Chris White (The Zombies)

Former Zombies bassist Chris White holds the distinction of co-composing one of rock’s great masterworks Odessey and Oracle (1968). White, who reunites with the surviving original members for special anniversary performances of the aforementioned slab, is a dexterous pocket and counter-melodic player who, akin to his peer Sir Paul, takes a compositional approach to the instrument. Chris has collaborated regularly with his former bandmates Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent as a writer/producer, most notably co-composing Argent’s seminal hit “Hold Your Head Up,” which, as the late Zombies and former Argent bassist Jim Rodford noted in the Know Your Bass Player film series Season One, is founded on a bassline which Jim derived from an early Zombies hit.

“Oh I like that… The Zombies bass player!” The first time Chris White heard “She’s Not There” on broadcast media was on the BBC’s Juke Box Jury wherein guest panelist Beatle George Harrison praised the band and their bassist! The Zombies first recordings were helmed by a new kid in the studio who would go on to become a rock legend: Gus Dudgeon. From Terminal Studios in beautiful downtown Bermondsey UK, our first of a series of interview segments with producer / composer / bassist Chris White.



“It was like a cross between an ode and odyssey…” From Terminal Studios in beautiful downtown Bermondsey UK, our second in of a series of interview segments with producer / composer / bassist Chris White, who shares his recollections on one of the most iconic slabs in the history of rock and roll.



“I’m a songwriter who happens to play bass….”


In our third in a series of interviews with composer / bassist / producer Chris White from Terminal Studios in beautiful downtown Bermondsey UK, The Zombies bassist/composer (and Argent composer with Rod Argent) recalls writing “Hold Your Head Up” based on Jim Rodford’s permutated bassline from The Zombies classic “Time of the Season.” Following Chris’ interview, we include a clip from our 2014 Season One conversation at The Horn in St. Albans with the late Jim Rodford discussing the Argent hit and how he created the signature bass motif which inspired White and rocked a generation!



Mark Preston: “To have Chris White on film was very, very special to us, and to me on a deep personal level. I attended several moving performances of The Zombies Odessey and Oracle, including the historic 40th Anniversary show at Shepard’s Bush in 2008.


As we learn from our interview “A Butcher’s Tale” was composed by Chris, and it is an emotional recollection of how his family was affected in the Battle of Somme in World War One.


We conducted Chris interview on November 11 which is Armistice Day in England. Their holiday is similar to Memorial Day in the United States to honor fallen soldiers in past wars. Our cinematographer Derek Hanlon suggested that we post the Odessey and Oracle album on the wall behind Chris as visual backdrop. Before we started shooting our interview which was scheduled before noon, Chris asked me if we could pause for a moment of silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to observe two minutes of silence as is custom.


Of course, we agreed. When the clock struck 11 in Room B at Terminal Studios in Bermondsey, we stopped shooting and all of us; including Bass Player editor Joel McIver, my partner Tom, Derek, Ollie our assistant, my wife Joanne, and Chris’ wife all stood in a circle with our heads bowed. Just seconds into our observance, the Odessey and Oracle album crashed to the floor. Chris opened his eyes and looked at me and I said “these things happen for a reason” and Chis said “yes they do…”


Here is our conversation with Chris!”