Simon Hamburg was a visionary for Jackson. Hamburg worked at Bebop, Sneaky Beans and Lemuria and was a staple at shows across the city. He loved records, porch sitting and collecting books. Simon passed away at the age of on October 4, 2012.
When we asked his friends, “is this the right time to write about him?”, they responded with a resounding yes. We asked Jesse Crow to compile a tribute to Simon and have included it as a dedication in the latest issue of Find It In Fondrenâ„¢ Magazine.
“There was something about him that absolutely could not settle for his own complacence or for anybody else’s. He held us accountable, and himself, for our behavior, our thoughts, our decisions and our opinions. Simon had serious moxie. He was my bravest friend. He never settled and he wouldn’t let you settle either. He was for me and my friends, and for our broader community, the bravest contender and the most loyal appreciator… I’ve never seen it in another person the way I saw it in him.” — Caitlin Cox
“Going to events was something he was very serious about. When I didn’t want to go to something he would say, ‘Samantha, why don’t you want to go? These are your friends and if we don’t go it won’t be worth their time anymore to play and then we won’t have shows to go to.’ He supported what is here because he liked it and he wanted it to be sustainable; he wanted it to endure.” — Samantha Ledbetter
“Simon and I really wanted to open a bar in Fondren. He saw that I have this longing to be an entrepreneur so he told me who I needed to talk to. Since (his passing) these people have come up to me, and I never would have known them if Simon hadn’t been so particular and introduced me. It’s such a sense of community–if one of us has a dream, the others can help. He wanted people to use their gifts for Jackson.” — Seth Hilton
“When I think of Simon giving back to the community, I always think of “Dear Listener.” It’s what he would sometimes start his Lemuria blog posts about music books with, as well as a series of mix tapes that he and Cody Cox used to make and leave stacks of around town. They would split the tracklist among some obscure, some not so obscure and some local… He just wanted to educate people and give them some culture.” — Justin Schultz
“Simon always wanted to hear and process his friends’ opinions on everything…You could watch him as he thought of ways to remedy all the problems or irritations people would bring up… Simon was a true visionary and advocate for the city of Jackson… He once told me that he didn’t always feel as though he belonged here, but that whenever he would leave he felt that half his heart would be in Jackson. I think it was the bigger half.” — Jay Humphries
“Simon believed that Fondren and Jackson could only be improved by grassroots action… (Simon would) literally convince people on a person to person basis to do the things that he found worthwhile in Jackson. The entire time he worked at Bepop…he was living out some long held dream…Being close to the music and knowing that he was at the heart of its local source brought Simon immense pride. He never burned illegally downloaded records and made you feel like your grandmother had caught you stealing a candy bar if you did. If everyone had as much conviction about supporting the things they truly valued in their community and took charge to see that their best interests were recognized…Jackson would be to all of us what Simon saw that it had the potential to be.” — Emmett Crockett