Long-time musician Jim Rodford has passed away at the age of 76. The bassist, who formerly played for The Kinks and had been working with The Zombies since 1999, died as a result of a fall. Rod Argent, who is Rodford’s cousin, as well as the lead singer for The Zombies, confirmed the news on the band’s official Facebook page on Saturday.
Rod Argent says Jim Rodford was a “Magnificent Bass Player”
In his statement made on The Zombies’ Facebook page, Argent shared the sad news that Mr. Rodford has died, following a fall down a flight of stairs. The statement added that it’s still not known what precipitated the fall, so further details may be forthcoming, reported Ultimate Guitar. Rod shared that Jim was a lifelong friend, as well as his cousin and fellow bandmate.
“Jim was not only a magnificent bass player, but also from the first inextricably bound to the story of The Zombies,” stated Argent. “An enormous enabler for us. He was actually the first person ever to be asked to join the band, way back in 1961.”
Argent says the idea to reform The Zombies in 1999 led him to offer Jim Rodford a place in the new line-up. In fact, Jim was the first person Rod called back in 1999. Argent goes on to say that Jim was very enthusiastic about the project, and since that time has been an energetic and devoted part of the band. At the time of his death, he had been performing with the reunited The Zombies for over 18 years.
Jim Rodford was a True Musician
Music was his life and it showed, reports Time. This was true whether Jim was touring with whatever band happened to need him, or playing local gigs in and around his hometown of St. Albans. Although he started out with The Zombies in 1961, Rodford spent a few years working with The Kinks. He joined up as that band’s bassist in 1978, playing on some of the group’s later albums. Ray Davies, who co-founded The Kinks, responded to Jim’s passing in a tweet, saying that the bassist became an “integral part” of the band in those later years.
Whenever Jim returned to his home, which is just north of London, he spent his time working with local musicians. Rod Argent recalled that Mr. Rodford tried to give back to his community by lending his talents and guidance to struggling artists in St. Albans. He even formed a small band of his own, The Rodford Files, which toured the local pubs and clubs.
Jim Rodford was well known to students of music through his guest lecture presentations and his charity work. Up until his passing, Jim was devoted to his calling, even when he wasn’t touring with The Zombies.