The Kinks and The Zombies bassist Jim Rodford dies

Jim Rodford dies The Zombies The Kinks
Jim Rodford dies The Zombies The Kinks

Bassist Jim Rodford, known for his work with The Kinks and The Zombies, has died at 76. He fell to his death from a flight of stairs on Saturday, just days after his final performance on January 14. The show was part of a four-date tour in Florida with The Zombies.

Rodford’s prolific music career crossed six decades and included 18 years with The Kinks as well as 14 years as an official member of The Zombies. His close association with the band stretched back further to the early 1960s.

The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies pays tribute

The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies paid tribute on Twitter:

“I’m devastated at Jim’s sudden loss. I’m too broken up to put words together. It’s such a shock, I always thought Jim would live forever in true rock and roll fashion – strange – great friend, great musician, great man – he was an integral part of The Kinks’ later years… RIP”

The Zombies recall time with Rod Argent

The Zombies Jim Rodford
The Zombies with Jim Rodford (far left).

On The Zombies Facebook page, keyboardist Rod Argent recalled Rodford as a much loved person and highly sought-after musician:

“Jim was not only a magnificent bass player, but also from the first inextricably bound to the story of The Zombies… Jim, always a hugely sought after musician, had also had long stints as bass player with both The Mike Cotton Sound and the Lonnie Donegan band.

“When Colin and I put together our second incarnation [of The Zombies] in late 1999, our first phone call was to Jim. He gave us absolutely unflagging commitment, loyalty and unbelievable energy for eighteen years, and our gratitude is beyond measure.

“To the end, Jim’s life was dedicated to music… Often, Colin and I would compare notes a couple of days immediately after a U.S. tour and discuss how long it would take us to recover from an intense, fantastic but exhausting couple of months – only to find out and marvel that Jim had already been out playing with local bands.”

Rodford writing autobiography prior to death

Jim Rodford
Fan Photo by Maggie Clarke

Rodford was in the process of writing an autobiography prior to his passing, and is survived by his wife of 56 years and three generations of their family. He began his music career in the tail end of the 1950s in St Albans in a skiffle band called The Bluetones. He was asked to join The Zombies at the band’s formation, but declined due to his other commitments at the time. In the ’70s he enjoyed chart success with Rod Argent’s project Argent, before joining The Kinks in 1978. He joined the reunited Zombies in 1999, alongside his son Steve, where they played until Jim’s death.

The Zombies have a run of dates scheduled in the US over February and March, some of which are already sold out. No announcement about the status of the dates has been made so far.

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