Silver Apples’ Simeon Coxe, RIP
Simeon Oliver Coxe, III, born June 4, 1938, passed away September 8, 2020, in Fairhope, AL. Born in Knoxville, TN, Simeon grew up in New Orleans from the age of seven. He was an artist and a news reporter-producer for WKRG, TV, Mobile, AL in the 1970's, as well as other out of state TV stations in the 70's and 80's. He is famously best known worldwide for his seminal work in electronic music with his band, Silver Apples. He is survived by a brother, David S. Coxe (Foster); a nephew, Aaron Coxe and family and long term companion, creative collaborator, Lydia Winn LeVert. He preferred no formal services be held.
Silver Apples was formed by Coxe and drummer Dany Taylor in 1967 out of The Overland Stage Electric Band, which Coxe and Taylor were both members of. "One night, on a lark, I decided to plug in an oscillator and jam along with the cover band I was in at the time, the Overland Stage Electric Band," Coxe told Red Bull in 2012. "Besides the drummer Danny [Taylor] who later joined me, no one in the band was amused." Coxe ended up building his own now-legendary electronic rig, which featured 16 oscillators and was nicknamed The Simeon, and Silver Apples went on to release their now-classic self-titled debut album in 1968. Another album, 1969's Contact, followed, and the band broke up in 1970.
Silver Apples' music went on to have a massive influence, including on Suicide, Stereolab, Portishead, Spiritualized, and several others who combined psychedelia with electronic music. Coxe ended up reviving Silver Apples in the '90s for two new albums (Beacon and Decatur) and an album of previously unreleased material recorded in 1970 (The Garden), and Coxe's '90s-era lineup of the band eventually reunited with Taylor at live shows as well. Taylor sadly passed in 2005, and then Coxe revived Silver Apples once again, this time as a solo project. He shared stages with some of the acts he influenced (at ATP I'll Be Your Mirror in Asbury Park in 2011, he joined Portishead during their set), and he also released a new Silver Apples album, Clinging To A Dream, in 2016.
Geoff Barrow of Portishead was among those to pay tribute. He wrote, "RIP Simeon Cox. What an amazing guy he was. An inspiration not just musically but in life as we hung out many times over the years. Hopefully now him and Danny can play as Silver Apples in the sky as they were supposed. Very sad."
Read a few more tributes, see a few more photos, and watch some videos below.
Rest in peace, Simeon.