Saturday 24 August 2019

The Kinks pay tribute to keyboardist Ian Gibbons following his death at 67

The keyboardist was in the band on and off for the past 40 years.

The Kinks have paid tribute to keyboardist Ian Gibbons following his death at the age of 67 (Chris Young/PA)
The Kinks have paid tribute to keyboardist Ian Gibbons following his death at the age of 67 (Chris Young/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

The Kinks’ Sir Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory have paid tribute to former bandmate Ian Gibbons following his death at the age of 67.

Keyboardist Gibbons, who was in the rock group on and off from 1979 until 1996, died on Thursday.

Sir Ray said in a statement: “To simply say Ian will be missed would be an understatement. My first thoughts are for his family and loved ones.”

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. Sir Ray Davies

“In the many years he worked with The Kinks, he added great colour 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.”

Recalling hiring Gibbons 40 years ago, Sir Ray said: “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.”

Sir Ray added that he was “thinking of his smile, his cheeky-chappy sense of humour 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.”

Gibbons joined The Kinks, known for hits including You Really Got Me and Sunny Afternoon, 15 years after they emerged into the mainstream, in 1979.

The musician stayed with the group for 10 years, while also working alongside the likes of English rockers Dr. Feelgood and pop group The Kursaal Flyers.

He rejoined The Kinks in 1993 and remained in the band until their split in 1996.

Over the years Gibbons also worked with the likes of Suzi Quatro, Mike Vernon, Andy Scott and Maggie Bell.

In 2008 he joined The Kast Off Kinks, a group comprised of former band members Avory, Jim Rodford, John Dalton and John Gosling, as well as Dave Clarke.

PA Media

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