Happy Birthday to Jeff Simmons – born May 21, 1949

Jeff Simmons (born May 21, 1949 in Seattle, Washington), is an American rock musician best known as a former member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention.

Career

Simmons provided bass, guitar, vocals and harmonica for Mothers of Invention during 1970 and 1971. He left the Mothers in early 1971 just prior to the filming of 200 Motels (where he was replaced by Ringo Starr’s chauffeur Martin Lickert.) Jeff later returned to the Mothers occasionally during the period of 1972 to 1974. Zappa and Mothers albums he appeared on include Chunga’s Revenge (1970), Waka/Jawaka (1972) and Roxy & Elsewhere (1974).

In later years Zappa released a number of archival recordings that feature Jeff including You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 (1988), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (1992), and Playground Psychotics (1992). Jeff also appears in the Zappa movie The True Story Of Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels (1989). Numerous Zappa bootleg recordings from the same era also feature Simmons.

Jeff’s music career began in Seattle. In 1967 he became a member of the local group Blues Interchange which soon changed its name to ‘Easy Chair’. The group self-financed their only recording, released by the regional Vanco label in 1968. The 12″ one-sided, three-song album sold well in the independent record shops along University Way NE (known locally as The Ave) in Seattle’s University District. Only about 1000 copies of locally produced Easy Chair record were pressed. It is now a highly valued collectible.

More about Jeff’s life here.

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