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  1.  
    Colin has posted a facebook status saying Desmond Simmons has just died.
  2.  
    And for those of you that don't "do" Facebook, I'm sure Colin won't mind me sharing his comment which states:

    "Really saddened to learn today of the death of my first best friend Desmond Simmons. He was the first person to encourage me to play the guitar. The first person I was ever in a band with. Rest In Peace friend."
  3.  
    Tragic news. Deeply deeply saddened. Words cannot express.... It was a pleasure to befriend you. R.I.P my friend.
    "Carry a torch to the fire's edge
    Collect your halos of ashes and wood"
    Can I refer anyone interested to Des' interview with me for the WMO newsletter. A lot more was discussed - his working with Colin and his later solo works;
    http://www.wireviews.com/articles/i_desmond_simmons_wmo_96.html
  4.  
    Man, that's really sad news. Time to play Alone on Penguin Island again, I think. Kudos to WMO for giving that classic another airing.
  5.  
    Sad news. RIP Desmond.
  6.  
    Very sad news...
  7.  
    So sorry to hear this. RIP Desmond. Loved his contributions to the solo albums as well as Alone on Penguin Island. My condolences are with Colin and everyone else Desmond touched.
  8.  
    Very sad news indeed.

    RIP Des Simmons
  9.  
    I hadn't listened to Penguin Island in years, but played it again this morning. A wonderfully weird album that is both of its time and unlike anything else going on around it. We're all the richer that he left it behind to outlive him.
  10.  
    Time to revisit Penguin Island: a beautiful, remarkable expression. RIP Desmond.
  11.  
    Played Penguin Island last night as my own private memorial/tribute to Des.

    Since its release I have had a strong connection with the album. Vastly underrated and when Charles and I set up WMO it was my insistence that I wanted this as the first release. It's a lost classic and Des deserved wider recognition for both this album and his later work which was only privately released and available at his gigs.

    Also sad news that Nic Potter, erstwhile VDGG and Peter Hammill bassist, flew away yesterday. Another great talent.
  12.  
    Very sad to read this news, RIP Desmond.

    Time to spin 'Penguin Island'.
  13.  
    From Newbury Weekly News 24th January:
    Simmons. Desmond Robert John (Des) died suddenly at home on January 16th 2013 aged 58 years. He will be sadly missed by daughter Maisy and her family, Sinead and her children and all his family and friends. Funeral Service to take place on Wednesday January 30th at St Mary the Virgin, Greenham at 2pm, followed by a committal at West Berkshire Crematorium at 3pm. Family flowers only, donations if desired are to British Heart Foundation or The Musicians' Benevolent Fund c/o Turner Brothers, 15 Hampton Road, Newbury, RG14 6DB

    My donation to BHF has been made. Still saddened by the loss
  14.  
  15.  
    DESMOND SIMMONS – A PRAISE ALL

    I can’t remember how I first heard about Desmond Simmons’ Alone on Penguin Island album. I know that I bought it as soon as it was released in 1981 simply because it was released on Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis’s Dome label. Since then it has, in one format or another, been played by me and still enjoyed to this day.
    All I knew of Des was that he was the bass player on Colin Newman’s A-Z album, and later the guitarist on his Not To album. Only when I came to writing the 1991 published biography of Wire, Everybody Loves A History, did it become clearer that Des was an old school friend of Colin’s and had, in fact, taught Colin to play guitar!
    Unfortunately I was unable to make contact with Des in my research for the book, but a few years later we made contact and I was able to both formerly interview him, and meet more socially and he was able to fill in many gaps and give me his take on the making of Penguin Island.
    In 1995 I set up the WMO label, with Charles Snider, with the aim of releasing or re-releasing as much unreleased and/or ‘lost’ recordings by Wire and the ‘extended family’. To me Penguin Island had always had a special quality to it that I felt others would want to share and it deserved pride of place as our first release: WMO1CD.
    Despite containing extra bonus tracks and specially written sleeve notes from Des the CD failed to ignite public appreciation, apart from diehard Wire fans. This wasn’t helped by complete lack of any reviews by the press, something that the original album had also fallen foul to. I find this a great shame. Penguin Island, for whatever unfathomable reason, holds a special place in my heart that has not been diminished by time. It is beguiling, bewitching, inventive, melodic, experimental and above all original. Even as I write this Penguin Island is playing and I have had to stop on more than one occasion to listen to its beauty and subtlety.
    In August 2010 Des emailed me to say that Rough Trade wanted to reissue the album digitally and in limited CD format and would I object. By now WMO had folded and the rights to all recordings had reverted back to the artists. Would I mind? Of course not. I happily handed over the CD masters and artwork files that had been be prepared for the WMO release and hoped, with fingers crossed, that this was third time lucky.
    Des also informed me that he was putting together a band to specifically perform Penguin Island live. I would have loved to have seen that but I was unable to, now to my lasting regret.
    Since our first meeting Des had sent me cassettes and later CD’s of what he was up to and although he erred on the side of the singer-songwriter he did have a style all of his own that was both inventive and at times very witty.
    He seemed to struggle with the idea that you didn’t need a record label to get your stuff heard anymore and it was only in the last couple of years that the penny dropped that he could do it himself and sell the CD’s at his gigs or online. These plans were firmly in place when I heard the news that he had suddenly and shockingly died at home from a hereditary heart condition.
    I will always remember Des fondly and as Colin has said too there were times when we were holding our sides with laughter.
    Sorry this is late Des but I’m only just getting used to the fact that your phones not ringing anymore.

    Kevin S. Eden – March 2013
  16.  
    Very nice Kevin. Thanks for writing this wonderful tribute!

    R.I.P. Desmond.
  17.  
    Penguins at the end of CBU?
  18.  
    Nice footage of Colin rehearsing "Lorries" with Desmond in the band:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xew4egBO3kw

    Is there anymore material (video or audio) from this tour and line-up?
  19.  
    Great footage, thanks!! :)

    Would love to see the whole thing!!!
  20.  
    Colin looks quite handsome. Desmond looks like a kind of generic Blockbusters contestant. But yeah it looks professionally (ishe) made, suggesting there must be more footage somewhere (or there used to be)