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  • Writer's pictureVivienne Boucherat


Updated: Feb 6, 2019

Into February now and yet more events and projects wrapped up with The Zombies.

On Sunday 20th January there was a sold out gig in The Alban Arena, St. Albans, by The Zombies in memory of the great Jim Rodford who died a year ago.

He is missed by SO many and all of our thoughts and good wishes go to his wonderful family. His wife, sons, daughter and granddaughters were all there to celebrate his legacy, even his little great-granddaughter came along.

The current line up of The Zombies now includes Soren Koch on bass, he flew in from Denmark for the evening. Argent bandmates Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit also attended - and performed with everyone for the last song ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to you’ penned by Russ.

Jim is a legend of the music world. His Rock and Roll knowledge was encyclopaedic. His services to music were recognised by the University of Hertfordshire where he got a Doctorate of Music in 2017.

Jim Rodford of The Zombies
Jim giving his acceptance speech for his Doctorate of Music in St. Albans cathedral

On tour in America in 2015, 2017 and a cruise and tiny tour of Florida in 2018, I shared the ‘Peanut Gallery’ ie. the ‘cheap seats’ (best seats in my opinion!) at the back of the tour van with Jim for thousands of miles. It was a mix of decades of great stories, laughs, hints on how to survive life on the road, comfortable silences, and Jim calling out music quiz questions for the Zombies in between signing albums! He was a good mentor (not only for me) and a welcome calm presence in the chaotic world of touring.

On that last tiny tour we had an extra ‘peanut’ join us in the shape of Hugh Grundy’s wife, Tracy. She and Hugh Managed a couple of pubs in the UK in the past which featured live and lively music of which Jim was often a part.

He was with The Bluetones and the Mike Cotton sound in his early days, and was a cool enough bass player to be asked by James Brown to jam with him pre-show!!

Chris White, along with Rod, Colin and Hugh, credit him with giving The Zombies their first push in the right direction. Chris and Rod continued to spend a lot of time with Jim through the days of Argent. He played with The Kinks for around 20 years and as these cycles go - joined Colin and Rod touring as The Zombies until his untimely death.

Steve Rodford of The Zombies
Steve Rodford with two of his daughters, Cara and Anya

Jim lives on through a very musical family. Steve Rodford, Jim’s son has played drums with the current line up of The Zombies for many years now, he also writes and plays guitar. His other son, Russ, along with Steve’s daughters Anya and Cara, make up the band ARC who opened for The Zombies at The Alban Arena. See

There is an exhibit dedicated to Jim in the St. Albans museum.

Jim’s bass and cap at memorial gig 20th January (photo by a friend of Steve)

So I will be joining The Zombies on their next cruise adventure (Justin Hayward’s ‘On the Blue’ cruise) not to perform music this time, but to have an art exhibition alongside Terry Quirk.

Until next time....

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