A Breath of Fresh Air Sept 26

Written by on 09/26/2023

A Breath of Fresh Air With Sandy Kaye
Tuesdays 1pm EST
and Fridays 8pm EST

Drummer Simon Kirke kept the beat for two of the ’70s most popular bluesy hard rockers: Free and Bad Company.

Born in London, Simon developed an interest in music at a young age and joined a local band called the Maniacs to play drums and sing. He negotiated a deal with his parents after graduating high school, that if he couldn’t make it as a drummer in a band within a two-year period, he would then start a college career. Just a few months before the self-imposed deadline, Kirke landed a gig with a group called the Black Cat Bones. He befriended the group’s guitarist, Paul Kossoff, who convinced him to start a new band with singer Paul Rodgers and ex-John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bassist Andy Fraser.
This band became Free in 1968.
The group would prove to be successful particularly on the strength of their classic 1970 release Fire and Water, and its anthemic hit single “All Right Now.” However drugs and infighting began to dessimate the members’ relationship and they broke up in 1973. Paul Kossoff passed away just three years later.
From the ashes of Free rose Bad Company. Simon and Paul Rodgers were joined by ex-King Crimson bassist Boz Burrell and ex-Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs. The band became one of the first groups signed to Led Zeppelin’s record label, Swan Song and their debut album, 1974’s Bad Company, went on to become one of hard rock’s all-time classics. Bad Company enjoyed several years of huge success before splitting up in 1982 (the group did reunite later in the decade without Rodgers, and again in the ’90s when Rodgers rejoined). Simon Kirke has always been super busy. As well as his work with Bad Company, he guested on a long list of recordings by other artists including albums by Wilson Pickett, Jim Capaldi, Ringo Starr and Ron Wood, among countless others.He was often drumming live on tour with acts like Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band.
In 2003, Simon went out on his very first solo tour and released his debut solo album. Since then there have been more solo albums, the latest of which is 2017’s All Because of You.

Simon shares his incredible story with us this week.

Sandy Kaye

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fb: sandykayepresents
podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/a-breath-of-fresh-air/id1618650164


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