The Bitter End?

Oh, man. It stings again.

I don’t ever remember feeling this way before – or at least not for a very long time. A discussion of friends in his latest post and … it just has me wishing again. To be one. DEEMED one. (A friend.) You know…the more you want something. Lol

There are always these questions that start. “The people he feels closest to – Charlie, his ‘girlfriend’ (partner, missus, Other Half…whatever he seems most comfortable with acknowledging her as) – they have piqued his interest and kept him around for the longest time – HOW DO THEY DO IT?! WHAT’S THE SECRET? Honestly. I keep asking this. It’s a question I never dared air in public before today but I wonder…eternally! Is it really because neither of them are … “needy”? But then…doesn’t that make HIM the “needy” one?

I read an article once in which he said that he sends Charlie several emails a day and Charlie never replies. Lol – perhaps another one of Jim’s “embellishments”? Who knows?

The next thing I do is to wonder what happened. With me, personally. Did I bore him? Did I piss him off somewhere along the line? And when? What was it? I still keep account of it as some….affirmation that…it’s okay. He still likes me, I haven’t bored him. He’s not pissed off, etc, etc. April and “Jalopy”. Nothing since then. The odd ‘like’ to a comment. But even those don’t seem to be happening now.

I’ve even given up on posting to the FB visitor wall. There’d be interaction that would go on there too, for a time. But that soon died also. It’s how it all began, really. Hunter And The Hunted was posted there.

You know, the thing is…maybe *I’d* get bored. Lol. If there was somehow some interaction or correspondence with him on a regular basis. I might get bored. Lol. AS IF! I mean…THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT. I felt I had…SOMETHING. That we “talked” in a manner of speaking.

I loved those interactions SO MUCH. Just us having the odd Bowie talk or there’d be something about a SM song or some other piece of music. And it would be talked about between us. All public. I didn’t care! Just to feel like we were talking. It was wonderful.

And then I absolutely fell to pieces in July, 2018 – that whole “real fans” bollocks. I thought it was beyond repair. That he just HATED me and I was gutted. At least that was quick severance. Cut off the limb! Try to stem the flow of blood quickly and in time it’ll repair and heal.

But then it seemed okay. I was allowed back on SMO (as it was then) and then I had my meet and greet – and he joked with me! Well, I kept hoping it was a joke. In reality *I am the joke*.

I really wish I could pretend I don’t care. Or actually DIDN’T care! But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing this kind of shit out, would I?

The last time I remember feeling this way is…when I was around 16. I was keen on this guy and I just wanted him so bad. His sister lived across the road. (She was 7 or 8 years older than him so she was living with her boyfriend who was our neighbour so…B, we shall call him, lived several streets away. Still what was deemed to be in the same suburb – Busby). I asked my neighbour for the phone number to her old house so I could ring B. I was such a chicken. I only called once or twice. I never knew what to say. What was I going to say? “Hey, want to hang out?” Lol. It’s kind of what happened – when I felt brave enough to try. Of course he wasn’t interested! Lol. If he had been, I would have been swatting him off with a cricket bat. Lol

Two years down the track, I was still hankering for him. His brother was getting married. Mum and me were minding the neighbour’s young ones while she went to her brother’s wedding. B came back to her house early. He came over to our house to see how his nephews and nieces were. A ruse, I’m sure, looking back. Anyway…he was dressed nicely. He’d just come back from a wedding after all and to me nothing had changed in two years. He looked gorgeous. He smelled amazing. I was a goner.

Sadly, I thought it would mean we’d “hang out” now. I’d call him to see if he’d want to “hang out”. They just ended up “booty” calls in the end. To me it didn’t matter. It was SOMETHING. Anything to just…have a bit of time with him. It could have gone on for ssooo long. It went on far longer than it should have. Thankfully, after several months, I met Roger who saved me from this sad, pathetic thing I had with B. A genuine boyfriend who wanted to be with me properly. At least for a while anyway.

I’m not comparing Jim to B, per se. It’s a very different thing. I wanted to bone B (not that I am saying that I don’t want that with Jim. Lol. But I am a realist!). It’s all those emotions and feelings you confuse yourself with as a teen: love, lust, friendship, admiration, desire, infatuation. They all blur and blend and you hardly know what’s what. I really was naive enough to think once I had sex with B that I’d be his girlfriend and we’d be together. Silly girl! I had no one to really talk to about it. No friends of my own age. I couldn’t talk about it with mum. My one close friend at that point was B’s sister. I couldn’t talk to her! Although she was aware enough how keen on him I was. I couldn’t talk to my sister. She had just gotten married herself and was preoccupied with that. I didn’t feel as though I could talk to her about those kind of things.

God, it’s all such a lifetime ago. And it’s all still fresh in my mind like it was just a short time ago. I’m nearly 50, FFS! And I’m talking about stuff that happened to me at 18 like it was fucking yesterday! It’s ridiculous how much B comes to my thoughts. His sister was at mum’s funeral last year.

Jim made it all feel safe. Like…here is this man I absolutely fancy the pants off – but he’s my friend, and that’s enough. I love him and I’ll never have him. But he’s my friend and it’s enough.

But it’s gone. It just feels like it’s gone. I guess I never had it. Or I just kidded myself that I did. Allowed myself to believe it.

And I keep wondering what went wrong. What happened in March and then after April and “jalopy”.

So…to stop it hurting I say to myself “just think of him in 1982. Just throw all the stuff into that. All that desire and hankering. All the wishing and praying. All the lust. Throw it all there.”

And like Alice…I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole once more. I talk too much. And share too much. Cry too much. FUCKING MENOPAUSE! I’m trying to accept it is happening but…I am still that 18 year old girl. When the fuck did I arrive at 50?! A lifetime has gone but I don’t feel as if I’ve lived it.

In the meantime…I’ve kind of worked on “art”. Will probably become a new blog banner in a day or two.

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Fixing Things

As I am beginning to work through certain things…getting back to some sort of “balance” – I need to work at the writing.

A major part of the problem is not having somewhere comfortable to write but, hey ho! Not a lot I can do about it, really. It would be great to have a desk and a chair. I mean….I have a dining table and chair but that doesn’t really cut it.

SOMETHING needs to happen with this blog! I don’t know what. Because I really don’t know what it is falling into right now. It has become MUCH too personal – partly because I deluded myself that a certain Mr Kerr might come and visit this blog – which is just RIDICULOUS and I don’t want its main function to disappear.

Obviously when I started it, part of its main function was just to….appreciate Mr Kerr in all his…loveliness…but I also wanted it to be about Simple Minds in the broader sense…the music…gigs, touring, bootlegs…videos, magazine clippings, interviews, merchandise, etc. All that encompasses the band dynamic.

I want to have certain themes back too. Something for Minds Music Monday, still. Maybe something to do with gigs some time through the week. And I want to keep doing Kerrsday to some degree. Perhaps even limit the ogling (minus certain “breaking news” info) to strictly Kerrsday only. Lol. We’ll see how possible that one is!

This “lockdown year” held such promise. Life still felt like it was on an upwards trajectory for me at the start of 2020 – and I am trying to be reflective on that. Not be too mopey and let it drag me down. We’ve all gone through this as an entire world. I’m incredibly lucky in many ways to just be able to cope with the brunt of the storm. I count my blessings! I know things could be so much worse!

It’s altered the blog as a result too. No gigs to report on. Very little music news. When there was nothing really to report and lockdown began, I suppose it is how it drifted into the personal. And well, it IS my blog – ultimately. But there seemed to be a solid small following it had. I was proud of that. And I was proud of mentions it would get from other fans.

I’m getting too comfortable quickly turning to a “vlogger”. Vlogging was never something I ever really took into consideration. Writing was my main outlet and I guess I could kid myself I was good at it. I certainly felt I could express myself BETTER through it! Now, I don’t know. None of it feels quite right. I struggle with the writing at the moment. Not just for a place to feel comfortable to do it but…oh, just, I dunno. The expression in it has left me some. Vlogging feels better but in some ways takes up just as much time. It doesn’t allow as much expression – for me anyway – I just feel and sound like I waffle on about nothing and go off on tangents and can’t return to the train of thought I had. And before I know it, a video is 45 minutes long!

I could make bullet notes before I start, I guess, but then it would feel so staged and contrived. And I actually HATE recording myself! I’m an ugly c*nt and I don’t want to subject myself to my own face, let alone anyone else. And I don’t expect people to want to sit around watching an hour long video of my waffling about bullshit. MY PHONE’S STORAGE IS FILLING UP! Lol

So, this week I will try and work out something to do with bringing this thing back to…something. Something decent! Dunno. I wish the Mitchell Library was open again. I think it opens back up soon. I like the idea of it being my office. Going down there a few days a week and getting some writing done. I’m probably dreaming. I am too easily distracted by what goes on around me. I can’t “switch off”. I’ve always been like it. It’s the reason I can never read on public transport and when travelling. I need a quiet place to read to absorb the words on the page for the words to…sink in. Otherwise no books would ever stay there. I’d just be reading words and nothing would sink in. The story – the plot of the book (if fiction) would get totally lost on me.

Anyway. We’ll see. We’ll see how I can salvage this…

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!

What To Do…

What to do about this blog? Haven’t had much to say here this past month. It was all about the time in Oz with the family and friends.

Now I am back home though, I am starting to think about what I can do with this blog.

I guess soon enough it’ll be busy again, reporting on rehearsals and then the tour will be kicking off before we know it. I mean… Stavanger must only be six weeks away now. Yikes! (A quick double check and yep, just over six weeks away from today.)

Geez it would be good to have some interviews again, like last year. Jaine and Bruce were great interviews.

Some things have happened while I’ve been away too that I haven’t really reported on. The sad loss of Tony Donald over New Year being one.

There was such loss in 2019, esp. in the final few months. On a personal level too, of course. Hence my journey home. As the days pass on, the more I miss mum. The same thing happened with David. There is no closure. Just a void. This feeling of emptiness that is different to the loss when it happens to you when you’re around to experience it.

I said goodbye to mum in a video. And it took my niece, Madeline, to make me think of doing it. And it felt really weird and just… . I didn’t want to say goodbye like that! I didn’t want to let her know it was goodbye. I couldn’t bring myself to say “goodbye, mum”… even though I knew she was in her final hours of life.

The only comfort I take from it all is knowing she would have felt it as a sweet relief.

She drifted away quietly. My sister, Cheryl, and my brother, Quince, were with her when she slipped away. Cheryl told me that Quince was holding her hand and was unaware she had even passed.

But, enough of that. My grief has nothing to do with this blog in all honesty. I don’t want it to.

I still just want this to be a great blog. Even if sometimes it’s all on a personal level. It is meant to be a Simple Minds blog – with that “heavy dose of Jim Kerr” warning label attached. Lol.

So… I’m open to ideas. Any are welcome.

I wish I could share Virginia prints. But she’d string me up if I share too many! And that I understand. Those amazing photographs of hers are the only income source she has and I do all in my power to try and help her along with that. She’s become a really good friend and I would never betray a trust.

Anyway. Enough of my waffle. I’ll knuckle down and think of something. Take this blog kicking and screaming into 2020 somehow!

Practising What I Preach?

I’ve lost my way with this blog, partly due to … someone being much quieter this year, for one. And now my muse has escaped me.

The past several weeks has been all change, on a personal note.

I fly out to Sydney in two weeks time. We move to Glasgow on Friday. And if I don’t have enough with those two things going on, I’m still conscious of the blog just…lagging.

I don’t really have any kind of regular thing happening with it. In the past I’d have something going on, be it Kerrsday Thursday, the Weekend WhirliGIG, the “Why I Love…” special posts, Lyric Of the Day – when the art was happening on a regular basis. There was also some kind of weekly or regular post. I’ve even let my weekly Spotify listening stats (posted under Tweekly FM) slip by at times lately.

So, I might find it a little awkward until the New Year to commit to something fully regularly, I will at least commit to putting a little more life into the blog at least in the next couple of weeks.

As I say, as if I haven’t enough to be getting on with!

I do want this blog to be an interesting thing. I had such plans for it at the beginning of the year. And it really started well with my interviews with Jaine Henderson and Bruce Findlay, and then it kind of fizzled. All the best laid plans, eh?

Let’s see what I can salvage to end 2019 with a bang!
(P.S. He isn’t convinced 👇🏻)

I Wish You Were Here

Is *not* a thing I imagine Jim is thinking right now of me. Lol. He’s probably relishing being 12,000 miles away! If there is even a thought about it at all.

In the story of the Kerr family’s ALMOST emmigration to Australia, I am also glad his mum had a change of heart, because there very well may have been no Simple Minds had the move Down Under taken place.

And I can well understand his mum’s change of heart. It’s no easy thing to do! It’s a life-changing and life-long commitment to up sticks and move half-way round the world. Esp. back in the 1960’s. Little chance of you ever flying back home to visit family for a couple of weeks a year, or every couple of years back then. One, plane travel would have been damn expensive and, even then, it would have taken at least double the amount of time it takes to fly to and fro now. It still isn’t THAT cheap, but it is far more affordable if you have a place to stay once there. These days it’s the accommodation rather than the price of the flight that is the biggest expense.

My own story of emmigration to the UK was not an easy one. When I got with my partner, the plan was for us to stay in Australia. But…for several reasons, it became apparant that was not going to work. What’s a person to do? I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…so as much as it pained me to leave my family, I took the move. They were the options – end it wth the love of my life and stay with my family, or leave my family to be with the one I love. Being an Anglophile helped that decision immeasurably.

So, here I am, some 20 years down the line. Did I ever regret that decision? In recent times? Perhaps maybe a little. But…only a little. For the distance it takes to travel. For the past 10 years only having had one opportunity to return home, instead of the serveral times I travelled back during my first 10 years in Blighty. I could continue with the personal aspect of this, but pefer not to. All I will say is…on the whole…no regrets. The past 10 years have been much harder than the first. And…I missed David. My brother, David…lost to liver cancer in 2014. Mum is aging, getting more and more decrepit. Those aspects about being so distant by geography are hard on the old emotions. Anyway…enough of the maudlin personal stuff. There’s wonderful stuff happening down there. Simple Minds have arrived! Well, Jim has at least…seemingly. I get the impression he’s been there a number of days already…possibly swinging down via Bali (as he was pondering to do half-way through the SM North American tour).

Let the Oz fans rejoice! How I wish that Gillian could have returned the favour and put me up at her place for a week. She was more than willing to do so! To be reunited with her and Nicola would have been grand. Have Ally join us on the day. Perhaps have met a few more of the Oz SM fans I’ve yet to meet. Had I not met Gwenda at the gig, we’d have had the chance to have met at some point, as she doesn’t live far from my sister. In a stupid small world, it was Simple Minds that got us knowing each other. We grew up living only one mile apart, but had never met!

Then there is the chance of seeing my best mate, Steven. Well, if I am out there next year, and I am sure that is on the cards, no matter what…we can celebrate 30 years of friendship! The life I’ve had…I never expected I would ever have a friend for 30 years. Lasting friendships were hard to come by for me. And, well, Steven and I have had our ups and downs too, but there is an amazing bond there and I absolutely love him with all my heart. That person you can be fully, totally, wholly yourself with. That “no filter” friend. Worts and all. Thick and thin. He’s it.

And, this time had I made it out, I couldn’t have gone to Adelaide and Janis. But now when I *do* go…the Hills will be alive with th sound of us chomping on the best food in the world! And if I am there to see Simple Minds, then GODDAMN, Janis is coming too! I doubt they’d do her favourite (Somebody Up There Likes You), but they SHOULD (hopefully, fingers crossed…Jim, if you’re reading this – Lol – as if – I am putting this request in early – next gig in Adelaide, PLEASE do Let There Be Love) do her second favourite song.

Anyway! Enjoy your fleeting visit to Oz, SM. At least PRETEND to be a bit gutted that I didn’t make it out there to see you, Sir. Lol. Yeah, I know…you were secretly thanking the almighty (Buddha) that I didn’t make it. I’ll delude myself anyway.

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The link in the post is this one – and a memory for me of every journey I took into the city on the train from mum’s. Sons And Fascination on the way in, Sister Feelings Call on the way back. Images of train tracks and the landscape of the inner city suburbs of Sydney now synonymous with the title track.And artwork I do for it that contains a skewed view I took from mum’s kitchen window in it.

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For The Love Of It…

As always I stress that, primarily, this is a personal blog…but one that is seen, for the most part, through my passion and love for Simple Minds.

On that point, I’d like to kid myself that within that wording, a smidgen of that gratitude came my way. That as one who feels they continue to “fight the good fight”.

It’s a labour of love, and a mug’s game…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And during recent days…it can be my inner sanctum and the thing that makes my world a positive and happy place to be.