. She's also a
therapist in the field of alternate medicine and has helped a lot of people face that
dreadful situation, not least my own parents and hers. I'd catch Concorde to get to her so
that I could tell her that chilling news and then I'd take her advice on who else should
Your 17-year-old daughter wants to be a
stripper. Would you let her?
I'd do my damnedest to stop her. As an onlooker, I wouldn't run off if a beautiful girl
was stripping, but I wouldn't think of her as somebody's daughter. If it was my daughter
my reaction would be very different.
An ex-lover invites you to dinner. Would you go - and would you tell your wife about it?
If we had parted good friends then I possibly would - and I'd almost certainly tell my
wife because I'd know she'd find out.
If you were late for a meeting, would you park in a disabled bay for 20 minutes?
No. I think that's an incredibly thoughtless thing to do.
You cannot afford to feed your family. You are offered some Ecstasy to sell to make some
money. Would you sell it?
I know what it's like to be flat broke. Before I became a well known musician I lived on
railway stations in London and, only occasionally, when I'd made a couple of bob playing
in pubs, could I afford bed and breakfast. I didn't do anything immoral then to make
money, so I'm pretty sure I'd be strong enough to find an alternative, particularly as
I've seen good friends die through the misuse of drugs.
Your wife has been killed by an armed robber. You are asked to vote in a referendum to
bring back the death penalty. How would you vote?
I'd vote to bring the death penalty back. I was brought up in an era when the death
penalty still existed and I'm not totally convinced that the abolition of it has served
mankind too well. Sometimes political correctness forgets humanity. And in the situation
you've described, I'd definetely want to string the blighter up.
A charity collector asks you for a donation. You have 20p and a £50 note in your pocket.
How much would you give?
I'd give £50 if it was a charity I felt strongly about because I can afford to. I can go
to a cash machine and draw another £50 out, whereas the people that the charity might be
collecting for probably wouldn't know what a cash card is.
A gay magazine asks you to be its centrefold. Would you agree to do it?
I'd suggest the editor sees an optician first and then say no. I don't particularly like
myself in the nude and, while I have nothing against people wanting to look at sex mags,
it's not something that I'd be interested in.
You are about to host a family quiz show when a prostitute you once slept with threatens
to sell her story unless you pay her £5,000. What would you do?
Blackmail is a dreadful thing, but I'd still pay up, and more because of the effect it
would have on my family than on my career.