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R.I.P. Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown

Photo: chascar CC 2.0


R.I.P. Kim Simmonds. The founding guitarist of Savoy Brown and the only member of the group to have played on every album the band released passed away Tuesday at an upstate New York hospital. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2019.

Simmonds formed The Savoy Brown Blues band with harmonica player John O'Leary in 1965. The pair added Brice Portius (vocals), Ray Chappell (bass), Trevor Jeavons (keyboards) and Leo Manning (drums). Most of the original lineup moved on within the next few years.

The group's popularity grew with addition of 'Lonesome' Dave Preverett as a second guitarist in 1969. Just wen it seeme that Savoy Brown was on the brink of breaking big, lead singer Chris Youlden left the group, followed by Peverett, drummer Roger Earl and bass player Tony Stevens who parted ways with Simmonds to form Foghat in 1971. Simmonds wasted no time re-stocking the Savoy Brown lineup with three members of the group Chicken Shack; keyboard player Paul Raymond, drummer Dave Bidwell and bassist Andy Silvester.

Over the decades, more than 60 musicians have been in Savoy Brown. The one constant was Simmonds, a musician and songwriter many fans and critics feel deserved more recognition for his writing and playing than he received.