From The Sickbed…Visual Heaven

This is my medicine. This gorgeous creature. These rare ones from the Mojo spread are wonderful. I have a lot to thank Tom Sheehan for. Tom capturing Jim in front of a Canadian flag back in 1982 changed my life immeasurably some 34 years later. I will be forever thankful.

The other by Peter Anderson is a great action photo.

On the morning I was travelling down to England, I had this thought in the shower (I tend to have a number of thoughts in the shower…not all of them clean. Lol). I was thinking about how Graeme Thomson had referred to Jim (and his performing style back in the day) at the reading/conversation with John Dingwall at the Mitchell Library as “feline”. And I had these images in my head…

And then these words came to my head. And I kept saying them over and over so I wouldn’t forget them and then, once I was out of the shower, I could write them down. Of course I forgot and only remembered once I had got to England and had nearly arrived at my friend Ruth’s house. Lucky my phone has a little notepad app. I quickly typed it out…

Hypnotising: Like a swaying cobra ready to strike if you’re caught not paying attention.

L. Read, June 17th, 2022

That photo by Peter Anderson….that’s the cobra coiled in the wicker basket, the music working its magic to have him swaying out of the metaphorical basket to hypnotise the crowd. Jesus! He’s divine…

I’ll enjoy my Covid induced fantasy. Thank you! 😜😉

I’m grappling with whether I should just put the whole Mojo article up but I think I better wait until the next issue is available. In the meantime, apart from the article itself, and the piece on the new album (and Jim calling his dad a count – minus the ‘o’ – I love it when it’s used as a term of endearment. Lol) these photos, along with Jill’s magnificent cover photo, are my faves.

Oh…there’s a point. I’ll post Jill’s words from within the opening pages of the mag. She said a very lovely thing. Read below.


Water And Courage….

So much to tell, so little time. Back safe and sound in Glasgow but now assignment number four looms large. I have a week to get to grips with Plato, Socrates, Laches and Nicias – but just for tonight, I’ll think about “ArKERRmedes” and baths and being dripping wet.

I’ll try and make time for a review of the gig tomorrow but I have much study to do. No promises. Until then….a tantalising glimpse of the latest Mojo magazine. EUREKA!

Five Years…

“My brain hurts a lot…that’s all we’ve got.”

May 25th has such a special significance to me now – because it’s the anniversary of this…


2017 is when it happened – and I was hopeful but not expectant. Just hopeful. Never believing I would get greeted in the way I did. I know we shouldn’t succumb to nostalgia and it’s bad to live in the past but…I was in such a good place – and Jim was just sooo welcoming and I felt like – like…GOLD! It was just this beautiful, joyous moment and I wish I could live it over and over again. And I keep trying to get it and reach for it and obtain it again and again…and…

It’s just not there. I feel like I have overstayed my welcome. The door is open and Jim is holding out his arm and saying “Off you go. The exit’s this way, Larrrrrelllllle. Your time’s up.”

That’s why I always seem to live in the past. It has the most beautiful memories.

Thank you, Jim – for having ever made me feel welcome in the first place. I’m sorry if I overstayed my welcome.

Motivation?

Some new prints from Virginia arrived today (Middle and right – silver framed. There’s one other not pictured – it’s in landscape ratio and so in the frames on the other side of the room).

I’d be happy to gaze upon his beautiful smiling face for eternity. Past or present. Twenty-three or sixty-three.

That colour one of him looking to camera was one of the first photos I got from Virginia when I could only get a few tiny 6×4 inch photos. It was coming up to Glasgow with me with the rest of the small array of 6×4 photos I had. They were taken when the van was broken into on the move up here some two and a half years ago.

Replaced at last.

The one next to it (Arthur’s Seat/Edinburgh 1981) was another I had in 6×4 also, I think.

Anyway… on with study and trying to complete another assignment…

Minds Music Monday – Manchester 28/11/1982

I listened to this over again early on Sunday morning. I love how clearly Jim’s voice comes across on this recording. I don’t know who was responsible for recording it? Frank, mabbies? Seeing as it’s a soundboard recording…? Dunno. But I am sssoooo very thankful it exists! I mean, Newcastle from the week before is great too! Both audio and video. And it’s great that we have the footage of them on The Tube as well, but I love having those contrasting things. Having several shows to listen to and reference compounds how truly great they were (still are, but you know what I mean) live.

Everything about what they are at this point is audible. And…here we go, brace yourselves! Jim… this mix, it’s like he’s singing right in your face. I’m laying in bed, earphones in and it’s just a swoonfest with this. He’s gorgeous. The whole New Gold Dream period is just… SUMPTUOUS!

Anyway, before I use every superlative in the English language and wax myself into a lyrical frenzy, I’ll go.

Happy Minds Music Monday, everyone!

Minds Music Monday – Space

This song has a similar personal feeling for me than Spaceface does. Almost like they fit hand in glove. Even with the similarities in title – Space/Spaceface. There’s also a line within Wonderful In Young Life that fits in with the theme that I find particularly poignant. “Surviving these changes in paces and faces in free wonder, free wonder, free wonder style.” 

For the two minutes I decided to try and sell my “art” as a kind of merch thing, selling prints, shirts and mugs, I titled my “business” Free Wonder Style. Paid for a web domain and everything. Feels another lifetime ago now. Hey ho. 

Anyway, I digress already and we’re barely under way!

Space always felt like a “letting go” song. It resonated most with me when the “limerence” was at its worst. When I felt that Jim wanted “no more”. The placement of that idea? That signal? That came wholly within my own mind. When you’re wanting something so much. Wanting to feel a connection that you wish for all the world is there but deep down, within your rational mind, you know it isn’t. It can’t ever be. It never was. 

“Imagination wears you out / crying brings you down again. The dream is over / the feeling’s gone / and we were something / you were dreaming all along.”

YOU WERE DREAMING ALL ALONG. 

Everything about the song. Each line. Each line would just be like….

But then I’d hole on to the uplifting bits. “I’m the star you see tonight / and I wish I may / I wish I might / be in your dreams tonight.” 

How many times I have been in bed at night, getting ready to settle down to sleep and I have silently mouthed a little chant of “please let me dream of him, please let me dream of him”.

I did it again last night! But he appeared. With the rest of the band. I couldn’t quite work out the scenario of the dream. I think I was allowed to go to see them rehearse somewhere. Cherisse greeted me in the dream. Let me in, showed me round. I bumped into Charlie. We had a brief chat but then he had to go off. As for Jim? Well, he was busy elsewhere, conducting interviews and what not. I saw him at the far end of one area within this kinda “complex” this dream was set in, but he was too far away from me to even say hello to or anything. 

My dreams generally have a huge smack of reality to them. 

It’s a song that I feel makes me come to terms with things. And I hate how ridiculous that makes me sound! The whole “limerence” thing. I don’t want it to be a “thing”, you know? 

Like I said in my previous post discussing limerence. I feel like I am an otherwise intelligent and rational person. And I fear my explanation of my own “limerence” is not clear enough. I feel like I have to explain myself over and over again. I am NOT so deluded as to want “romantic love” from Jim! It really isn’t that! I don’t want to “run off with him”! That’s fucking ridiculous! I’m not THAT absurd or that much of a fantasist! 

It really was just – friendship. A bond. I like you, and I hope you like me too. I just have been craving a closeness that just isn’t there. I have me and my small bunch of friends and well, Jim joked way back before Simple Minds got REALLY big that he had 8000 friends – or whatever astronomical figure it was then. And I know – rational hat on, that there are many people he’s known for years, all his life nearly. People he calls pals who he’d hardly have any contact with! So…who the fuck am I? What kind of fucking audacity have I got to wish for getting emails or letters or shite like that from him, eh? I mean, Jesus! It would be different if I had known him from when I was wee. Like, really known him outside of Minds and all that. Knew him as “Jim fae Prospecthill Circus” like, you know? But I don’t.

That “just a fan” status thing is hard to take. But it’s the cold, hard reality of it. It doesn’t stop it from sucking ass though!

Sometimes…just to stop it hurting sometimes, I initiate the whole “it’s his loss” talk. It doesn’t make it any less painful. And it really doesn’t apply. It cannae. I cannae make him give two shits. And it’s not fair on him that I try and enforce it, like. 

So, getting back to Space. It makes me comes to terms with what is. What the “status quo” is. Where the lay of the land is. But, it still has that hope in it! Goddamnit! Like all Simple Minds songs do. It’s like it says to me “I know what you want, but you cannae have it. But, you can have it in your dreams.”

Well, of course I can have it in my dreams. I can have anything in my dreams. And I’m not even gonna go into the dreams I can have. Oh, the dreams I can have! That would make for some colourful posts, I tell ya!

Spaceface is more the antithesis of Space. Spaceface is pure joy. My “happy place”, as I call it. Pure “hunner per cent” uplifting. It’s my number one “feel good” Simple Minds track. Whereas Space is…a lament. There are things I want that I can’t have and I have to accept that. But…it’s okay to dream. It’s okay to want those things. To desire them. To wish for them. But don’t let it consume you. And there are times…too many times it feels as if it has consumed me. It has overtaken everything and made me ill. Or it has been exacerbated by another element of mental illness and I used it erroneously as a coping mechanism against other aspects of combating episodes of mental illness. 

I still find it INCREDIBLY difficult to admit to and talk openly about my mental ill health. I don’t want to be seen as “mental” or “sick”. And I fear what people think of me – and it’s a vicious cycle because it is such an integral part of my ill health – that CONSTANT fear and concern of what people think of me and how I am perceived by others. But that is something I cannot alter. I cannot alter people’s perceptions of me. And in whatever way people perceive me, if it is an a way that is negative and it means they distance themselves from me – well, IT IS “their loss”. But the “people pleaser” in me continues to struggle to come to terms with that. Even though I accept and understand all the rationale behind it. You CAN’T have EVERYBODY like you! You just can’t. And nor should you want to. And Jim falls into that, you know?

It’s a whole jumbled up plethora of stuff.

Space is sometimes a very hard listen for me because of what the song symbolises to me.

When I am at my worst, mental health wise, I would cling on so much to the line “if you’re talking / I will listen”. Because sometimes it felt like Jim was listening to me. 

It still stings my eyes with tears just how much I used to feel that and how much I have held on to it. How tightly I have held onto that. 

It’s a long, slow letting go. I had been alone for so long. Before 2014 and Simple Minds mega fandom. So alone. Never imagined in a million years that Jim himself would make me feel welcome and part of the fold. It was a lighting of touch paper though. And such emotional sparks flew from within. 

An inferno that is slowly quelling to kindling. 

“The dream is over / party’s over.”

Star light. That light needs to shine from within.

Reflect What You Are

I wish I was everything he is reflected right back, but I am the antithesis of all that he is.

He is light, and he is beauty.

All those Halloween pieces of work I made? They were just bits of fun. Meaningless guff! He’s not the devil, or DraKERRla, a fallen angel, or any of that nonsense.

Not an angel fallen – but one with wings to fly. Heaven sent.

Light in the dark.

Air.

Sunshine.

Beauty.

Intelligence.

An inspiration.

Pure joy.

A smile. A laugh. The sun. Radiating beauty….everywhere. But especially in my dark heart.