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.
Just had to share this bit. The last few sentences…
More times than you could ever think it, Pete – and in as vivid detail as my imagination will allow. Usually culminating in the most GLORIOUS of “EUREKA!” moments, as Jim leaps from seated spot in the bath tub…
I think this one slipped under the radar for the majority of 2020, but here we are. At last!
This video is for Britweek (nope…I’ve nae scooby, either… *shrugs*) – which was back in April (Britweek seems to MIRACULOUSLY coincide with being around St George’s Day…hmmm), and is about sculptor, Andy Scott. He’s the man responsible for The Kelpies horse head sculptures near Falkirk.
Anyway, enjoy the rather…handsome stallion introing the video.
Even just the way the interview started. Even BEFORE hearing the start of the interview, I knew it would be awesome. But…just the start. The ringing phone, and as soon as the phone is answered Frank saying “give me a one-two” and Jim saying…well, I won’t spoil it.
But it had be grinning like a loon from the get go. And the smile didn’t leave my face for the following 50 odd minutes.
A lot of the stuff Jim has said before, of course. And when you listen to EVERY interview he does, you’ll hear the same things over and over. But it never gets old. He never seems to tire telling them. There is always the same level of enthusiasm in his voice and in his relaying of the stories and the telling of the tales.
And…I fall in love with him AGAIN. Over and over. It all goes round and round.
I guess the thing that sunk in this time, even though he has said it before is that…he’s right. To have done what he has done. To have that relentless drive to make a success of it. To push on. To not be defeatist. To use the knock backs and set backs, and the things that would put other mere mortals on their knees – it takes “a type”. You need to be “a type”. Luck…and to be “a type”.
I think it is singularly the thing that makes me love him most of all, is that he IS that “type”.
You know…yes! I do fancy the pants off him for the aesthetic, esp. of the younger man – I won’t lie. That’s where the lust and sexual attraction is – but that’s the thing too. The thing that makes him sexy AF probably actually ISN’T his looks, per se, it’s everything. The whole sum of his parts. That drive. That ambition. The absolutely stone-faced, dogged, utter infallibility of him!
There’s a bit in it in which he said to Frank that he remembered a time that Frank gave him “a serve” as we’d say in Oz. A kind of “dressing down”. I won’t go into a lot of detail because I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment of you guys listening to it. But the end of it was Frank saying to Jim, “What are you gonna do about it? Go home and cry to your mummy?”
You know. I would have. I did. I would do. I was weak. I have always been weak. And my weakness shows in a life barely lived.
But he took it as fuel. He took it as fuel to push on. To just…stick at it and make the most of a shit situation. To not let it get the better of him. Defeat him. He’d knuckle down. He’d get the thing licked.
And I guess this is why I attach myself so much to Jim. Because he just…he makes me feel alive. He gives me oxygen!
He’s just a million beautiful, positive things. Passion, drive, energy, talent, brains, beauty. I love him to pieces. I just do. Retrospectively, from point dot. From that young upstart dreaming the dreams of getting the band together until the present, Mr “Elder Statesmen” who you can hear when he talks still has that buzz of that 16 year old kid.
It’s why I wish more than anything to be his friend. I just want to be around him. I just want to bask in his light. He’s like the sun.
But…he’s a winner. And as a winner, he likes to surround himself with fellow winners. Hence, he would want absolutely NOWT to do with me! Loz from Loserville.
I could listen to him talk all day, every day. I could happily bask in his light all day too. Just to feel some of that sun.
I wrote this years ago, about him. It hasn’t changed. I still feel exactly the same.
I was buzzing for ages afterwards, mulling over it all in my head. Smiling, trying to drift off to sleep, hoping I’d dream of him. Dream of sitting around talking to him. Or perhaps walking and talking with him? My friend Stephen has planted this whole being “taken up The Trossachs” idea in my head…as the ultimate dream. As if! As if he would.
I tried to settle and get to sleep and thought, “Geez, I wish I was Frank!”
You can find the details of Frank Gallagher’s Soundman Confidential podcast in my previous posts.
A short piece in the latest edition of Uncut Magazine about Dana Gillespie and her new book.
They spoke to her early on in the MainMan podcast series, in which she pretty much described herself as David Bowie’s f*** buddy – well, I guess a bit more than that – but she was emphatic that she was NOT his “girlfriend”. Merely more a friend who just happened to be a girl. “And, sometimes we got a bit…horizontal.” Needs must. Lol
It actually sounded like from her telling of it, that they felt quite kindred and enjoyed a very artistic tete-a-tete. Her relationship with him was certainly vastly different to that of Hermione Farthingale. And it endured for far longer. They remained life-long friends.