Nick Simper Biography

 

For a potted history of Nick's career you can't top the Pete Frame-style Family Trees at http://www.deep-purple.net

There are 4 trees that contain stuff about Nick:


Nicholas Simper...

was born on 3rd November 1945 in Norwood Green, Middlesex. Nick joined his first school group The Renegades in 1960, using a guitar bought by his father. On leaving school, Nick joined The Delta Five.

In search of a more powerful sound, Nick put together Some Other Guys. His first professional gig was with Buddy Britten and the Regents, who later went mod and played as The Simon Raven Cult. Nick's next band in early 1965 was Cyrano and The Bergeracs, but after a couple of months he joined Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, cutting one single before Kidd was killed in a car crash (and Nick was injured).

Nick went into session work before forming The New Pirates in late 1966, with whom he sang and played bass. He then worked with in Billie Davis' backing group in the UK and Hamburg, and met Richie Blackmore again. He also did a short session with Lord Sutch and then joined the Flowerpot Men where played alongside Jon Lord.

When Lord got the backing to form Deep Purple, Simper was invited to join. Nick left before he was fired from Mk1 in July 1969 and after a short time with Marsha Hunt, formed Warhorse in 1970, cutting two albums for Vertigo. He also appeared on a live Lord Sutch album in 1971. Warhorse split in 1974, Nick then forming Dynamite who cut one European single, and Fandango, cutting two albums with them in 1979/80.

Apart from a couple of singles in the early eighties, Nick started his own company, but still gigs at weekends in a rock band called the "Good Ol' Boys".


1960 to 1961

The Renegades

People involved
Nick Simper (bass, then lead guitar); Ian Nelhams (cousin of Adam Faith, drums); Richard Bennett (rhythm guitar & vocals); Ken 'Jet' Lucas (lead guitar); various vocalists.

1961 to November 1963

The Delta Five

People involved
Nick Simper (guitar); with Ricky Eagles (rhythm guitar); Ken Pickering (vocals); Paul Tait (drums); Dave Hillyard-Jones (bass).

1963 to 1964

Some Other Guys

People involved
Nick Simper (bass); with Dave Taylor (vocals); Len Bone (piano) Alan Hill (rhythm guitar & harmonica); Mike Payne (guitar); Paul Tait (drums).

November 1964 to September 1965

Buddy Britten & the Regents

People involved
Buddy Britten (guitar/vocal); Tony Richards (piano); Roger Pinah (drums); Nick Simper (bass).

Released two singles.

Singles
She's About A Mover/Since You've Gone : UK 1965 Piccadilly 7N 35241
Right Now/Jailer Bring Me Water : UK 1965 Piccadilly 7N 35257

Nick was also in a group called Cyrano & the Bergeracs from January to March 1965.


September 1965 to April 1966

Simon Raven Cult

People involved
Kid Freedom [= Nick Simper] (bass); Richard Honour (keyboards); Simon Raven [= Buddy Britten] (guitar/vocals); Roger Truth [= Roger Pinah] (drums).

Buddy Britten & the Regents transformed itself into Simon Raven Cult and released one single.

Singles
I Wonder If She Remembers Me/Sea Of Love : UK 1966 Piccadilly 7N 35301


May 1966 to October 1966

Johnny Kidd & the New Pirates

People involved
Johnny Kidd (vocals); Roger Pinah (drums); Nick Simper (bass); Ray Soaper (keyboards); Mick Stewart (guitar).

Johnny Kidd & the New Pirates toured the UK until October 1966, when Kidd was killed in a car accident. Before that they had recorded and released a single. The Pirates tried to live on without Kidd.

Singles
Send For That Girl/The Fool : UK Nov 1966 HMV POP 1559

Material from above appears on...
The Best Of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates [LP] : UK Apr 1978 EMI NUTM 12
Rarities [LP] : US 1983 See For Miles Records CM120

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You should visit the excellent Johnny Kidd & The Pirates web site to read all about Nick's time in the Pirates.


December 1966 to May 1967

Pirates

People involved
Johnny Carroll (vocals/keyboards); Roger Pinah (drums); Nick Simper (bass); Mick Stewart (guitar); and later John Kerrison (drums).

Tried to survive on their own after Kidd had died. Kerrison replaced Pinah on drums sometime during 1967. Cut one single which was never released.


May to October 1967

Nick did various session engagements during 1967. He also toured together with Screaming Lord Sutch, Billie Davis, and others.


October 1967 to February 1968

The Flowerpot Men

People involved
Tony Burrows (vocals); Neil Landon (vocals); Billy Day, replaced by Jon Lord (keyboards); Carlo Little (drums); Pete Nelson (vocals); Ged Peck (guitar); Robin Shaw (vocals); Nick Simper (bass).

The Flowerpot Men was a studio concept created by the duo Carter/Lewis, who recorded and released "Let's Go To San Francisco" during 1967. It became a huge hit. Thus a touring band was quickly assembled. Simper joined on bass. While on tour, Billy Day had to have his tonsils removed, and thus Nick's old mate Jon Lord was brought in for the remainder of the tour. Neither Nick nor Lord took part in any recordings though.


February/March 1968

Embryonic Deep Purple line-up

People involved
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar);  Jon Lord (keyboards); Nick Simper (bass); Bobby Woodman (drums).

The embryonic Deep Purple considered Chris Curtis and Dave Curtis for the vocalist slot, although neither of them made it any further than that. Bobby Woodman was "a great drummer, but musically not compatible", according to Nick.


March/April 1968

Roundabout

People involved
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Rod Evans (vocals); Jon Lord (keyboards); Nick Simper (bass); Ian Paice (drums).

The name "Roundabout" was only used by co-manager Tony Edwards, and was never considered by the musicians. The name Deep Purple was chosen on the way to Denmark for a Scandinavian tour in April 1968.


April 1968 to July 1969

Deep Purple Mk I

People involved
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Rod Evans (vocals); Jon Lord (keyboards); Ian Paice (drums); Nick Simper (bass).

This pioneering line-up recorded three albums: Shades of Deep Purple (1968), Book of Taliesyn (1968) and Deep Purple (1969). In mid-1969, Nick and Rod left after a tip-off that they were going to be sacked. "The others did not have the guts to tell us!" - Nick.

Albums & singles
See the Deep Purple Discography

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Late 1969 to early 1970

Marsha Hunt Band

People involved
Marsha Hunt (vocals); Ged Peck (guitar); Roger Pinah, replaced by Mac Poole (drums); Nick Simper (bass); Bobby Stignac (congas).

Eventually, Marsha Hunt got pregnant and decided to quit touring (or perhaps even music biz altogether). The rest of the guys went on to form Warhorse.


June 1970 to July 1974

Warhorse

People involved
Ashley Holt (vocals); Ged Peck (guitar); Mac Poole (drums); Nick Simper (bass); Frank Wilson (keyboards). Peter Parks replaced Ged Peck on guitar for the Red Sea album.

Warhorse recorded and released two albums, while a third came to the demo stage. The demo tracks are included as bonus tracks on the 1997 reissue of Red Sea.

Albums & singles

Warhorse [LP] : UK Nov 1970 Vertigo 6360 015
St Louis/No Chance [Single] : UK February 1971 Vertigo 6059 027
Vulture Blood (= Warhorse) [LP] : UK 1983 Thunderbolt THBL-004
Warhorse [LP/CD] : Germany 199- Repertoire LP-REP-2055-TT/CD-REP-4055-WP
Warhorse [CD; extra material] : UK 1997 RPM Records RPM-174
Red Sea [LP] : UK Vertigo 1972
Red Sea [LP] : UK 1984 Thunderbolt THBL-010
Red Sea [LP/CD] : Germany 199- Repertoire LP-REP-2056-TT/CD-REP-4056-WP
Red Sea [CD; extra material] : UK 1997 RPM Records RPM-175

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Both Warhorse albums were re-issued as a twofer with bonus tracks:
The Warhorse Story - Vols I & II [2CD] : UK 1997 RPM Records RPM-501

Formed in 1970 around Nick, Warhorse were understandably close to early Deep Purple in their blend of keyboard-coloured progressive rock and early heavy metal. The group coalesced when Nick joined soul singer Marsha Hunt's backing band, which formed the nucleus of Warhorse. Rick Wakeman, having left the Strawbs and later to join Yes, was in the original Warhorse line-up but was fired due to unreliability. 
With their early hard/rock metal sounds and a singer (Ashley Holt) who could roll into over-serious, high stentorian vocal phrases, the group have been compared to early Black Sabbath, although they lacked the hooks necessary to achieve the same level of success as Sabbath or Purple.
Warhorse broke up in 1974, with drummer Mac Poole joining Gong, and Holt and drummer Barney James (who briefly replaced Poole in Warhorse's final days) going to Rick Wakeman's band.     


June 1971

Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends

People involved
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Anette Brox (vocals); Victor Brox (vocals); Matthew Fisher (keyboards); Brian Keith (vcl/trm); Carlo Little (drums); Keith Moon (drums); Sid Phillips (saxophone); Noel Redding (bass); Nick Simper (bass); David Sutch (vocals).

Screaming Lord Sutch assembled some rock celebrities for a one night gig in a London pub. The whole thing was recorded, though apparently nobody besides Sutch himself knew that. The recordings were later released as the Hands Of Jack the Ripper album in 1971.

Albums & singles
Hands Of Jack The Ripper [LP] : UK 1971 Atlantic
Hands Of Jack The Ripper [LP] : US 1971 Cotillion SD 9049
Hands Of Jack The Ripper [CD] : Germany 1991 Line Records LECD 9.01010-O

Material from above appears on...
Ritchie Blackmore Vol. 2 [LP/CD/MC] : UK Connoisseur RP VSOP LP/MC/CD 157

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1975

Dynamite

People involved
James Royal (vocals); Pete Parks (guitar); Nick Simper (bass); John Carroll (keyboards); Mick Richardson (drums).

Shortlived outfit assembled by Nick and guitarist Pete Parks. Session vocals were handled by James Royal. Strangely the single, 'St. Louis' a re-work of a previous Warhorse single, only surfaced in Italy and is now a highly sought after item. Simper and Parks were involved in protracted legal efforts when another of their songs was, totally uncredited to the duo, made a hit in America by an act called MARIAH in 1976.

Singles
St. Louis/Soul Rider : Italy 1975 CBS 3052 (also released on the Ariola label in Germany) 


Mid 1974 to mid 1978

Simper came to work as a writer and house musician for a management company together with Pete Parks. This lasted till he formed Fandango sometime during 1978.


During 1978

Rosco Gordon

People involved
Rosco Gordon (piano/vocal); Carlo Little (drums); Sid Phillips (saxophone); Nick Simper (bass); and Wayne Bennett (guitar).

Recorded at 100 Oxford Street in London.

Material appears on...
Rosco Rocks Again [LP] : UK 1983 JSP Records 1052

Click here to read the liner notes

Images courtesy of Karl-Heinz Baier


April 1978 till 1980

Nick Simper's Fandango

People involved
Neil McArthur (keyboards); Peter Parks (guitar/vocals); Ron Penney (drums); Jim Proops (vocals); Nick Simper (bass/vocals).

Simultaneously with Fandango, both Simper and Parks were also in a touring band called Flying Fox (see further below for details).

Albums & singles
Slipstreaming [LP] : Germany Apr 1979 Shark Records INT 148.503
Slipstreaming [LP] : UK June 1979 Gull Records GULL-1033
Slipstreaming - Future Times [CD] : UK 1994 RPM Records RPM-125
Slipstreaming - Future Times [2CD; bonus tracks] : UK 2000 Angel Air 

Material from above appears on...
The Deep Purple Family Album [CD] : UK 1993 Connoisseur RP VSOP CD 187

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From 1978/79 to 1980

Flying Fox

People involved
Carlo Little (drums); Pete Parks (guitar); Frankie Reid (vocals); Nick Simper (bass).

From 1978-ish onwards, Simper was in a UK-based touring band called the Flying Fox. He was simultaneously in Fandango with whom he recorded two albums. With Flying Fox, however, he toured the London area. Their live gigs were apparently very popular. The singer eventually emigrated to Australia in 1980, after which various vocal replacements entered at different periods.


August 1980

Nick Simper's Fandango

People involved
Peter Parks (guitar/vocals); Mac Poole (drums); Jim Proops (vocals); Nick Simper (bass/vocals); Mathew Fisher (keyboards)l.

While off touring with Flying Fox, Simper and Parks recorded another album with Fandango. 

Albums & singles
Future Times [LP] : Germany 1980 Shark Records INT-148.506
Just Another Day/Wish I'd Never Woke Up : UK 1982 Paro Records Paro-S4
Slipstreaming - Future Times [CD] : UK 1994 RPM Records RPM-125
Slipstreaming - Future Times [2CD; bonus tracks] : UK 2000 Angel Air

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From 1980 to 1984/1985

Flying Fox

People involved
Alan Barratt (vocals); James Royal (vocals); Ron Harwood (vocals); Carlo Little (drums); Pete Parks (guitar); Nick Simper (bass).

After the original singer, had emigrated to Australia in 1980, various vocalists jumped in from time to time. 


From 1985-ish to the present

The Good Ol' Boys

People involved
Peter Parks (guitar/vocal); Alan Barratt (vocals); Simon Bishop (guitar); Nick Simper (bass); Richard Hudson (drums); plus occasional drummers Gary Harvey, Terry Sullivan, Chris Hunt.

When Flying Fox eventually collapsed, Simper and Parks quickly formed a new band. 

The Good Ol' Boys were originally formed as a vehicle to play live Rock ‘n Roll whenever the members were free from touring with their own bands. The astounding response they received has led them to become a successful band in their own right, with their combined talents providing a perfect blend for the 50s, 60s Rock n Roll / R&B enthusiast. An evening with the Good Old Boys is an exhilarating experience and one not to be missed.
Alan Barratt (lead singer) started his professional careers singing with Jo-Jo Gun. He has worked alongside the likes of Chip Hawkes (Tremeloes), Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and the Carlo Little Band (Stones). His unique, understated, relaxed vocal style has led to his continued success and popularity, making him one of the most sought after names in Rock n Roll today.
Nick Simper (bass & vocals) needs no introduction. His name is synonymous with one of the greatest rock bands ever, Deep Purple, of which he was a founder member. He first played professionally with Buddy Britten & the Regents, and then Johnny Kidd and The Pirates and his vintage bass playing is the bedrock of the band.
Peter Parks (guitar & vocals) played alongside Nick simper in the Deep Purple offshoot band Warhorse. He subsequently went on to record albums with the much acclaimed Fandango and has performed with BB King, Paul McCartney and Simple Minds. His fine rock and blues guitar playing is a huge asset to the band. 
Simon Bishop (guitar & vocals) was originally a session guitarist for the BBC. He has toured with Renaissance, High Society and The Monks (of Nice Legs Shame About The Face) and has recently returned from session work in Nashville where his unique country rock guitar style places him in great demand.
Richard Hudson (drums and vocals) is the well-known charismatic percussionist from The Strawbs. His career encompasses periods with Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, Hudson Ford, High Society and The Monks. He has toured recently with Rick Wakeman and is responsible, along with John ford, for the unmistakable “Part Of The Union”


December 1994 onwards

Quatermass II

People involved
Nick Simper (bass); Peter Taylor (vocals); Bernie Tormé (guitar); Mick Underwood (drums).

Reformation of a band known to most lovers of British rock. They met, jammed and recorded some demos. Unfortunately though, before closing a record deal, Tormé and Taylor left.


Sometime during 1994/1995

Flying Fox

People involved
Carlo Little (drums); Pete Parks (guitar); Frankie Reid (vocals); Nick Simper (bass); and guests.

Reid returned briefly from Australia and the original line-up of Flying Fox made a one-time reunion gig (together with invited friends) at a pub in Greenford called The Rising Sun, which was also video-taped. No official release though.


August 1996 to June 1997

Quatermass II

People involved
Gary Davis (guitar); Bart Foley (vocal/guitar); Nick Simper (bass); Mick Underwood (drums/percussion); plus Don Airey (keyboards).

New members were quickly assembled, and a new record was soon recorded.

Long Road [CD] : UK 1997 Thunderbird CSA 108
Long Road [CD] : Japan 1997

Quatermass II picture courtesy of Karl-Heinz Baier Quatermass II picture courtesy of Karl-Heinz Baier Quatermass II picture courtesy of Karl-Heinz Baier



October 2000

Wee Willie Harris & the Alabama Slammers

People involved
Wee Willie Harris & the Alabama Slammers, with sessioners, eg. Nick Simper (bass), Pete Newman (saxophone), Johnny Casanova (piano), Alex Chanter (guitar).

The Alabama Slammers, a UK-based rock band playing rock'n'roll à la 50s, backed up Wee Willie Harris on one album. Nick, though not a regular member, plays bass on some tracks.

Rag Moppin' [CD] : UK June 2003 Pollytone Records PEPCD137

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