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Nick Simper in 2015
|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|
|Associated acts||Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, The Flower Pot Men, Lord Sutch's Savages, Warhorse, Deep Purple|
Nicholas John Simper (born 3 November 1945) is an English bass guitarist, who was a co-founding member of Deep Purple and Warhorse. In the 1960s, he began his professional career in bands such as Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, The Flower Pot Men, and Lord Sutch's Savages.
Simper was born in Frogmore House Maternity Home, Norwood Green, Southall, Middlesex. 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 his joining The Pirates, Simper and Kidd were involved in a car crash that took Kidd's life and left Simper injured. After recovering, Simper briefly reactivated The Pirates as a tribute band to Kidd (1966–67) before joining the Garden, the backing band for The Flower Pot Men (1967–68), where he played alongside Jon Lord. (It was Lord who initially suggested that Simper be asked to join Deep Purple when that band was first forming.) Simper also had a brief spell with Lord Sutch's Savages.
Simper played bass on three Deep Purple albums from 1968 to 1969. He was fired from Deep Purple in mid-1969 together with original singer Rod Evans. When new singer Ian Gillan from the band Episode Six was sought as a replacement for Evans, bandmate Roger Glover tagged along to play bass at some rehearsals and recorded the single "Hallelujah" for Deep Purple without Simper even knowing. Deep Purple's drummer Ian Paice soon suggested that the band hire Glover along with Gillan. Ritchie Blackmore had also stated in interviews that he felt Simper's bass playing was too old fashioned and more suited to old style rock 'n roll than the hard rock direction he wanted to take the band in.
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 had not 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 1974 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 could not 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-1990s, drummer Mick Underwood 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). During a gig in Austria in 2007, Simper performed the Deep Purple song "Emmaretta" with the support band Nasty Habits. On 6 September 2008, The Good Ol' Boys stepped in at the last minute to support Deep Purple tribute band 24 Carat Purple at the Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford. Simper played "Hush" as a guest with this band, using bassist Pete Hartley's bass guitar. 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. Later that year, Nick Simper & Nasty Habits played another 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.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub
In 2016, Deep Purple was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Simper was excluded from induction. The decision by the Hall was perplexing, as all other members from the band's first seven years (1968 to 1974) were announced as individual inductees. This included original singer Rod Evans whose tenure in Deep Purple paralleled Simper's. Further, Evans was at one time sued by Deep Purple management for performing under the band name without permission in 1980. (To his credit, Simper was approached by the same promotion company that hired Evans, but declined to participate.) Simper seemed to take the snub in stride, stating, "Yes, it is a little strange that I am [the] only one from Marks I, II and III being left out, but I shan't lose any sleep over this. It's not as if I need to be given this award to know what we did in Deep Purple made an impact. And I'm sure it wasn’t a decision that came from the band."
|1968||Deep Purple||Shades of Deep Purple||Re-mastered ed.: 2000|
|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||Compilation|
|2011||BBC Sessions 1968–1970|
|1970||Johnny Kidd & The Pirates||The Johnny Kid Memorial Album||Compilation|
|1978||The Best of Johnny Kid & The Pirates||Compilation|
|1990||The Classic & Rare||Compilation|
|1970||Warhorse||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||[2CD]: UK 1997 RPM Records RPM-501[|
|1974||Nick Simper's Dynamite||St. Louis / Soul Rider (Single)|
|1979||Nick Simper's Fandango||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 (Single)||UK SP: Paro Records Paro-S4|
|1994||Slipstreaming / Future Times||UK 2CD: RPM Records RPM-125|
UK 2CD: Angel Air SJPCD 041 (incl. bonus tracks)
|1982||Flying Fox||Flying Fox||ltd. ed. cassette|
|1997||Quatermass II||Long Road||UK: Thunderbird CSA 108 / Japan: PCCY-01156|
|2005||The Good Old Boys||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|
|2009||Nasty Habits||The Austrian Tapes – Live At the Orpheum Graz (DVD)||unofficial release|
|The Austrian Tapes – Live At the Reigen (DVD)||unofficial release|
|2010||Dolina Charlotty – See You in August (DVD)||unofficial release|
|The Deep Purple MKI Songbook (CD)||UK: Wymer Records TSA1002|
|2012||Live at Szene, Vienna (CD+DVD)||UK: Angel Air Records SJPCD386|
|2015||De La Frog Conspiracy (CD)||studio album|
|2010||Blaggards & Cowboys||Skulduggery (CD)||self-released|
- 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)
- Steve Rosen Interview with Ritchie Blackmore, 1974 Retrieved from YouTube "Ritchie Blackmore, Guitar God|Part 1/5" on 14 January 2014.
- Anasontzis, George. "Rockpages.gr interview with Nick Simper". Rockpages. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Weisman, Roger (6 April 2016). "Deep Purple Bassist Nick Simper's Hall of Fame Snub". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
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