Several months back, I acquired some posters. I recently got a couple up on the walls, which meant removing other SM memorabilia off my walls to make them fit. Today those things were placed back up on the walls with some of the other posters making their debut on my bedroom walls.
Also my amazing prize that I won from the Echo Lab from buying raffle tickets to win a drumhead signed by Cherisse (with a signed photo also) arrived today. I’m yet to put that on the wall though, as I will need to get a suitable frame so I can display it.
I had been pondering doing this for some time, once I felt my collection had been big enough to deem it worthy. Probably the past 18 months or 2 years, but we were so crammed in our place in Luton, it never really seemed doable.
Then we moved to Glasgow, had much more space to display things, Coronavirus happened and Classic Pop took a break from publication.
When they returned after several months of lockdown and seeing them on their Facebook page appealing to readers to put their “superfan” stories forward, I thought I’d finally take the plunge. I emailed them, saying what a fan I was of Simple Minds and showed them a sample of my collection.
They were interested, asked me to fill out a little questionnaire about my fandom and to submit several more photos, including a head shot of myself. All lovingly submitted with care a day later.
It went quiet. Although they were back in action after lockdown, and having recently gone to publishing monthly prior to lockdown, they seemed to have return to a bi-monthly publication. One issue had only just come out, so I was hopeful I had timed it for inclusion for the next issue.
The next issue came out at the end of October and I thought “Oh, wouldn’t it be timely if it was printed in this issue for my birthday?! That would be ssoooo awesome!” Sadly, there wasn’t even a Super Fan article within the Nov/Dec 2020 issue. I was a bit gutted but thought they would publish it whenever they were ready.
In the meantime, the Heart of the Crowd book was just 5 weeks from publication and that hopefully I’d have that to be excited about.
In recent days I had been wondering when the next issue was due.
This morning, I see the postie make his way up the path to the front door. I wasn’t really expecting anything at all. Just some junk, or a bill or two. I heard what sounded like a magazine drop onto the doormat and went to collect it, hoping it was the new issue of Classic Pop (I’m also subscribed to a drumming magazine).
To my joy it was! But the big question was – well questions were: had there been a Super Fan article put in this issue AND more so, would it be MY story?
I went to the “Contents“ list at the beginning of the magazine…and there…
ERMAGEEEERRRRRRRD! A belated little Christmas bonus! And a lovely little extra to ring in the New Year with.
The icing on it is to see my Hunter And The Hunted piece printed in there as it didn’t get to be printed in the Heart Of The Crowd. I am so happy to see that in there.
I never wanted it to be seen as a boastful thing. It was why I grappled about even doing this for so long. But I am proud of my collection and why I am an avid enough fan to collect things. It’s much more than material possession for me. it is so much more about the band and the music and what it means to me and the importance it has in my life.
The whole “Super Fan” thing still doesn’t sit entirely well with me. All of us believe in some degree that we are ALL the “biggest fan” of our favourite bands and artists – and we all are. And there is the stigma of what happened in the summer of 2018 that makes me tread rather warily around the notion of the “super fan” – the “mega fan”, uber fan… diehard, “real” fan.
I’ll never really know what makes a fan a “real” fan – but whatever actually defines it…I am real enough. I live and breathe this band. And they make my existence a happier and more enjoyable one. I can’t remember life much pre-Simple Minds. But life since the summer of 2014 has been … wonderful – even in the darker periods amongst that. They bring light to darkness.
Today is the Winter Solstice. The shortest day in the northern hemisphere. Also Jupiter and Saturn align tonight to make what is deemed the “Christmas Star” – a once in 400 year alignment. And there promises to be clear skies over Glasgow this evening. Fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, as we see in the Winter Solstice today, it means the days north of the equator incrementally get longer. Moving forward to brighter days – not just geographically and meteorologically, but with the metaphorical sense too that better days are coming!
With that in mind, today’s MMM couldn’t be anything else but, Someone Somewhere (In Summertime).
I couldn’t decide which performance I wanted to link to – so like our own Christmas Star alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, I’ve linked to both. Jim is divine in both of them!
Back in May I had a chat with Ronnie Gurr at Hanging Around Books about a photo of Jim that I would have liked to have gotten a copy of from the photographer who took it, but I looked into their prices (without enquiring with them directly) and saw they wanted over £1000 for a print!! 😱😱
The conversation moved on to the topic of a Record Mirror cover, and the use of a photo of Brian McGee in his undies that Ronnie had taken when with the band on tour in Germany in the late summer of 1980.
He said to me “this (see below) is the photo I submitted for the cover, but they went with the one of Brian instead.”
I sat looking at the screen in a mixture of awe and disbelief. Awe that such a fabulous photo of Jim had been stowed away unseen for so many years, and disbelief that the editor at Record Mirror snubbed the use of this photo for one of Brian in his togs!
Not only that, but the music mag then goes on to erroneously name Brian as “Mike McNeil”. Geezo! They don’t even get the erroneous name correct!
Anyway, 40 years down the line, I was in fangirl raptures to see such a wonderful photo of Jim. Since seeing it, I have been hankering for a copy and over these months I have every now and then been virtually nudging Ronnie for a copy of the photo.
AT LAST! The day arrived yesterday. I received three photos in total. The photo above of Jim which measures 10×8 inches, the black and white group photo below of the band on the flight staircase, which measures 7×5 inches, and the one below that of the band by the Berlin Wall, which measures 6×4 inches.
All three are wonderful, new and fairly rare treasures. All three photos were taken by Ronnie. But of the three, of course that one of Jim (for me) is the most highly prized. It is now in a frame by my bedside. The b&w band photo is framed and sitting atop the other bedside drawer.
If you would like to get prints yourself, you can contact Ronnie via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the photos featured in the Hanging Around Books photozines are available to order as prints. You can view the catalogue of books available by visiting hangingaroundbooks.com (just click the link!)
A new bootleg has been uploaded to YouTube from the ever elusive but ever fabulous Art & Talk. This one hails from the Real To Real Cacophony Tour of 1979/80 and is performed in Hamburg on March 5th, 1980.
And although still seen as the Real To Real Cacophony Tour, there are tracks from Empires And Dance being performed, namely, Capital City and Room.
There’s only part of Capital City that’s been recorded. A shame, really, as I love it. I really do. But…not too much of it is missing, so it’s okay.
The recording is a true bootleg. Done by a member of the crowd, rather than it coming from the mixing desk. So you get a sense and feeling from the crowd – the vibe that they’re feeling. And the general feeling is that they are well up for it. Esp. one very excited, squealy young(?!) woman. Who can blame her? I reckon that would be me too – seeing them back then. I usually feel like that just listening in on a gig like this some 40 years down the line!
Also great to hear such a rousing display from the crowd for encores. And they are treated to two for their efforts. White Light/White Heat and Room.
The highlight of the set for me? Calling Your Name and Citizen (Dance Of Youth). Also had wished Factory had been complete because it was sounding well braw too.
The band were tight, but here and there I felt I detected that Jim wasn’t quite – “on” that night. But…it’s hard to tell without a back up of visuals, etc. The times he did seem “on” though, well…I don’t have to say any more, really. (Cue “squealy girl”. Lol)
I really enjoyed listening to it though. And will give it another play later on today. Put it this way – if TARDIS’s were real and I was allowed to go to one gig in the past and I was told it could only be THIS one – I’D BE THERE IN A HEARTBEAT! I’d bite your hand off – as Jim would say. Lol
One year ago from today (yesterday) we “moved on up to the Waterfront” and arrived in our new home, and to Scotland, and Glasgow. And on that beautiful, crisp, clear morning – despite feeling so incredibly tired and a little violated, having been robbed for the first time in my life – I already within minutes of arriving had the overwhelming feeling that it was the right move and that this is where I’ll be for the rest of my days.
As tired and drained as I was that morning, I squealed with excitement as we crossed the Clyde, just knowing this place was now going to be home and I could spend time at the banks of this river any time I wanted to.
And I’m sure I’d have had Waterfront playing in my head. Or Speed Your Love To Me…or any plethora of Simple Minds songs.
Today is also St Andrew’s Day and although Waterfront is more specifically about Glasgow, it could easily apply to most of Scotland. It is such an anthemic piece. And it gets the blood pumping.
I do remember being turned on by it back in the day. Oh, the things that could have been had I become a “real” fan of SM back then. I’ll always have regrets.
A few days ago when I had Spotify on in the wee hours, this version of Waterfront played and I lost myself for six minutes…filled with amazement that I actually LIVE in this city now.
Only yesterday was I thinking that had someone told the 13 year old girl listening to that opening bassline in the summer months (in Australia) of early 1984 that, in years to come, she’d be living in the city the song was about. And not only that, but she’d OWN the house she was living in…she’d have scoffed! “No fucking way”!
But…here we are.
Happy St Andrew’s Day, everyone! GIE IT LALDY AND GAUN YERSEL!