LAST IN LINE's ANDREW FREEMAN Recalls JIMMY BAIN's Final Days
February 7, 2021
During a brand new interview with with SIN CITY REJECTS' Jason Green, Andrew Freeman spoke about the tragic January 2016 passing of his LAST IN LINE bandmate Jimmy Bain aboard the "Def Leppard Hysteria On The High Seas" cruise.
The 68-year-old bassist, who had also played with DIO and RAINBOW, had been found dead in his cabin. The cause of death was later revealed to be lung cancer.
"We got together with Jim two weeks before we were supposed to do the cruise," Freeman recalled. "He came into rehearsal, and he looked really pale. And he said, 'Hey, I have pneumonia. I'm on the mend. No worries.' And right there, we said, 'Hey, if we need to cancel this, we can cancel this. It's not that big of a deal. We don't need to do it. Your health, obviously, is more important.' He was, like, 'No, no, no. I'm fine. I'm fine.' He wanted to play. So we just took him at his word. And it turned out that he had stage four lung cancer and didn't tell anybody. [Laughs] But he really wanted to play. We put the pieces together after everything happened and realized that he just wanted to play, and he didn't have much time left.
"So we got to Florida, and we did a gig before the cruise — it was like an on-land sort of a thing at a casino there," the singer continued. "And he was looking pretty ill — he was just not looking good. But he got up like a fucking trooper and he did the whole gig, and he was spot-on like he always. [Editor's note: See video below.] And then when somebody took him back to the hotel, they said, 'He's not looking very good.' So the next day we met at the bus — they take you from the hotel to the boat. And we were waiting in the lobby, and Jimmy is late — not something that's out of character for him. We thought he was gonna be late — he wasn't late yet. So I said, 'Somebody'd better call Jimmy's room and make sure he gets down here in time.' So [I got on the phone] and he answers the phone, and I [said], 'Hey, man, we've gotta go in 10 minutes.' And he's, like, 'I know.' I'm, like, 'Oh. All right. Cool.' I hung up the phone. He was there right on time. He comes down and basically starts staring at my coffee, [and] steals my coffee. I said, 'Jim, you want some coffee?' He's, like, 'Yeah, sure.' So I gave him the rest of my ice coffee. And he looked great. He was on time. I should have knew then that something was gonna happen, because he was fucking on time.
"We got to the boat. He was next door to me. I didn't really see him. He said he was still sick, so before we left, I got him some care package stuff — just medicine, store-bought medicine. And he stayed in the room next to me. And a couple of days later — I think it was two days later — I got a knock on the door, and they said that he hadn't been responding. So, yeah, it turned out he had passed in his room on the cruise."
Bain, along with drummer Vinny Appice and guitarist Vivian Campbell, was part of the original DIO lineup, which reunited in 2012 alongside Freeman to form LAST IN LINE.
Born in Scotland on December 19, 1947, Bain joined RAINBOW in time to appear on the band's second album, 1976's "Rising". He was fired a year later and went on to guest with THIN LIZZY and work in THIN LIZZY frontman Phil Lynott's solo band, before forming WILD HORSES with ex-THIN LIZZY guitarist Brian Robertson. He appeared on Gary Moore's 1983 album "Dirty Fingers" before joining DIO and playing on seven DIO albums with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, from 1983 debut "Holy Diver" to 2002's "Killing The Dragon".
Two years ago, Vinny discussed Jimmy's passing on "The Classic Metal Show". He said: "It was shocking and it was hard.
"Before we did the cruise, the week before, we rehearsed with Jimmy, and he said he had pneumonia. He looked pretty sick — skin color and everything — but he made it to rehearsal. He sat down — he didn't stand up — we played for three hours, four hours for three or four days. And he did that; he was a trooper. Then he got on the plane. Meanwhile, he's dying of cancer. He got on the plane, made it to Florida, and we were scheduled to play on Sunday, so the cruise left on Saturday. And right before DEF LEPPARD was going on, one of the girls came down crying: 'It's Jimmy! It's Jimmy!' And for some reason, I knew when I saw that. It just came to me that this is the day Jimmy's passed. And that's what happened. And I went up to check it out. I saw Jimmy in the room."
According to Appice, Bain "went out as a rock star. He was all dressed up," he said. "He had velvet pants on. He had his chains on. He had his rock shirt on. He rocked out to the end. God bless him. He didn't wind up in the hospital getting treatment. He wound up, to the very end, rocking out — pretty much."