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Electronic music pioneer, Simeon Coxe of Silver Apples, dies, aged 82

The legendary artist started making electronic music on homemade instruments in the 1960s

Simeon Coxe, co-founder of pioneering electronic music duo Silver Apples, has died. 

The legendary musician passed away on 8th September in Fairhope, Alabama, according to the obituary on the AL Press Register. He was 82. 

Coxe formed Silver Apples alongside drummer Danny Taylor in New York in 1967. Both had previously been members of The Overland Stage Electric Band. When Coxe, the band’s singer, started incorporating a 1940s vintage audio oscillator into his performance, the group gradually disbanded. The duo released their debut album in 1968, with the liner notes describing Coxe’s homemade set-up of made of “nine audio oscillators piled on top of each other and eighty-six manual controls to control lead, rhythm and bass pulses with hands, feet and elbows".

Silver Apples released two albums before disbanding in 1969 following a financially devastating legal battle with airline Pan Am. The band had been permitted to use the airline’s logo on the cover of their second album ‘Contact’ but were subjected to a lawsuit after the record cover featured a photograph of a plane crash. 

Silver Apples reformed in 1998, and went on to release four albums between then and 2016, including their third album ‘The Garden’, originally recorded in 1970.

Coxe and Taylor’s work has been cited as a key influence on acts such as Portishead, Beastie Boys and Stereolab. 

Coxe died after developing the progressive lung condition pulmonary fibrosis. His obituary reads: “He was an artist and a news reporter-producer for WKRG, TV, Mobile, AL in the 1970's, as well as other out of state TV stations in the 70's and 80's. He is famously best known worldwide for his seminal work in electronic music with his band, Silver Apples.”