St Albans’ Jim Rodford dies after falling down stairs

Jim Rodford (of The Zombies) joins The Runaway Boys on stage

Jim Rodford (of The Zombies) joins The Runaway Boys on stage

AIDAN BELL 2011

St Albans’ Jim Rodford, musician for The Kinks, The Bluetones, The Zombies, and Argent has tragically died.

The Zombies' Jim Rodford, centre, with Enter Shikari members, from left, Rory Clewlow, Rob Rolfe, Rou Reynolds and Chris Batten visit Verulam School in St AlbansThe Zombies' Jim Rodford, centre, with Enter Shikari members, from left, Rory Clewlow, Rob Rolfe, Rou Reynolds and Chris Batten visit Verulam School in St Albans

It has been confirmed by the band The Zombies that Jim, who was born and grew up in St Albans, died this morning.

The Zombies paid tribute by posting on their Facebook wall: “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.

“More details are not yet known about the exact cause of death.

“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.

Colin Blunstone, Jim Rodford, Rod Argent, Tony's wife and Tony himself -far rightColin Blunstone, Jim Rodford, Rod Argent, Tony's wife and Tony himself -far right

“He was actually the first person ever to be asked to join the band, way back in 1961.

“Because he was in the top St Albans band of the time (The Bluetones), he turned us down at first, but from day one helped us chart our course.

“He loaned us The Bluestones’ state of the art gear for our very first rehearsal, arranged the rehearsal space, and even showed Hugh the first kick and snare drum pattern our original drummer ever learned.

“Jim, always a hugely sought after musician, had also had long stints as bass player with both The Mike Cotton Sound and the Lonnie Donegan band.

“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.

“Often, Colin 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 (often, but not always, with “The Rodford Files”, made up of talented family members) or giving charity shows or lectures on the St Albans music scene.

“His dedication was rewarded with Doctorate Of Music, granted to him last year by the University Of Hertfordshire.

“Jim was a wonderful person, loved by everybody.

“When Colin 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.”

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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