The Zombies’ Rod Argent, who was cousins with Rodford, confirmed the news on the Zombies’ Facebook page.
“It is with deep sadness that I learned this morning that my dear cousin and lifelong friend, Jim Rodford, died this morning after a fall on the stairs,” Argent wrote.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
In 1961, Rodford helped Argent form the Zombies by lending the band musical equipment and coaching them through rehearsals. Rodford played in the Bluetones and the Mike Cotton Sound throughout the ‘60s. He later joined Argent’s eponymously named band following the The Zombies’ breakup in 1968.
The Kinks also paid tribute to Rodford on Twitter. Rodford was brought into the British rock band following the exit of bassist John Dalton in 1978. He spent 18 years with the Kinks, contributing to every album between 1979 and 1993.
It is with 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 #JimRodford https://t.co/LmWFGd9ZRV
— TheKinksOfficial (@TheKinks) January 20, 2018
“It is with 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,” The Kinks tweeted.
In the late 1990s, Rodford accepted an invitation to play in the resurrected Zombies. We would go on to spend 18 years with the band until his last performance with the group on Jan. 14 at the 30a Songwriters Festival in Miramar Beach, Fla.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jean, and three generations of Rodfords.