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First published January 2018, last updated January 2019

Jim Ford, a member of the Dallas Four, passed away in Auckland N.Z. on 19th January 2018, aged 72.


Pedro is coming back.  I still can’t believe you are in the heaven now.  But I know you are laughing and sitting on there watching me and enjoy your life :)  Maybe you still want to give me some advices and stay with each other, listen your glory stories.  I miss your hugs a lot.  When I was in New Zealand you do a lot of things for me.  It’s not only appreciated it, I know you know what I mean.  You are always such gentleman and kind.... always, I wish you can understand me.  I still remember all the beautiful memories that we have clearly in my mind. 

I know Music is your whole life or maybe more than that.  That’s also how we meet.  I really miss you a lot. 

Thank you for be my life’s mentor and company with me and your sister...  You just like my father.  Now I really want to speak out loud, I hope it’s not gonna be late as you said, it’s always not gonna be late.  Now you can really enjoy what you really want to do without and troubles :).  I know you still can hear me.  Love you forever always in my mind. - Pedro Hsieh
Many thanks Jimmy for the best dancing I ever enjoyed when I as a 15 y.o schoolboy was lucky enough to have the Dallas 4 as our school 'Ball' band.  Later in life we met up a few times and you were a very sympathetic and kind man.  Thanks for the memories!! - Craig Wallace (now of Rotorua)
Very sorry to hear another one of my fellow muso brother's has split the scene and gone to the next stage to lay down the beat.  R.I.P. Jim - Errol Timbers
I enjoyed many conversations with Jim about the music industry.  He was always a wealth of information on a variety of subjects.  I missed Jim on social media & began asking around.  "Jim Graduated to Heaven and he Graduated With Honors!"  One Love - Davide Jones 
I cant believe he already passed away!  He was been a father a real father to me..  He is always there when I needed some advice.  Even if we are far from each other..  You are a good friend Jimmy..  I'll miss You!  R.I.P - Gerald Dela Cruz
'Top of the Town' drummer, vocalist, butcher, our Jimmy.
The Dallas Four were stars in my estimation back when sublime harmonies ruled Auckland City and hundreds (me included) couldn't get in to see them at the Monaco.  Years later however I had the most fortunate pleasure of working with Jim, Tiny Thompson & Paul Hartland at the Hiatt’s 'Top of the Town’ Restaurant, which was quite a night.  Equally though It was through the day when I got to work a few seasons with Jim on the mutton chain at Westfield Freezing works where I found him to be as unpretentiously skilled with a knife as he was with his drumming & vocalising.  A warm unselfish and supportive chap whom I feel privileged to have met and remain grateful too.  Condolences Eric. (Hellaby's boning room).  R.I.P Rock & Roll angel. - Grahame (Doc) Savage
I met Jimmy through my partner Sandie in the 90s, the man would always have a joke handy, a whiskey, and the betting page ready to hand.  He would often drum out a beat on most surfaces when thinking, going to miss you Jimmy, may the barman always have your glass full! - Greg Walker
First came across Jim in the 60s when I was a Gremlin and he was a Dallas! And then in the late 70s, joining a pub band doing the Westward Ho…. John Kristian, Tiny Thompson and Jim Ford.  Three utter incorrigibles.  After that, a number of club and pub bands with Jim.  A percussionist rather than a hard hitting rock drummer, great vocals, a real team player, dependable and loyal.  Many memories, mostly unprintable.  Farewell my good friend. - Ben Grubb
Jim played a big part in the early days of Larry's Rebels.  We first met The Dallas Four at The Platterack and we all got on well.  Both bands spent Xmas ''65 - '66 at The Top 20 Beach House at Mt Maunganui and became firm friends.  We used to share the stage with them from time to time and Jim used to complain about "Bloody cack-handed drummers"!  (He was a Leftie!)  Larry and I shared a flat in Mt Eden for a while with Jim and Basil Peterkin and many a good laugh was had by all.  He was always a good companion and often helped us out with transport (in the notorious ´58 Fairlane).  Jim used to play golf with The Musos Club run by Fred McMahon on a Thursday at Chamberlain Park.  He could certainly hit a ball, but if things didn't go quite to plan, everybody had to duck, as clubs could end up anywhere!  He was a good musician and had a very relaxed style, both drumming and vocally.  I hadn't seen Jim for many years but if I was able, I would be there to see him off.  Bien Viaje Amigo -  Viv McCarthy (Spain)
Jimmy Ford was one of the true gentlemen of New Zealand's music scene.  Like all the other members of Larry's Rebels....and many others who knew him....he was a true great friend.  A very talented drummer....and singer.....great vocaliser with harmonies...and just loved being part of the music scene.  He traveled with L/Rebels many times early days....and lots of fun was always had....plus he stood up a couple of times when there was a bit of trouble with some not so nice situations to be in...on the road.....that took guts....and he had it big time.  His playing style...a combination of left handed and two handed fills...were a treat to watch and hear.  A true great friend for so many years.... He will be sadly missed...as he always was Jimmy.... - John Williams
Sincere condolences to Jim's brother Eric and the entire Ford family.  I am extremely fortunate to have known Jim.  Jim Ford was a great drummer and very good singer that I had the pleasure of working with many times.  We were also golf buddies and played the Fred McMahon inspired Entertainers Haggle every Tuesday & Thursday at Takapuna Golf Course.  Some of our playing mates who have also passed were Rainton Hastie & Dave Henderson.  I recall Jim winning the haggle on two or three occasions over the many years we played golf together.  Jim played drums and provided BVs on my 1976 album Reputation Don’t Matter Anymore with John Williams on bass.  A solid rhythm section and two good mates from the Larry’s Rebels / Dallas Four days.  In 1994 when I returned from ten years in the States I visited Jim at a private bar he owned and operated in a warehouse building in Mount Eden, The Auckland Entertainers Club and lots of us spent many hours there reminiscing and having the odd jam together.  We were all surprised when Terry Rouse told us Jimmy could not attend the recent Monaco Reunion gig.  Terry who was also a good friend of Jim’s from his Larry’s Rebels days told us he was not the best, but he would bounce back as he always had done in the previous 52 years we had all known him.  It was extremely sad to hear that Jim had passed away late last week.  Rest in peace Jim and enjoy your time as part of that Big Band in the sky.  You will be sadly missed doy…. - Larry Morris
The Dallas Four took The Troubled Minds, from Napier, under their wing and helped us 'break' into the Auckland scene in 1967.  Jimmy was a good friend and a larger than life character to all who came in contact with him.  My fondest memory of Jim was seeing him playing at The Platterack late shift after earlier session at The Monaco, a shaped coat hanger around his neck with microphone attached, one stick under his arm and eating a toasted sandwich mid song!  Priceless!  Sympathies to his family - Dick Roberts 
I first met Jimmy Ford back in the 60’s when he was in The Dallas Four New Zealand’s premier vocal and rock group.  I especially remember the band covering The Four Seasons numbers which blew me away with their perfect harmony and has always stayed with me over the years.  The Platterack club was always full when they were playing and we,’ The Pleazers’, would often go there after playing at The Top Twenty across the lane then onto The White Lady for a burger and then end up at ‘The Layabouts’ hangout in Mt Eden for a Toga party.  I have great photo of Jim, taken by Lynne Anabell, at one of those parties where ‘The La De Das’ where always present as well.  Thanks Jimmy for the good memories of Auckland in the 60’s and like all the other musicians from that time who have left us, you will be missed by us all. Sincerely - Denis Gilmore
Jim – a great drummer/harmoniser in the Dallas 4 was a great friend to our band and helped us out in so many different ways – came away on road trips - protected us and our gear from riots – taught us how to shoot a .22 at targets – etc, in later years still kept contact with everyone and was always welcoming to everyone – we lost another great character.  - Terry Rouse (Larry’s Rebels)
Jim Ford was a great muso and a fun guy...I met with him several years ago over coffee, just to chew the fat so to speak...It was great going over the Dallas Four days and Dody Potter etc. - Gray Bartlett
A great singer with the ability to harmonize, a very good drummer and I for one always enjoyed a chat when ever we crossed paths over the last 50 years.  The Dallas Four were a really good band and each member made it that way.  Jim was a solid slightly different drummer and his attention to detail with harmony always complimented Basil in a special way.  Sadly, Jim always had a partly unfulfilled dream to have a Musos club he had one for awhile and then in later life he tried again but it never happened.  His health also effected him in later life but he never complained.  Some people have described Jim as grumpy however I never found him to be this way and always enjoyed his company.  He always sent me a Christmas card by mail in the old fashioned way which was how Jimmy rolled.  Jim you can proudly take your place as one of the great original 60's musicians that made our scene and with Grant doing his latest release it will be remembered.  RIP Jimmy Ford I will miss you. - Bill Belton
(email me your tribute to Jim and I'll add it in - andy@nzmusos.co.nz)


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