Almost one year ago to the day was, not only my last Simple Minds concert to date, but the last concertI I went to full stop.
I had 13 other Simple Minds gigs to come – Paris, Bordeaux, Leeds, Dublin, Glasgow, Blenheim Palace, Taormina, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Aberdeen – then off to the holy grail gigs in Melbourne, Sydney and Bimbadgen.
To have 13 to come couldn’t have ended up more unlucky.
Added to that all other gigs I had racked up, including Crowded House, Primal Scream, Jimmy Webb, John Grant, Warm Digits and probably others I have forgotten about. Plus ones I have added to the list since lockdown, including Scritti Politti and Field Music.
Happy One Year Of Covid Pandemic anniversary! Yay!
Here’s a Love Song for you (recorded by yours truly in Copenhagen last year)…
Viewing art with my own eyes. Exhibitions. Galleries.
Being able to see this.
I think I’d have flown down south to get to London to see this exhibition.
A virtual tour is not the same. But it will have to do. Even as a virtual tour, I find this deeply moving. I can only imagine how I’d have felt in the exhibition space. I know how I was at the last Tracey Emin exhibition I went to.
I never thought that visual art would affect me like that.
I started listening to the Bitter Sweet Symphony experimental offshoot – or “curveball” (if you will) of the main weekly “Are You Not Entertained?” podcast last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Let me explain…
I confess that it isn’t something I listen to regularly (the AYNE podcast) as, well….I’m not majorly into sport, and certainly NOT football, so unless they talk more about the sport I can get a handle on, or like (cricket, snooker, darts, strongman events, curling, figure skating – I admit that is a crazy mixed bag…but I like what I like! Lol) … I’m gonna be kind of all-at-sea listening in regularly.
Jim has been on the show a couple of times, so when he highlights that fact, I’ll tune in.
At the start of the New Year, Jim posted on SM FB to talk about Billy Sloan and informed us fans of the offshoot to the AYNE podcast in which hosts Roger and Grant had interviewed Billy with a view of having a regular feature that explores the marriage of sport and music in people’s lives. Billy agreed to be their first guest. And what, with Billy being Billy – as with some Scots who, give them a subject they can get their laughing gear around and they’ll talk the leg off an iron chair about it – Roger and Grant really got their money’s worth with Billy! And a life of brilliant anecdotes they felt unable to cut and truncate. The whole interview so worthy of airtime, they decided to air the whole thing but break it up into two parts.
Billy and I at Oran Mor after the Caezar gig in 2018. Photo taken by my good friend, Ronnie McGhie
I listened to part one last night. And I am really looking forward to hearing part two tonight.
The first thing that made me just think “eeeeh!” was hearing that Billy started out his journalistic career just down the road…like LITERALLY just down the road in Springburn! Springburn had a local rag (the Springburn Times – I’ve no idea if it still exists, I’ll assume not, but I’ll look into it) and so he started out with them and sister local rag the Bishopbriggs Times.
It’s a small world!
The first part of the podcast was 55 minutes. The second part is coming in at 1 hour 45 minutes. I mean, strap yourselves in, peeps! Lol. But, it’s gonna be some ride. Just listening to first part last night and hearing the story of his afternoon hanging out with Muhammad Ali in London was just…crazy stuff.
P.S. Don’t forget Billy still is very much right in the throng of things and is still very much the authority on music here in Scotland and in Glasgow in particular and has his own weekly show on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday nights at 10pm GMT.
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.
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.
He is my superhero. I absolutely adore him! He makes the days brighter. He is…the start, the middle and the end. The sun, the moon and the stars.
He makes me feel alive and makes me want to live! Jim Kerr – you are all things to me. Beautiful, in every sense of the word. Beautiful to behold, awesome (in its true definition) intelligence. Sex god!
Merry Christmas – from sycophancy Nancy – aka Priptona Weird – aka Larelle…nutter and would-be stalker (no!) fan.
To all of you who come here and suffer my forlorn fangirl fascinations and fantasies. Thank you and Merry Christmas! Let’s hope that 2021 is a better one!
This is beautiful. And this is the view I feel that I have from my bedroom window – every day. This city has gotten under my skin from the get go. I never imagined falling in love with it quite as deeply as I have done. From my first visit in November, 2016 (a looooong overdue virgin visit!) – to now being just a year on being a resident here. That love grows, exponentially, day by day.
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…