Ian Gibbons, keyboardist for The Kinks, has died aged 67.
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The news of his death was confirmed by his former bandmates, who praised him for his “positive attitude.” Gibbons passed away on Thursday (August 1) at his home.
Gibbons was a member of The Kinks from 1979 – 1996. The band’s frontman, Ray Davies, led the tributes. “To simply say Ian will be missed would be an understatement,” he said in a statement. “My first thoughts are for his family and loved ones.”
On Instagram, Dave Davies said: “Ray called me this morning to break the news – totally devastated by the sudden loss.”
The Kinks drummer Mick Avory added: “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.”
The cause of Gibbons’ death is currently unknown.
Gibbons joined The Kinks 15 years after they emerged into the mainstream, in 1979. He stayed with the group for 10 years, while also working alongside the likes of Dr. Feelgood and The Kursaal Flyers. He rejoined The Kinks in 1993 and remained in the band until their split in 1996.
In 2008, he joined The Kast Off Kinks, a group comprised of former band members Avory, Jim Rodford, John Dalton, John Gosling and Dave Clarke.
He also worked with the likes of Suzi Quatro, Mike Vernon, Andy Scott and Maggie Bell.
Remembering Gibbons, Ray Davies thought back to when the keyboardist first joined the band. “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,” he explained. “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,” the frontman added. “Being in a band is like being in a family and today it is as though we have lost family member.”
The much-loved band first signalled their intention to return back in June 2018 when Ray disclosed that he was reforming The Kinks with Dave and original drummer Mick Avory, and that the band were set to begin work on new material.