Simon Kirke

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Simon Kirke
Simon Kirke - Bad Company - 1976.jpg
Simon Kirke - Bad Company - 1976
Background information
Birth name Simon Frederick St. George Kirke
Born (1949-07-28) 28 July 1949 (age 64)
Lambeth, London, England
Genres Hard rock, blues rock, blues
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Drums, percussion, guitar, vocals
Years active 1968–present
Labels Island
Associated acts Free, Bad Company, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band
Website www.freewebs.com/simonkirke

Simon Frederick St. George Kirke (born 28 July 1949) is an English rock drummer best known as a member of Free and Bad Company.

Life and career[edit]

Kirke was born in Lambeth, South London, England, the son of Olive May and Vivian Percy Kirke.[1][2] He spent his early years living in the borderlands of Wales. Leaving school at 17, he returned to London and set about finding a drumming job in the booming blues scene. After a fruitless 18 months he was resigned to returning to the country when he met Paul Kossoff who was playing in a band called Black Cat Bones. Kirke was offered the drumming position in the band for which he played for six months.

Kirke and Paul Kossoff left the band and with Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser formed Free. In the four years Free were together they had an enormous influence on many bands on both sides of the Atlantic. Their biggest hit, "All Right Now", was a number one in more than 20 territories and was acknowledged by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) in 1990 as having received more than 1,000,000 radio plays in the US by late 1989. In 2000 an award was given to Paul Rodgers by the British Music Industry when "All Right Now" passed 2,000,000 radio plays in the UK.

After the disbanding of Free in 1973, Kirke and Rodgers again teamed up to form Bad Company.[3] They were joined by guitarist Mick Ralphs (Mott the Hoople) and bassist Boz Burrell (King Crimson).

After Bad Company disbanded in 1982, Kirke was briefly involved with another band, Wildlife. Wildlife toured in support of the Michael Schenker Band around this time in the UK; their album was produced by former Bad Company bandmate Ralphs, and it also featured Kirke playing saxophone on one track entitled 'Charity'. Despite being signed to Led Zeppelin's label, Swan Song, and Kirke's high-profile involvement, the album failed to sell. Wildlife's core members, brothers Chris and Steve Overland went onto greater success with the band FM. Kirke returned to Bad Company when the band reformed in 1986.

As well as touring with Ringo Starr's All Star Band on three occasions, Kirke is an accomplished songwriter, releasing Seven Rays of Hope in 2005. He has also worked with Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Eric Clapton.

In 1980, Kirke played drums alongside Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham for their two song encore in Munich.

Kirke is a fan of Aretha Franklin, and a recurring counsellor at Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp.

Kirke made an instruction DVD of hits from Bad Company and Free, entitled Lessons from a Legend: Simon Kirke. The DVD was produced by Rockstarz in 2006.

He toured with Bad Company in 2009. He has been playing with New York rock band Zeta Vang[4] as a side project.

A governor on the board of NARAS (the Grammy Award Committee), Kirke lives in Manhattan with his wife, Lorraine Dellal, and his four children. His daughter Domino is trying to follow her father into a musical career. Another daughter, Jemima Kirke, is an accomplished painter and actress who stars in the HBO series Girls. His father-in-law was businessman Jack Dellal.[5]

Discography[edit]

Free[edit]

Kossoff Kirke Tetsu Rabbit[edit]

Bad Company[edit]

Solo[edit]

  • Seven Rays of Hope (2005)
  • Filling the Void (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography & Stats - Simon Kirke Official Website". Freewebs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Simon Kirke Biography". Retrieved October 2009. 
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 260. CN 5585. 
  4. ^ "Zeta Vang - Art Rock". Zetavang.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  5. ^ "iCloud". Web.me.com. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 

External links[edit]