There’s always hope. Always hope. And beauty. And love.
I had been pondering doing this for some time, once I felt my collection had been big enough to deem it worthy. Probably the past 18 months or 2 years, but we were so crammed in our place in Luton, it never really seemed doable.
Then we moved to Glasgow, had much more space to display things, Coronavirus happened and Classic Pop took a break from publication.
When they returned after several months of lockdown and seeing them on their Facebook page appealing to readers to put their “superfan” stories forward, I thought I’d finally take the plunge. I emailed them, saying what a fan I was of Simple Minds and showed them a sample of my collection.
They were interested, asked me to fill out a little questionnaire about my fandom and to submit several more photos, including a head shot of myself. All lovingly submitted with care a day later.
It went quiet. Although they were back in action after lockdown, and having recently gone to publishing monthly prior to lockdown, they seemed to have return to a bi-monthly publication. One issue had only just come out, so I was hopeful I had timed it for inclusion for the next issue.
The next issue came out at the end of October and I thought “Oh, wouldn’t it be timely if it was printed in this issue for my birthday?! That would be ssoooo awesome!” Sadly, there wasn’t even a Super Fan article within the Nov/Dec 2020 issue. I was a bit gutted but thought they would publish it whenever they were ready.
In the meantime, the Heart of the Crowd book was just 5 weeks from publication and that hopefully I’d have that to be excited about.
In recent days I had been wondering when the next issue was due.
This morning, I see the postie make his way up the path to the front door. I wasn’t really expecting anything at all. Just some junk, or a bill or two. I heard what sounded like a magazine drop onto the doormat and went to collect it, hoping it was the new issue of Classic Pop (I’m also subscribed to a drumming magazine).
To my joy it was! But the big question was – well questions were: had there been a Super Fan article put in this issue AND more so, would it be MY story?
I went to the “Contents“ list at the beginning of the magazine…and there…
ERMAGEEEERRRRRRRD! A belated little Christmas bonus! And a lovely little extra to ring in the New Year with.
The icing on it is to see my Hunter And The Hunted piece printed in there as it didn’t get to be printed in the Heart Of The Crowd. I am so happy to see that in there.
I never wanted it to be seen as a boastful thing. It was why I grappled about even doing this for so long. But I am proud of my collection and why I am an avid enough fan to collect things. It’s much more than material possession for me. it is so much more about the band and the music and what it means to me and the importance it has in my life.
The whole “Super Fan” thing still doesn’t sit entirely well with me. All of us believe in some degree that we are ALL the “biggest fan” of our favourite bands and artists – and we all are. And there is the stigma of what happened in the summer of 2018 that makes me tread rather warily around the notion of the “super fan” – the “mega fan”, uber fan… diehard, “real” fan.
I’ll never really know what makes a fan a “real” fan – but whatever actually defines it…I am real enough. I live and breathe this band. And they make my existence a happier and more enjoyable one. I can’t remember life much pre-Simple Minds. But life since the summer of 2014 has been … wonderful – even in the darker periods amongst that. They bring light to darkness.
It’s a skewed way of saying thank you.
Of course, the “Best Photographer” award for 2020 COULD go to someone for their work that had to wait 40 years to be seen – Mr Ronald Gurr…and the offering below….
But I jest…at least on offering up the award – but the photo is still just absolutely fabulous!
In response to his post today (his “Best of 2020”), here is…part my response to his choices, and part a broader explanation of mine.
And here is my response to him of my choices that I left in the comments of his post. (With replies to him kept in.)
Best Album : In Memory Of My Feelings – Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler
Best Single : Fools Tomorrow – Warm Digits (with a VERY close runner up being Bitter Tang by Michael Rother)
Best Cover Version : Absolute Beginners – Steve Harley
Most listened to song : New Gold Dream 12” German Mix (HONESTLY! Played usually 3 times over most mornings for the past several months)
Best Book : I haven’t read any new books other than…the obvious – but I really, REALLY want to read Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Best Photographer : Chris Leslie/Disappearing Glasgow – DITTO!
Best Podcast : The MainMan podcast (Mr Francis Gallagher’s a very close second!)
Best Film : Haven’t seen a film all year – apart from one documentary (see Best Docu)
Best Series : Not watched a series, either (how does a man who doesn’t like telly watch a TV series? *confused face*)
Best Documentary : Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm
Best Gig : Oh, Jim! Don’t do this to me!!! Let me pre-empt it by saying Copenhagen was BRAW! And…you know…I’m a very lucky girl for seeing both shows, I know! But I saw Bryan Ferry the week before! And…well, that was amazing too! But…for, venue, setting…uniqueness of the experience, band performance – it has to be Field Music at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (sorry, Jim! It was REALLY close though)
Best Journey: COPENHAGEN!
Best Decision : To go to Copenhagen – ALMOST decided against it.
Best Meal : Cafe Andaluz, Edinburgh
Best Drink : IRN BRU (I’ve got the taste for it now)
Worst Moment : How long you got?
Biggest Disappointment : The halting of the 40 Years+ Tour WITHOUT A DOUBT!
Person I’d Most Like To Have A Drink With : My brother, David. (He’d drink me under the table and I’d love every second of it!)
Person I’d Least Like To Have a Drink With : The EX president.
Biggest Thrill: Seeing Loch Lomond with my own eyes.
That’s it…on the spot, without much time to think.
Happy New Year, Sir 😘😘
I have a few David Bowie pages I follow on Facebook and one linked to an article in which Noel Gallagher had chosen his Top 5 David Bowie songs (link below). I was rather surprised to see In The Heat Of The Morning as the first track on the list. I was thinking, “really, Noel? Above a LOOOAD of other tracks that I would have expected to see in its place, you chose THAT?”
In my head, as much as I could think of early Bowie tracks I really enjoyed, none before 1969 would EVER make the Top 5 for me.
So then I pondered. What WOULD make my Top 5? There were two certainties for a start! But I had to think about the rest. And I needed my memory jogged a bit. I had made a list of my Top 50 a few years back and turned it into a similar piece of typography than I had done for my SM Top 50.
With memory jogged, this was my list. The first two were there before needing the memory jog.
It has been an absolute favourite and my “go to” track when I really want something very all-encompassing emotive and passionate to sing along to. I have all these little hand movements and gestures I do with it. I sing along FULL karaoke style “blue skies above, sun on your arms, strength in your stride and hope in those squeaky clean eyes”, “so you train by shadow boxing”, “same old thing in brand new drag comes sweeping into view”, “‘David! What shall I do? They wait for me in the hallway!’ I say, ‘Don’t ask me! I don’t know any hallways’. ‘But they move in numbers and they’ve got me in a corner. I feel like a group of one. No, no, they can’t do this to me! I’m not some piece of teenage wildlife!”
And then there is one of the best lines he’s ever written “those midwives to history put on their bloody robes”. It’s just…impassioned. I just love it. And Fripp’s guitar wailing all over it just sounding like its screaming in pain. It’s just epic. And as I say, it really is the most recent love I have gained for it. Obviously always really liked it as a track on Scary Monsters but it has gained a real depth of meaning and appreciation for me in recent years.
A New Career In A New Town:
The very first instrumental piece of music I felt truly affected by. Like…just crying tears and having goosebumps…the whole shebang. It was just like nothing I had heard before and affected me in a way that I wasn’t quite prepared for.
Sons Of The Silent Age:
I just love the way he uses words and rhyming couplets in this. It’s just so clever. And I get really stark imagery from it. It feels very…dystopian…but in a kind of Russian author dystopia. Its rather Chekov or Dostoyevsky in its visualisation for me. “Sons of the silent age stand on platforms, blank looks and notebooks”….”pace their rooms like a cell’s dimension, rise for a year or two then make war, search through their one inch thoughts then decide it couldn’t be done”….”make love only once but dream and dream / don’t walk, they just glide in and out of life / they never die they just go to sleep one day”. The chorus. THE CHORUS! And the way he sings it and delivers it. Just…awesome.
I Would Be Your Slave:
The most amazing song about obsession and obsession for one person and how they take over every thought you have and just…that endless pondering you have about someone when they are the absolute object of your desire. When they are your everything, and you want more than anything to be theirs. “I bet you laugh out loud at me, a chance to strike me down / give me peace of mind at last, show me all you are / open up your heart to me and I would be your slave” – the thing is…the heart remains closed, and yet you still find yourself a slave. You were a slave from the get go. From that first stumble and fall.
The Bewlay Brothers:
The most wondrous example of David Bowie at his mind-bending, Burroughs-borrowing, Crowley-plundering, warped majesty. “Oh I was stone and he was wax so he could scream and still relax, unbelievable / and we frightened the small children away”….”and now the dress is hung, the ticket pawned, the factor Max that proved the fact is melted down, woven on the edging of my pillow / and my brother lays upon the rocks, he could be dead, he could be not, he could be you / he’s chameleon, comedian, corinthian and caricature” – WHO WRITES LIKE THIS?! It’s just fucking mental! And it’s…mastery. And masterful. And…awesome – in the true sense of the word.
So…that’s it. That’s my David Bowie Top 5 – for today anyway…and maybe the rest of this week, or winter…or until the until the end of 2021. The songs I love the most can sometimes be in flux, but my love for David Bowie as the most awe-inspiring of songwriters remains constant and undying.
Noel Gallagher’s Top 5 Bowie article HERE
That lull. That period between Christmas and New Year…when many seem to forget what day it is.
Well, I know what day it is! It’s Minds Music Monday!
But I fall victim of that lull period too. The limbo that drifts between Christmas Day and Hogmanay…
This seemed apt.
And at Bridlington, exactly five months after this post…the dream came true. Not exactly to the letter…but pretty darn near to! I was on his left side, he pulled me in and pulled me to his side. I was too scared to reciprocate and put my arms around him – as much as I would have died to have done it! But…I did rest my head on his chest which was…heaven…for the 10-15 seconds (rather than minutes) it lasted.
I miss hugs. I miss him.
Merry (Pissing) Crimbo