Trooper Simon was the drummer with the South African band Lithium.

Simon Portlock was born and raised in Cape Town and attended school with Dave Owens. He took up the drums in 1990, aged 16. Simon would bash about in his parents garage with school friends on Saturday mornings. This sparked the friendship between Simon and Dave, a guitarist whose father was a jazz drummer.

Simon and Dave started to hang out more often, always speaking about starting a band. They played together for the first time in Dave's parents' living room, before moving on to Simon's bedroom that could barely house his drum kit. Eventually they recruited a bass player, Paul Opie and another guitarist, Ian Watson, and formed Lithium.

When Lithium broke up in early 1999, Simon and Dave moved to London, with their new project The Happy Smileys. The Happy Smileys never really did anything, and Dave moved back to Johannesburg leaving Simon in London.

Simon moved back to Cape Town in 2002 and rumours flew about on the Lithium website guestbook - the only haven for Lithium fans - that Lithium would get back together and record. There were rumours of a re-recording of Lithium's last release - on cassette only. More fuel was added to the fire when Ian left Black Milk, the band he and Paul formed after Lithium's demise. Sadly, they were all just rumours and Lithium fans continue to live in hope.

Simon Portlock, Dave Owens (vocals/rhythm guitar), Ian Watson (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Paul Opie (bass) formed the band Lithium in Cape Town in 1993. The band's last CD, ZennonSuperTroopers (ZST), introduced the SuperTroopers theme. Each member was a SuperTrooper, with the title Strength, Daring, Intensity, Purpose (respectively). They had caricatures to accompany their trooper names, which featured in the album sleeve.

Simon signed the guestbook on their website as Trooper Simon and it all went nodewards from there...

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