Janet Macoska/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Hugh Grundy, Chris White, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, surviving members of the classic rock act the Zombies, dedicated a new exhibit about their band yesterday at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A crowd that included members of the band’s official fan club gathered to hear them speak and then participate in a ribbon cutting event. The festivities even included a champagne toast.
Sitting backstage prior to the dedication, band members reflected on their recent tour that marked the 50th anniversary of their seminal album, Odessey and Oracle
“It’s been an emotional experience,” says Blunstone. “On the one hand, it takes you back to when you were very young. It feels exactly the same as it did in 1967 when we recorded it.”
“The current band has gotten better and better, and it’s been a huge joy,” she says. “There’s something about the styling of Chris's bass playing and Hugh’s drumming that puts their personality stamp on it and makes it indistinguishable from the record. We want to play with that kind of feeling and passion.”
Artifacts on display include the following: items from the group’s first major hit “She’s Not There,” including Argent’s Hohner electric pianet and sheet music; White’s bass guitar; Paul Atkinson’s acoustic guitar used on the recording of “Tell Her No”; Grundy’s Ludwig snare drum used on all of the Zombies’ 1960s recordings; and the artwork for Odessey and Oracle
The exhibit shows how the band has influenced acts such as ZZ Top, Dave Grohl, Paul Weller, Arctic Monkeys, the Shins and more. At one point early in their career, the guys in ZZ Top even toured the country in a band that billed itself as the Zombies.
“Dave Grohl has been a big supporter and fan for years,” says Argent. “It’s really terrific. I remember being completely knocked out a few years when he was on a Scandinavian TV station and said that ‘Care of Cell 44‘ was the one song that changed his life.”
After speaking to the fans that gathered to witness the ribbon cutting, the guys participated in a Rock Hall trivia contest and provided anecdotes relating to the various questions about their past.
The band’s been nominated two times for induction into the Rock Hall but hasn’t gotten enough votes to be inducted.
Perhaps this exhibit will sway the voters.
“It would be the icing on the cake,” says Grundy when asked about what it would mean if the group were inducted.