Minds Music Monday – Space – Johnson Somerset Mix

I wanted to choose Space today because – I always wish to see Jim in my dreams. I spent the past few years before going to sleep, making that wish… “Please! When I go to sleep PLEASE let me dream about him. If I can’t get to be with him and spend time with him like I’d love to in real life, at least let me have it in my dreams. Please just let me dream of being with him!”

It rarely ever happened. And I honestly don’t know when the last time I dreamed about him was. I gave up asking. He’s as sick of me in my dwam state as he is in real life, it seems.

I don’t think I had ever heard this Johnson Somerest mix of Space before today. He always makes good mixes, some are naturally better than others, but I don’t think there has ever been one I haven’t liked.

Jim – I am trying to give you space, I really am. The last thing I have ever wanted is to bore you rigid. I fear that I have. So I am trying really hard to stop that from happening. But you post things and then…I just want to talk to you! And then I just pray that you’ll respond to me. Interact with me. Throw me a bone by responding to me.

And then I sound all super needy and clingy and I hate myself because I know that kind of stuff is stuff you detest. As I said before – to be enthusiastic is great, but to be OVER-enthusiastic is undesired.

Today is also the anniversary of something else that I don’t really want to think about or have happen ever, ever again. But it doesn’t stop me from living further back in the past. He started his post today with a quote from Kierkegaard …

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward

Soren Kierkegaard

I don’t feel like I live too much forward. I spend too much time in the past. Steeped in what feels like “halcyon days” when the art was good, when I felt like I was going somewhere, when I felt that affinity, though perhaps it was a dwam too?

GAH! I’m so sick of myself! No wonder he’s sick of me too! If I’m not living in the past, I just want to live in dreams…

Jim’s July Playlist – The Reaction

“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…

Israelites

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.

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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.

Kooks

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.

Thunderstruck

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!

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The Joke

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.)

 

A Change Of…Terms?

Where do I start? Well, I start by saying – the blog ends up being my safe place for a moan…a gripe…a whinge. Mostly because I know Jim doesn’t want to hear it. I appreciate that.

Well, I kind of expressed, briefly, in the comments about the use of the phrase “longterm” – like how I had my gripe that got me into a WHOLE HEAP of trouble about “real fans” – ooh, at least he steered clear of THAT! Lol

But I elaborated on my gripe here. I often do. And go on about wishing I could be his “penpal“…in a sense. (I could easily cut his hair. I cut my OH’s hair most of the time.) That I’d love to interview him for the blog. That I wish “discs and doughnuts” could actually be A THING – just one time – between the two of us. Also, I go on about how I miss him pretty much every day he isn’t on Facebook. Lol.

I just crave the connection I felt was there some time back.

I’m a clingy, lovelorn, emotionally retarded fuckhead – I know! (Honestly, Alasdair Gray’s writing speaks sssooo fucking much to me! I’m there most of the time thinking “Know how you feel, Al. You’re speaking my language, friend!” Geez, I wish I had got to meet him now! Damn!)

Something happened though. And when that “something” sometimes happens, I forget to give a word of thanks. A “thanks for listening”…for taking it on board. For making me feel like…I have a voice, I am still being listened to. Appreciated. That my feelings matter. That you still care. Maybe? Hopefully? Perhaps it’s all still just delusional wishful thinking…

But just in case, Jim…thank you! Coincidence, no doubt. Wishful thinking? Most likely. Even if so, the “change of heart” post was greatly appreciated.

And well…hey fans…feel like trying to get your story in the book? Expressing your “Sense Of Discovery” of Simple Minds? Here’s your chance! You have just over a month to submit something. I think this may be one HUMONGOUS book!

Ever since reading this morning’s post, this has been the earworm…

Warm Digits – Flight Of Ideas – Listening Party Replay

Now Jim may well be found “in the kitchen at parties” (bedroom, more like!) – but Tim Burgess is now the self-proclaimed Twitter DJ to end all Twitter DJ’s. Since pretty much the beginning of lockdown he has held “listening parties” on Twitter. The concept being, we all join up online and listen to an album together all simultaneously and tweet along with our thoughts on the tracks and sounds, etc.

It is a thing that Simple Minds International on Facebook have been doing for some time. And when lockdown started, I did my bit by being “DJ”/host of a couple of the SMI Playbacks, though the majority have been held by SMI page creator and admin extraordinaire, Gordon Machray, with another helper who may wish not to be named on here and myself helping latterly.

Back to Tim’s parties on Twitter. On Monday one of the albums up for listening to was Warm Digits’ Flight Of Ideas. Anyone who has visited this blog in recent months will know how I feel about this dynamic duo of men. Other than Simple Minds, Warm Digits are just about my favourite band in the world – and certainly, along with Ruts DC and The Stranglers, an absolute favourite live act. And mercifully one of the acts I got to see live in 2020 before Corona caused chaos.

I wasn’t feeling well on Monday night, so I unfortunately missed tuning in and joining along but amazingly, you are able to watch and listen via a replay. Not as much fun as taking part live, but still a way to enjoy what was missed.

You can view the replay by clicking HERE

Enjoy!

You can also read my review of Flight Of Ideas and my interview with Steve Jefferis by using the search feature and searching for ‘Warm Digits‘ on this blog.

In the meantime, this one’s for Jim…

The Longterm?

How does one define how ‘long’ the longterm is? I ponder because in Jim’s post today he talks about the “Book Of Brilliant Things” or whatever it’s going to end up being called. The fan-based SM compendium.

“….we are looking to create something to which all longterm Simple Minds fans will hopefully want to contribute their stories.”

Well, that wording makes me feel precluded from it immediately. “Longterm”. How long is longterm?

To me it by its very definition means a substantial number of years. And given that, my not quite six years of fandom would hardly qualify as “longterm”. Thirty plus years, perhaps? Had I stayed with them from 1985, definitely! I have certainly tried cramming 30+ years of fandom into these past near six years. I have probably got a bigger collection of memorabilia and been to more gigs than a lot of “longterm” fans.

But that is by the by, I guess. Because the yardstick seems to be a measure of time. Not money, emotional investment, affinity….or some deluded sense of affinity one felt they may have had.

I’ve told the story so many times now, I’m not even sure I have the heart to tell it any more in all honesty.

It’s all there in my art anyway. And if any of THAT was used or printed? Well…that would be the most amazing thing ever. But even to have had Jim share it on the SM FB page back in the day when he liked it and he wasn’t sick to death of me….

That will always be a treasure. It means more than just about anything else I’ve ever done in my sad, pathetic existence on this sphere.

He replied to someone today about needing a hair cut. “Cut mine and I’ll be your penpal.”

Jesus! Can you just stop being a tease?!

*sigh*

Better still…I’ll try and stop being a “try hard” and go away. Shuffle off…well…at least the SM planet, as someone suggested (and not just of the SM planet, either!) I do some time back.

End this silly “affliction”. I blame John Francis Lawson and David leaving me far too soon.

I need to find that self-worth I had found for myself somewhere along the line. As fake as it was. Sadly some of it came from you, Jim.

An “enthusiast” is good…but an over-enthusiast, no matter how else it appears to the contrary is, ultimately, undesired.

Dan’s My Man! Wonderful In Young Life – Live At Last.

This amazing young man, Dan Crouch, has been sharing some piano solo covers of Simple Minds songs on the SM Official Group page. He had done fabulous covers of Hunter And The Hunted and most recently The American. And because he had covered The American it had me thinking that maybe he would be willing to try Wonderful In Young Life.

So I asked him….explaining away that it really hasn’t ever been performed live and that when I had a reply from Jim once about ever being done live, Jim pretty much dismissed it outright.

Bless you, Dan! Bless his cottons socks! He only went and done it and it’s GORGEOUS! I was crying my eyes out watching it. Just from…well, the joy of seeing it, Dan’s wonderful interpretation and the fact he actually DID grant my wish. What a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Thank you so much, Dan! You are…wonderful 😊❤️

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Tears For Tat?

It was meant to be a play on words – “Tit for Tat” – but failed. Lol

This afternoon’s post about Elbow and Jamesie. The talk about “The Birds” making him cry. I could dream it was a response to my first “reply” playlist to him. My “Tears” playlist.

And he brings up birds. Surely he knows what I’m like with birds by now. The mere mention of them will set me off.

It had me thinking about Speirs Wharf and the sand martins.

Jamesie – the pheasant. Lol

Sweeties.

Oh, I have such dreams…

“What are we gonna do with you” … Larelle?

UPDATE: Oh, drats! It was Lippy Kids what made him cry. What do I know? Lol. I should learn to read!

What do I know? I know that no matter how present he feels, I still miss him. I still want to talk to him and feel close to him. That I am a clingy fucking fuckwit and I get angry with myself for being such a lovelorn idiot. 

That’s what I know.

”What are we gonna do with you, Larelle?”

Jim’s June Playlist – The Reaction

The response to June’s “Discs and Doughnuts” follows.

I suppose Computer Love is more “accessible” than earlier Kraftwerk. More lyrics, more harmonies. I guess “warmer”. It’s more dancey too, I suppose. It has a rhythm though…that kind of minimalist repetitive cycle which gets quite hypnotic…not as, I dunno “colourful” as it was on Autobahn. I do like it though. Hard not to like anything by Kraftwerk. Masters of the game.

Never heard Rubberband Man before ever in my life before. Detroit Spinners I am guessing (without looking into it – doing in totally blind) are Motown – it’s Detroit, right? That funk centric thing cannot help but be fab and uplifting. It’s the BVs that make it for me.

I love Jim – Iggy, I mean. I admit to not exploring The Stooges so much. I’ve gone to in the past. Obviously being led to Iggy via Bowie and learning Raw Power was produced by David so it was a natural progression of discovery to look into Iggy and Lou Reed, etc. I guess The Stooges didn’t pull me in as strongly as Iggy did as a solo artist.

I gotta say the Sparks track is catchy. Lol. It has great harmonies. Fun for the novelty value. On this first listen I can’t see it being something I will be playing in years to come thinking “wow, what a classic!” Lol. I mean, it isn’t exactly The Number One Song In Heaven, is it?

How do you like people who think you suck arse, Jim? Lol. All I remember is Mac going on about, well, maybe not so much you, I dunno…but he was always dissing Bono and back as a lovelorn teen it would fucking piss me off. Lol. I prefer other Bunnymen songs, I think. (Lips Like Sugar – wonder why that would be? Lol. The Cutter.)

4th And Vine. Bhangra beat! It’s almost like (apart from the actual marriage aspect of the song) the “lockdown let out ladies let’s get dolled up release”. Lol. Put the bins out – bin isolating dress up excuse. Lol. It’s got all that getting married/love stuff in it. Meh. Lol. (I’m just envious, is all.)

Life In A Northern Town: It’s a magic mix of melancholy and joy. It has that softness in between those drums. For Aussies like me, it kind of reinforced that feeling of like “geez, England looks sssoooo oppressive!” Oh, as that line comes in “as the train pulls out of sight…byyyyye byyyye” – the protracted delivery of the “bye bye” – that used to induce tears I’m not ashamed to say. As oppressive as England looked, it always drew me in though. The music made me the most extreme Anglophile. Because the music ALWAYS transcended how life looked. And the same went for Scotland too. When I moved here – first to England, then to Scotland – both felt like “coming home”. As much as I loved growing up in the western suburbs of Sydney – there was always something that never felt quite like I belonged. I dreamed of getting out.

I love musicals. I’ve seen a few. And this is where I let my guard down and admit that my favourite musical is the Disney version of Beauty And the Beast. Lol. I’ve seen it about seven times on the stage in Sydney, London, Bristol (during the early stages of whooping cough in 2002 – surprised they didn’t chuck me out of the Hippodrome – I couldn’t shut up!) and Milton Keynes. Own copies of the animated film and the original cast recording of the Australian production (Hugh Jackman as Gaston, thank you very much – sadly I didn’t get to see him on the stage, he was only in the Melbourne production and didn’t come up to Sydney, DANG!). Went and saw the live action remake a few years back. Yep!

Anyway…moving on! Tom Waits…well…yeah, he’s kind of an acquired taste. Lol. I could take him in small doses. Not sure I could deal with that voice for a whole album or concert. It is a lovely languid version and not dripping with pretension – which is always good. And it’s musically pretty lush.

Well…no need for me to do a playlist in response just yet, eh, Jim? (As if he’s looking or gives a flying fuck. Lol. Asked the fans what their choices would be in the post today – no interaction! Oh, Mr Kerr, you are a master at dangling a carrot on a stick, you really are).

I keep telling myself I will try and walk away. Save myself. But I always come back for more!

Speaking of Motown…

Of course you can hear Sir’s playlist HERE

Interactivity Central

Well, I have to say, there was an incredible amount of interactivity from Mr Kerr today on Facebook! It was lovely, albeit not really anything for me personally.

Perhaps my own grief was hitting me a lot harder than I imagined? Because…I’m just dealing with it now. Trying not to have it feel like “rejection”. Applying all the logical things I should do to help to “not take it personally” – I am just one fan in many – and JUST A FAN … just … a fan – to him. He can’t show any kind of favouritism (but to be honest, it didn’t seem to stop him years back, that one)…etc, etc.

But a few months back, it was REALLY hurting. But I think it really was just grief for mum making it feel much worse. I guess because of last time I was in Oz, she was alive, I was doing the art…all of that converged. Jim was wonderful to me.

I suppose I was just wanting to reach out – WAS reaching out…but he was going through his own grief. I naively hoped that maybe it would mean that…affinity…the kind of kinship I was feeling last time in Oz I hoped would return “when I needed him”.

I was feeling like…I dunno, like he HATED me. Hoping for something at the Scottish Music Awards. Mum had passed just days before, on Charlie’s birthday. I was hoping for just a look…something. I was up in the rafters anyway. He probably didn’t even know where I was. His da wasn’t long passed, either. Selfish of me.

I was okay out in Oz, surrounded by friends and family. In spite of the circumstances – and the adverse weather conditions when I was out there, it was good to be home. I felt horrendously displaced though. Every time I travelled towards the city and then back again to my sister’s or to Gwenda’s, and the train went through Liverpool station, it felt strange not to be getting off the train there. There would be this kind of questioning inner voice “why aren’t we stopping here? Aren’t we going to see mum?” Like the previous time back home, when I was with her and I kept waiting for David to call, or to just walk in through the door.

I don’t think the grief started to hit until I got back here to Glasgow…and I didn’t know what to do with it. I still don’t think I felt it. Because you’re not there. You’re not around physically to be impacted upon with the loss.

My sister had arranged an open coffin at the funeral. I found it really incredibly upsetting. I didn’t want my last memory of mum to be lying dead in a coffin! I didn’t even want to look, really, but with family around me and them all going in…what was I meant to do? I stood there. I stood by her but…I couldn’t touch her. I couldn’t do things that my sister was doing…stroking her face, giving her a kiss. Her in the coffin was my first physical interaction (short of touching her) with her in over 3 years. I just don’t think I wanted that to be my end with her.

And it isn’t what David wanted me to experience with him. He implored me to stay here and not go back home to see him. It meant the last time I saw him was in 2007. And the last pictures I saw of him was when he still looked healthy – at his son’s wedding almost three years earlier. I didn’t see photos of how he looked in the months and weeks before he passed away. I never have. My memory of him is how he wished for it to be for me.

This is becoming maudlin central because – I wanted to explain that I am starting to…feel okay…and try not to give so many fucks, and learn not to “take it personally”.

I sound a fool, I know…but I adore this man. Jim felt like he gave me my life back…or at least made me feel like I could finally find purpose in why I was here. And…frigging hell…I had been searching for that for such a long time! Beyond the silly ogling and finding him physically attractive… He felt like…a saviour. I know! But it felt that profound.

So for a time there has been this…thing where…the interaction was amazing and I felt – most likely in a rather delusional way – an affinity, a kinship…call it what you will…just “liked” by Jim. And then things will die away and I would suddenly start thinking “oh, I’ve done something wrong. He’s pissed off. Oh, what have I done? Oh, why won’t he say anything to me?”

Oh, God! I sound so fucking paranoid! But…this is what happens.

By Copenhagen…yeah. Certain things happened to alleviate that feeling a little but others didn’t help. Not the band’s fault, heck! But…the cancelling of the soundcheck was a bummer. To be able to see the two shows was ssooo great! And I thought I got some interaction from Jim – that he poked his tongue out at me and later gave me a wink…but how do you ever know? He could be winking and poking his tongue out at someone behind me or beside me. The only time I know for sure about things is one-to-one interactions. Stage doors at Bridlington and Drury Lane – him talking to me from the stage at Bristol – the meet and greet at Colchester. Anything else is wishful thinking.

Yet…that look he gave me near the end of the Copenhagen gigs, I have no doubt was for me. Lol. Silly that I try to convince myself that positive things from him MUST be for someone else, yet negative things are DEFINITELY for me.

It feels like it has been hardest of all these past few months, so I am guessing it’s the grief for mum playing the biggest part. These feelings cycle round. They have done for years now.

I guess I’m never gonna stop wanting to be his friend, so while that hope remains ever present, this cycle will continue.

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