In Memoriam: Tim Bogert
Tim Bogert, whose playing in Vanilla Fudge influenced a generation of bassists, has died at the age of 76. An official statement has not been released, but Bogert was reportedly battling cancer. The sad news was shared by his longtime bandmate, drummer Carmine Appice, on Facebook.
“He was like a brother to me. He was my friend for over 50 years,” he wrote. “Tim was a one of a kind bass player. He inspired many, many bass players worldwide. He was as masterful at shredding as he was holding down a groove, and Tim introduced a new level of virtuosity into rock bass playing. No one played like Tim. He created bass solos that drove audiences to a frenzy every time he played one. And he played a different solo every night. He was the last of the legendary 60’s bass players.”
Bogert was born in New York City and played multiple instruments growing up. He took up electric bass after becoming interested in surf music. It was in 1965 that he cofounded a band called the Pigeons. After Appice replaced drummer Joey Brennan, they renamed themselves, Vanilla Fudge. The band’s hard-rocking, psychedelic style made them a huge success, especially with their covers of songs like “Ticket to Ride”, “Shotgun”, and – most famously – “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”.
The band was only together for three years before splitting in 1970, although they were able to release five albums in that time. Bogert and Appice teamed together to form Cactus, who also produced four albums. The rhythm section also formed a trio with guitar wizard Jeff Beck for a pair of albums.
Throughout the rest of his years, Bogert worked on many other projects but would reunite with Vanilla Fudge and Cactus several times. He retired from touring in 2010 due to complications from a motorcycle accident.
Billy Sheehan regularly mentions Bogert as one of his main influences. He paid tribute to his hero on Facebook:
“Tim was my hero, biggest influence, and inspiration. The first time I met him was at a NAMM show — he knew nothing about me, but still treated me kindly and we engaged in conversation that led to a lasting friendship. I had a very emotional conversation with him a while ago after he knew he wouldn’t survive very much longer. With grace and dignity, he demonstrated a lack of fear that only a man with a life well lived could. I stood on his shoulders as a player, and I owe him so much in so many ways. I love you, Tim. Thank you for your awesomeness, generosity, and kindness. I hope we meet again, my friend.”
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Tim Bogert.