The ‘Family’ and the Black Sheep


I wish I could believe this. I wish it felt this way for me, but it rarely has. There is a distinct and marked bias towards fans that have been around for a long time. To espouse the notion that there isn’t…? I myself don’t see it. 

I entered the Simple Minds fanbase with a LOT of trepidation. I was scared of exposing myself to yet another ‘clique’. I had enough of ‘cliques’ at school. (When I was there.)

I have made amazing friendships! I mean, geez, one of those lasting friendships sees a friend of mine having been living with me for the past several months (and continuing still). Without Simple Minds, we’d have never met. I guess we bonded from both being ‘Johnny-come-latelys’. Birdy didn’t rekindle her love for SM until 2013, and myself, just a year later. 

For me? I was fairweather at best before that. Only ever invested in buying one album (Once Upon A Time – actually, it was a requested gift) and would borrow albums from the library (thank you, Andrew Carnegie!) if I wanted to listen to other things of theirs over the years. 

I have had mixed dealings with other fans. Some great friendships, but also the opposite of that. You can’t like everyone, and you can’t be liked by everyone. This fact I am aware of and accept. And I feel that the band members themselves can blow hot and cold…but I guess that’s fair enough. I’m sure feeling pressured to be “on” all the time gets…wearing. 

Factoring in all of that…I don’t feel much a part of things right now. I have felt this way for several months. I don’t feel keen to input much in any of the fan groups I am a member of – and I am only a member of three these days when I used to be a member of…I don’t know how many! Lol.

I feel ostracised from the fanbase (and the band) and I feel reluctant to push my blog at all – esp. at the moment as the content is such a mixed bag and seems to be veering further and further away from being a Simple Minds blog – and I wish this wasn’t so. I’ve always felt a surge of cringing in pushing my blog, always fearful it would come across as posturing – which I guess it is. You’re excited to share this thing you spend time creating. And if you feel you’ve got a scoop, then you’re excited to share that too. But all that is gone. All that bravado and gallus – it’s just all gone. 

My blog now feels like my retreat. My ‘quiet place’ for expressing my love for this band. For a long time I felt a reciprocation went on – I loved them like no other band, and they appreciated my devotion – but I am just one hen in a battery farm coop. 

I certainly don’t feel the kind of reciprocation Dan feels. But then, why should I? I haven’t been around since…nineteen canteen. I am NOT WORTHY. I can’t travel back in time. I can’t start my fan journey from the point that I wish with all the hindsight in the world I *could* have started it from! 

In Gordon’s post, he asked what our favourite fan images have been so far… there have been a few for me. And one of my own. It’s not even the best photo but it has a significance for me that I feel reluctant to elaborate on. I wanted it to say something to me within the context of what is going on in it. For one – Jim is smiling – I can’t express how important that is because I genuinely feel as if I don’t really give him many (any) reasons to smile. I’m smiling too, but I otherwise abhor the way I look in the photo. I didn’t even care about the photo ops on the meet and greets…they were only ever a means to an end of getting a fleeting bit of time in the presence of someone I wish I could be allowed to have all the time in the world with. 

Other than my own crappy photo, it would be this one (below mine). I just like the atmosphere of it, and the anonymity. It was taken in Porto in April.


Bowie And Butler

David Bowie is… was still on in Melbourne when I got out to Oz in 2015. I really thought about flying down there to see it for my birthday, but thought it would be highly unfair on the OH to go without her (seeing as we both missed out on going to the exhibition in London).

It just seemed a selfish thing to do…despite her numerous more times of seeing Bowie live, than my solitary single time. But I at least got to see him once, and that once I will cherish forever.

But my single time of seeing him doesn’t have a story like THIS! Wow! That’s some dedication, Bruce!

Okay, my one and only time seeing David was outdoors too…and it rained. I was sopping! But, for me, when David arrived on stage, the clouds parted and the setting sun shone. I can’t beat that ammount of dedication. I certainly know the awestruck feeling, though. Never met David. Never wrote to him. Never would have dared! What could I/would I possibly say to him?

This is Bruce Butler’s fan story…take it away, Bruce…