Argent Biography

When the 60s pop group the Zombies finally disintegrated in 1969, keyboard player Rod Argent (Rodney Terence Argent, 14 June 1945, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England) wasted no time in forming a band that would enable his dexterity as a pianist and songwriter to flourish. The assembled unit also included Russ Ballard (b. 31 October 1945, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, England; guitar/vocals), Bob Henrit (b. Robert Henrit, 2 May 1944, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England; drums) and Jim Rodford (b. 7 July 1941, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England; bass). Their critically acclaimed 1970 debut included Ballard’s ‘Liar’, a song that became one of the band’s concert regulars and was also a US Top 10 hit for Three Dog Night in 1971, the year Argent’s second album Ring Of Hands was released. 1972’s All Together Now featured the exhilarating ‘Hold Your Head Up’ (co-written by Argent and former Zombies bass player Chris White), which became a Top 5 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Similarly, In Deep produced another memorable hit, ‘God Gave Rock ’N Roll To You’ (a hit in 1992 for Kiss).

Ballard, who by now had developed into an outstanding pop songwriter, left in 1974 to pursue a solo career and his place within the band was taken by two new members, John Verity (b. 3 July 1949, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England; vocals) and John Grimaldi (b. 25 May 1955, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England; guitar). From this point onward, the band became lost in an atrophy of improvisational solos. Argent disbanded in 1976. Rod Argent opened keyboard shops and continued as a successful record producer, writer of jingles and session player. Verity, Rodford Henrit formed the short-lived Phoenix, which also included Ballard in its final line-up.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.