Jim Rodford, a founding member of the band Argent and bassist for The Kinks and The Zombies, passed away earlier today. He was 76. Though the cause of death has not been immediately revealed, Rodford’s cousin and Argent bandmate Rod Argent confirmed the death, saying that he passed away after “a fall on the stairs.”
“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,” Argent wrote on The Zombies’ Facebook page. “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.”
The Kinks also paid tribute to Rodford on Twitter, where they wrote: “It is with a deep sadness that we have learned that Jim Rodford passed away—he toured and recorded with the Kinks for many years and will be greatly missed. He was much loved by all of us.”
Rodford was the first musician Argent attempted to bring into his band, The Zombies, in 1961, but the bassist ultimately turned the offer down, as he was already part of the popular British band The Bluestones. Rodford joined the band officially in 2004, and became an instrumental part in reviving the band’s beloved ’60s sound. Rodford appeared on all seven Argent albums before the band dissolved in 1976.
Rodford spent 18 years as bassist for The Kinks, performing on albums from 1979’s Low Budget to 1993’s Phobia, the bands final album before their breakup. Dave Davies, guitarist and songwriter for The Kinks, shared on Twitter: “I’m devastated [by] 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.”
In his lengthy Facebook post, Argent continued, “Jim was a wonderful person, loved by everybody. When Colin [Blunstone] and I, shocked and hardly able to talk, shared the news this morning, Colin said ‘I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him…’ He will be unbelievably missed. Goodnight and God Bless, dear friend.”