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JOHN ROSTILL: Remembering bassist on 50th anniversary of his death

 Published on: 22nd December 2023   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

November 26 marked the 50-year anniversary of the untimely death of John Rostill, former Shenley resident and bassist for The Shadows.

John was born on June 16, 1942, making him only 22 years old when he wrote the 1964 hit The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt for The Shadows, which peaked at number five in the UK charts that year.

Remembered for their number-one hits Apache, Kon-Tiki, Wonderful Land, Foot Tapper and Dance On!, The Shadows dominated British pop in the pre-Beatles era. Originally the backing band for Sir Cliff Richard OBE, The Shadows quickly rose to stardom in their own right.

After The Shadows broke up at the end of the 1960s, John toured with Sir Tom Jones OBE.

It was widely reported that John was electrocuted whilst playing a faulty electric guitar at his private studio in Shenley. However, the Liverpool Echo reported on December 12, 1973, that a coroner found John’s cause of death to be suicide.

John left behind his wife, Margaret, and a one-year-old son, Paul. The iconic bassist is buried in Leavesden.

Photo Credit: Shuttershock via Rex Features

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1 Comment

  1. Paul January 17th, 2024, 11:32 am

    Thank you for this nice article about John.
    A couple of small things. He lived (and died) in Radlett, although his wife and son later moved to Shenley and lived there for many years.
    John was cremated at Garston cemetery, and his ashes buried in Mitcham cemetery, south London.
    Also, his wife, Margaret sadly passed away in December 2021.

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