Jim Rodford, Bass Player For Argent And The Kinks, Dead At 76

So sad to see another Rock warrior put on his wings and take leave of us this past weekend. Jim Rodford is perhaps best known as the co-founder and bass player for Argent in the early Seventies, who in 1978 went on to become the bass player for The Kinks until they disbanded in 1996. After that he was a regular member of the Zombies revivals in the 2000s, including on their most recent tour two years ago. He passed away this weekend as a result of a fall at age 76.

Even though he never actually performed with the Zombies in their original incarnation in the mid-Sixties, Rodford was instrumental in their formation. He was first cousin to Rod Argent in St. Albans in the U.K., and had played in Rock and Roll bands there since the late Fifties. Four years older than Argent, in 1964 Rodford showed his younger cousin the ropes and helped him form the legendary band the Zombies.

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On the Zombies’ Facebook page Argent wrote that “Jim was not only a magnificent bass player, but also from the first inextricably bound to the story of The Zombies. An enormous enabler for us. To the end, Jim’s life was dedicated to music. 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.”

Rodford was the ultimate musician’s musician, and was a guy who behind the scenes did much to relieve tensions and problems that sprung up in the latter-day Kinks and Zombies, according to both Dave Davies and Colin Blundstone. But what I will remember most about Jim Rodford is that simple but simply perfect bass line that opens and drives the Argent classic “Hold Your Head Up”. That song alone is a pretty nice legacy to leave behind.

Photo credit: By Klaus Hiltscher [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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