SIMON KIRKE Says It's 'A Travesty' That BAD COMPANY And FREE Have Not Yet Been Inducted Into ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

November 29, 2023

During an appearance on "The Bob Lefsetz Podcast", BAD COMPANY and FREE drummer Simon Kirke was asked how he feels about BAD COMPANY not having been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think it's such a travesty, quite honestly. And not just that, but FREEFREE certainly should be [in the Hall], because FREE has been around since 1968, and the two bands have been responsible for influencing a lot of bands who are already in the Hall. So I feel pretty bad about it. But I'm not gonna go on too much about it. It's just I think we should be in. Certainly FREE. And I think [BAD COMPANY and FREE singer] Paul Rodgers should be in on his own merits, as one of the great rock vocalists of all time. If Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck can be inducted as solo artists, then certainly Paul Rodgers should be in there. That's my two cents."

Later in the chat, Kirke offered one possible explanation for why BAD COMPANY has been overlooked by the Rock Hall.

"I think because of BAD COMPANY's changing lineups over the 50 years that we'd been together, it kind of devalued our currency a little bit," he said. "You had the Brian Howe era, you had the Paul Rodgers era, one and two, when Paul rejoined the band, we had Robert Hart. So I honestly don't know why we have not been nominated — not even inducted; you have to be nominated first, as you know."

This past September, Rodgers told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he isn't bothered by his absence from the Rock Hall. "Well, it doesn't affect my daily life. It doesn't affect what I do in any way at all," he said. "It's one of those things. But I remember years and years ago, Ahmet Ertegun, who was the head of Atlantic Records [and a co-founder of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame], said to me, 'Paul, we're making this museum of rock and roll. Do you guys wanna be part of it?' And I said, 'What, a museum of rock and roll? What's it called?' He said, 'Well, it's called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.' I said, 'Well, I don't think rock and roll belongs in a museum.' So it's my bad, I guess. And he asked me a couple of times, and I kind of like refused, I guess, basically. So, you know, there you go. Onwards and upwards."

Born and raised in London, THE BEATLES perked a teenage Simon's interest in rock music, and he picked up the drums — leading to a gig with a local band called THE MANIACS, on which Simon supplied drums and lead vocals (something quite uncommon at the time).

Simon worked out 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, that he would begin a college career. Just a few months before the deadline, Simon landed a gig with a group called the BLACK CAT BONES. The drummer befriended the group's talented guitarist, Paul Kossoff, who in turn convinced Simon to leave the group with him and begin a new outfit with singer Paul Rodgers. Soon ex-JOHN MAYALL'S BLUESBREAKERS bassist Andy Fraser signed on and FREE was officially formed in 1968. Mixing blues with hard rock, the group would prove to be quite influential, especially on the strength of their classic 1970 release, "Fire And Water", and its strutting, anthemic hit single "All Right Now".

When the band broke up, it didn't take Simon long to find another gig, joining Paul Rodgers in a new band, BAD COMPANY, which was quite similar stylistically to FREE. Joined by ex-KING CRIMSON bassist Boz Burrell and ex-MOTT THE HOOPLE guitarist Mick Ralphs, BAD COMPANY was the first group signed to LED ZEPPELIN's record label, Swan Song. Their debut album, 1974's "Bad Company", would go on to become one of hard rock's all-time classics, as it birthed such long-standing rock radio standards as "Can't Get Enough", "Ready For Love" and the title track, written by Paul and Simon himself. The group hails as one of the all-time top rock outfits. Kirke is the only member of BAD COMPANY who's been in every lineup of the band.

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