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Jimmy Bain: The Death Of A Rogue

On January 23, former Rainbow and Dio bassist Jimmy Bain died while on a rock’n’roll cruise. And with him went part of a whole era.

If Jimmy Bain had been just a great musician and songwriter, that would have been enough. But he was a far more colourful character than that.

When the MSC Divina set sail from Miami for Def Leppard’s Hysteria On The High Seas Rock Cruise on January 21, no one could have known how ill-fated its five-day journey would turn out to be.

The omens didn’t look good from the start. Leppard were forced to cancel one of the sets they were due to play when Joe Elliott was struck down by laryngitis, leaving bandmates Viv Campbell and Phil Collen to cover for him.

But that wasn’t the worst thing that happened on the ship. On January 23 Jimmy Bain, veteran bassist with Last In Line, was found dead in his cabin by the ship’s staff. No one saw it coming. The 68-year-old Scot had been receiving treatment for pneumonia, but he’d played a pre-sail gig and soundchecked with the band he’d formed with fellow former Dio members Viv Campbell and Vinny Appice. What nobody – including Bain himself – knew was that the bassist was also suffering from lung cancer.

“Jimmy played great and even sang that night while holding a heavy bass guitar,” Appice said in a statement. “Never complaining, never asking for help. He didn’t want to let anyone down.” 

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