||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
|Birth name||Nicholas John Simper|
3 November 1945 |
Norwood Green, Southall, Middlesex, England
|Genres||Rock, hard rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal, progressive rock|
|Instruments||Bass, vocals, guitar|
|Associated acts||Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, The Flower Pot Men, Lord Sutch's Savages, Deep Purple, Warhorse|
Prior to co-founding Deep Purple in 1968, Simper played for a number of bands, including The Renegades (1960–61), The Delta Five (1961–63), Some Other Guys (1963–64), Buddy Britten & The Regents renamed Simon Raven Cult (1964–66) and Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. Unfortunately within a few months of joining, Kidd and Simper were involved in a car crash that took Kidd's life. After recovering Simper briefly reactivated The Pirates (1966–67) before joining the Garden, the backing band for The Flower Pot Men (1967–68), where he played alongside Jon Lord. He also had a brief spell with Lord Sutch's Savages, a band that previously had included Ritchie Blackmore.
Simper was fired from Deep Purple in mid 1969, when new singer Ian Gillan requested that bassist Roger Glover join as well. When Deep Purple were starting, Simper had proposed that Gillan join as a singer. Gillan is said to have told him that Deep Purple wouldn't go anywhere, while Episode Six (Gillan's band at the time) would make it big.
After his departure, he briefly worked with Marsha Hunt before forming his own band Warhorse, that recorded two albums for Vertigo. Warhorse was managed by Ron Hire, originally part of HEC Enterprises, the original investors in Deep Purple. During this time Simper also played on a Lord Sutch live album, along with Ritchie Blackmore, Keith Moon and several other luminaries.
For Warhorse, as with so many bands, the important breakthrough of a big selling album hadn’t occurred. There was very strong interest from Warner Bros, with their senior A&R rep (Dave Dee) doing his utmost to sign the band to the label. At Warner Bros expense, they went into the studio and recorded two tracks but in the end it came down to a straight choice between Warhorse and The Heavy Metal Kids.
By 1974 crippling finances signalled the end for the band. Warhorse’s last gig in late ’74 was at Polhill College, Bedford. Unfortunately their 2000-Watt Midas P.A. broke down and despite the best efforts of their roadie and managers it couldn’t be made to perform properly. They tried, and performed a B.B.King song (Three O’clock In The Morning) to see if they could manage some kind of performance, but it was impossible and they made their apologies to the audience and left.
Simper and guitarist Pete Parks spent the next three years writing, recording and initially formed a new band, called Nick Simper's Dynamite (1975) that released one, now very rare single.
On 9 October 1976 Simper took part in the Johnny Kidd 10th Anniversary Memorial Show at the Edwardian Club at the Loughborough Hotel in Brixton.
With no financial backing, along with Parks, Simper managed to get Nick Simper's Fandango (1977–83) off the ground and released two albums. Around the same time Frankie Reid formed the band Flying Fox (1977–84) with Carlo Little, Simper and Parks to play rock 'n' roll whenever they were free from commitments from their other bands.
After Little's departure the band renamed itself The Good Old Boys (1985–present). In the mid nineties, Mick Underwood (ex-The Herd, Episode Six, Gillan) invited Simper to become part of the reactivated Quatermass, which had released one album on Harvest in 1970. Under the guise of Quatermass II (1994–97) they recorded one album.
In 2007 Simper also joined the line-up of Adelle & Co with Parks, Adelle Kirk, Jim Byers and Richard Hudson.
Since launching his own website in 2000s, Simper has renewed his contact with a wider audience. The renaissance of his work has led to a one-off reunion of Warhorse in 2003 (and also 2005); and an appearance at the Deep Purple Convention in Bedford in May 2008 to mark the 40th anniversary of Deep Purple's inception. This performance was released in July 2009.
During a gig in Austria in 2007 Simper performed the Deep Purple song "Emmaretta" with the support band Nasty Habits. In March 2009 Simper again performed with Nasty Habits in Austria. The band played a setlist composed of songs from the first three Deep Purple studio albums under the guise of "The Deep Purple Mark One Songbook". The album was released on August 16, 2010. Later that year Nick Simper & Nasty Habits played another DP Mk1 Songbook show in Plock, Poland.
In 2010 Simper and Nasty Habits played more shows presenting "The Deep Purple Mark One Songbook" in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Poland and an album is in the making. The Budapest show was recorded for future release.
with Deep Purple
- 1968 Shades of Deep Purple (Re-mastered ed.: 2000)
- 1968 The Book of Taliesyn (Re-mastered ed.: 2000)
- 1969 Deep Purple (Re-mastered ed.: 2000)
- 2002 Inglewood - Live in California (Re-release: 2009)
- 2004 The Early Years
with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
- 1970 The Johnny Kid Memorial Album (France)
- 1978 The Best Of Johnny Kid & The Pirates
- 1983 Rarities
- 1990 The Classic & Rare
- 1970 Warhorse (UK: Vertigo 6360 015)
- UK re-releases: 1983, Thunderbolt THBL-004 (as "Vulture Blood") / 1997, RPM Records RPM-174, incl. bonus tracks / 1998, Angel Air SJPCD 034, incl. bonus tracks
- 1972 Red Sea (UK: Vertigo)
- UK re-releases: 1984, Thunderbolt THBL-010 / 1997, RPM Records RPM-175, incl. bonus tracks / 1998, Angel Air SJPCD 035, incl. bonus tracks
- 1997 The Warhorse Story - Vols I & II (UK)
with Flying Fox
- 1982 Flying Fox (ltd. ed. cassette)
with Nick Simper's Fandango
- 1979 Slipstreaming (Germany: Shark Records INT 148.503 / UK: Gull Records GULP 1033)
- 1980 Future Times (Germany: Shark Records INT 148.506)
- 1982 Just Another Day/Wish I'd Never Woke Up (UK SP: Paro Records Paro-S4)
- 1993 The Deep Purple Family Album (UK CD 1993: Connoisseur RP VSOP CD 187) ("The Stallion")
- 1994 Slipstreaming / Future Times (UK 2CD: RPM Records RPM-125)
- 1999 Slipstreaming / Future Times (UK 2CD: Angel Air SJPCD 041) (incl. bonus tracks)
with Quatermass II
- 1997 Long Road (UK: Thunderbird CSA 108 / Japan: PCCY-01156)
with The Good Old Boys
- 2005 Live At The Horns (CD+DVD) (unofficial release)
- 2007 We Can't Do This When We're Dead - Rock n' Roll!!! (DVD) (unofficial release)
- 2009 Live At The Deep Purple Convention (UK: Wymer Records TSA1001)
with Nasty Habits (Deep Purple Mk1 Songbook)
- 2009 The Austrian Tapes - Live At The Orpheum Graz (DVD) (unofficial release)
- 2009 The Austrian Tapes - Live At The Reigen (DVD) (unofficial release)
- 2010 Dolina Charlotty - See You in August (DVD) (unofficial release)
- 2010 The Deep Purple MKI Songbook (CD) (UK: Wymer Records TSA1002)
- 1972 Hands Of Jack The Ripper (Screaming Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends)
- 1983 Roscoe Rocks Again (Roscoe Gordon)
- 2003 Rag Moppin' (Wee Willie Harris & the Alabama Slammers)
- 2007 Carlo Little Night Of Honour (DVD)
- 2008 White Horses of Lyme Bay (CD EP)
- 2009 Never Stop Rockin' (Carlo Little All Stars)
- 2010 Skulduggery (Blaggards & Cowboys)
Film and TV appearances
- 1991 Deep Purple - Heavy Metal Pioneers (Warner Music)
- 1995 Rock Family Trees - Deep Purple (BBC)
- 2002 Swinging London (WDR)
- 2008 Guitar Gods - Ritchie Blackmore (DVD)
- 2008 Deep Purple - In Their Own Words (DVD)