R.I.P. Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples

Music News
09/09/2020
Janice Headley
photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

Simeon Coxe, co-founder of the pioneering electronic band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The news was confirmed by one of the group's managers to Billboard, who reported that he "peacefully passed away at 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 8) in Fairhope, Alabama." 

"He had been battling with a progressive lung condition, pulmonary fibrosis, which made it difficult for him to breath without oxygen," read the statement. "Simeon is survived by his long term companion and creative collaborator, Lydia Winn Levert, brother David Coxe (and wife Foster), and his nephew Aaron Coxe and family. Silver Apples leaves a lasting legacy and contribution to electronic music with their ground breaking sound that has stood the test of time and influenced many artists over the years, right up to the present day. A true original. Rest in Peace, Simeon."

Silver Apples formed in 1967 by Coxe and drummer Danny Taylor, with Coxe playing a "homemade synthesizer consisting of 12 oscillators and an assortment of sound filters, telegraph keys, radio parts, lab gear and a variety of second hand electronic junk," as reported by the band's official website. Their creative combination of synthesizers and Taylor's primitive percussion was ahead of its time. Silver Apples released two albums to poor sales before breaking up in 1970 (their 1968 self-titled debut and 1969's Contact), but went on to cult popularity, influencing artists like Stereolab, Spiritualized, and Portishead.

Upon discovering that fans were bootlegging their old LPs, and following the release of a 1996 tribute album — titled Electronic Evocations: A Tribute To The Silver Apples and featuring artists like Windy & Carl and Flowchart — Coxe reformed the group, releasing their third album The Garden, which was started in 1970 and finished in 1998. (Coxe had lost touch with original drummer Taylor, but they eventually reunited for some live performances until Taylor passed away in 2005.)

The group's most recent release was 2016's Clinging To A Dream, the first new Silver Apples album in 19 years at the time. 

"What an amazing guy he was," reflected Geoff Barrow of Portishead on Twitter. "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."

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