R.I.P. Kinks Keyboardist Ian Gibbons

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Aug 2, 2019

Ian Gibbons — an English keyboardist best known for playing in the Kinks between 1979 and 1996, has died. The musician's August 1 passing was confirmed by his former bandmates and those in spinoff group the Kast Off Kinks. A cause of death has not been reported. Gibbons was 67.

"It is with great sadness that we have to report the sudden death of Ian Gibbons. Deepest sympathy to Nadia and all Ian's friends and family," a statement on the Kast Off Kinks' website read.

Gibbons first joined the Kinks in 1979, and played with the group for the next decade before the band were dropped by MCA Records in 1989. He then rejoined the band for a second stint in 1993, staying with the UK outfit until they disbanded in 1996.

"To simply say Ian will be missed would be an understatement," the band's Ray Davies said in a statement. "My first thoughts are for his family and loved ones.

Davies went on to reflect on Gibbons joining the group and their time performing together:

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 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.

The band's Dave Davies added, "Apart from being a great professional, Ian always had a positive attitude to being on the road and recording. 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."

Former Kinks drummer and fellow Kast Off Kinks member Mick Avory added, "I've known and worked with Ian for 40yrs, 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."

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