Sims Ellison (1967-1995), was a prodigious songwriter and member of the band Pariah, one of Austin’s most popular hard-rock bands in the early 90s. He was loved throughout the Austin music community because of his big heart, laid-back nature and his out-going personality. Sims played the bass and was known for wearing funky hats and lederhosen while performing. Good reviews from their two self-produced cassettes, Pariah and Rattle Your Skull gave Pariah a following of nearly 25,000 fans. In 1992 Pariah released the self-produced CD Make Believe, on the band’s own label, Sick Kid Productions, and To Mock a Killingbird was released by Geffen Records in 1993.
Shock and sadness gripped Austin’s music community when Sims lost his battle with depression. Born out of tragedy to help thousands, The SIMS Foundation was founded by Sims’ grieving father Don Ellison, Austin Rehearsal Complex (ARC) co-owners Don Harvey & Wayne Nagel, recording artist Alejandro Escovedo and attorney Walter Taylor. Together, they galvanized Austin’s close-knit music community to create a unique organization offering mental health services to local musicians. The SIMS Foundation continues to provide life-saving services to musicians and their families when they need them most.
Listen to Pariah on Myspace.
Photo courtesy of Todd Wolfson Photography