I’m yet to receive my copy of the book – so I actually don’t know a lot of what’s inside. (Despite some fans being hellbent on showing us all the contents of the book by sharing all their bits on the group pages – as excited as I am for all the fans that are in it…maybe just share your bit only, yeah? Think of others. Can you do that?!) But what I would like to share is this…my email I sent to have my little submission included.
Obviously I appreciated that if anything I had submitted was to be included, it would be truncated. But here is the complete, uncut email (not all of it would have been printed anyway!), with the photo I submitted for inclusion.
(I had no idea who would view the email. Richard Houghton’s name wasn’t mentioned at this point.)
Hello to whomever is reading this,
I don’t even know how to express myself here, so I apologise if I end up rambling or making no sense.
I only recently became a big SM fan. I was fairly fair-weather prior to the summer of 2014. I don’t really want to go over it. Kind of defeats the point of my email, I guess. I dunno. I could write pages, really. I have done. On my blog. To other fans. To Jim.
I kind of just don’t feel I can contribute anything of any real significance. I’ve not been a “longterm” fan. I haven’t been following the band since 1979 (or earlier…or even just a few years later). I’ve not gone to any big stadium gigs – Roundhay or MK Bowl or any such.
And, well…it may all be too late. But if I can submit ANYTHING, I would like it to be the image attached to the email. It means the world to me. It might not even be allowed to be printed? I don’t know. It’s a superimposed blend of images I had mashed together. A lovely painting of a Kyoto snow scene just randomly found via a Google search that I thought evoked the image the lyrics to Hunter And The Hunted produce, and Jim on the cover of Melody Maker magazine in 1982 – an image of him side profile in front of a Canadian flag (for want of it being a Japanese maple leaf, I thought a Canadian maple leaf would work). The photo was taken by Tom Sheehan. Some work on my part and “voila”, as they say – I was stunned at what I had created with this blending of these two images.
Never really been proud of anything I do. Never had any reason to be. But with this…I dunno. It just seemed so special. I posted it to the SM Facebook visitor wall. It wasn’t really commented on the first time. A friend and fellow fan said to me “post it again! It’s really awesome! Jim needs to see it.” Well, the second time, Jim seemed to take notice and did a lovely post about it. My heart pounded in my chest for hours! I had never been so happy or so astounded. I really can’t put into words how much that meant.
Then a another friend suggested I ask if he would sign a copy of it for me. And so I did via Messenger on FB. “Someone will be in touch,” came the reply. “Oh, that’s nice,” I thought. “Well at least I wasn’t ignored”, but believed it was just a fob off. I don’t know who actually replied. Perhaps it really was Jim?
Anyway, I sent a copy of it to be signed and this is what you see. It has been on my bedroom wall ever since (well, actually, I was in Australia when it all happened so it took a few months for it to end up on the wall, but…it’s been there quite a while).
If I am too late then, hey, that’s my fault. If it is unacceptable for whatever reason, I get that too. I took so long because I genuinely felt there was nothing for me to contribute. But if there can be anything, I would like it to be this photo. Just this. It is the thing I hold most dear. Beyond the gigs I have been racking up, all the other memorabilia I have, beyond meeting Jim and other members of the band. This was a thing that made me believe in myself for just a brief moment in time.
Sometimes I can gaze upon it and it just brings me to tears.
Thanks for listening, Larelle Read
“Johnny-come-lately” since 2014.