Kinks Keyboardist Ian Gibbons Dead at 67

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Ray and Dave Davies, and drummer Mick Avory, have each made statements expressing sorrow over the death of The Kinks’ Ian Gibbons, the group’s keyboardist from 1979 until their split in 1996.

Gibbons died August 1 at age 67. The cause of death was bladder cancer; the place of death was not reported. The news was confirmed on the website of the Kast-Off Kinks, a group that performs the music of the Kinks. Gibbons was a member of that band.

Listen to “Come Dancing” by the Kinks, with Gibbons on keyboards

“To simply say Ian will be missed would be an understatement. My first thoughts are for his family and loved ones,” wrote Ray Davies. “When he auditioned for the band, he only played a few chords before I knew he was the right guy to have on keyboard. He seemed to know the right voicing to musically slot in between the other members of the band… and with the Kinks, that took some doing! He was also was a brilliant accordion player and apparently, a bit of a childhood prodigy on that instrument. In the studio, he would willingly try out the most random musical idea I would throw at him. On the road, he could always be guaranteed to give a smile of encouragement from his side of the stage and buy a round in the bar after the show so we could have a party in Ian’s noisy room. Being in a band is like being in a family and today it is as though we have lost family member. Right now… I’m thinking of his smile, his cheeky chappie sense of humor and generous grin that made you feel it was OK, even though there was an eight-hour bus ride ahead after a long show and the air conditioning has broken down. Though, somehow we’d get over the discomfort, reach the next venue and go onstage, fresh again. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FINISH THIS, PERHAPS I DON’T WANT TO.”

Watch: Ray Davies joined the Kast-Off Kinks, with Gibbons, for a tune in 2009

Ray’s brother, Dave Davies, said, “Apart from being a great professional, Ian always had a positive attitude to being on the road and recording. Being in a band is like being in a family and today it is as though we have lost family member. In the many years he worked with The Kinks, he added great color and dimension to The Kinks’ music and he was a good friend. I’ll miss him greatly. Lots of love to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Avory said, “I’ve known and worked with Ian for 40 years and I shall always remember him as a good friend and great musician. I will miss him so much, especially as we were still working together. It’s so sad he had to go so quickly before anyone could say goodbye.”

Born July 18, 1952, Ian Gibbons first played guitar before switching to keyboards. He worked with several British bands before auditioning for the Kinks in 1979. He stayed with the band for 10 years, left and then rejoined them in 1993, remaining in the lineup until the group’s demise. He appeared on several Kinks albums including One for the Road, Give the People What They Want, State of Confusion, Word of Mouth, Think Visual and To the Bone.

Related: The Kinks’ Arthur album is getting the 50th anniversary deluxe reissue treatment

Gibbons also worked with Ian Hunter, Suzi Quatro, Sweet and others.

Listen to the Kinks’ “Destroyer,” with Ian Gibbons on keyboards

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  1. golem
    #1 golem 6 August, 2019, 23:35

    Ray used to introduce him on stage as “the last of the mods”

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