Friday, July 25, 2008

Original Deep Purple Bassist Nick Simper Speaks!

Before Gillan and Glover, there was Rod Evans and Nick Simper. For the history of Deep Purple didn't begin with the arrival of vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover into the fold before the recording of 1970's 'In Rock'. The legendary English band, which consisted at that time of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice, Evans and Simper, recorded three albums before cranking the amps to 11, even managing considerable success in the U.S. with hit singles such as the classic "Hush", which reached #4 on the Billboard Singles Chart in 1968 and to a lesser extent, "Kentucky Woman", which managed to break the Top 40, reaching # 38 later that same year. The debut album 'Shades Of Deep Purple' hit #24 on the album charts in the States, which remained their best showing until the classic 'Machine Head' vaulted to #7 in 1973.

And anchoring the rhythm section during those early years was founding bassist Nick Simper. In 1969, both he and original vocalist Rod Evans got the boot, to make way for the inclusion of the aforementioned Gillan and Glover, but the musician is still remembered fondly by fans of heavy psych rock of the late 60's. Now apparently out of hiding, Simper is gigging with UK band The Good Ol' Boys, which also features ex Warhorse/Fandango guitarist Peter Parks and Strawbs drummer Richard Hudson.

Canadian heavy rock publication Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles has published a rare interview with Simper, wherein the bassist speaks of his days in Deep Purple and the projects he's involved with these days. To read the article go to this location. To find out more about Nick Simper, go to his official web site.

Here's Simper with Deep Purple performing "And The Address/Hush" on the US TV show 'Playboy After Dark' in 1968 :

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