I Wanna Go To Mars (Bar) – Caught (Out) In A Dream

I have tentatively started to work on revising my Top 50 list of SM songs. Probably a good thing to do before finishing my “Why I love…” posts that I started over 5 years ago. Where the fork has that time gone? Us humans have the most bizarre relationship with time, don’t you think? On one hand, a certain passage of time feels so much longer than it has been – on the other, it can disappear within the blink of an eye.
I can’t believe it has been 5 years since I was last spending time with mum.

Back to last night. There was a song I had in my memory. A song that I had asked Jim about and he (it already becoming a rarer thing by that point) replied to me about it. And I wanted to find that bit of “conversation” with him. Me in that eternal need to feel like…I could talk to him…that it meant something – not just to me, but to him too. Albeit just as the singer and songwriter of the band I fervently follow most passionately to all others. It just being that and nothing more to him.

But I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the song was called! And I knew I had written about it on my blog. Well, I would assumed I had – because I’d have been over the moon that he replied to me. I would have made something of it! But without remembering the song’s name, how the heck was I going to find it?

I had other songs in me head – Take Me To The Angels and Sweet Things. I listened to Take Me To The Angels – not entirely convinced it was that. It lead nowhere on a search of my blog. Had it been that, it would have unearthed my “tete-a-tete” with Jim about it. Nada. The song is great though.

Sweet Things I was even less convinced about as I know before listening to it, it became the track Destiny on the Life In A Day album. And I knew the conversation I had with Jim was about a song that never made it on Life In A Day – it was my premise for asking him about it – why hadn’t this song made the cut? What happened to it?

Although I was doubtful, I listened to Sweet Things too. Again, great. Although Jim’s lyrics are hard to decipher on a rather worn out old bootleg, obviously the song’s melody and tune is there – its musical structure in tact (albeit with a MUCH longer intro than what Destiny ended up with on the album). I guess Jim just wore his heart on his sleeve a bit more then? That he was fine with completely rewriting songs . The songs he’s rewritten? They obviously all work…but I canne help feel something gets lost along the way. Even if just the matter-of-fact notion that the previous words are discarded.

I am still no closer at this point. My search took me to Flickr as well, and my old catalogue of things. Art that I saved. Endless screengrabs of snippets of things that happened on SMO (what was THEN Simple Minds Official – no need for officialdom now, it seems). Bits of interactions with Jim. I quickly combed through it but I really couldn’t see anything that was relevant. Perhaps I hadn’t saved it? Hmmm. That would be odd!

So…how the heck was a going to find this thing?!

A theme became apparent to me from the other tracks I had just listened to. Both Sweet Things and Take Me To The Angels came from live recordings. I was working a bit blind last night (in bed, glasses off) so in my mind they had both come from the same gig at the Mars Bar. It is only looking again this morning that I see that Sweet Things came from a recording at Grangemouth at the end of 1978.

But I had a tentative thread in my mind – Simple Minds at the Mars Bar in 1978. That search on YouTube finally came up trumps!

Caught (Out) In A Dream! That’s the one! I listened to it again last night. It meanders a bit. It’s a bit drawn out. But…it’s band history. It still has its own bit of importance. If nobody else wants to champion discarded songs – esp. Jim (I have only just in these past few minutes read over his reply to me), then I will! Even if just for band history sake.

I’m sure there are a few songs that never even got recorded that are truly lost for good. That makes me feel sad. It’s kind of tragic. Jim may not see it this way…but everything Simple Minds has made and produced…it all has its special kind of magic. And, well, it might not all be magical to me…but I appreciate that certain things that don’t mean much to me can mean a heck of a lot to others. I’m sure he’d scoff at the notion but just…what if Caught (Out) In A Dream (I always add the “out” in brackets because I am sure he sings “caught out in a dream” which would then make more sense it was titled that way rather than dropping the word “out” in the song’s title?) was the song that cemented a person’s early fandom? Who knows? Yes, perhaps the band didn’t miss it but…you guys knew all the songs! Duh!

Anyway…I awoke this morning dreaming of a TARDIS and of the Mars Bar – a just turned 19 year old Jim in that David Bowie shirt he is wearing when Laurie Evans takes photos of the band outside – what I believe *is* the Mars Bar in 1978. Oh, he just looks glorious even then. And I hear the words from John Grant’s song…

“I wanna go to Marz (Mars Bar)
Where green rivers flow
And your sweet sixteen
Is waiting for you after the show
I wanna go to Marz
You’ll meet the gold dust twins tonight
You’ll get your heart’s desire
I will meet you under the lights”

I can never help but think of Jim with those lines. And me wishing I could time travel, and be that “sweet sixteen” waiting for him after the show. That he would meet me “under the lights”.

Dreaming of a life never lived….

P.S. It was so much further back in time than I had anticipated. Nearly three years ago was his reply to me! And I hold on to them so tightly…it felt to me like it was maybe a year ago, two years at most. Oh…I hold on to every little morsel SSSOOO tightly. I miss this SSSOOOOOO much!

It Still Just…Means So Much…

And it always will.

When this notification came in last night, I was looking at a post of his from July, 2016 about Somebody Up There Likes You and his friend George Golfi listening to it on his Walkman and saying they’d be nuts not to include it on the album. I was reading through the comments left on it…having clicked the link to it from here (this blog), as it was a post showing up on the stats that someone had viewed. I was a moment earlier looking at the Tracey Emin neon work that he chose to visually accompany his post that day. It reads “I promise to love you”.

All manner of things whirling through my head. Having a little earlier read a blog post on the Royal Academy site about Dali and Duchamp’s friendship, and it still playing so heavily on my mind. And looking at Tracey’s art, etc.

I’m only sharing what happened now because…I dunno. I questioned sharing it at all, to be honest. Even though it’s in the public domain…the personal impact was overwhelming.

I’ll get to my point!

Caught In A Dream. That early Minds song I shared yesterday, as part of a Weekend WhirliGIG post? Well, I mentioned in that post how much I wanted to ask Jim about it. So, with very little hope in my heart, I posted to the SMO wall and asked.

I never really expected a response. (I expressed as much in my opening sentence. I expected full well for that to be the case. See pic below.) I had given up all hope.

I posted early in the evening, with some vague dream that if he logged onto FB before retiring for the evening, he may see it. See it, and ignore it. But, perhaps possibly ponder it and give a response in the morning…if one would ever be forthcoming.

And so, as I was here, looking at my stats, and reminiscing somewhat on that post about Somebody Up There Likes You…this notification pops up on my screen (I tried to grab t as it appeared, but I wasn’t quick enough…hence this copy is 12 minutes old)

I almost did not want to look. I thought my heart was going to cease from over-beating and come pounding out of my chest! It was just like the feeling of the Hunter And the Hunted post some near two years earlier.

I was trying to calm myself…steel myself. Try to get my heart rate back to a normal rhythm before I took a look. What if he was just leaving a snide comment? Or worse…he was just going to berate me?! The thought is always there…

I wanted to look, but didn’t. And what if it was just a blooming emoji? What if “persona non grata/incommunicado” was just going to continue? In the seconds that followed…all that went through my brain. I took a minute, and then went and had a look….wound up to the eyeballs…panicked, pondering and being ever so slightly hopeful and anticipatory.

What follows is my post and his reply…

And so…to say that I can’t tell you want this response meant…MEANS…is just. Well, it’s silly, really. But after all the emotional turmoil I feel I’ve been through over the past week…it really just did mean EVERYTHING.

Just…all these other things in the past week:

Failing to become a blood donor. Hearing from Virginia Turbett. Birthday messages from Ronnie Gurr and Olivier Gerard. Compliments from Catherine. Compliments from Virginia about my painting. Making bad judgement calls about things. It all just culminated.

And then…Jim talking to me in what felt like…forever! It’s all a vast, vast overshare…and that is why I was…mixed about expressing it here.

But…it really does mean everything. And I still can’t quite believe it. I was and still am shocked.

Thank you, Jim ❤️

Weekend WhirliGIG Wish – Mars Bar, July 30th, 1978 – Part 1

This Mars Bar gig is broken up in parts on YouTube, so for this weekend, I will post songs from the gig in stages. We start with a very rare one indeed. Never made it to a studio recording and this is the only version of it (I know of anyway) out there.

Caught In A Dream: A)…would love to ask Jim about it. Wish his voice was clearer, so I could hear the words properly. It’s very bluesy for them. I hear the Velvet Underground influence on it, esp.