WITH THEIR FOURTH ROCKHALL NOMINATION IN FIVE YEARS, THE ZOMBIES CONTINUE AN EXTRAORDINARY CAREER ROLL DEEP INTO THEIR SIXTH DECADE AND ANNOUNCE NEW DATES
The Zombies may well be the oldest of the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees, but the historic British Invasion band, whose signature hit “She’s Not There” topped the U.S. charts in 1964, is neither the least visible–nor the least appreciated.
Indeed, The Zombies, whose original incarnation comprised lead singer Colin Blunstone, keyboardist/vocalist Rod Argent, bassist Chris White, drummer Hugh Grundy and late guitarist Paul Atkinson, have just passed The Cure for fourth place position (out of the 15 total nominees) in the RockHall’s online fan vote, well ahead of superstar Janet Jackson, not to mention critics’ fave Radiohead. And while The Zombies hark back to the early 1960s, they’re remarkably as active now as any contemporary rock act—if not considerably more so.
Now made up of Blunstone, Argent, guitarist Tom Toomey, drummer Steve Rodford and bassist Søren Koch, The Zombies, having just completed just completed a round of West Coast U.S. dates following a 23-date North American tour and full U.K. run earlier this year, are currently on their first major tour of Germany as special guests of Uriah Heep.
Then on January 20, they return to their hometown of St Albans, England, for a memorial tribute show at The Alban Arena, one year after the passing of their longtime bassist (and Steve’s father) Jim Rodford. Following a brief Blunstone solo U.S. tour in February, the band then regroups for the Justin Hayward Cruise later that month, to be followed by shows in Florida, New Orleans and Texas through March.
Meanwhile, as summer’s tour schedule is being set, The Zombies are writing material for their next album, a follow-up to their acclaimed studio albums Breathe Out, Breathe In (2013) and Still Got That Hunger (2015).
But also in the works is a Zombies documentary being developed by Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Alan Sterling Deutsch, who will have his hands full when it comes to telling such an important and continuing story.
After all, the band has influenced everyone from Tom Petty, who covered their 1965 hit “I Want You Back Again” on his Live Anthology album and wrote the foreword for their 2017 coffee table book The Odessey: The Zombies in Words and Images (which focused on their landmark 1968 album Odessey and Oracle), to Dave Grohl, who hailed Odessey and Oracle as a masterpiece (and said its track “Care of Cell 44” changed his life), to Eminem, who based his “Rhyme or Reason” track from The Marshall Mathers LP 2 on Odessey’s huge hit “Time of the Season,” to Post Malone, whose recent Beerbongs & Bentleys track “Same Bitches” uses its famous lines “What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me?”
Earlier Zombies hits live on, too, in commercials like last year’s Kohler spot featuring “She’s Not There” and this year’s use of its B-side “I Love You”–later a 1968 hit cover by People!–in a “Got Milk” commercial.
This veritable Zombies’ resurgence essentially began in 1998, when Blunstone, who had performed with artists including the Alan Parsons Project after The Zombies broke up in 1967 (before the release of Odessy and Oracle), reteamed with Argent (who had likewise achieved ensuing success by way of his band Argent and its enduring 1972 hit “Hold Your Head Up”). Since then, the band has toured the U.S. regularly, performing before audiences of all ages and in all types of venues, notably including the annual South by Southwest cutting edge music gathering in Austin, where they first appeared in 2013 at the famous Waterloo Records store in front of over 2,500 young people who spilled out into the next parking lot.
The Zombies’ packed tour schedule and growing fan base, besides garnering all sorts of media coverage (everything from Paste Magazine to CBS This Morning’s Saturday Sessions) and its solid showing in the RockHall fan vote, is reflected by astronomical merch sales at shows, such that items ranging from popular black-and-white Zombies t-shirts (worn on stage by Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz) to blankets (Instagrammed by Heart’s Ann Wilson earlier this year at Florida’s 30A Songwriters Festival) took in almost $400,000 in sales last year—at a whopping $10.62 average per purchase.
“The last 12 months have been extraordinary!” marveled Argent after The Zombies’ lastest RockHall nomination. “We’ve had a panoply of lovely comments, written or delivered in person, from so many favorite and iconic artists–many of whom have taken the trouble to come along to watch a show in one of the four U.S. tours we’ve undertaken during that period. To our amazement, they’ve even quoted us as a major influence!”
Noted Blunstone: “When the band first started way back in 1961, I would never have dreamed of this kind of recognition–and even after all these years it’s still a thrill to be nominated by such a respected and revered institution!”
Or, as both White and Grundy said in referencing another beloved song from Odessey and Oracle, maybe “This Will Be Our Year.”
To vote for The Zombies for induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, follow this link: rockhall.com/fanvoteTOUR DATES:Feb 10th Mariner of the Seas CruiseFeb 16th Southwest Florida Event Center, Bonita SpringsFeb 17th Sunrise Theatre, Fort Pierce, FLFeb 19th Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, FLFeb 20th Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Ponte Vedra BeachFeb 21st The Plaza Live, Orlando, FLFeb 22nd Amaturo Theatre Broward Center for Performing Arts – Fort Lauderdale, FLFeb 25th House of Blues- New Orleans, LAFeb 27th The Height Theatre, HoustonFeb 28th Paper Tiger, San AntonioMarch 1st Kessler Theatre, Dallas, TXMarch 2nd Mohawk, Austin, TXFor more information on The Zombies: