Tim Bogert, bassist and vocalist for the pioneering psychedelic hard-rock band Vanilla Fudge, has passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with cancer. His death was confirmed by drummer Carmine Appice, a fellow founding member of Vanilla Fudge as well as the band Cactus and the supergroup Beck, Bogert & Appice featuring guitar legend Jeff Beck.
In paying tribute to Bogert on Wednesday night, Appice wrote on Facebook, “My true friend Tim Bogert died today. He was like a brother to me. He was my friend for over 50 years. Tim was a one of a kind bass player. He inspired many, many bass players worldwide. He was as masterful at shredding as he was holding down a groove, and Tim introduced a new level of virtuosity into rock bass playing.”
The drummer added, “No one played like Tim. 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 ’60s bass players.”
Bogert formed Vanilla Fudge with Appice, lead vocalist Mark Stein, and guitarist Vince Martell in 1966. In a period of just over two years they released an impressive five full-length albums, with their 1967 self-titled debut hitting No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart. After unveiling their fifth album in fall of 1969, they broke up in the spring of 1970.
Vanilla Fudge would re-form on numerous occasions, releasing four more albums, and are an active band today with Stein, Martell, and Appice all still in the lineup. Bogert had retired from the group in 2009, and was replaced by bassist Pete Bremy.
One of the first rock bands to embrace a heavier sound, Vanilla Fudge are considered a major influence on heavy metal. They also preceded fellow hard rock acts like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.
Among their best-known tracks is a psychedelic cover of the Motown classic “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, originally recorded by The Supremes. Vanilla Fudge’s version climbed to No. 6 on the Billboard 100 chart.
Along with Vanilla Fudge, Bogert was a member of the hard-rock act Cactus, which released four albums within a couple of years in the early ’70s. He also released one official album as part of the supergroup Beck, Bogert & Appice, a 1973 self-titled effort.
Bogert’s influence on heavy metal and hard rock is evident in the tributes that have poured out since the news of his passing. KISS’ Paul Stanley tweeted, “RIP TIM BOGERT. I first saw Vanilla Fudge on a bill with the Yardbirds with Jimmy Page. Spectacular. I’d never heard 4 people play & sing as one. Tim was mind boggling on all fronts. Also when I saw Beck, Bogert & Appice. A powerhouse.”
Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, Winery Dogs) wrote, “Tim Bogert — Grand Master. I love you, Tim. Thank you for your awesomeness, generosity, and kindness. I hope we meet again, my friend. Rest In Peace.”
And former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy remarked, “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.”
Our condolences go out to the family, friends, and bandmates of Tim Bogert during this difficult time. See Vanilla Fudge performing “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, as well as Bogert singing lead on a live version Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” with Beck, Bogert & Appice, below, followed by the aforementioned social media tributes.
RIP TIM BOGERT. I first saw Vanilla Fudge on a bill with the Yardbirds with Jimmy Page. Spectacular. I’d never heard 4 people play & sing as one. Tim was mind boggling on all fronts. Also when I saw Beck, Bogert&Appice. A powerhouse. https://t.co/fA1gjE9jgL
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) January 14, 2021
Tim Bogert—Grand Master. I love you, Tim. Thank you for your awesomeness, generosity, and kindness. I hope we meet again, my friend. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/PopNKwJJ07
— Billy Sheehan (@BillyonBass) January 14, 2021
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 pic.twitter.com/lptVZHnbqN
— Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) January 14, 2021