Former Kinks keyboardist Ian Gibbons dead at 67

Ian Gibbons
(Image credit: Estate Of Keith Morris / Getty Images)

Former Kinks keyboardist Ian Gibbons has died at the age of 67. 

The news was confirmed on the website of Kinks spinoff group Kast Off Kinks, where a statement simply read, "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."

Gibbons first joined The Kinks in 1979 and remained with them for a decade, playing on songs like Come Dancing, Better Things, Destroyer and Don't Forget to Dance. He also worked with Dr. Feelgood, Ian Hunter, The Kursaal Flyers, Blues 'n Trouble, Ken Hensley, Mike Vernon, Samson, Randy California and more. He began a second, three-year stint with The Kinks in 1993, and later joined Kast Off Kinks, a group made up of former Kinks members, minus Ray and Dave Davies.

"To simply say Ian will be missed would be an understatement,” said Ray Davies. “My first thoughts are for his family and loved ones. 

“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."

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 member of Kast Off Kinks Mick Avory adds: “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.”

A cause of death has not yet been officially confirmed.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.