Vic Simms is a Bidjgal Man who grew up in the 1950s on an Aboriginal Mission in Sydney’s La Peruse. Rock ‘n’ Roll in Australia owes much to Vic Simms the boy, Vic Simms the prisoner who’s protest songs were recorded in 1973. Vic Simms, who was finally inducted into the NIMA hall of fame in 2015.
Luke Peacock, a songwriter and musician from Brisbane, tells the story of how Vic Simms’ music came to him, and how their musical friendship and collaboration has revived this man, his music and his story…
One DAT that showed up on my desk, like most of them, had no label of its contents, save for a post-it note, which read ‘Do Not Touch’. On it was ‘The Loner’, an album written and recorded by Vic Simms. It blew my mind. I hit record on the computer and play on the DAT machine and listened to every word. I started writing down the words to a particular song; Poor Folks Happiness. I got stuck on one of the phrases, so I asked around the office to see if anyone could figure it out.
Eventually, the Boss came downstairs, handed me his mobile phone and said “here, call him”. By this point, I’d learnt that ‘The Loner’ was impossible to get an original copy of. I’d also learnt of the incredible circumstances and the myths surrounding this album and the man who made it. ‘The Loner’ was recorded in 1973 in the kitchen of Bathurst Goal, notorious at the time for a series of large riots. In an attempt to restore some positive public relations, Vic was granted one hour to record the entire album, with a band he’d never met. We were as surprised as each other to be speaking on the phone.
Read the full article by Luke Peacock here
YoYo Heart, 1961, listen to a track from the early days of his Vic Simms’ career…
Pre-order Vic Simms, The Loner through Sandman Records