Plaque unveiled to St Albans pop legends The Zombies

POP legends The Zombies drew crowds to the city centre on Friday when they unveiled a blue commemorative plaque on the wall of the pub where they first met half a century ago.

Four of the original members of the band – Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Hugh Grundy and Chris White – were at the unveiling at the Blacksmith’s Arms in St Peter’s Street.

They were joined by Jim and Steve Rodford who are in the current Zombies line-up with Rod and Colin. The fifth original member of the band, lead guitarist Paul Atkinson, died several years ago.

Around 200 people – one couple came from as far away as Harrogate – turned up for the ceremony where the band was introduced by Gary Cowles, operations director of The Stonegate Pub Company which owns the Blacksmith’s Arms and funded the plaque.

Zombies fan Tony Dawson-Hill provided the impetus behind the plaque. He has been a fan since he first saw them play live in the Ballito Stocking Factory in St Albans in the sixties.

He explained that the idea for the plaque came from Rod Argent always telling the story of how the five original members of the band first met outside the Blacksmith’s Arms. The band has marked its half century with a new album entitled Breathe Out, Breathe In last year.

This month The Zombies are setting out on a UK tour before returning to the US for further concert dates.