It Feels Like The End

I don’t know what this is any more. I obviously want it to be more than it is. More than it can be.

I’m too emotionally invested in this thing. I have been for years now. And I have been too frightened to cut the ties completely. Still praying to be liked. Still praying for something more. Still praying to be a “real fan” was enough.

The more time passes, the more I think that to have remained blocked from the Simple Minds Facebook page would have been the best thing for me.

Time would have healed the wound. I would have found something else to fill the cavernous void…eventually.

I cannot stop seeing the things that happen as things that I have caused personally.

Messenger gets taken off the SM FB page. And then Jim’s slow stepping away from all the interaction. No more comments on visitor wall posts. No more likes on visitor wall posts. Fewer replies to comments left on posts. Fewer likes to comments left on posts. Ceasing of likes and reply comments all together. Lessening of the number of posts written by Jim.

And now? Seemingly no posts at all.

Jim’s gone, and I can’t help but feel that I am the cause of it, because I feel like I am the one that wants him there most of all.

Two things have been making me cry constantly today. One, my cat is really sick and I am powerless to help him – other than to keep administering drugs to him, which seem not to be doing much.

The other, seeing Jim photographed with the Sardinian fans. Which sounds AWFUL! I want to put it into context! It’s because…seemingly…they are allowed to have something I desire more than anything in the world. Time with him. What’s more…they can “boast” about it. It feels like a boast. It’s just how it feels to me. And I just found it really upsetting.

I’m just being honest. I mean. All great for the guys, you know! It’s fabulous for them. It really is. But it feels like an “inner sanctum”. And while it feels like that. While it will feel like there is some “special place” for a select few and fuck the rest….?

I dunno.

It just feels awful. And I have spent so much time getting hurt by this and feeling guilty about it. And then knowing that IT SHOULDN’T MATTER! But….it does. It matters. It matters too much. It always has. And I just want it to stop.

I want it to stop mattering. I want to stop caring about it.

When I became a Simple Minds fan it felt like this new world opened up to me. I can’t express it! And it still brings with it the odd sweet gift. But it’s starting to feel a trap. And I am just way too heavily invested. And I am almost in floods of tears again just thinking about walking away. Trying to stop caring. And I want to stop fucking crying!

Did I do something wrong?

“Did I ask too much? More than a lot?
You gave me nothing now it’s all I’ve got.
We’re one, but we’re not the same.
Well, we hurt each other and we do it again.”

Where do we go from here?

Seems like I’m full of U2 songs tonight.

How ironic…

I’m not articulating this right. I don’t want it to sound bitter. I’m not angry. I’m sad. Sad to feel like all that I do is not enough or too much.

It’s a hamster wheel. A big fat hamster wheel. I want to get off but I don’t know how to stop it.

So perhaps I just need to “embrace the suck”? Swallow that bitter pill. Thank Jim for the memories and walk away?

I never wanted it to end. I never want it to end!

The biggest hurt? The biggest hurt is the notion of my walking away and him not giving a flying fuck. Not a single, solitary fuck. There are always other fans. Always another face. Another new enthusiast. But for me – there is no other Jim. No other band. No other man.

And yet, here we are it seems at another crossroads. Left or right? Which way to turn, Loz? Suck it up and forget about it? Or move on? Your choice. “Choice.” Or do we live in the past? The halcyon days? “Choice.”

Vlog Waffles Are Moving

In an exercise in tidying up this godforsaken blog, I will be shifting all the “Waffle” video blog posts (aka Vlogs) to a centralised page link. You should now see a page header called “Vlog Posts” in the menu. That’s where any new posts can be viewed. I may notify of a new post, if any go there.

The vlogs are something I want to come away from doing. And I certainly don’t want the main area of the blog full of vlog postings, hence I will be shifting them over there.

So…there you go.

Here’s hoping for some kind of return to “normal”. Whatever “normal” means when it comes to me and this absolute embarrassment of a blog.

If you ever had any interest in the video waffles, or more amazing still, if you ever took the time to WATCH any of them, I thank you.

Dream Within A Dream

I had a mix of dreams this morning. Some were a little anxiety inducing. Others were just about all I dream of every day of my life.

I was sitting in a rather fantoosh looking kitchen…a kind of breakfast bar area of this kitchen. So…not in my house this place. I guess I was in his house/apartment? Or maybe it’s part of the hotel? There’s maybe some clue as to who my guest was (or more that I was HIS guest). Yes! I was dreaming that I was hanging out with Jim. Already I could just stop here and just be happy with this. That I was with him, being in his company.

I should have known INSTANTLY it was a dream because this will NEVER HAPPEN in real life. I feel as though I am the very LAST PERSON he’d ever want to spend time with, but in the dream he was happy. Relaxed and very smiley. And not the usual slightly arrogant and rather snidey Jim that I am faced with whenever I am in his presence. This time he was just happy to have me there with him and of course I was over the moon being there, and more relaxed than usual because I felt he was genuinely happy for me to be there with him.

And we were just sitting about talking.

It was a lovely sunny morning and the sunlight was streaming in. Some bits of the dream are a little sketchy. I’m not sure exactly what we had been talking about, or how we got to this subject but we were – well, he was initially – talking about Mel. He was reminiscing and being quite nostalgic. Saying how he had enjoyed having Mel working on Lostboy and that the tour was great. Then he said to me “I dreamed of him last night and when I opened my phone up this morning, his phone number appeared first.”

At this point in the dream I freaked out a bit because as I went on to tell Jim…. “OMG! That is really freaky! A similar thing happened to me last night. I was dreaming of Mel also and when I opened my phone this morning, the first thing I see is a photo of him!”

We both sat there smiling away in a strange kind of disbelief. Both a little astounded by our similar dreams. Just both of us kind of looking at each other a tad gobsmacked.

“You need to call him, Jim”, I say to him. “Do you talk to all the bands you’re fans of like this?”, he says back to me. “Lol, no”, I retort.

And then the dream ended. It was just very surreal and very lovely and I wish for all the world it was real. For all the world that Jim would actually WANT to sit around in a kitchen and just chat away with me and spend time with me. I honestly can’t think of anything more wonderful. Or anything that I want more in this world.

As soon as I “wakened up”, I started to hear the chords to this, because I had just experienced a “dream within a dream”….

It was Mel’s birthday yesterday….

Gigs, Glam and Boy Bands

A couple of things to highlight from recent days. One is an interview (well, part one of an interview said Neil Saint in reply to a comment left on the FB post) with Kenny Hyslop about his days in Slik. You can listen to the interview by clicking HERE

UPDATE: There is a part two of Kenny’s interview with Neil Saint in which he talks about his time with SM. You can listen to that HERE

Kenny with Jim – the grapple is real, my friends! Oooh la la!

I’m still yet to listen to it myself, but will do imminently. And I will link to part two when it airs.

The other is this (linked below)! A rare 1979 bootleg of the Minds playing a gig at Orebro University in Sweden. It was on November 1st, 1979. I have just turned nine years old the day before and Real To Real Cacophony is about to be released.

I don’t think this is a full set on this bootleg, but it’s more extensive than what I’ve been exposed to from this gig previously. There’s a good blend of tracks from Life In A Day and Real To Real. Premonition is a bit of a cut up job and Jim fluffs on lyrics several times throughout. Nerves getting the better of him, I guess. Fluffing only in the sense that lyrics end up out of order – and I am far too much of a pedant not to notice. In amongst the album tracks there’s also Here Comes The Fool and their cover of White Light/White Heat getting an airing.

I started listening to it last night and had to stop before hearing WL/WH and Chelsea Girl.

Obviously it isn’t the best bootleg going as far as sound quality is concerned. It has its moments though, and I am always appreciative of there being bootlegs from so early on to listen to. Jim even has a go at engaging with the crowd! Which I find amazing for that period, because he rarely utters a word at this point in time. And when he does talk, he sounds as nervous as hell!

Birdsong, Fascination and Friendships

The post I did about “The Walking Experiment”. The one that FINALLY led me to finding the quote about the line from In Trance As Mission? The Alice In Wonderland “rabbit hole” of a post that took me what felt like FOREVER to sort out?

Well it led me down yet another rabbit hole today. Because one of the reasons for that post was prompted by a “conversation” with Jim. Submersing myself in the sounds of Sons And Fascination like I have these past weeks, and especially the past few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that…he was absolutely right.

Despite my response to him at the time (see above), I really didn’t feel that way as such. I was using some diplomacy at the time because really I was thinking “Oh, come on, Jim! The music’s great but…how can you say it’s BETTER than birdsong?!” (Which is basically what his reply amounted to.)

That conversation was on my mimd this morning, as was the MMM post on In Trance As Mission. I awoke early this morning. Around 6am. Too restless to go back to sleep, but still a bit too bleary to get out of bed (and the alarm not set to go off until 7.10am), I decided to listen to some Minds music. Namely, live versions of the title track of Sons And Fascination. Having satisfied that desire and with some time still before the alarm was due to go off, I decided to listen to the instrumental version of Seeing Out The Angel. At the end I’m lain there thinking “he is absolutely right. No birdsong DOES compete!” I miss those conversations with him! I really do.

Original “Midnight Walking” FB post (Click to view.)

When I finally got up and out of bed and got all the little things I do each morning all sorted, I sat at my iPad and wanted to find the post itself. The post from Jim that started the conversation about listening to music while walking and of birdsong. You’ll find the link to it posted above. Things he says, the things he’d say to me would always resonate so much. A case in point that my “walking experiment” post in response to that conversation was almost one whole year later! And I’m STILL writing about it nearly five years on!

Finding it led on to me seeing another post that Jim made just a couple of days prior to the “Midnight Walking” post. It’s a post about the Sons And Fascination Tour in the U.S. – the post actually labelled “In Trance As Mission”. (Click title to view original post.) *P.S. In the comments, Otto is right, the gig advertised was in 1984 not 1982.

And I read the words attached and … I am wishing all over again. Wishing hard. And crying my eyes out, dreaming of a friendship with him like this! Like the time of being at that age and living as a young adult in that place and time would allow. To be deemed his friend. To mean even a SMIDGEN to him as to what he means to me!

Before my eyes go too blurry….

The artwork on the poster. Malcolm Garrett has been telling me about the figure in the artwork. He described the figure as a “marching man”. I did always wonder about the figure. He was very gracious in telling me about it and where the inspiration came from. It’s all very fascinating. And it is wonderful to be in contact with “MX”, but I fear he is much more of an inspiration to me than I ever could be to him. (I mean, as if I EVER would be!) As I say, he has been gracious enough to converse with me and it has been highly appreciated. I feel ridiculously unworthy of any such rapport. And I hardly know what to say to him most of the time because I fear tiring him out with endless Simple Minds talk.

My post about “The Cars Are The Stars – Auto iMaGes”? Again whilst looking for the “Midnight Walking” post and the birdsong talk, I saw this…

Original “Sons and Fascination” photo session FB post. (Click to view.)

Jim saying he loved that photoshoot. MX said the same thing to me. I wonder what Sheila Rock’s memories of it are? One day I might pluck up the courage to ask her. The imagery certainly encapsulates everything the album conveys musically. The “musical landscape” of the album. Such collective creativity astounds me and leaves me in awe. And to feel I have what are even…passing friendships with these people…

That Jim ever even took any remote interest in the things I made or the words I’d leave in the comments – that I get to email Malcolm Garrett and talk to him – that any of them even pretend to give a hoot about me or even take a minute to respond to me just…

That I can genuinely state that Virginia Turbett is my friend…

That they don’t flick me away like a pesky little ant…

I genuinely can’t see the screen for the tears…

Simple Minds – The First Three

Interesting retrospective review from these guys. Very brief and quite broad. Not even any praise for Pleasantly Disturbed on Life In A Day – which is a HUUUUGE oversight in my eyes. They don’t really get much into the nitty gritty of the albums…but if you have a spare 15 mins…

How (Why) I Fell In Love With Jim

For the past two nights I’ve listened to the latest Art&Talk upload of the soundboard of SM at Glastonbury in 1995.

Hearing a crowd as big as that singing and chanting Minds songs – it’s amazing – and it really does make me wish I was part of some of that history. At the moment it feels like that is all that’s left to grasp on to. Jim is always espousing that the band are always looking forward and never going backwards – there isn’t much choice for the fans right now but to look back.

After listening to the Glastonbury set, and hearing that chanting crowd fade out, and thinking of my past years as a fan, and pondering recent events and forever questioning stuff….I wanted to go back again. I just wanted to hear Jim talk rather than sing. To hear some of … the “real” Jim Kerr.

There are certain things that had me “fall in love” with him – perhaps it’s too strong a term for it – but to get “enamoured” by him, infatuated, mesmerised… to adore him.

Watching very early Simple Minds footage was a starting point. Seeing how very different he was when the band started. He had a real quirk. He certainly wasn’t like your typical “rock star” early on. His awkwardness was quite visible. But for me, that made him all the more mesmerising. I was awestruck by seeing how he was back then. I’ll never forget how truly jaw-dropping it was to see the Hurrah’s footage the first time. That “THIS IS JIM KERR?!” moment. It was the first trigger.

The more I explored, the more I was bowled over by the songwriting – the lyrics. I buried myself in learning them. Reading the lines as he sang. Gravitating to certain songs, and within those – favourite lines. Absolutely falling in love with his writing style and the words and how he’d convey them and sing them…the nuances in his delivery. And those elements are strongest during Empires And Dance, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, New Gold Dream and to a lesser degree, Real To Real Cacophony. Real To Real still has very strong lyrical content that I love, as does Life In A Day – but vocally he isn’t quite there yet – though I still very much appreciate the nuances.

Out of immersing myself in the lyrics, I could feel the influences of Bowie and Burroughs, and probably to a lesser degree Lou Reed and Bryan Ferry.

The love of the lyrics had me wanting to share favourite lines but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that. I didn’t want to merely type them out and then talk about them. I wanted to do something more. Something that expressed how much of an impact they were making upon me. That I was kind of living THROUGH them. That they were changing me. Altering my perception of things. That I was learning and falling in love with them. That I WAS in love them – and as a consequence, falling in love with him. Being awestruck by a man so young writing so amazingly and expressing it in a way that was different to the way others did. It took YEARS for any ego in Jim to be evident. I guess it had to come to the fore eventually.

But that aspect is of Jim the showman. A young man learning his craft who comes of age. After a while the stage persona seemed very different from the man off stage. And watching videos of him being interviewed in the early days, it just compounded the things I was feeling. The early performance videos certainly played their part, but I think the interviews played an even BIGGER part. Because there, the vulnerability shows – esp. visually if he is struggling and the stutter and facial ticks are still present. That quirks in him instead of being a turn-off, were much more a turn-on. A mark of “oh, he really is just ‘one of us’, he just happens to be smart and eloquent (despite the stutter) and beautiful with it.”

And so the “art” evolved from wanting to express the way I felt about the lyrics. That I was listening to them and taking them in but also that…this young, beautiful man was writing them – he had to become the centrepiece of the “art”.

And the more early interviews I watched, the more I fell for the man as well as the words.

And then to be sharing them and have him in the present day take notice of them and appreciate them? Acknowledgement from him was the final nail in the coffin.

That your heart is already bursting with love for someone, albeit in a retrograde kind of sense, and then in the present moment, the man who was once that young, idealistic man acknowledges (inadvertently on his part, for sure) your….infatuation of him. I don’t think I was really prepared for that. And I guess I really did lose my marbles. Because IT FELT AMAZING! It felt reciprocated! Like…he got it! He got what I was feeling.

So…the interview from 1984 with Billy Sloan – it was one particular thing that really just…yeah. It allowed for “time travel”. To really feel what Jim was like then. He’s confident and bold and bolshy, but also there is still him trying to keep himself grounded. Just little things too. Something as silly as his laugh. Just, the way he talks about the guy in the crowd in Cork with the glasses and the way he bursts out laughing – it just makes my heart burst! And how he talks of Glasgow and how he sees the future of Glasgow – like a little soothsayer. And he’s a wonderful idealist. He really DOES believe the words of Promised You A Miracle, that “everything is possible”. And you can’t help but be swept up in that! As “glass half empty” as my tendencies are – I ADORE him for his optimism. His gleaming, shining idealistic nature. These are the things that have me in love with him! He has so much faith, so much belief…not just self-belief – but he wants it for EVERYONE.

If you’ve never heard this interview, just listen to it. Listen to him. (I’ve linked to it below.)

I go back to this interview on the odd occasion. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to it in the early days of my fandom. Especially during my time out in Australia with my mum during 2015/16. The latter months of my time there, I would listen it almost nightly. I went through a point where…I dunno…I went through one of those stupid points where I thought I’d pissed him off and that “things were coming to an end” and I just listened to this interview almost every night. It and episodes of Cabin Pressure (the BBC Radio 4 comedy starring Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch, and writer of the series, John Finnemore) were my nightly kind of wind down.

Some nights I’d be in tears having listened to it…just awed by him. Chanting under my breath as I was listening “he’s just so beautiful. I love him.” It’s silly! It’s really silly, I know!

And there was this element with the art that while the Jim of now was appreciating it that I could dream that it would mean the Jim of the past – that young idealist, that he would love them too – because in all honesty, I don’t think I fell in love with 2016 Jim, I fell in love with early 1980s Jim. Because I love the words of that young Jim. That one that felt like he was part OF something. The one that wanted people WITH him. The one who expressed faith and wanted to SHARE the spoils. The one who said “the prize is the race itself”. Not the one who feels APART FROM things. Not the one who, despite trying to stay grounded, inevitably got caught up in the ego and status of it all.

I want to believe there is some of that Jim still present in today’s Jim…but it doesn’t feel very evident right now.

I don’t know why I am still pining to talk to Jim. To converse with him, to feel a kinship, to have what feels like a friendship with him. I used to be convinced that the young Jim wouldn’t look at me twice. And that may be very true in a sexual attraction sense – I am all the things he seems to not show any attraction to at all, short, fat, needy, emotional, unsure of myself, socially inept, weak … pathetic. Not an Amazonian beauty – just some silly, stupid bint. Full of self-loathing and with the constant need to be liked.

He is all things I am not. Of course there is sexual attraction there. I dunno. I really don’t know what I am writing or what I am trying to say here. I think I am just trying to do something with this blog. Trying to get out of this writer’s block I have again.

The band. The music. For me personally, it’s all down to Jim. He very quickly became my focal point. Him and his lyrics and how he expresses himself. I guess there was something a bit “outsider” I saw in him. That thing that Mick MacNeil described as him looking like he should have been in “special school”. Lol.

He has…a presence. He’s charismatic and an enigma in the same breath. Exudes cool and nervousness in equal measure. It makes him human. He feels tangible yet so intangible at same time. He’s a paradox. And it makes him endlessly fascinating! So…I obsess over him because he never stops being enigmatic. I never tire of pondering him…being drawn to him. Awestruck and mesmerised by him. And just….so in love with him.

Tired Of The SMOG…

It’s just the same old crap over and over. Are the band the same without Mick, Derek, Mel? Are they even Simple Minds with only Jim and Charlie left? They’re a mockery now. Play Butlins. They’re not Simple Minds any more. YA DA FUCKING YA!

Is it any wonder I am steering clear of the fan pages these days? I know we don’t all have to agree – be equally – we don’t have to keep expressing the same “opinion” all the bloody time, either!

I’m just tired of it. Really tired of it. So I’ll just stay here in my own little space. I cannot to arsed to argue a point or converse with anyone on the fane pages any more. It’s just so full of BS these days.