The Zombies to play Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Feb. 20 ahead of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction

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Special to the Recorder

           

            When The Zombies last performed at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in January 2018, the band was wrapping up another successful U.S. tour fueled by a resurgence in popularity for the group known for such 1960s hits as “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season.”

            When the band returns to the concert hall Feb. 20, they do so as 2019 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. On March 29 — 50 years to the day that “Time of the Season” topped the U.S. charts — The Zombies will join Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Roxy Music, The Cure and Def Leppard for the formal induction ceremony to be held in Brooklyn, New York.  It’s an honor that, as the group sang in “This Will Be Our Year,” “took a long time to come.”

            “When the band first started way back in 1961, I would never have dreamed of this kind of recognition,” lead singer Colin Blunstone said. “And even after all these years, it’s still a thrill to be nominated by such a respected and revered institution!”

            It’s recognition that seems all the more remarkable given The Zombies’ circuitous route to music success. After enjoying chart-topping hits in 1964 and 1965 with “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No,” the band struggled to maintain that momentum, hampered by poor management. By the time the group’s second album, “Odessey and Oracle,” was released in 1968 and “Time of the Season” became a hit a year later, the band had already split up and its members moved on to other projects.

            It wasn’t until 1999 when Blunstone and fellow Zombie Rod Argent decided to team up for a handful of performances that The Zombies began to rise again. Soon, the duo — backed by a new band that included Argent’s cousin, former Kinks bass player Jim Rodford — were touring again. Much to their surprise, there was a huge fan following for the early Zombies hits, and after receiving permission to use the name from the surviving members of the original group, The Zombies were born again. 

            Since then, the reconstituted Zombies have toured virtually non-stop, gaining new legions of fans — many of whom weren’t even born when the band first topped the charts in the 1960s. The group’s popularity has also benefited from the use of Zombies hits in countless commercials, films and TV series — “This Will Be Our Year” concluded the recent second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — as well as the plaudits of well-known musicians such as Tom Petty, Paul Weller and Dave Grohl.  
            “The last 12 months have been extraordinary!” Argent said. “We’ve had a panoply of lovely comments … from so many favorite and iconic artists — many of whom have taken the trouble to come along to watch a show in one of the four U.S. tours we’ve undertaken during that period. To our amazement, they’ve even quoted us as a major influence!”

The Zombies will perform at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.). For tickets, visit www.pontevedraconcerthall.com

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