Tim Bogert, Vanilla Fudge and Cactus bassist, dead at 76

Rock bassist Tim Bogert, the former bassist of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, has died.

Bogert’s former bandmate Carmine Appice confirmed his death in a lengthy tribute post on Facebook Wednesday. He was 76.

“My true friend Tim Bogert died today. He was like a brother to me. He was my friend for over 50 years,” Appice wrote.

The drummer called Bogert a “one of a kind bass player,” noting he was “masterful at shredding.”

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“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,” Appice said.

A cause of death has yet to be revealed, however, Appice suggested Bogert was sick.

“Perhaps the only good thing about knowing someone close to you is suffering a serious illness, is you have an opportunity to tell them that you love them. I did that, a lot. I was touched to hear it said back to me. Nothing was left unsaid between us and I’m grateful for that. I highly recommend it,” Appice concluded.

Former collaborator Jeff Beck also reacted with kind words, shared on Appice’s social media accounts.

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“Sad to hear the news about Tim’s passing. We shared some good times together on stage and thankfully our mutual work will stand the test of time. His style was totally unique and was never properly recognised. Miss you man,” the legendary guitarist said in a statement.

Jeff Beck (right) and Tim Bogert (left) at Nippon Budokan, May 14, 1973. Bogert died at the age of 76 on Wednesday, Jan. 13, his former bandmate Carmine Appice confirmed.

Jeff Beck (right) and Tim Bogert (left) at Nippon Budokan, May 14, 1973. Bogert died at the age of 76 on Wednesday, Jan. 13, his former bandmate Carmine Appice confirmed.
(Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)

According to Bogert’s website, the thunder bassist met Mark Stein in the mid-1960s, when the two joined drummer Joey Brennan and guitarist Vince Martell for the formation of The Pigeons. After recording one album together, they replaced drummer Brennan with Appice and changed the name to Vanilla Fudge.

Following the breakup of Vanilla Fudge, Bogert formed Cactus with Appice, guitarist Jim McCarty and Rusty Day. Bogert and Appice then teamed up with Beck to create Beck, Bogert & Appice. The trio released an album together in 1973 and their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” was a hit.  

Deadline reports the bassist was working with Beck and Appice on an upcoming album at the time of his death.

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Tim Bogert of Vanilla Fudge during VH1 Classic Presents "Decades Rock Live: A Tribute to the Doors" at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., in 2005.

Tim Bogert of Vanilla Fudge during VH1 Classic Presents “Decades Rock Live: A Tribute to the Doors” at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, N.J., in 2005.
(Nick Valinote/FilmMagic)

In 1999, Bogert was inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame. That same year he recorded some music with Vince Martell. Over his decades-long career, Bogert also performed with Japanese guitar sensation Char, Rod Stewart, Billy Cobham, Steve Perry, Rick Derringer, Ginger Baker, and more.

In 2007, the bassist reunited with the original Vanilla Fudge members for a performance at Radio City Music Hall with Deep Purple and toured the following year.  He suffered complications from a motorcycle accident in 2010, however, which stopped him from touring, his website said.

Bogert taught music at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. MI Bass instructor Maurice Verloop shared a statement in response to the rock bassist’s death on Wednesday.

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“MI and the global bass community have had the great fortune of experiencing one the great pioneers of bass guitar in our lifetime,” Verloop  said. “We celebrate his contributions as an artist, educator and human being. His groove will live on through all the students he inspired and his impressive catalog of recordings. You are missed.”

Drummer Mike Portnoy also tweeted: “So sorry to hear of the passing of bass legend Tim Bogert.  One of the true pioneers of the instrument in the late 60’s/early 70’s with his work with Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and Beck Bogert Appice #RIPTimBogert.”

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Bassist Billy Sheehan called Bogert a “Grand Master.” “I love you, Tim. Thank you for your awesomeness, generosity, and kindness. I hope we meet again, my friend. Rest In Peace,” he tweeted.

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