|Birth name||Robin Simon|
|Born||12 July 1956|
Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
|Genres||New wave, post-punk, synthpop|
|Instruments||Guitar, backing vocals, synths|
|Associated acts||Ultravox, Visage, Magazine, John Foxx, Neo, Ajanta Music|
Robin Simon played guitar in a number of local Halifax based bands in the early to mid-1970s. The bands included the Halifax Collective, which featured a number of teenage musicians, writers and performers, including Jan Cyrka, Andy Jones, Chris Marshall, Robs brother Paul and future Ultravox member Billy Currie. He moved to London in 1975 and later joined the punk pop band Ians Radio (later called Neo) in 1976. Neo were one of the bands on the early London punk live scene. They featured on the Live at the Vortex album and supported Ultravox several times at the Marquee club in London, before Simon was offered the guitarist position in Ultravox.
Simon joined Ultravox, replacing Stevie Shears, in 1977, bringing a more multi-dimensional sound to the band. This was due to his pioneering use of a guitar multi effects pedals sound, including a guitar monitor amp with tremolo effect. Timed echo, on the song Slow Motion, plus Chorus, Flanger, fuzz, wah-wah, delay and compressor pedals created a guitar sound unique at that time. He co-wrote the single "Slow Motion" from their 1978 third album, Systems of Romance, the original Ultravox line-up's only official hit.
In addition to playing all guitars on Systems of Romance, Simon co-produced it with the band, Conny Plank (of Kraftwerk fame) and Dave Hutchins. He also pioneered the use of synthesizers that were put through guitar effects pedals, prior to Gary Numan's echoing of the technique, notably on the track "Quiet Men".
In early 1979, after the US tour with the band and no longer on Island Records, having been dropped by the label despite increased sales and positive reviews, John Foxx left Ultravox. Simon left some months later. He felt that without John Foxx, who had founded and named the band, and was its main songwriter, a new singer could cause the band to lose its integrity.
While on the USA tour, Simon met Grace Weisbard, and returned to New York three months later to marry her on 25 April 1979. He lived in Coney Island, New York, for a year, and jammed with, among others, a local electro post-punk band called The Futants (along with Defunkt keyboardist Martin Fischer). Grace Simon (née Weisbard) moved to England with him, during his time with Magazine, before returning to New York.
After returning to the United Kingdom, Simon joined Magazine in 1980, replacing John McGeoch. After Magazine's tour of the United States and Australia/New Zealand plus a later live appearance with them the movie Urgh! A Music War and on the German TV show Rockpalast, he moved on from the band to record with John Foxx again, on the Garden album.
He played on the song "Saddest Quay", from Magazine keyboards player Dave Formula's solo album, Satellite Sweetheart, in 2009.
Simon contributed to Foxx's solo albums The Garden (1981), The Golden Section (1983), and In Mysterious Ways (1985). He also performed on stage during his 1983 tour and at a special John Foxx & the Maths show at London's Roundhouse in 2010.
Ultravox had gone on to greater success with Midge Ure fronting the band, but when Ure left the band in 1988, Billy Currie formed a new band which later included Simon. Using the early name of Uvox at rehearsal stage, they later used the name Humania. Live gigs at London's Marquee club and the borderline followed, though the band was short-lived with Currie subsequently forming another incarnation of Ultravox without Simon.
- Live At The Vortex (1977) (compilation of various artists)
- Systems Of Romance (1978)
- Play (1980)
- John Foxx
- The Garden (1981)
- The Golden Section (1983)
- In Mysterious Ways (1985)
- The Golden Section Tour + Omnidelic Exotour (2001) (only the first CD)
- John Foxx and the Maths
- Howl (2020)
- Sinews Of The Soul (2006)
- Ajanta Music
- And Now We Dream Secret door. (2006)
- Hearts and Knives Demons to Diamonds
- Chase, Helen. Magazine Pg. 23
- "AjantaMusic[permanent dead link]", Independent Artists Company
- "Neo Archived 14 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine", punkmodpop
- Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate. p. 1132. ISBN 978-1-84195-827-9. " Robin Simon – guitar (ex-NEO) repl. Shears ... [Apr 79] Robin ... departed to Magazine."
- Welbourn Tekh, "Ultravox – Systems of Romance (review)", Head Heritage
- Metamatic Forum: Robin Simon – The Futants
- New Musical Express, 26 July 1980 "Magazine have already recruited a replacement for John. He is former Ultravox guitarist Robin Simon who has been rehearsing with the band for the past three weeks and has already been writing material with them."
- Larkin, Colin (1992) "The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and new wave Music", Guinness Publishing, ISBN 0-85112-579-4
- Masters, Tim. "John Foxx celebrates the sound of synths". BBC. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Grant, Steven, Robbins, Ira, & Reno, Brad "Ultravox", Trouser Press
- The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll – 3rd Edition