Co-Founding Savoy Brown Guitarist Kim Simmonds Has Died at 75
Kim Simmonds, the long-time guitarist of U.K. blues rock band Savoy Brown, has passed away at the age of 75. The band confirmed the news on Facebook and Twitter, sharing that Simmonds passed peacefully in his sleep the evening of Dec. 13. They also shared the lyrics of their 1971 song "All I Can Do" to commemorate their revered co-founding member.
"You've gone away / I'll get by somehow / Just right now / All I can do is cry," the post begins, also stating, "Please note one of Kim's last requests was to thank the fans of Savoy Brown - your support was, and shall always be, immensely appreciated."
Simmonds had just celebrated his milestone 75th birthday earlier this month, on Dec. 5, though he had shared news in August that he was battling a rare form of stage-four colon cancer as an explantation for canceling his remaining show dates for the year.
"I’ve been receiving chemotherapy and that has made it hard for me to play gigs. One of the side effects is peripheral neuropathy which has now deadened the nerves in my fingers and hands (feet too)," Simmonds revealed, noting he had recorded new songs prior to his illness that will appear on a forthcoming album. He also shared he switched to slide guitar on some tracks, which allowed him to better play the instrument given the side effects he experienced.
Simmonds was born in 1947 in Wales and first learned to play guitar listening to his older brother's blues records. Per Ultimate Classic Rock, seeing shows in London by seminal acts such as Fats Domino, Bo Diddley and The Rolling Stones were also game-changing moments for the budding talent.
Simmonds helped form the Savoy Brown Blues Band in 1965 (later, shortening the group name). At the time, Simmonds was only 18-years-old. Playing alongside Cream and John Lee Hooker, Savoy Brown gained quite a following and was hugely regarded as a kingpin in the British blues movement. Though they'd find more notoriety in the States than in their native U.K. thanks to relentless touring and the success of singles like "I'm Tired."
Even as recent as 2017, Savoy Brown's album Witchy Feeling reached the number-one spot on the Billboard blues chart. In 1997, Simmonds released his debut solo album Solitaire, adding to more than 50 releases over the course of his long career. RIP.
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