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JIM RODFORD,
1941-2018

Jim Rodford, a member of The Zombies since their 2004 reunion whose basslines powered Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up” and The Kinks’ “Catch Me Now I’m Falling,” died Saturday. He was 76.

Zombies founder Rod Argent announced Rodford’s death in a Facebook post noting he died after a fall on the stairs at his home in St. Albans, England. Details about the exact cause of death were not known.

Argent and Rodford were cousins. Rodford’s band, The Bluetones, was a popular act in St. Albans when Argent started to form The Zombies. Rodford helped get The Zombies bookings and rehearsal space and lent them equipment, turning down an invite to join as the group’s bassist.

In his Facebook post, Argent credited Rodford with getting the first song he wrote recorded and was the first person outside the group to hear—and pass judgment on—the first Zombies record, "She's Not There."

“To the end, Jim's life was dedicated to music,” Argent wrote. “He was unfailingly committed to local music—an ever present member of the local scene in St. Albans, where he had spent his whole life.

“Often, Colin [Blunstone] 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 or giving charity shows or lectures on the St. Albans music scene.”  In the late ‘60s, Rodford was a member of The Mike Cotton Sound when Argent again asked him to join in a new band following the break-up of The Zombies. He would play bass on all seven Argent albums before the band broke up in 1976.

Two years later, Rodford became a member of The Kinks, a job he would hold for nearly two decades as the band experienced a rebirth with albums such as Low Budget, Give the People What They Want and State of Confusion.

Rodford joined Argent and singer Colin Blunstone when they re-formed The Zombies in 2004.

On Facebook, Blunstone wrote: “Jim was such a wonderful character, loved by all who knew him. He was a great bass player and vocalist a real musicians musician who loved music especially playing live and seemed to know every band we ever played with. They would come to our dressing room and usually walk straight past Rod and I simply asking ‘is Jim around?’ On the rare occasions The Zombies got into a musical tangle he had the authority and skill to always pull us back together again and we are really going to miss his playing and his beautiful spirit, he was an inspiration and a good friend. I am so proud to say I played with Jim Rodford!!”

The Kinks’ Dave Davies tweeted: “I’m devastated 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.”

The University of Hertfordshire gave Rodford a Doctorate of Music in 2017.

 

 

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