Vanilla Fudge, Cactus Bassist Tim Bogert Dies At Age 76

Vanilla Fudge and Cactus bassist and co-founder Tim Bogert has died at age 76 after battling cancer, Deadline reports.

Bogert's longtime bandmate drummer Carmine Appice reacted to the news Wednesday via social media.

"He was like a brother to me. He was my friend for over 50 years," Appice wrote. "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 at holding down a groove, and Tim introduced a new level of virtuosity into rock bass playing. No one played like Tim."

While he played a significant role in the late-'60s development of rock music, Bogert spent the lion's share of his music career as an in-demand session man, touring bassist and music professor.

Bogert was a faculty member at the Musicians Institute (MI) in Hollywood, which released a statement, thanking him for his work.

"Today we mourn the loss of our friend and former faculty member Tim Bogert," read the statement from MI bass instructor Maurice Verloop. "MI and the global bass community have had the great fortune of experiencing one of the great pioneers of bass guitar in our lifetime. 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."

Born in New York City on August 27, 1944, Bogert grew up in New Jersey but returned to the Big Apple in the mid-'60s to begin his musical career, co-founding Vanilla Fudge with singer/keyboardist Mark Stein and guitarist Vince Martell in 1965 and quickly bringing Appice into the group.

Vanilla Fudge attracted a following early on with its psychedelic, heavy rock take on blues and soul. Along with a few other similarly-inclined acts, the band is credited with helping to lay the ground work for the heavy metal movement.

Vanilla Fudge was the headlining act on Led Zeppelin's first North American tour. Its most enduring song, a 1967 cover of The Supremes "You Keep Me Hangin' On," was prominently featured in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

After releasing five albums during its initial go-around in the '60s, Vanilla Fudge broke up in 1970 with Bogert and Appice going on to form Cactus. Four albums later, Bogert and Appice put Cactus on hold to form a power trio with Jeff BeckBeck, Bogert & Appice — which released two albums in 1973.

Bogert remained busy on tour and in the studio over the ensuing 40-plus years, participating in reunions with both Vanilla Fudge and Cactus in the '00s. Although he retired from the road in 2010, citing complications from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, he continued to work as a session player and teacher.

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