The Press-Register & Baldwin County News reported Coxe passed away on September 8th in Fairhope, Alabama.
Coxe is best known for his pioneering work with Silver Apples, formed in New York in 1967. The group emerged from The Overland Stage Electric Band. Coxe was the singer from that band, but his efforts to integrate an oscillator into their sound eventually whittled the lineup down to the duo of himself and drummer Danny Taylor. They’d record a self-titled album, released by Kapp Records in 1968, along with a follow-up called Contact, the artwork for which led to a legal dispute with Pan Am Airways, and eventually, the cult band’s demise.
Those two records, however, sound futuristic to this day, cited as a key influence by groups like Stereolab and Portishead. The liner notes for Silver Apples describe Coxe’s signature instrument, the Simeon, as “nine audio oscillators and eighty-six manual controls. The lead and rhythm oscillators are played with the hands, elbows and knees and the bass oscillators are played with the feet.” After German bootlegs of Silver Apples and Contact emerged in the ’90s, the band reformed with other musicians in 1996, reissuing their cult classic ’60s albums as well as two LPs of new material, Decatur and Beacon.
Drummer Danny Taylor was eventually located, and reunion shows with the original lineup—as well as the released of their long-shelved third album, The Garden— followed, until a 1998 tour van accident resulted in Coxe breaking his neck. Taylor died in 2005, but in the late 2000s, Simeon would perform live, solo, as the Silver Apples. Coxe would continue to play live through 2016, when he put out the first Silver Apples studio album in 19 years, Clinging To A Dream.
Listen to Silver Apples’ “Lovefingers.”