The Zombies singer Colin Blunstone paid tribute to the personality and professionalism of bassist Jim Rodford, who died at the age of 76 on Jan. 20, leaving a legacy that also included stints with Argent and the Kinks.

“I am so desperately sorry to hear that Jim passed away. … I’m still in shock and find it hard to believe what has happened,” Blunstone wrote in a Facebook post. “Jim was such a wonderful character, loved by all who knew him. He was a great bass player and vocalist, a real musicians musician who loved music, especially playing live and seemed to know every band we ever played with. They would come to our dressing room and usually walk straight past Rod [Argent] and I, simply asking, Is Jim around?’”

He also spoke of Rodford’s contribution to the mechanics of the Zombies, after joining the band in 2004 and remaining until his death. “On the rare occasions the Zombies got into a musical tangle he had the authority and skill to always pull us back together again,” Blunstone said. “[W]e are really going to miss his playing and his beautiful spirit. He was an inspiration and a good friend. I am so proud to say I played with Jim Rodford!”

The bassist rose to fame with the band Argent, starting as a co-founding member in 1969 and remaining until their split in 1976. He joined the Kinks two years later and stayed until they broke up in 1996. In 2004, he joined the reunited Zombies, a band he had been close with, but not a member of, since the '60s.

Rod Argent, the Zombies' keyboardist and Rodford's cousin, revealed that Rodford had died following a fall, although no more details were given. “Jim was not only a magnificent bass player, but also from the first inextricably bound to the story of the Zombies," he said. "An enormous enabler for us. He was actually the first person ever to be asked to join the band, way back in 1961.”

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