Nick Simper

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Nick Simper
Nick Simper in 2015
Nick Simper in 2015
Background information
Birth nameNicholas John Simper
Born (1945-11-03) 3 November 1945 (age 77)
Norwood Green, Southall, Middlesex, England
GenresRock, hard rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal, progressive rock
Years active1957–present

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. After 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 who initially suggested that Simper be asked to join Deep Purple. Simper also had a brief encounter 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. Ritchie Blackmore had also appeared in interviews during disputes with Simper.

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 and Keith Moon.

For Warhorse, the 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) attempting to sign the band to the label. At Warner Bros. expense, they went into the studio and recorded two tracks, competing with 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 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 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 succeeded 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 the 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 towards the end 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 while an album was in the making. The Budapest show was recorded for future release.[1]

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snub[edit]

In 2016, Deep Purple was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. All members from the band's first seven years (1968 to 1974) were announced as individual inductees, except Simper, but including original lead singer Rod Evans whose tenure in Deep Purple paralleled Simper's. Evans had also been successfully sued by Deep Purple's management in 1980 for performing an unauthorized tour under the band name; Simper had been approached by the same promotion company that had hired Evans, but declined to participate.

Simper stated, "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."[2]


Year Band Title Notes
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
1972 Purple Passages Compilation, Japan re-release: 1993
1973 Mark I & II Compilation
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
1983 Rarities 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

Guest appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Anasontzis, George. " interview with Nick Simper". Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  2. ^ Weisman, Roger (6 April 2016). "Deep Purple Bassist Nick Simper's Hall of Fame Snub". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 January 2017.

External links[edit]