A Little Night Music – Marc, Lou And Jim Too

I’m still doing a little toe-dip into Bolan and T Rex at the moment. Just a couple of tracks per night. Nothing too taxing or deeply absorbing. I’m not fully immersing myself into the whole thing. Not like I have done in recent times with other musical explorations – Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Magazine – nothing quite of that ilk. But I might end up doing that.

Last night I played 20th Century Boy. I am just really loving the whole vibe of that song. How it starts with that kind of false start. Like, someone trying to kickstart a motorbike and the engine stalling, not ticking over on the first and second pedal pushes. And then it begins and there’s that fabulous gospel choir soul backing vocal wall of sound and such a fabulous rocking guitar riff.

Earlier in the evening before bed, the OH mentioned The Slider. It wasn’t one of his songs I knew at all, so I played it next. It’s quite a slow funk for him. Quite different to what I had expected to get from Bolan. Esp. the singing of it, and the pace. Still a very sexy thing. I have to say the thing I am coming away with from listening to T Rex these past few nights is just how sexy the songs are. Yeah, they may not have the deepest lyrical content, but by word they are sexy!

Towards the end of the song I’m thinking “Oh, I could imagine SM covering this now. Jim, the way his voice is these days…this would be sssoooo frigging sexy!” And then I was like, you know…actually…this is Prince! I hear Prince’s sound all over this track! I’m sure Bolan must have been an influence on The Purple One. I could just hear it SO CLEARLY on The Slider. I could sssooo imagine Prince covering it.

After those couple of tracks, I decided to move on to something else. But..what to listen to? I just never know where I want to go these days. All I know is right now, I have very particular tastes and feelings about Simple Minds. I don’t want to play this mix. And right now, as much as I absolutely ADORE the albums, I am avoiding going to Sons/Sister or Empires and Dance, or New Gold Dream. I play the song itself – New Gold Dream…the German Mix or the Alternate Mix, but I hardly play anything else right now.

I decided on Lou Reed. I didn’t want to go the Velvets route. The previous night I had listened to Nico’s Chelsea Girl album, so I didn’t want to go back to any Velvets stuff. I wanted Lou solo. But not Transformer. I love Transformer…but I know it fairly well. I didn’t want Berlin. No “Oh, Jim” tonight. What had I not played? Moving along chronologically, I’d never listened to Sally Can’t Dance – so that’s what I decided on. I got to Kill Your Sons and started to drift off to sleep. Spotify then did its usual thing of playing a mix of other contemporary artists of Reed’s. I can’t remember too much of who else it was playing but in my semi-conscious state I was enjoying what was being played. I was driven awake by a song that started to play called Range Life by a band called Pavement. I’d never heard of it (the song) or them (the band) before but I really liked it. I thought it was a track from the 70s until towards the end of the song, they started namedropping bands like Smashing Pumpkins in the song.

The next song that played was a track of Lou’s. It was called Vanishing Act. I was really loving how sparse and low it was. I put the screen back on to see the album it came off. It’s off The Raven. An album of Lou’s from 2002. All inspired by Edgar Allan Poe if the tracklisting of the album is anything to go by. It’s a long album – some two hours long! By this time it was already 3am, so I wasn’t going to switch listening to the album.

I actually wanted some Minds. I wanted Jim’s voice. But what? I look through all the SM content on Spotify. The only thing that is kind of pulling me in is Silver Box. I think about playing it. Skipping the first two tracks and just going in from Here Comes The Fool. Actually…live. Live is what I want. Then a brief internal dialogue “Oh, yeah…Art & Talk has put up another bootleg today. The one from Werchter, 1984. The bit that I played of it earlier today, sampling a snippet of Up On The Catwalk, it sounded damn good. Let’s give that a listen!” So off I went to YouTube.

I was really enjoying it. I was particularly enjoying the original arrangement of Book Of Brilliant Things and hearing all the lyrics that no longer get sung on the current version of it. I don’t get why it has changed so much from how it was…but hey, it isn’t up to me, is it. And plenty of other fans love that old “5 to 1” version of it. And I do appreciate all that Mick added to it with that opening of it on the OUAT tour. There was just such lovely things with this version from Werchter. Jim’s intro of it, “We grew up last year. Let’s grow up together.” Aawww! And just him singing “my heart beats like the wheels of a fast train”. I just feel sometimes the way the song got rearranged that it lost some of its beautiful sentiment. But Kerr would no doubt tell me to “do one” and “stoap talking keech”. Lol. Sorry, Sir!

Anyway…the night got later and as much as I was really enjoying it, I started to drift off during Waterfront. I cannae BELIEVE I didn’t hear New Gold Dream! Lol. I shall listen to it again later on. In the meantime, here it is linked below.

I Wanna Go To Mars (Bar) – Caught (Out) In A Dream

I have tentatively started to work on revising my Top 50 list of SM songs. Probably a good thing to do before finishing my “Why I love…” posts that I started over 5 years ago. Where the fork has that time gone? Us humans have the most bizarre relationship with time, don’t you think? On one hand, a certain passage of time feels so much longer than it has been – on the other, it can disappear within the blink of an eye.
I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I was last spending time with mum.

Back to last night. There was a song I had in my memory. A song that I had asked Jim about and he (it already becoming a rarer thing by that point) replied to me about it. And I wanted to find that bit of “conversation” with him. Me in that eternal need to feel like…I could talk to him…that it meant something – not just to me, but to him too. Albeit just as the singer and songwriter of the band I fervently follow most passionately to all others. It just being that and nothing more to him.

But I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the song was called! And I knew I had written about it on my blog. Well, I would assumed I had – because I’d have been over the moon that he replied to me. I would have made something of it! But without remembering the song’s name, how the heck was I going to find it?

I had other songs in me head – Take Me To The Angels and Sweet Things. I listened to Take Me To The Angels – not entirely convinced it was that. It lead nowhere on a search of my blog. Had it been that, it would have unearthed my “tete-a-tete” with Jim about it. Nada. The song is great though.

Sweet Things I was even less convinced about as I know before listening to it, it became the track Destiny on the Life In A Day album. And I knew the conversation I had with Jim was about a song that never made it on Life In A Day – it was my premise for asking him about it – why hadn’t this song made the cut? What happened to it?

Although I was doubtful, I listened to Sweet Things too. Again, great. Although Jim’s lyrics are hard to decipher on a rather worn out old bootleg, obviously the song’s melody and tune is there – its musical structure in tact (albeit with a MUCH longer intro than what Destiny ended up with on the album). I guess Jim just wore his heart on his sleeve a bit more then? That he was fine with completely rewriting songs . The songs he’s rewritten? They obviously all work…but I canne help feel something gets lost along the way. Even if just the matter-of-fact notion that the previous words are discarded.

I am still no closer at this point. My search took me to Flickr as well, and my old catalogue of things. Art that I saved. Endless screengrabs of snippets of things that happened on SMO (what was THEN Simple Minds Official – no need for officialdom now, it seems). Bits of interactions with Jim. I quickly combed through it but I really couldn’t see anything that was relevant. Perhaps I hadn’t saved it? Hmmm. That would be odd!

So…how the heck was a going to find this thing?!

A theme became apparent to me from the other tracks I had just listened to. Both Sweet Things and Take Me To The Angels came from live recordings. I was working a bit blind last night (in bed, glasses off) so in my mind they had both come from the same gig at the Mars Bar. It is only looking again this morning that I see that Sweet Things came from a recording at Grangemouth at the end of 1978.

But I had a tentative thread in my mind – Simple Minds at the Mars Bar in 1978. That search on YouTube finally came up trumps!

Caught (Out) In A Dream! That’s the one! I listened to it again last night. It meanders a bit. It’s a bit drawn out. But…it’s band history. It still has its own bit of importance. If nobody else wants to champion discarded songs – esp. Jim (I have only just in these past few minutes read over his reply to me), then I will! Even if just for band history sake.

I’m sure there are a few songs that never even got recorded that are truly lost for good. That makes me feel sad. It’s kind of tragic. Jim may not see it this way…but everything Simple Minds has made and produced…it all has its special kind of magic. And, well, it might not all be magical to me…but I appreciate that certain things that don’t mean much to me can mean a heck of a lot to others. I’m sure he’d scoff at the notion but just…what if Caught (Out) In A Dream (I always add the “out” in brackets because I am sure he sings “caught out in a dream” which would then make more sense it was titled that way rather than dropping the word “out” in the song’s title?) was the song that cemented a person’s early fandom? Who knows? Yes, perhaps the band didn’t miss it but…you guys knew all the songs! Duh!

Anyway…I awoke this morning dreaming of a TARDIS and of the Mars Bar – a just turned 19 year old Jim in that David Bowie shirt he is wearing when Laurie Evans takes photos of the band outside – what I believe *is* the Mars Bar in 1978. Oh, he just looks glorious even then. And I hear the words from John Grant’s song…

“I wanna go to Marz (Mars Bar)
Where green rivers flow
And your sweet sixteen
Is waiting for you after the show
I wanna go to Marz
You’ll meet the gold dust twins tonight
You’ll get your heart’s desire
I will meet you under the lights”

I can never help but think of Jim with those lines. And me wishing I could time travel, and be that “sweet sixteen” waiting for him after the show. That he would meet me “under the lights”.

Dreaming of a life never lived….

P.S. It was so much further back in time than I had anticipated. Nearly three years ago was his reply to me! And I hold on to them so tightly…it felt to me like it was maybe a year ago, two years at most. Oh…I hold on to every little morsel SSSOOO tightly. I miss this SSSOOOOOO much!

Concerts For Early In 2021 In Doubt?

This was posted a short time ago by promoters Regular Music on their Facebook page.

One can’t help but wonder if it is the first of many for next year’s gigs. And, as a truly sad indicator of where we are at, the concert been rescheduled but cancelled outright.

Simple Minds rescheduled their April Hydro gig to February next year. At the time of rescheduling, it seemed a far enough distance that things would have improved and that we’d have observed enough measures to get this virus to “jog on” but as the New Year gets closer, the cancelling of gigs feels inevitable.

“Embrace the suck” you say, Jim?! I’ve got to say that on one had I truly understand what you are saying with this term – but it doesn’t lend itself to being the most empathetic phrase.

The arts and entertainment sector is ON ITS KNEES. For many in the sector I’m sure “embrace the suck” is the last thing they want to hear.

Heart Of The Crowd – Limited Edition Boxed Presentation

So initially I held off getting the Heart Of The Crowd book on pre-order. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to expose myself to all those stories. I was slowly coming round to it and was starting to think that maybe it would be good. And the £45 didn’t seem too bad. A little more expensive than I had liked (as I said before, the 16 Years book is of a similar volume but was just that more modestly priced at £35) but, you know…I’m sure it would be worth it.

I am glad I had held off because one of the fans on one of the SM groups alerted us to THIS!

The blurb about it reads:

With foreword from Jim Kerr. The Special Box edition is limited to 1,000 copies only and are all individually numbered.

The Special Box edition comes compete with bonus items including: Certificate of Authenticity numbered 1-1000, two rare early black and white photos signed by Jim and Charlie, a plectrum made for Charlie for the 2020 tour, Simple Minds 40 Hits tour VIP pass with lanyard, Simple Minds 2020 fridge magnet, sticker sheet with 24 badges, replica Saturday Night Live ticket from 1985, replica BBC In Corcert ticket from 1979, replica Mars Bar Club flyer from 1977 (I think they mean 1978, I hope they do!), all presented in a box with artwork.

Well…I couldn’t actually resist THIS version and have gone ahead and pre-ordered it. When you make it ultra collectable, of course then you pull me in! I already have the photo of Jim. I got some prints from Laurie Evans just a short while ago and it included that particular photo of Jim. I don’t have any of Charlie (of Laurie’s in print form), so there’s a bonus already.

I won’t lie – I took a steep intake of breath when I saw the cost but it wasn’t like I wasn’t prepared. And I do think given the collectable nature of it and all the bonus content, it is actually a more reasonable price than the standard copy of the book. All of that other stuff for £40 more quid? Sounds bloody decent to me!

So, yes. This special box limited edition is priced at £85 but, in my eyes, better value for money than the standard edition.

I just pray now that my little contribution features in it…but I highly doubt it. There is nothing grandiose in my fan story I have to offer. certainly not what I had submitted anyway.

Yep. I was keeping quiet about it. About the fact I actually DID submit something. But I sat on my hands for months because I felt I had nothing to offer the book as Miss Johnny-Come-Lately “not a real fan – earn your stripes, girly” fan – so…yeah.

I’ll be no doubt desperately disheartened if my little bit doesn’t make it in…but I have had more than my share in recent times. And I’ll love Jim all the rest of my days for being so kind and lovely to me when he did. (Oh, how I miss it! STOP CRYING!!! 😭😭😭)

Nothing could ever mean more to me than that.

So…if you have £85 to burn, have contributed to the book and know you’re appearing in it (some fans already seem to know they are in it) then you MAY just want to splash out. At only 1,000 limited copies, I wouldn’t dilly dally though!

Details on purchasing the book can be viewed HERE

Celebrate – Werchter, 2012

I’d already be losing my shit, being in raptures being at a 5×5 gig – but at the 3 minute 30 second mark…if he was that close to me, his sweat falling on me…I swear I’d orgasm! He is just pure sex! God, I adore you, Jim Kerr! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I will never stop dreaming of being your rag doll, you Adonis! ❤️❤️

Black 501’s?

Is that what he’s wearing in those Edinburgh photos? ….

And, this is one of the ones I am waiting on. Oh, you smouldering Adonis, you! Goddamn you, Kerr! You sex god! Stop being beautiful!!

I adore you! ❤️

The Sound – Winning

Spotify played this track to me about a week ago and I had never heard it (or them) before. I really liked the sound (!) of them so went and listened to the rest of the album this song was off. I mentioned them here in one of my video posts.

They sounded really good. Anyway, this shows up in my YouTube recommendations.
Minds fans, take a note of what he sings at the 3min 10sec mark – BOBT, anyone? Wonder if Jim had seen them…?

Obviously I did a bit more digging and had no idea The Doors had done a song called “Five To One” which is surely where Jim got the lines from.

Anyway, enjoy this live version of Winning.

Bingley Barfing Babe – Minds Music Monday

Nice to see a couple of different pics from the Minds playing Bingley Hall on September 6th, 1981 as part of Futurama 3.

Does this man look sick to you? Nope! Sexy – YES! Sick, no. But he was. Poor Jim was struck by the heebie jeebies that night and also performed some “technicolour yawns”. Off stage at least…or at least out of site. But I think you can hear some of it on this bootleg of the gig (below). All things considered, it still sounds the most amazing gig.

And Jim in those goddamn boots will ALWAYS have me drooling. Drooling! Not barfing!

The opportunity lended itself to become a Minds Music Monday piece. Enjoy!