Simon Kirke


Senior Member
Anyone else here appreciate this powerhouse of a drummer?

I was just watching some live Free on youTube.

Though he did not do anything really technically difficult, he has an amazing groove and power.

He was part of two successful and influential bands, Free and Bad Company.

I was a bit surprised that he does not have his own page nor his own thread yet here on the site.

Looks like the remaining three orignal band members of Bad CO are touring this year, looks like I am going to have to buy me some tickets.

I have to amend this a bit-I got an e-mail alert from live nation that Bad Company was playing a venue in Atlanta with the Doobie Brothers. When I go to the area to buy tickets(not on sale yet) it just list the Doobies.....hmmmm....odd...did I get excited for nothing?


Senior Member
He fits the mold of your Phil Rudd, Ringo Starr.. In that he is the pocket. Simon, I always thought had great fills, nothing that ever said "look at me, I'm awsome", But "look at me, I know what I'm doing". One of my favorites.


Great playing over the years.
Very economical, but such musically powerful fills & a metronome like right hand on H-Hat.
Also love the bass drum patterns he plays with such conviction.
Lifts any rock song so high.
Love his playing.

I've listened to a lot of Simon Kirk & much less of Ringo Starr, but on what I have heard I don't think the two play alike at all.
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Platinum Member
Just catching up on some old Free numbers. Not surprised that he doesn't have his own page and not much interest in this one because he's more stylish than impressive.

Simon was definitely an influence on me when I was young. Solid as a rock and always puts the song first, maybe because he is also a songwriter. His fills are woven into the song - almost singable - rather than of the "oh wow" variety. Always a good sound and feel.


Junior Member
I have followed this drummer's career from early Free sessions.
(Anyone interested, check out the CD "Heartbreaker" for some
real nice pocket grooves and of course the inimitable Paul Rodgers.)

What struck me dumb about Simon's playing was his buzz roll
in "Ready for Love" (Bad Co.-1st CD) leading into the second verse. Pure velvet,
total control as the phrase ends. Maybe I'm over estimating Kirke's talent
but his musicality across the Free/ Bad Co. albums can't really be refuted.
Another great example of his playing in my opinion is the closing segment
of "Deal with the Preacher" off the CD, Straight Shooter where he and Rodgers
are locked at the hip with this jam groove that just gains energy as it progresses,
yet he's steady as a rock. Notice no cheap fade-outs, either. That snare pattern
leading into choke kick and hi-hat phrase that he uses is just another example
of what makes listening to his drumming so enjoyable.
He displays much of what JR John Robinson was talking about in this
months Drummerworld interview..."confidence." Total journeyman.


Platinum Member
our band plays quite a bit of Free and Bad Co. and have to say his stuff appears really simple, but is very tasteful, the fills very clever and well-placed, and actually not so simple. He's moved way up the list for me in the pack of late 60's early - 70's great drummers.


Platinum Member
He's a stellar example of a guy who can "play for the song"! I've certainly played my fair share of Free and Bad Co. songs .... and there's a reason why people love 'em as much as they do. They're damn good songs.​


Just listen to the straightforward hi-hat openings before the cymbal crashes on 'Moving on.
That's quality over quantity.

He really makes it rock.

A unique musician.


Platinum Member
He is one of the best rock drummers ever. There is a reason Bad Co was/is so popular, although having the best singer in rock does not hurt (LOL). Peace and goodwill.


Silver Member
Always a favorite of mine. Grew up listening to Free/Bad Company. He's one of the rim shot Kings !! Minimalist approach that not many drummers can duplicate. No strokes wasted.


Silver Member
what makes it really great and interesting (and not that easy to copy) are some strokes are left out completely...

True.........listen to Little bit of Love on Free at Last for an excellent example of what you're describing. Damn that's good stuff !!