.

Longtime Eric Clapton Band Member Dick Sims Dies

Keyboardist who helped create the 'Tulsa sound' was 60

December 12, 2011 12:20 PM ET
dick sims with arm's reach
Dick Sims, 'Within Arm's Reach'

Dick Sims, a keyboardist who played in Eric Clapton's band for almost a decade, died on December 8th after battling cancer. He was 60.

Sims, a native of Tulsa, OK, formed the Tulsa County Band with drummer Jamie Oldaker and bassist Carl Radle. Together, they helped develop the country-rock hybrid that became known as the "Tulsa sound." Introduced to Clapton through Radle, the threesome first backed the guitarist on his 1974 album 461 Ocean Boulevard. Though it was a collaborative effort, Sims told Tulsa People in 2010, "they weren't going to name it 'Eric Clapton and Tulsa County,' because Eric was already a solo act." The band stayed on as Clapton's backers for nine years, recording on several albums, including the classic Slowhand.

Sims, who played on Bob Seger's album Back in '72 with Oldaker, went on to play his customized Hammond B-3 organ with many other acts, including J.J. Cale, Peter Tosh and Vince Gill. After a 10-year hiatus from music, he released his only solo album, Within Arm's Reach, in 2008. Clapton dedicated his December 10th show in Tokyo to his late friend.   

Related
Eric Clapton on Revisiting 'Layla,' Sobriety and Reflecting on His Life

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com