Rainbow and Dio Bassist Jimmy Bain Dies at 68

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PHOTO: Dana Wullenwaber. Jimmy Bain performing with Dio

at Cal Expo, Sacramento, California. August 2, 1983.

Jimmy Bain, who played bass with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Dio, died on January 24. He was 68.

He was scheduled to perform with his band Last in Line on Def Leppard’s Hysteria on the High Seas Cruise, a four-day experience featuring numerous groups. Bain performed in Last in Line with Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell. No cause of death was provided, and it isn’t known if Bain was on the cruise at the time of his passing.

Bain’s death was confirmed on Facebook by Campbell, whose friendship with the bassist extends back to the Eighties, when the two performed together in Dio.

“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 writes. “It was Jimmy who gave me my first big break in the music industry and for that I am forever indebted.

“Jimmy’s struggles with his demons were well documented through the years, but over the last 18 months he had finally won that battle and he was bright and lucid and motivated throughout the writing and recording of the new record. He leaves behind him a rich legacy of work from Rainbow, through Wild Horses, Dio, and finally, Last In Line. Jimmy was immensely proud of our new album and his input to it was immeasurable.

“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.

“On behalf of Vinny and Andrew, our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this most difficult of times.

“Rest in peace, dear friend.”

Born in Scotland, Bain was hired by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to join Rainbow in 1975, alongside singer Ronnie James Dio. Bain performed on the group’s 1976 sophomore effort, Rising, and the 1977 live album, On Stage.

In 1981, Bain and his former Rainbow vocalist joined forces in the heavy-metal group Dio. The bassist performed on the band’s first four albums, including 1983’s Holy Diver, and their 1986 live album, Intermission. Though he left the group in 1988, Bain rejoined Dio for 2000’s Magica and 2002’s Killing the Dragon.

Bain performed with numerous other acts throughout his life, including Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, Scorpions, John Cale and his own group, the Wild Horses.

He and Campbell teamed up with former Dio drummer Vinny Appice in 2012 to form Last in Line, which includes singer Andrew Freeman. The group takes its name from Dio’s 1984 album and song. 

Bain was remembered on social media by members of the metal community. Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine tweeted, “Jimmy Bain has passed away. I’m saddened by the loss of my friend. David [Ellefson, Megadeth bassist] & I were very close with Jimmy. Godspeed.”

Motörhead’s Phil Campbell posted, “Jimmy Bain was a true musician and songwriter. He was involved and wrote more than you probably imagine.”

Here is Bain performing “Rainbow in the Dark” with Dio in 1983.

Last in Line posted these rehearsal videos a few days ago as they prepared for the Def Leppard Hysteria on the High Seas cruise.