Summer Swag



Have acquired these over the past few days and looking forward to devoting some time to them very shortly. Already have spent some time perusing the Bryan Ferry Lyrics book. I didn’t realise there was a foreword in it and a short piece by Bryan himself.



Mother Of Pearl has been a firm favourite since my very first listen to it. Over You was my favourite Roxy song before delving into their catalogue some time back – fuelled mostly by Jim waxing lyrical about Bryan and what a consummate performer he is.

I was unaware, really, that Bowie was that much of a fan. Dunno why. And it’s been a lot of David’s more wordy and wonderfully intricate songs like Cygnet Committee, The Bewlay Brothers and Teenage Wildlife that have been particular favourites of mine over the years. I have always found a certain link between Cygnet Committee and Mother Of Pearl, if for no other reason than to be determined to know the songs well and recite the lyrics word for word. And well, this piece in the book really DID make my day. For like I had done with Cygnet Committee, I was determined to know Mother Of Pearl ‘off by heart’. To read that about David was just so wonderfully endearing.



One Day Left – Bricking It!

Anyone would think I am being asked to perform! Lol.

Nah. Just to have the gallus to show my face, is all…

I’d rather face a million assignments right now.

This was my earworm this morning…. (didn’t want to get out of bed)

“It’s Monday. You slither down the greasy pipe, so far, so good / no one saw you, hobble over any freeway / you will be like your dreams tonight”

8.56 – Pre Study Time

Mornings between 7.30 (roughly the time I get out of bed most mornings. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later…like this morning) and about 9.45 are mine. In terms of setting myself up for a study day … well … any day, really.

I’ll take a glance around social media, see what’s what. Check out if Jim has posted (yes! That happening seems forever ingrained now…as much as I try not to give it that much emphasis anymore, or be so…chained to it….enslaved by it). Drink my coffee(s), eat my banana. Then maybe, time allowing, do some colouring in (yes! My current addiction is a “colour by numbers” app) OR …. write a blog post.

This morning when I checked out Facebook I saw that Billy Sloan had put out his latest posts about the week’s show coming up. The topic for this week? About specific periods or time referenced in songs. I added my choices.

The first has been an earworm for the past day or two. It is one of my all-time favourite Bowie tracks and I have probably posted it here once or twice before. It’s just so beautifully melodically melancholy. I love the drum breaks on this too. And David’s vocal performance on it is sublime. Those lines that work as the song’s chorus “we never talk anymore / forever I will adore only you” – beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jim doesn’t know what he’s missing with Bowie’s Heathen album, he honestly doesn’t…

My other choice and it came to be incredibly quickly, given I haven’t listened to it in I don’t know how long …. U2’s 11 O’Clock Tick Tock – the Red Rocks version. Sad teenage fangirl confession time! I genuinely have no idea how many times I watched that Under A Blood Red Sky Red Rocks gig. I’ve still never been to a U2 gig – I probably never will go to one now – unless they decide on a special run of nostalgic intimate gigs….the stadium spectacle is not something that attracts me.

But Red Rocks? Well, I’ve seen it so many times, I could convince myself I was there. I borrowed the video as often as I could from the local video store – I think I had it out on near permanent loan for about 12 months, until I could afford to actually buy my own copy. Commercially produced VHS tapes like that were bloody expensive when they were sold in the early 80s! Mega bucks for teenage kids.

11 O’Clock Tick Tock was a bane for many years – esp. during my teens. Many times I would skip that song and that bit of video because I was INCANDESCENTLY JEALOUS of that girl that gets pulled up on stage to dance with Bono. Never mind that he was already married! (Perhaps I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m sure I must have done…) And never mind the sky being blood red…my face would be watching that footage. As I say, sometimes it would be more than I could bear and I would fast forward through it.

But even just hearing the song on the album, I could visualise it all in my mind. I wanted to be her more than I can even express! She was beautiful…slim…she could dance, not be self-conscious…and Bono hugs her and swings her around in his arms – I’d have died! And he’d have had a hernia trying to lift me! Lol (I was probably not anywhere near as big as I thought I was then…I don’t know. It’s not as if I was beating guys off with a stick or anything. I have enough digits on my body to count the number of times a guy came up to ask me out. I was usually the instigator of these things as I feared my Miss Havisham future too much to wait for any guy to do it.)

Now I don’t view it with any of that envy. Not as me now…but I can still feel it all bubbling away inside the teenage me. That longing. For ANY guy to want to … feel that way with me, want to dance with me, hold me… just for those few fleeting minutes. Even if I was never ever an afterthought to him. Meh! What does it matter, eh?

Off I go to study. The mention of Miss Havisham? I am about to finish off my week of study on Dickens and A Christmas Carol.

Happy 25th Anniversary – Earthling

For all the years I had been a David Bowie fan it was the mid to late 1990s that, upon reflection, feels like it was the most exciting period.

I had become a ‘diehard’ in 1985. I can’t remember if I ever have told the story here… I probably have. Anyway, in case not, I’ll give you the quick one. My eldest brother, Roy, was moving house but there was a lag of time between moves. He’d be staying with his mother-in-law and she didn’t have a lot of room at her place so he asked my mum if he could keep some of his records at our place. He’d been keeping them in his car and weather was turning decidedly hot. Even at the best of times it’s not the best place to keep your records – in a car.

Mum says it’s fine, so he drops them off one afternoon and me, ever eager to be exposed to different music swoop on in and have a look through what he has. Lots of Bowie! And this was my first exposure to Bowie albums. I knew who David was, for sure. I mean, you couldn’t escape him in 1983 and into 1984 – he had got stratospheric by then. So I knew the stuff around Let’s Dance and Tonight well enough, but not really much from the past. Space Oddity, Sorrow (it got a lot of radio play in Oz for some reason), Starman, Fame, Young Americans, Heroes, DJ, Ashes To Ashes….that was about the extent of what I knew.

In the subsequent days, that all changed. In Roy’s collection there was The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, ChangesOneBowie, Stage, Low – perhaps he had everything? But I certainly remember playing Ziggy and Aladdin Sane. I played Stage as well. But the one that just blew my tiny mind was Low. It was warped to fuck and I could only really play one side of it. I think I could listen to all of Side A and then could play Warzawa and not the rest…something like that. Whichever way it was, I know I could play A New Career In A New Town – because I remember sitting there stunned, tears rolling down my cheeks. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard in my life. It was a revelation to me! Never thought I’d ever like an instrumental piece like that. I never really warmed to classical music. It just never did anything for me. And most instrumentals felt the same. I loved the lyrics. I loved the words that came with the music and when there were songs with no words? That all changed that day.

From that point on – MAD Bowie fan. I wanted to hear EVERYTHING. I built up a catalogue. I listened to all of it. When I became a diehard, not long after Never Let Me Down came out. I remember the hype of Day-In Day-Out being released. And I remember watching the video for the title track and liking that…but I was so engrossed in that back catalogue, the new album didn’t really make much of an impact.

It wasn’t until the release of Black Tie White Noise in 1992 did I truly feel the excitement surrounding a new release.

Fast forward to the mid 90s and David is being as prolific as ever. The Buddha Of Suburbia soundtrack is released in 1993, then 1. Outside is released in 1995, and then along comes Earthling in 1997.

We’re at the age of BowieNet. The song Telling Lies is co-written with a fan. Bowie is now subculture god! He is now in “for fans only” realm. Earthling is right bang in the middle of that. Ask a bunch of Bowie fans what their favourite albums of his are? Very few would have Earthling at the top. Rightly so! But few would have it in their Top 5 or even Top 10. Maybe I wouldn’t either…? But it might just be in the Top 10.

I loved it when it came out. I played it and played it.

In retrospect, it seems a rare time in which Bowie, musically, was behind the ball. The “drum n bass” sound was already huge by the time he hooked onto it. That didn’t matter to me. Not all drum n bass was for me. I love rhythm and most things that are percussively heavy win me round instantly. The album is hard on the ears at times. Heavy. Industrial. But I love that sound. It was all down to Zack Alford. Bowie always seemed to pick the best drummers to work with. The best of the best, actually.

Musically, I guess the album hasn’t aged very well, perhaps? But I still love that style of music – esp. in the way Bowie did it. He gave it that heaviness in style but kept it listenable, to my ears anyway. And I love the use of lyrics on Earthling. I find it lyrically very daring. Almost like it harks back to the Bowie of old. The man who’s penning stuff like the Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud, All The Madmen and The Bewlay Brothers.

Anyway, I am waffling somewhat and need to get on with my day. But I just wanted to give a nod to the anniversary of this album. Twenty five years on and I still love it and still listen to it.

A favourite track? It’s a toss up between several but I think just for the Zack Alford brutalist drum and percussion as well as the driving Reeves Gabrels guitar work and the almost sweet melancholy of the lyrics, it would be this…

As Dorothy Said To Aunty Em…

“There’s no place like home.” A much used quote lifted from The Wizard Of Oz. But it rings true. And it certainly seemed to have rung true on the nights of November 18th and 19th, 1982.

Simple Minds had just returned to Glasgow after another whirlwind stint of touring to the far reaches of the globe (yes, GLOBE – no “flat earth” conspiracy theorists here! Have ANY of these flat-earthers NEVER been on a plane? How do they explain the curvature of the earth and the horizon? I digress!) – heading back to Australia, New Zealand and Canada directly after the release of New Gold Dream.

I was looking into fanzines on eBay last night, after having seen an enquiring post on my FB feed about a certain Scottish produced fanzine. I thought I’d have a hunt around the interwebs and see what I could find. I decided on eBay first and got caught up looking at fanzines on there. One in particular caught my eye. One called Deadbeat. I looked at the listing of every issue and viewed the images, trying to scan and find more info on the fanzine production itself more than anything.

No one was then more surprised than me to find within the shared images of one listing of the magazine – THIS! A review of Simple Minds playing Tiffany’s in November, 1982. It’s unclear as to whether the reviewer is at the first gig or the second, but regardless of that it’s a glowing review.

The only error in the review is that they say Mike Ogletree is on drums. And it wasn’t until I was listening over the bootleg last night did I think to myself “Naw, pal. That ain’t Mike, that’s Mel.” Mike’s last gig was in Toronto about 10 nights prior to this gig. So in actual fact, it was Mel’s first or second night at the kit – depending on which night the reviewer was there.

They wax lyrical about Jim. Such praise! Excited at my discovery of this review last night I did a very rare thing (these days) and posted it to SMOG first with a link to Art & Talk’s upload of the November 18th gig to YouTube. In my post on SMOG, in reference to the lashings of praise heaped on Jim, I said “anyone would think I wrote the review! Lol.”

It is true though – anyone WOULD think I had time travelled and gone and reviewed it for the fanzine. It is wonderful to see such praise given to His Kerrness though. And it’s certainly nothing I wouldn’t have done myself.

A companion piece for me are the photos I have from Virginia of them playing the second night at Tiffany’s. My favourite photo of the set? One of Jim on the stage – looking pretty fucking sensational, I have to say in signature white collared shirt, shiny tailored trousers and black wee “ballet” shoes. And in the bottom left corner of the frame you can see his brother, Mark, looking as though he would rather be anywhere else than watching his big bro up on stage. Lol. Poor Mark! It’s not in the ones I have posted above, but you can view the particular photo I am referring to on Virginia’s site HERE

Lastly, here is the link to the first of the two Tiffany’s gigs that A&T uploaded. Oh, for a night at Tiffany’s! This is the next best thing…

P.S. Artwork used for the YT ident, eh? *wink* Thanks A&T!

Bowie Talk – Missing Jim – Sexy Songs – Minds Music Monday – Lightning

I miss Monday’s the way they used to be. Actually, I miss just about how every day would start a few years back. When I was getting into Simple Minds and getting myself involved in the fanbase, the thing that always seemed to make every day feel like it started off on the right note was Jim’s posts on Facebook. 

And I didn’t care what he talked about. It didn’t have to be SM specific, or even music related. Damn, it could even be about football! Lol. I didn’t care. Whatever the subject, he always made it engaging. And he’d engage with us about it. 

There’d be a little kind of game. If you caught the post early enough, he’d seemingly hang about for a few minutes, waiting for replies to come in and if someone commented with something that piqued his interest, he’d respond. 

It sounds SSOO mundane – I know! But I miss it. I miss it SO much. This morning I awoke just thinking about it, lamenting on what was. Thinking, “Oh, Jim made Monday’s feel fun. Actually he made every morning feel good. Every day was a New Sunshine Morning back then.” I cannae help but feel like I came along on the tail end of everything.

But, one can’t go back. One must move forward – esp. In the Kerr world. There’s no room for nostalgia (it’s a dirty word!) or for back-peddling, or for reminiscing. 

I should be thankful he even posts at all these days.

I’d love to ask him if he’s had the chance to hear the Toy version of “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving” and what he thinks of the endless Bowie content that has been released since David’s death. But I guess why should I care what Jim Kerr thinks, eh? Again…it’s just a silly nostalgic thing. Me feeling some kind of silly “bond” from having had some banter with him in the past on the subject of David Bowie. Deluding myself there has been “conversation” between us. 

So, perhaps I’ll pose it to you lot? The three regular visitors to the blog. What do you guys think of the whole Bowie “legacy”? To me it feels like it’s being milked like the most overfilled dairy cow. There have been so many releases in the past five years, I have lost count! Myriad compilations and box sets, both as sets of studio albums and as live albums. A lot of the live content previously unreleased, granted, but it does feel like a sad money grab sometimes. And does the Bowie estate REALLY need the money? And I do wonder how it would all sit with David himself. 

Having said that, I do feel mildly excited about Toy getting a release. I remember news of it at the time and being intrigued by the prospect of what he was doing. Then he seemed to ditch the project in favour of working on Heathen, which I am incredibly thankful for because, along with Low, it is my favourite David Bowie album. 

I didn’t get caught up in the whole live box set saga. There was only one album out of those I wanted. I listened to it on Spotify, enjoyed it, and so I invested in it. My only purchase of them all was to get a copy of Ouvrez Le Chien. I thought about investing in Metrobolist as well but, for what? So I’d have a copy of it under what was meant to be its original title? We lived with it for 50 years as The Man Who Sold The World, what’s the point in now referring to it as Metrobolist? 

I will probably invest in a copy of Toy though. We’ll see. 

Now on to this week’s MMM. As I discussed previously, I haven’t been in much of a mood to listen to any Simple Minds of late. Certainly not to the degree that I have done for the past seven years! I listen to bits here and there. Not much. 

I was listening to a few random tunes a few nights ago. Just ones I have thought I hadn’t listened to in a while and I wanted to hear again. Silent Kiss was one of them. And there I was inwardly thinking “Why, oh, why, oh, why did you have to make it a bonus track on Walk Between Worlds so it never gets performed live?! Am I destined to have ALL my very favourite Simple Minds songs be tracks that NEVER end up on a set list?” It seems so…

We had that little “exchange”, Jim and I. Me saying to him “Sexy songs are the best”, and him replying with “Agreed!”. It took me ages to try and work out the song that brought that little exchange into being but then I did some digging to finally discover it was Silent Kiss. But it isn’t just sexy, it’s yearning. It’s beautiful. 

After Silent Kiss played I was thinking about what other songs that I hadn’t listened to for a long time I considered to be sexy. And I decided on this! I think it is an incredibly underrated song. I find it sexy as hell, even though I admit I somewhat misinterpreted what the song was about initially – but if anyone can make a song about a suicide bomber bloody sexy, then it’s Jim Kerr!

So for this week’s Minds Music Monday, may I present to you… Lightning

Forever Bowie Friday – Happy Left-Handers Day!

I did say that I was going to start a Bowie themed weekly post, didn’t I? And I had decided I was going to theme the day as “Forever Bowie Friday”? Well, what I have seen today spurred me on to start.

Because today just happens to be Left-Handers Day! The day when left-handed people are actually celebrated! No longer to feel as if we are “sinister” (look up the meaning of the word “sinister” and you’ll know what I am on about). But well, it is also Friday the 13th today, which means I can celebrate left-handers day ON Forever Bowie Friday! Yay!

Although, of course, David played guitar right-handed. I do too (not that I can actually play guitar! But I drum right-handed). I guess we’re kind of ambidextrous like that.

He talks about Ziggy Stardust in the lyrics of the song as “he played it left-hand but he made it too far”. So maybe David wished he had learned to play guitar left-handed? Who knows?

Anyway, Happy Left-Handers Day to all you fellow lefties out there!

Today’s Earworm – “I’m A Dude…”

Suddenly had Bowie’s version of All The Young Dudes playing in my head this afternoon – thinking about Jim waxing lyrical of his love for Mott The Hoople. Obviously he was in good company, as David gifted them All The Young Dudes as a way of imploring them not to break up. (He had initially offered them Suffragette City but they turned it down.)

It was only just now having listened to the song on YouTube to share it here did I wonder that…do we need to consider Bowie’s version to be a “cover” as he allowed Mott to record it and release it first? I do somehow see it that way. It does somewhat feel that David’s version *is* a cover.

Oh, I miss talking of him…and of other music. I have been so wrapped up in my little SM/Kerr world so strongly lately.

Perhaps I should do something every week for David? I shall think of a themed title and day on which to do it. A replacement for Kerrsday Thursday? Unless I bring that silly bit of sycophancy back! (Heaven forbid!)

Anyway…free-flowing randomness. Here’s the Bowie version of All The Young Dudes.