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Nick Simper Q&A


Thanks to EnglishRob for organising this and Nick Simper for answering the questions!



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Trollprincess asked
           What was your feelings concerning the groups' ups and downs and line-up changes over all these years?


Nick replied
           I didn't pay much attention to the band after I ceased to be part of it. I have always felt that the best bands are the ones that stick together and despite what some may say, Mk1 would have evolved into a real force given the opportunity.
However, I am proud to have been a founder of a band which has created a family tree of spin-off's, providing employment for a whole load of musicians, as well as leading to the birth of a whole lot of music.
Having listened to more Purple music in recent years, i've come to the conclusion that they should have quit while they were winning!

Mikesmfc asked
           If there is ever to be a one off tour where all past and present Deep Purple members got together for a tour would you be interested in joining them and playing some MK 1 songs?


Nick replied
           Sure, if they had the nerve to ask me!
I would like to hear [sign in to see URL] perform. He sounds the best of the bunch to me. Actually Joe Lynn and I are secretly rehearsing at the moment, but don't tell the others!!

Eiricd asked
           Have you had any contact with Paice, Blackmore or Lord since your days in Purple?


Nick replied
           No

Ptitilian asked
           Have you had any contact with Evans? If so, do you know where he lives so that someone can contact him!!!


Nick replied
           No, on both counts

TheGeo asked
           Are you still playing bass? And if so, what kind of music are you playing these days? Have you recorded anything recently and what are your plans for the future?


Nick replied
           Yes. I have never stopped. I'll play anything thats good, with anyone who asks. These days I play regularly with the "Good 'ol Boys" featuring Alan Barratt on vocals, Pete Parks and Simon Bishop on guitars and Richard Hudson of "The Strawbs" on drums.
All these people are outstanding musicians who are all gigging with different outfits, but who come together regularly to kick-ass as they say.
I've also worked recently with "The Carlo Little All-stars", a blues/R&B outfit and I am a member of the "Chas Hodges Rock 'n' Roll Trio" featuring Chas on piano and vocals and Mick Burt on drums (both of Chas and Dave of course) playing a mixture of rock, blues and R&B.
Two years ago Warhorse had a reunion for two nights which was a great success. The second night was recorded and I am currently discussing a release for this.
Following these gigs, Warhorse planned to tour and record, half of an album being written and demo'd, but various obstacles have surfaced, forcing us to put the project on hold.
My most recent studio release was the Quatermass II album with Mick Underwood, still available on Angel Air Records, as are Warhorse and Fandango.
As for the future, who knows? After gigging for 45 years, i'll be glad to carry on doing the same, whilst listening out for any other offers that come my way.
You may be interested to know that Chas Hodges used to work with Ritchie Blackmore in "The Outlaws"

Last edited by PurpleAdmin1, 7/11/2015, 18:00


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8/4/2005, 19:16 Link to this post Send Email to Rahul   Send PM to Rahul
 
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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


Diostillrocks asked
           What made you decide against joining the bizaro Deep Purple that Rod Evans decided to form in 1980? Turned out to be a smart decision after the legal ramifications of the situation.
           What was your favourite Mark I album (when you were in DP)?


Nick replied
           There was never any question! I've always believed in moving forward not backwards. Also I was a member of "Fandango" by then, so it was no contest!!
I still prefer "Shades" because it was made almost live in just 2 days and represented our stage act at the time. We had only been together for a very short time and I feel that this recording, despite it's shoe-string budget and lack of production, captured the raw excitement generated by the original "Purple"
I also feel that it eclipses anything else that Deep Purple recorded, in spite of being recorded on a four-track machine!
Conversely, I still love a couple of tracks from the third album, as we were finally heading in the direction that I wanted!

ArjunM asked
           What, according to you, characterised the music of Deep Purple Mark I?


Nick replied
           It has to be the rich voice and great lyrics of Rod Evans. Musically, we were always pulling in different directions, with Jon persuing his classical ambitions, Ritchie and myself chasing a harder rock direction. Ian's policy was to keep quiet and play whatever was asked, but Rod could deliver a class performance in any style.
Unfortunately for us (but fortunate for future members), success came far too quickly and we were pushed onto a frantic treadmill of work which, whilst establishing us worldwide, left no time to forge a proper musical policy, or creaive direction.
On the plus side though, we soon established a hard rocking live act which was pretty difficult to follow and anyone who heard us on stage could tell you that the hard "Purple" sound was soon established, forged b the raw power and exhilaration of a bunch of musicians doing something completely different!!

Unchained asked
           Do you think that the heavier/rockier sound that came out with "In Rock" would/could have happened with you and Rod still in the band?


Nick replied
           It was always there, from the very first demo! Our big mistake was giving too much leeway to Jon's airy-fairy contributions, but I, like the others, thought it was a good idea at the time!
For those who don't know, all of our recordings were made under extreme pressure in a very short time on 4 or 8 track machines, with a producer who thought that he knew best. Sometimes these tracks would be mixed without the whole band present and often did not reflect the sound that we were after.
Often the lack of facilities meant that our sound could not be captured on tape anyway!. There is no doubt that "In Rock" was given time and technology that Mk1 could only dream of!
I cannot vouch for Rod Evans, although he seemed to cut it ok with Captain Beyond. I paid my dues with two of the heaviest rock trio's of the sixty's, namely The Regents and The Pirates and having gone on to play with Warhorse who rocked harder and heavier than Purple ever did, I don't think anyone can accuse me of not being heavy enough! If you need more evidence, listen to my bass lines, then listen to the [sign in to see URL] you can find them!! Apologies if that sounds big headed, but the truth remains.

Ivo asked
           Nick, are you sure there are not Warhorse's live tapes in your basement?????


Nick replied
           Are you psychic? Yes, we do have a tape of a gig from 1973, but unfortunately the sound is not of a suitable quality for release on record. You may be referring to the reunion gigs of two years ago, one of which was taped. I am currently talking to Angel Air about this and hopefully a live CD set will be available in the near future.

Gillans micstand asked
           In the "Rock Family Trees" segment, you looked so young [sign in to see URL] curious, what do you do to maintain your youthful appearance?
           In an in depth Simon Robinson interview, way back when his fanzine was still called "Stargazer" you mentioned how heavy you guys were live, and how things leaned a lot more toward what mkII went on to be [sign in to see URL] mentioned that "Shadows", (at the time just a 45 gathering dust in the vaults) how then did you feel about the final product when it got a release on "The Anthology" compilation?
           I also enjoyed the part where you spoke about how if you guys had the studio time that mkII was getting, things would have been a lot different in terms of impact. I can only imagine you guys doing any better than you did, those albums are still [sign in to see URL] has done nothing to tarnish them, had it been after the turn of the decade, the technology would have sealed them in a higher regard, but mkI fans can only be so lucky. First class playing you did Nick, you have got to be just about the most underrated bassists in the history of rock.


Nick replied
           Thanks for the compliment! I've always looked after myself and tried to stay in shape. Just for extra insurance, I keep a portrait of Jon Lord in my attic!
I've always had a soft spot for "Shadows" because it was the first tune composed by Rod, Ritchie, Jon and myself and very swiftly knocked together for our first ever recording session. This session was actually booked before the line-up was finalised and we brought in Paice and Evans only a few days before we recorded.
Setting the scene for all future Mk1 recordings, we allowed ourselves to be pushed into the studio before we were ready, but most people agree that we pulled off a reasonable demo record. Together with "Love Help Me" (which somehow lost it's vocal track) this first session established the Deep Purple "sound" and for that reason alone, I feel it deserves a historical place in "The Anthology".
Many thanks for your kind comments regarding my bass playing, I truly appreciate it!

Purpletemple asked
           Do you still feel concern-more or less- about the current Purple releases and general work?
           Have you bought or received any "new" releases, such as "Bananas" or the "Listen, learn read on" box or the remaster series (mark I, II, III) or some of the Sonic Zoom releases?
           I wish you had released more albums, your work with DP and Warhorse is amazing. How wonderful it must be to be part of such a great band-musically speaking, as I have no idea of the REAL inside atmosphere
           Were there ever "embryo's" of Mark II songs played by Mark I?


Nick replied
           I have no feelings either way concerning the current Purple. I am told that there is only one original member left, so it all seems rather pointless to me! I have been sent some newer releases, but I prefer the sound of the original vinyl.
I am very glad that you enjoy my recordings. That makes it all worthwhile! You might like to check out Fandango and Quatermass II.
As you say, it is a marvellous experience to be part of a great musical team and I am very lucky to have experienced this throughout my career, but the atmosphere does depend on the character of the musicians concerned. In the case, for example, of Warhorse, the musicians all had a common agenda and so were able to be far more musically progressive than Deep Purple.
I don't remember any "embryo's" played by Mk1, although we did kick around "It's a beautiful Day's" "Bombay Calling" which Mk2 borrowed and turned it into "Child in Time". Also of course there was the riff from Ricky Nelson's version of "Summertime". I taught Ritchie the riff, which became the mainstay of "Black Night" and probably the reason that it was a hit. I guess that's a big drink that they owe me!!

Ffitz asked
           If DP MK1 was brought together to play one song, what song would you most want to play?


Nick replied
           It would have to be "Hush". Still the best ever Purple single!

Last edited by Rahul, 8/4/2005, 19:47


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8/4/2005, 19:17 Link to this post Send Email to Rahul   Send PM to Rahul
 
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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


DrMarcusNarleyMD asked
           Hi Nick thanks for this opportunity (and thanks 'englishrob' for arranging this)!
           1. With many outstanding bands (musically) being almost ignored in favour of the pre-fab 'packaged' bands currently being spotlighted by the media, what do you think of the current state of health of the world's music scene? If not favourable, do you think the 'tide will ever turn' back to media support for the best groups musically, instead of the current 'popular', 'chart-topping' acts?

           2. Are you open to hearing new original material that might appeal to you and -- if so -- and the 'right' new, original music were presented to you, would you consider being a part of it?

Thank you once again -- and best of luck to you, always!!!!


Nick replied
           1. I am not impressed by much of the new stuff. The problem is that there are certainly good new bands out there, but they have little chance of breaking through. We were lucky during the 60's and 70's in having many more venues to play and it was possible to get known if a band was good enough to impress audiences. Unfortunately, it seems that the business is run by accountants who demand instant returns and I can't see the situation ever being reversed.
There is very little music that is new or exciting being created, which has led to incresed demand for the older acts who know how to deliver. While they are still performing it provides an antidote to all the garbage, but I fear that there will be a huge void in years to come, leaving nothing but miming acts and karaoke!!
     
           [sign in to see URL] course! I am always open to doing new things and always open to offers. Many thanks for your interest and good luck to you too!

Big J asked
           On leaving Purple you reportedly took a lump sum in lieu of future royalties. Was there ever a chance to re-negotiate this to obtain an equitable share, especially in light of the Mark 1 remasters releases?


Nick replied
           Yes, I settled, in order to provide a little security at the time for my very young family, forfeiting my rights in return. I believe that the question was raised some years ago on my behalf, but there was never any chance of obtaining an equitable share. I have though, retained the largest share of self respect!

Childintime asked
           Nick, the book of Taliesyn is one of my all time favourite albums, can you talk about what it was like making it?


Nick replied
           I am glad that you like "Taliesyn". It was enjoyable to make because we were given a little more time than the 18 hours we had for "Shades" and consequently had a chance to relax and experiment a little. However, we still didn't have enough time to create new material because Tetragrammaton were imposing a deadline on us. "We Can Work it Out" was a big mistake, a result of not having enough of our own songs, but I feel that "River Deep" was a good attempt at putting our own stamp on a great song.
I particularly like "Wring That Neck" and "Kentucky Woman" because I had a lot of imput into those tracks and I believe that these were the only two songs from the album that featured in our stage show. It was also good to see "Kentucky Woman" become a huge hit in the USA and other countries.
Yes, making "Taliesyn" was fun, but it also demonstrated how we were being led into a musical direction that some of us were unhappy with.

Randys asked
           Are you planning to do a solo album?


Nick replied
           The answer is no, unfortunately. However, Pete Parks and myself are still kicking idea's around, so anything can happen if time allows. I was approached by Simon Robinson a few years ago about a "life story" album, but having heard no more, I guess that idea has been dropped. I don't know the reason. I think this would have been an interesting album as it would feature some of the most influential acts in rock throughout the 60's, namely Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, The Regents and The Savages, plus a wide choice of heavier stuff up to the present. Other labels have expressed interest, but the project would be incomplete without Deep Purple material, which would be unavailable.

FLIGHTOFTHERAT asked
           Can you remember whose Idea it was to cover "I'm So Glad"? I love Mk 1, but man that is one song that gets under my skin.
           Also... If you could have changed one thing during your time in Deep Purple what would it have been?


Nick replied
           Blame Rod Evans for that, but we all loved it at the time. It was one of those songs which came over great on stage, but never quite transferred successfully to record.
I can understand it getting under your skin, because, thanks to some duff mixing, my even duffer falsetto vocal became too prominent!! Ignore my vocal part and it's not too bad!
As for the second part of your question, I would have changed lots of things, such as the musical policy, the writing policy, the publicist, management and probably some of the other members as well, but if I could have changed one thing, in hindsight, it would have been to cut back on the loyalty, respect and friendship I gave the others and not to have allowed myself to get dumped upon!!

B3Burner asked
           (1) When times got tough in '68/'69, who in the band did you look to, to play a "leadership and/or support-giving role"? Was there one central person who played that role, or did different members look to different people?

           (2) Did Jon Lord ever approach you about the idea of playing classical music with an orchestra while you and Rod were in the band?

           (3) I'm sure you are well aware of the abrasive, "50-grit" sandpaper relationship that existed between Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore.... Was Ritchie on similar footing with Rod, or in the early years did he manage to keep his temper "better in check"?

           (4) People have commented that the first three albums were particularly "keyboard oriented" and tended to showcase Jon Lord on organ more so than Ritchie on [sign in to see URL] you agree, and if so, did you think that was good, or would you have preferred those albums you were involved with to be a bit more "guitar balanced"?
  
Thank you for taking the time to field my [sign in to see URL] am especially moved by the Mark 1 era of Deep Purple, and appreciate your input on those first 3 albums.


Nick replied
           1. Times got tough because of a combination of many things. Not many people realise just how big Mk1 was! We had hits worldwide and were recognised in the business as one of the world's most successful acts. In the words of U.S manager Jeff Wald, we were "bigger than The Who and chasing Hendrix and Cream". The problem was that we didn't have the structure or publicity machine to support our growing status. Our management was too inexperienced to handle our enormous success, EMI were indifferent and our U.S label was about to collapse.
I didn't look to anyone to give leadership or support because no one around was capable of giving it!
In retrospect, I believe that Rod and myself could see the solutions, after all, we were a hot act and a publicist's dream, but there was no solidarity within the group and we became trapped in a stagnating situation.

           2. No. By the time that Jon's ambitions were becoming a reality, Rod and I were considered history by those around us, so we were never given the courtesy of being consulted.

           3. I don't recall much upsetting Ritchie, apart from Paice's untidiness! No, we all rubbed along pretty well in those days. If he did have a temper, he very wisely kept it in check.

           4. Yes I agree. We did give Jon too much leeway. He gave us all the impression that he was ambitious to be Purple's leading light and we all bowed to his superior knowledge of the classics, but ultimately it was to lead us off in the wrong direction. Eventually, of course, it was only a matter of time before Ritchie's superior talent surfaced and as we know, he became the leading light!
As I have said before, Ritchie and I both came from the same mould, having played in guitar orientated bands and being positive about the direction we should take, but, having said that, we were not averse to exciting organ sounds, but we should not have allowed Jon to dominate. However, that first sniff of success had catapulted us onto a treadmill of hard graft and we became in effect a product, to be sold until any value we had was exhausted, leaving little time to develop our potential or the sounds which we were originally aiming for, so it was hardly surprising that we followed Jon's natural charm into becoming a semi-classical rooted band, instead of the heavy guitar orientated band which we should have become! Many thanks for your kind words!

Last edited by Rahul, 8/4/2005, 19:50


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8/4/2005, 19:18 Link to this post Send Email to Rahul   Send PM to Rahul
 
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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


Tamadam2 asked
           (1) Nick do you feel bitter at the way things were done, and could you bring yourself to follow the bands progress after the line-up changes.
           (2) Or do you now look back with a fondness and feel proud of your contribution to what became one of the biggest bands in the world.
           (3) If the changes had just been the vocalist do you think the next album would still have turned out to be a "in rock", i.e. were your ideas maybe along that route as well, after all i am sure that the Gillan/Glover contribution was a big part of that but it was not just down to them, after all, the resulting album was a different direction for all the members involved and it is difficult to really know where that direction came from.
           (4) Are you happy to still be known as the former bass player of deep purple or do you feel that your subsequent work deserves a much broader acceptance among "rock fans"?
           (5) Thank you very much for the opportunity to ask you these [sign in to see URL] is very much appreciated by everyone and good luck with future projects.


Nick replied
           1. I'll admit to beng pretty angry at the time and justly so. The way I was treated was unforgivable, but, knowing what I know now, I consider that I had a lucky escape! However it certainly is not funny to see my hard-earned income go into their pockets!!
Generally though, I was far too busy with my own music to pay much attention to Purple's antics!!

           2. Yes, of course, I occasionally look back with fond memories. We had more highs than lows.
As for my contribution, well, I guess that's for others to judge, but naturally I tend to go with the opinion of the author of "Executive Rock" I would point out that Mk1, if not one of the biggest bands in the world, were not far away from it, but lack of record success in England clouded people's view of us and some audiences actually thought we were Americans. So much for our almost non-existant publicity machine!

           3. Listen to Warhorse and you will hear that my ideas were far more progressive than "In Rock", so it's hard to answer that question. I think that the pseudo-classical idea had been exhausted by then, so what followed was a natural progression that would have happened whatever the line-up. People close to the group at that time told me that most of the material came from Gillan and Glover, so that would explain why they changed the writing credit policy, otherwise Gillan and Glover would have got all the money!!

           4. It's a privilage to be remembered at all!! I've had a lot of fun from music over the last 45 years and it's a real accolade to be known for any of my music. I've been lucky enough to play with lots of great musicians and I do feel that some achievements deserve more recognition than others, but it's a hard fact that commercial success will always eclipse everything else, hence my ex-Purple tag!
I've also taken much criticism in the past, paticularly from Ian Paice who suggested that I was past my sell-by date! Sad, coming from a guy who wet his pants to play with me at the start! It's ironic that some of "In Rock" was based on songs and licks culled from 50's rock 'n' roll. In contrast, the music of Warhorse was light years ahead, being more progressive and far heavier! However, it was fortunate for Ian that I had a knowledge of old rock 'n' roll, for if I had not shown Ritchie the old guitar riff which they hijacked for Black Night, then it may have been a different story!

           5. Let me thank you and all the others who have shown an interest. My heartfelt thanks to you all.

Sandbagger1 asked
           Hi Nick! Are you by any chance related to British TV cameraman Roy Simper? He was one of the cameramen on Whitesnake's "Live at Donington" video in 1983, as well as countless British TV series and programmes in the 70s and 80s. I keep noticing his name, and wondered about this. Thanks!


Nick replied
           Hello Sandbagger! I have seen Roy Simper's name credited many times, but I must confess that I never bothered to find out if we are related. There are many Simper's out there and one day i'll have to chase a few up. I am told that the name derives from St Pierre in France. Until I do some homework on the family history, i'm afraid the answer is, I don't know. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

Rahul asked
           Hi Nick, I've got almost everything you've done since your Deep Purple days, but one thing that still eludes me, is a vinyl single of Nick Simper's Dynamite.
           What was the story behind this single? Do you know how many were pressed in the UK? I've been looking for a while now, but to no avail! Other than Pete Parks, what's the line-up of that band? Would really appreciate any info!
Best regards, Rahul
           PS. Do you keep in touch with any of your former bands mates like Pete Parks or Ashley Holt? Any chance of a Warhorse reunion? That would be something truly incredible! Thanks for your time!


Nick replied
           Yes, the Dynamite single is as rare as rocking horse dung. I've no idea how many were pressed as the whole structure collapsed before it even got going.
I was approached by an independant management/record company in 1975 to form a new band, which I did, comprising of Pete Parks on guitar, Johnny Caroll (ex Pirates) on keyboards, Mick Richardson (ex Black August) on drums, with the great James Royal on vocals. The guys in charge were particularly impressed with Warhorse's "St Louis" track, so we were asked to do it again, with quite good results, I thought. We were due to tour the [sign in to see URL] supporting The Eagles, which would have been great, but fate decided that it was not to be!
As far as I know, the single was moderately successful in Italy, so you may be lucky in that direction.
Yes, I am in touch with all the Warhorse guys. I gig with Pete Parks most weeks. On March 14th this year, we got together to help Mac Poole celebrate his 60th birthday and performed five tunes, which was quite an exhilarating experience. This was the first time we had performed since our re-union several years ago and hopefully we will be doing some more gigs before the end of 2005.
 
Atle said
           Hi Mr Simper! I won't bother you with my silly questions, I just like to say I'm a big fan of DP mk I, overly impressed by what I've heard of Warhorse, and I will indeed appreciate any answer to any of those questions asked here already!


Nick replied
           I'm sure your questions wouldn't be any sillier than my answers! Thanks a million for your appreciation.

To all of you who have bothered to send questions, many thanks. It's quite amazing and humbling to find so much interest still after all these years! Thank you all, once again

Last edited by Rahul, 8/4/2005, 19:52


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8/4/2005, 19:19 Link to this post Send Email to Rahul   Send PM to Rahul
 
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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


 Great job giving Nick's answers it's own thread on the "Q + A" board, Rahul!
 I just want to send my thanks + admiration to Nick Simper for the role he played (which has been downplayed, if not downright ignored) in helping to launch one of the most legendary bands in rock music history and for his excellent musical contributions to self-said band. Nick Simper - one of the greatest (and most underrated) bassists in rock music history.


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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


Wow!!

Nothing short of incredible. This is the first time anyone from Deep Purple past or present has ever directly answered one of my questions. Humbling indeed.

I feel I have a whole better sense of how things were in that band back in 68-69.

Thanks to Nick and all the people who made that segment possible.

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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


Many thanks to englishrob, Rahul and most of all to
Nick Simper for his enlightening answers. emoticon

Last edited by tamadam2, 9/4/2005, 20:53
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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


Great work. Interesting to hear about 2 Warhorse reunion shows. Any details on this someone?
Regards
Hartmut
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Re: Nick Simper answers your questions!!!


Only just spotted these replies (note to self "read the boards more carefully").

Thanks to Nick, Rob and Rahul, great job and some very interesting answers.

Bob emoticon

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Lay Lady Lay


Hey Nick! I really like to listen to your bass playing. Very interesting lines.

Do you remember this recording session "Lay Lady Lay" and does a tape exist?
Thank you and all the best!
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