Jimmy Bain dies at the age 68. Vivian Campbell, bandmate to Bain in Dio and Last in Line (and guitarist for Def Leppard), shared the sad news on Sunday, Jan. 24, though the bass player’s cause of death has not been confirmed, according to The Scotsman.
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I must confirm the news of the passing of our dear friend and Last in Line band-mate, Jimmy Bain,” Campbell wrote. “It was Jimmy who gave me my first big break in the music industry and for that I am forever indebted.”
Campbell noted that the musician’s struggles were well documented through the years, but over the last 18 months he had finally won that battle and was bright and motivated throughout the writing and recording of the new record. He leaves behind a rich legacy of work from Rainbow, through Wild Horses, Dio, and finally, Last in Line.
Jimmy Bain dies at a time when he was immensely proud of the new album and getting his life back on course. “He was a very kind and gentle and generous soul and our lives were greatly enriched for having known him. We will continue to celebrate his life through his music,” Campbell added.
Bain was born in Scotland in 1947 and played in several local bands. Jimmy got involved in the London music scene in the ’70s with the band Harlot before joining Rainbow, alongside Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio. His time with Rainbow was short-lived, but he played on the studio album Rising as well as the live album On Stage.
Throughout his career, Jimmy Bain also worked with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, Scorpions, and Wild Horses — a band which he fronted — among others.
Jimmy regrouped with Ronnie James Dio in the ’80s to perform with him in the band Dio. Bain took part in the group’s debut studio album, Holy Diver, as well as The Last in Line, Sacred Heart, Dream Evil and the live album Intermission. Jimmy Bain left the band in 1989, only to rejoin them again for the albums Magica and Killing the Dragon a decade later.
As of late, Bain was performing with Last in Line, and the band was scheduled to play on Def Leppard’s Hysteria on the High Seas cruise (at sea from Jan. 21 to 25). Campbell shared a rehearsal clip on Facebook on Jan. 18.
Megadeath’s Dave Mustaine, Motorhead’s Phil Campbell, former Guns N’ Roses member Matt Sorum, Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale and various other artists paid tribute to Bain on social media upon hearing the news of his death.
Jimmy Bain died doing what he loved best: writing and recording music. The news was broken on social media by former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, who joined Dio after Bain’s late-’80s departure, but was still in the band for Bain’s second stint.