The Dutch Stuff

I remember this article from around the Walk Between Worlds tour. The photographer – as far as I was concerned – took some really unflattering photos of Jim, but in amongst the more questionable ones was this one. The best of the bunch. I had several goes of tidying it up but I probably didn’t really improve things much. Scanning from newspapers always results in a lot of “artefact”.

I Wish Life Could Be Swedish Magazines…

The line from Iggy Pop’s Five Foot One could not be a more appropriate title because, right now, I DO wish “life could be Swedish magazines”. Well, newspapers might be more accurate.

Anyway, that’s semantics.

This morning on the Simple Minds Official Group (or should that now just be “Simple Minds Group”?), a Swedish fan shared a few images from local newspapers featuring SM.

I commented saying how awesome they were and gave a thanks for sharing. He replied to me, telling me that the Swedish National Library’s archive is open to the public during April and he’d be searching the archive and found some things.

And there is SO MUCH MORE than he shared on SMOG! A veritable treasure trove of previously unseen photos, articles and gig reviews, etc. It’s a pain in the bum to go through on a Smartphone or tablet/mobile device, so I’ll fire up the laptop tomorrow and see what I can find and try and get a better copy of the things I’ve seen so far – and more.

But for now…here is a small rough sample of the treasures in the Swedish Newspaper archive. The first pic is a very early one from 1979, all the rest are from 1981-1982.

If you are wanting to, you can search through the archive HERE. A huge thanks to Micke for posting about this today.

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Am I dreaming this or is Jim wearing ANIMAL PRINT LEG WARMERS???!!!

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Kenny or Jim? The tussle is real. Erm…THREESOME?! I WISH! Then again, Kenny’s troosers are worryingly high. Lol. Jim’s are not much lower to be fair…

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The Blog That Nobody Follows

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It was never the reason I started this blog. Not to gain followers. It was never about that. If nobody read it, I would STILL be posting here. If it never had “an audience” it would still be going.

It has always been about self-expression and showing my passion and love for this band.

It didn’t even start seriously! It started on Tumblr – which is a very image and gif rich social media platform hybrid. It’s much more a visual based thing. Just a big excuse to share lots of gorgeous images and gifs of Jim (and the rest of the band). A big excuse to ogle. (Oh, how I like an ogle.) For a time I even had a secondary Tumblr page solely dedicated to Jim’s left ear! Lol. This is how frivolous and silly it all started out as!

If I had wanted followers, I’d have stayed on Tumblr. In my short time on there I gained about 300 followers and it would have kept growing exponentially as that’s what most social media platforms are about. Equally, if I wanted my blog to have followers, I’d be sharing posts and going on about it here, there and everywhere. Endlessly sharing links and posting stuff to Simple Minds groups on Facebook and retweeting links to Twitter users, etc, etc. Basically spammed people to death with my blog.

Blogs are different to other aspects of social media. Yes, they can have that element to them as well but the overriding reason someone creates a blog isn’t really about gaining a fanbase or followers, as such.

Tumblr did have its limitations. It’s very much its own community there. And it wasn’t really the place for more serious contemplation or expression. I felt anyway. I felt as if I was outgrowing Tumblr. I wanted something more. I didn’t want to completely come away from the fun stuff. The ogling of Jim and the silly things that went on at Tumblr, but the move away from Tumblr was a great reason to start to bring in a more serious slant to stuff.

It took time. Time for the love of the band to really develop into something that I felt I could try to articulate and express more.

Over time I have introduced several “themes” to the blog. Not completely leaving the fun side behind at Tumblr, I coined “Kerrsday Thursday” for the blog. A weekly ogling session of all things Jim. I had written pieces titled “Why I Love…” in which I would try and go in depth and explain why I loved a particular Simple Minds song and therefore why it was in its place in my Top 50 Simple Minds songs. Nearly five years down the road, and I STILL haven’t finished all 50.

The weekend whiriiGIG was coined in which I would share a live performance from YouTube that I enjoyed. Mainly bootleg gigs. Before it was the “weekend whirliGIG” it had been on the blog as a TARDIS dream gig wish. A gig that I would wish I had been able to go to but…due to age, distance, non fandom, it didn’t take place for me.

And it eventually came a space to share band news and things and a place for me to feel free to comment and talk about those things.

A place for my art too. The digital fan art being a huge aspect of that…but also painting and drawing that I would do – not necessarily of the band, either.

The joy of gigs and seeing them live. And then just….expanding on that and started to give reviews of other gigs I started to go to. In the past three years in particular, I have been to see more live music and more gigs than I had ever done in the previous near 30 years (as of then) of my adult life.

And this year – my 50th year – was going to be the most gig rich year yet! Until Covid-19 had other plans. My calendar of events had just started. I had been to a Poliça gig to see my guys, Warm Digits, as their support. A gig wish was fulfilled by seeing Bryan Ferry at the SEC Armadillo the week prior to flying over to Copenhagen to see what was meant to be the first of THIRTEEN Simple Minds shows for this year. And there were so many other gigs lined up besides! More Warm Digits gigs, as they have just released a new album. Then there was meant to be King Creosote on the day we were due back from Copenhagen. And beyond that…John Grant, Jimmy Webb, Crowded House, The Stranglers. One of the Warm Digits bills had them at the Stag and Dagger in Edinburgh and I was looking forward to getting to see other bands on the bill there. Perth band Parliamo, in particular.

I had started to conduct the odd interview as well. I had interviews with Simple Minds original lighting technician, Jaine Henderson, former band manager, Bruce Findlay and just recently an interview with Warm Digits’ Steve Jefferis.

I have been trying to make something of it. Not just have it be a Jim Kerr ogle-fest or a sycophantic endless declaration of love and admiration for him. It always runs the risk of falling back to that.

But, hey! I am human after all. I have feelings, thoughts, concerns, worries, hang ups. And at the end of the day MY blog is MY outlet for things. I really try not to drag it down with too much personal stuff. But if it happens…I shouldn’t really feel the need to apologise for that. At the end of it – it IS a personal blog. It isn’t in any way monetised. It doesn’t exist to make money! It doesn’t exist to gain followers.

But, you know what? It DOES have followers. A small number of them. But the fact it has any at all astounds me. And at times, it embarrasses the fuck out of me! A lot of the time, in fact.

And I have regular readers too. And then new comments coming in too. And I have had wonderful acknowledgements from people I admire and hold in esteem and these things feel very unworthy.

So, to all of you who visit and/or leave a comment, to Scott, (and to the other Scott as well that I know visits too) and to recent visitors leaving comments, Catrine and Gavin. To Stuart as well. And to the new followers who’ve subscribed, thank you.

To Gordon Machray of Simple Minds International on Facebook, to Simon Cornwell – who runs the sublime Dream Giver Redux – the absolute Simple Minds online bible, to Paolo Viani – who runs Simple Minds Historical on Facebook, and to Ronnie Gurr of Hanging Around Books. For all your nods of acknowledgement, I am humbled and thankful and feel it very undeserved.

Vive la Simple Minds!

Glasgow – Music Scene Central!

I read a piece from The Guardian yesterday as to why author Karl Whitney believed that Glasgow is the best city in Britain for the popular music-lover. He talked about the vibrancy of the scene, the number of venues the city has, a number of them more intimate music/pubs, some offering a fully vegan menu. I had been in two of them mentioned, The Flying Duck (making my mind up about Walnut Road and hearing Cities being played as some kind of omen) and Mono, in which I had that delicious kumquat margarita – and also checked out adjoining Monorail record bar.

I’ve walked past Nice N’ Sleazy’s numerous times but have never ventured in. And also for me personally, the notion that I am going to be living just 15 minutes away from the Royal Concert Hall fills me with SO MUCH EXCITEMENT…I can’t even!

And he also talked about the shops too, mostly around the West End on the Byers Road. In all my visits to Glasgow so far, one of the things that has eluded a visit is Byers Road. And only this last time did I get a sweeping glance of it as we passed by on the sightseeing tour bus (highly recommended, I must say – and if you love a bit of history and Neil Oliver’s dulcet tones float your boat, you’re in luck! He provides the audio commentary on the bus). But when the move happens…well, I’ll be on the lookout for bargains and by all accounts the Sally Army store up near Partick is the place to go – two birds, one stone!

Anyway, Karl extolls the virtues of my very, VERY soon adopted city much more than I can. Click the image of Barras to read the article.

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Mecca

That’s Entertainment – AND Inspiration!

Wow! What a story, Lesley O’Toole! Your first professionl journalist’s interview being granted by Jim…and from there?! I’ll let Lesley tell the story herself in these two wonderful posts shared on Instagram.

Thank you for sharing the story, Lesley.

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Jim Kerr and me: December 8, 1982 at London’s Lyceum. In 1984 when I was still a law student at Bristol University, and still wild about Simple Minds, I wrote my first ever professional magazine piece – an interview with Jim. All the Scottish bands and loads more used to stay at London’s (in)famous Columbia Hotel so I wrote to JK c/o the hotel, asked him if he’d do the interview, and included a stamped addressed envelope. He wrote back saying: “Yes, 2pm Sunday.” I already had my own fanzine but this was the start of my “proper” career as an entertainment journalist. I still wonder if I’d be a lawyer now were it not for this. I certainly wouldn’t be as blessed and happy as I am living in LA. So thank you Jim for saying yes, and thank you Simple Minds for 35+ years of pure joy. Breathless with excitement for more of it at LA’s beautiful Orpheum Theatre later. ❤️🙏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🎤🎸🥁 . . . . . @simplemindsmusic @gedgrimesmusic @cherissedrums #simpleminds #jimkerr #orpheumtheatre #thewaywewere #myfaveband #columbiahotel

A post shared by Lesley O'Toole (@lesleyotooleinla) on

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#FBF Simple Minds have been my favourite band for too long to mention – since I was a kid anyway. Jim Kerr was also my first professional interview as a journalist and who knows if I’d even have become one were it not for that and him. Last month I found myself in the front row for their concert at LA’s gorgeous Orpheum Theatre. And then Jim spotted me and sang to me. Which song? Only my all-time Simple Minds fave – Someone Somewhere in Summertime. Gigantic coincidence or no? No in fact – but some sort of conspiracy perpetrated by my friend Ged Grimes, their brilliant bass player, who somehow remembered my fave song, saw me in the audience and conspired with JK. I have no photos or video (these were taken later that night) but it will be in my head forever. Ged and Jim – thank you! I adore you both and this meant the world. And Happy St. Andrew’s Day to all my Scottish friends. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿❤️🎤 . . . . . . . @gedgrimesmusic @simplemindsmusic #gedgrimes #jimkerr #simpleminds #orpheumtheatrela #orpheumtheatre #someonesomewhereinsummertime #magicmoment #standrewsday #scotland #lovescotland

A post shared by Lesley O'Toole (@lesleyotooleinla) on

Kerr Down Under – In NewKERRstle

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Oh, holy fucking shitflaps, he’s bringing up 2020 as the full itenirary tour year for Oz, again! I should have pulled out all the stops to go! I NEARLY did! I nearly booked a flight that would have had me out there by now. I was at the Etihad website, I was at the last page, cursor hovering over that “pay now” box…but, something told me not to. “No fall back” if the money doesn’t come in by January. It’s like permanently being on the crest of a wave…just waiting and waiting for the fucker to crash, but it just rolls and rolls and rolls, never crashing to the shore. WHERE’S MY SHORELINE SPUME, GODDAMNIT!?!

I wanted to “seize the moment” – not wait until the next tour. Because…life is full of uncertainty. Why wait for the next one, when I could have NOW!? Albeit it was just one gig, and not in Sydney? It was Australian shores, near enough to Sydney for me (still within my home state) and (most importantly) happening NOW…not in two years time.

The time has elapsed now. The opportunity (what small window of opportunity there was) gone.

Que sera sera…

Oh, yeah…here’s the article from local Newcastle paper, The Herald – click here to read

Penguin Auction Day

Later today (local BST – British Summer Time), an auction of all the penguins that had been on display as part of Maggie’s Penguin Parade go under the hammer. The one that Fiona Sutherland co-created and Simple Minds sponsored (and have signed for the auction) being one of them.

You can see the SM sponsored penguin to the left of the picture. All the penguins are on display at Slessor Gardens in Dundee, where the auction will take place early this evening. Local Dundee paper, The Courier, have an article on the auction.

Click the image to read the article and get more info about the auction.

Mexican Minds

A short half page spread in local Mexican newspaper Reforma on Thursday night’s gig at the Pepsi Center.

I don’t have the best Spanish (well, any Spanish at all, actually) but, quickly casting an eye over it…seriously? We’re still bringing up Jim’s marriages? What exactly it has to do with the price of fish and this particular gig flummoxes me…but, it adds to the word count, I guess (a word count that could have mentioned the musicianship of the other band members, perhaps? Just a thought.)

Anyway…speaking of things that are neither here nor there…I loooooove that flamingo shirt! 🙂

Simple Minds In Slessor Gardens Finale Success!

Local Dundee newspaper The Courier and Advertiser showcased the gig finale in their opening pages with a glowing review. As if it would be any other way?!

Oh, I wish I could have been there! I pray it is not too long a wait until my next lot of gigs! “Normality” beckons for the next few months. On a personal scale, things will get busy and potentially VERY different. And, I still have several non SM gigs left for this year. With two already booked for next year, and two yet to be booked.

Anyway! The local review!

UPDATE: And more from other local paper the Evening Telegraph.