I haven’t listened to it myself, yet. That will wait until later tonight as I settle to bed (it is usually when I do my listening to music. Haven’t been listening to much lately, in all honesty. I may just play one or two songs in a whole day). Some songs are unfamiliar to me and will be debut hearings for me personally. It’s great when someone can expose you to something entirely new to you. My friend, Michelle, has done that with a couple of songs of late. And great songs they have been too! I’m sure Jim’s will be great as well. It is rare for me not to like something he likes and recommends.
So, tonight I will listen and perhaps tomorrow I will share my responses. Adios.
(Jim’s reasons for his choices can be viewed via the various Simple Minds social media. Facebook is the best place to view it.)
“The Man in the Sky”, Mick MacNeil, was being interviewed….well, more joined in in a live stream chat (with a loose interview in there) for this YouTube channel called the Pro Synth Network. Basically a weekly synth geek’s get together to discuss all things Synth and keyboard based. New bits of kit out on the market, etc, etc.
Once we get the technicals and geek talk out the way, about 45 minutes in, then there is talk with Mick about his time with Simple Minds and just…his background of being a synth player and how it all came to be. It’s a great thing and Mick shares great anecdotes and is a lot of fun. He always gives great banter.
I am going to drop in on the interview right at the point where Mick says he went to see the band before he joined. What he says about Jim absolutely cracked me up and had me in stitches! Which then meant I missed the next minute or so of the conversation. The very interesting point Mick made about Jim and his stutter (or on anyone with a stutter – in the broader sense).
Anyway, let’s cut to it. But I recommended you maybe go back a few minutes on the clip and listen to Mick talk about taking up (or having it thrust upon him, more accurately!) the accordion and sticking with the rest of the video.
“The dogs are impatient for attention….” he opened with. Pretty obvious metaphor there. It wasn’t lost on me, I just tried to brush it aside yesterday.
Anyway, I thought with the whole deluded continuation of “discs and doughnuts”, I’d post my reactions to Jim’s choices this month.
Will O The Wisp
I must confess that I really was unfamiliar with the folklore tale behind it. I knew it was a term but really didn’t know anything about it and felt compelled to look it up. It didn’t escape my attention that a variation on the character is known as “the Spunkie” in the Scottish Highlands. Maybe that is where the alternative term for “having spunk” – ie: to be gallus and have attitude and bolshiness – comes from?
Anyway, on to the song itself. After one listen…I’m not sure. Very few songs capture me after a solitary listen, it has to be said. Those that do are pretty damn special. The only judgment I can pass for now is that I probably prefer other Pet Shop Boys songs to this. But I will give it a few more listens…it may lure me in…
To be honest, all I could think of initially is this!
But in all seriousness, it’s a great reggae/soul/gospel fusion. Obviously political too – well, to my ears it has a political slant.
She Sells Sanctuary
I have to admit as much I have enjoyed hearing the song over the years, it was a rare one that escaped my knowledge lyrically. Most songs if they grab my attention I’ll educate myself on lyrically. I guess for this I just liked the tune and was happy for Astbury’s lyrics to be just gobbledegook to my ears.
She’s A Mystery To Me
What is NOT to love about the Big O? Geez, the man could sing the phonebook and have you crying tears. An immaculate falsetto too – used to perfection to end the song. My mum bought a copy of Mystery Girl for herself. I had bought a copy of You Got It as a single and she had to trump me. Lol. She loved him. I think she may have even seen him perform live but I am not so sure now – and I can’t really ask her. We were both so saddened by his passing. A great loss at still a relative young age.
When Jim mentioned that semi-conscious half sleep, half wake state, I had to comment about Alasdair Gray, Lanark, and my discovery of the word “dwam”. Reading Lanark, I have been made aware of so many words I had never heard before and “dwam” was just one of them. And because I had never seen/heard it before I had to look up its meaning and I instantly fell in love with it.
Let The Good Times Roll
The Cars are one of those bands that I dabble into now and again and enjoy listening to a “best of” and then they languish again. Much like how it was for Simple Minds for the longest time. I am only familiar with “the hits” and the use of Drive showing the footage of the Ethiopian famine at Live Aid – forever synonymous with those images. Ingrained on the conscious. As much as Ric Ocasek is seen as the main head of the group, it was the songs with Benjamin Orr on vocals that are my faves – Let’s Go and Just What I Needed, as well as Drive, of course – but all the songwriting is Ric’s. Favourite line is from Let’s Go “she’s got wonderful eyes and a risqué mouth” – combined with Orr’s delivery of it – I just find it damn sexy.
Hey, but it’s Let The Good Times Roll that we’re on about here. I’m surprised Jim didn’t relay the story of the signing to Zoom/Arista as part of it because he had mentioned in the past that as part of the celebration of Simple Minds signing the Arista deal, they went to a Cars gig and it was another reason why the song has resonance with him – as for Simple Minds the “good times” were indeed about to roll.
It’s such a fab song. And what a gift David gave to Duncan writing this for him. He and David had such a wonderful relationship. It was heartbreaking seeing Duncan on Twitter announce his imminent fatherhood and the sadness he felt that David wouldn’t get to experience being a grandfather. 🙁
The song is just a lovely “you and me against the world, kid!” anthem. Both kitschy and beautiful.
What Jim said of Bowie’s Glastonbury performance I agree with. It actually seemed quite lacklustre and David himself just didn’t seem in the right place for it. His music of the period fell a bit flat for me. He had released album ‘Hours…’ several months prior and I wasn’t keen on it, to be honest. Move ahead three years and Heathen could not have been any different! To me, Heathen is on a par with Low as my all-time favourite Bowie album.
Back to Glasto…I’m not sure what it was beyond the music. His voice seemed weak to me. He had given up smoking. Iman was pregnant with Lexie and so he was trying to stay away from the “cancer sticks” – sadly it seemed to be somewhat to the detriment of his voice at the time. I’ve not watched the performance since the time. I never wanted to go back to it. I was seeing the hype over social media last weekend and I wasn’t particularly fussed. And I certainly didn’t want to put my head above the parapet and express my disappointment with the set back then. Perhaps I should watch it on iPlayer to see if my opinion and feeling has changed?
Almost exactly 12 months later I got to see him live for the one and only time – seeing him at a day long festival at Old Trafford cricket ground called Move. He was top of the bill. Suede were on before him. There were several other acts on the bill – the other highlight being The Divine Comedy (another man who could sing the phonebook and make me swoon – Neil Hannon). The weather was dodgy during the day and when Suede arrived on stage the heavens opened. Brett Anderson did his best to distract us in the crowd from the downpour but we all looked like drowned rats by the time David appeared. When he did appear, the gloaming sunlight returned – as if we had been joined by God himself. I was soaked to the bone and freezing cold, but I didn’t care. He was wonderful.
Oh, I have an aversion to Brian Johnson fronted AC/DC, I really do. I can tolerate Back In Black, but after that, I just find them a parody of themselves. To me, Johnson is a mimic of Bon Scott – and not a good one. “Cartoon rock” is a summation I’d agree with. Not when Bon was around though! Not on your nelly.
So, along with the glockenspiel and triangle, we can add “air-drums” to Jim’s calibre of “instruments” he can play? Lol
Thank god I got me a real kit last week! Jim can probably play his air-drums better than I can play my real ones right now though!
And so we go from the ridiculous to the sublime. Oh, you are too right, Mr Kerr on this one. The emotion in that lady’s voice?! Wow. Nothing else to add.
You can listen to Jim’s playlist here…
(Check Simple Minds FB for his explanation of the choices.)
Jim posted about it yesterday, saying he was asked about Mandela.
It’s all well and good they were asking about Mandela Day. As you say, under current circumstances it makes sense.
But I still can’t help but feel pangs of envy. I mean, geez, it’s their SECOND interview in as many years and I can’t even get a look in!
And I know why. I get it. I am not deemed professional. My blog is just a “fan blog”. “Jim and Charlie don’t do blogs.” And I fancy the pants off you and adore you and I know doubt bore you to tears as well. And all that goes against me.
But! As a fan, I have questions. Rather different and specific ones. Not your usual “tell us the story about ‘dot dot dot’”. Maybe that’s what else goes against me also?
No. It’s just this…thing. This overriding feeling I get from you that I bore you rigid and you don’t really want to talk to me. I had my time and now I am “surplus to requirements”.
Man, I wish the shoe was on the other foot – or the feeling was mutual. Lol. But it isn’t. It never will be. I’ll ALWAYS want to talk to you, spend time with you, be near you. 😞😞😞
Anyways, here’s a link to the podcast. I’ve not listened to it yet. Or to the Jools thing yet. I’ll get round to it. When I have finished licking my wounds and wishing for things that will never be. (Reading certain passages of Lanark – man, I feel Alasdair Gray’s anguish over the opposite sex.)
He has changed the post several times now since he originally posted it last night. He likes to fuss over the posts most times, chopping and changing text as he goes, adding things, removing others.
Perhaps he was right about himself when he said to Ricky Ross at the end of that recent interview “I am not a writer” – you certainly like to edit enough! This tome of yours must be going through endless drafts! Lol. Sorry, Jim. But the amount you edit posts tickles me. You had all day to post your thing about Jimmy Iovine. Have you never heard of a “word processor”? Lol. Or “cut and paste”?
I’m not a writer, either. But I make sure what I am posting on my blog is – by and large – exactly what I want to say the first time. (I am compiling this post now in my “Notes” app on my iPad Mini, as an example.) The only editing that goes on is the spelling mistakes I missed during composition and proof-reading that I then see AFTER posting. I never usually change the make up of the post. Adding content and taking other content away. If I do add content, it is usually posted with an obvious “UPDATE” attached.
But I digress.
The point of this was the added wording I read on the post this morning – its 10th edit.
That term again! This thing about “realness”. Why does it sound like hypocrisy to me sometimes? And why the hell do I continue to care!? How do you measure “real”?
What does he look for? What’s the secret? Why do I try so hard to crack it? Why do I want “in” so much on the Kerr world?
He hates a quitter, but he seems to be equally turned off by the wrong kind of persistence. So…do I care too much? TELL ME WHICH ONE IT IS, JIM?! I know you don’t care…well maybe neither should I. Geez, I wish I could!
I had a really dark thought this morning as I awoke opened my eyes and you were the first thought there. You’re always the first thought, the last thought and always there through the night too. There seems little escape. And the only means of escape from it I could see this morning was…well, very black, and not something I am going to admit to thinking. But it seems the only option available to me at the moment. Well…not an option available to me. I’ll keep it cryptic.
Again, I digress.
I admit. Last night…my comments. I was hoping he’d bite. That he’d say something. Reply to me. Prove me wrong about my thoughts on Jimmy Iovine. Jimmy probably knows best. I mean, what the fuck do *I* know about writing a song. But…how many songs has Jimmy Iovine actually written himself? For all the work I see listed upon his CV, the one thing that appears missing on it is “songwriter”.
So, what is this “realness” Jim talks of that Jimmy supposedly possess? From what I can see he’s just a blagger, all bravado. By all means a great producer…just by the stats of the list of production under his belt. Ah, but does QUANTITY equal QUALITY? Just has the courage of his convictions and therefore that seems to make him right. How do you learn from anything if you go through life thinking you are always right? And how does that command respect? Am I missing something here?
I fell asleep last night…at some point…very, very late. It was a very warm night in Glasgow last night. I tossed and turned, restless. It wasn’t just the weather keeping me awake. It was also that question that keeps appearing. “Why won’t he talk to me?! Why have I lost this thing I felt I had? Why can’t I just stop fucking caring?! Just…respect myself and not give a toss about what this man thinks any more. Stop wanting to be his friend.”
I’m not sure who is talking when, but I think it’s Steven Wilson first which means when Tim Bowness comes in to say that EAD is the first real defining mark SM makes, the interjection from Steven for Real To Real Cacophony – I am finding myself shouting “YES, YES!”
And I hold my hand up for making that mistake sometimes. To have missed it off my tattoo on my wrist….I do wish I had added it now! Maybe something to think about for the future. Anyway, see what you think of this little discussion. I think a swathe of the fanbase would be in agreement.
I’m not really sure what *is* left? This site has become stagnant. Gigs are on hold. There is NOTHING coming from the official channels from Simple Minds – now suddenly after 9 years on Facebook is now being referred to as just “Simple Minds” rather than “Simple Minds Official”.
Another nail in the coffin? Another sign of “letting go”?
This blog will just end up a sad nostalgia fest. “Look at all the gigs I USED to go to.” I could add more quotes but I’m sure you can make assumptions of where it would lead.
All past tense. Past. Past. Past.
The future finally seemed here. And in the blink of an eye, it’s gone again.
I’m not in the mood for April Fools jokes and pranks. I’m a year-long fool. An every day fool.
Perhaps I’ll just go back to swamping this site with the nostalgia of a time I wish more than anything I was involved in. Early SM. For all the reasons I will keep in my head and heart.
Maybe still do some art…who knows? If I do, I may give some of it away. I still owe two people prints. I’ll get them to them soon and see where we go from there. Other than those few things, I’m not sure I have it in me for the “onwards” Simple Minds journey.
I’m taking a U-turn. I think the driver of the bus doesn’t want me on the forwards journey anyway.
And besides…what’s one fan in the grand scheme of things?
The journey was fun while it lasted. But these past few months haven’t been much fun. Time to get off the bus, I guess.
I wish I could explain what a void I am feeling right now. It goes beyond there being a break in the tour. I have felt this void for over 12 months now. It just…doesn’t get any better. It just gets worse. The past few months have been the worst of all, combined with the upheaval of a house move and the loss of my mum….everything just feels so hollow.
I want to ask Jim a question. I haven’t really had a question to ask him for ages. I used to be asking him things all the time – over exuberant with enthusiasm, wanting to learn, soak up and absorb all things SM as much as possible. And if I had a question, well who better to ask than Jim himself. Charlie doesn’t really ‘do’ social media anyway and mostly my enquiries would be lyrics based or be something that Jim would be more inclined to answer.
In the past I’d have absolutely NO hesitation in going to the Simple Minds Official Facebook page and posing the question on the visitor wall. Back then when I liked the FB page and started following them, Jim would engage a lot. Reply to people on the visitor wall if they shared something interesting, etc. It very rarely happens now, and the wall is all but lifeless.
And well, I have promised Maris Piper (surprised he didn’t call himself King Edward, or “Charlotte”, or Desiree) that I won’t be posting to the wall any more – and a promise is a promise! And well, if I couldn’t even have a bit of flippant fun and ask Jim if he would collect me from the airport with a doughnut without it being deleted – who knows whether a genuine question would even be allowed these days?
I’m not gonna chance it!
I just heard Brian Eno’s Baby’s On Fire recently playing on the radio and the thought just entered my head instantly of Jim’s altering of the lyrics in I Travel and I was suddenly curious as to whether he liked the song. So…that would have been the question…does he actually like the song Baby’s On Fire? Was it what prompted the lyric change…that he liked it? Or did he feel it was a little more cryptic to have that as the lyric rather than simply saying “Brian Eno”?
Like other questions I have posed to him in the recent past (SEMI-MONDE, ANYONE?!), an answer will never be forthcoming – unless I remember to ask at the meet and greet in Bordeaux. Pfffft! This I doubt. It isn’t even that important anyway. I’ll live without ever knowing…
But I miss being curious, quizzing him, and on the odd occasion getting a wonderful response.