It Was All For You – But It Was For Me Too

Let’s try and reset the clock and think of the good things.

Before I start that – thank you to Sage, who commented on a previous post with some rather apt – as her name suggests – sage words.

I’d like to think I am intelligent enough, and I know what needs to be done but I am obviously very emotionally stunted. So, I can have all the analytical, rational and lateral intelligence in all the world but if I can’t keep my emotions in check, or I struggle to rationalise my emotional wellbeing, that’s when it all falls apart.

I will post below here what Sage has written to me. They are words I know are true and right. I wish I had the emotional intelligence and resolve I need right now.

I need to apologise to Jim.

For one final time I am going to try to explain this as best I can. I don’t know why I feel so compelled to explain this, I just do. Maybe somehow to just rationalise it for myself as much as anything? I don’t know.

I hate for it to be misconstrued that I am IN LOVE with Jim and that I wish to be with him. IT IS NOT THAT! It really is not that! I do love him, yes. But it is a love of adulation, not of lust or desire (and lust and desire isn’t love anyway). Any notion like that is tied up with Jim in the past. The young Jim. The 22/23 year old Jim that I confess to being visually and aesthetically drawn to.

It is not how I feel about the Jim of the present. The Jim of the present is more where the emotions lay. It’s a romantic love, but not in a way that means I wish to be with him. I will never claim to know him. I don’t. And I never will. That’s the bitter pill. That’s the thing that causes the pain. That I would like to actually know him and have him be fond of me and see me as a dear friend. A friend. Nothing more! Not a lover. Not a girlfriend. Just someone that he would like to talk to on occasion. Someone who he’d think of during the day, pondering “I wonder how she’s doing? I hope she’s okay?” and then would get in contact to see how I was. That’s it.

But I am aware that even that is A LOT. That it’s a lot to ask and I can wish for that as much as I like but if he doesn’t feel that way, if there is no element of him liking me or trusting me or wanting to allow me in, then…it can’t be forced. I can wish for it all I like – until I make myself sick with it.

I am sorry, Jim, if it seemed or felt as though I was endlessly making demands of you. My naivety in thinking that positivity between us would have us feed each other. But it can’t work like that when only one person is providing the positivity. And I guess you have given me plenty of explanations as to why you are where you are and I am where I am.

You radiate light and warm, generosity and humour, wit and charm. You’re articulate and a lot of the time erudite. But maybe that is all public persona? I never felt that it was. One can only act for so long.

I am just me. Just one person. Just one fan in… how many fans? How many people wanting your attention? Wanting – and I hate this term, but I guess it applies – a piece of you? And you as one man, JUST “a man” (as several people like to remind me time and again), can only spread yourself so far.

I started typing out this post downstairs in the dining area of the living room, but I have now moved upstairs to my bedroom. The little bit of “office” area of my bedroom. Where I am hoping to keep looking after this blog. I look up just over and above the screen of my PC and this is what I see.

Sunshine. He is sunshine. He just radiates it. Warmth and beauty. And I just want to bask in it – constantly! I want to bask in the glow of him. And that should be enough. To look at the beauty of him. To bask in the sunshine of him. For it to be what it was when I wrote this that follows…

“…You are tantalisingly tangible
Yet I don’t really know who you are.

I find you intoxicating
And will be happy
Spending all the rest of my days
Drinking you in from afar.”

I need to find that place again. The place in which I never made demands. The place before Hunter And The Hunted. The place before he knew my name. Knew who I was. Knew what a stupid, pathetic creature I am.

I need to stop beating myself up. And I need to stop wanting him to be things he can’t be.

Right about this time seven years ago I’d be making those tentative steps again (after trying in 2006 and it not really going anywhere) to try and get a handle on the Simple Minds back catalogue. Listening to Life In A Day. It really was a slow burn (“stay – I’m burning slow”) but of the handful of songs that seeped their way in…the first to take hold was All For You. I loved the guitar riff. It’s a rather more “traditional rock” piece from them, with a standard verse/chorus song structure, which is actually fairly unusual for Jim to write that way during those early years. I love the backing vocals also. His voice is a higher register at that point but I find it soft and sultry on that song.

It was the seed that germinated what I was to become as a Simple Minds fan.

I wish I could start again. Wipe the slate clean. Not get so…invested in it. Perhaps have stayed away from going anywhere near the band’s Facebook page? Oh, but had I done that? Well, I wouldn’t have met the beautiful people I have met. I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have now. Including the one whose pictures of “Mr Sunshine” are on the wall just above.

And I wouldn’t have the good and wonderful and happy memories I have of Jim. Perhaps for a time he actually DID like me? He made a fuss enough. But was it actually of me? Of Larelle, or just “the new fan”. That I was just an object of curiosity and intrigue for a time until I shared everything about myself and there was no intrigue left. No “enigma”.

And…I do this too. I do this far too much. I overanylise and “overthink”. I read too much into things and I put into them a degree of importance that just doesn’t exist, or only exists for me alone.

But I feel like Jim gave me a strength. He gave me a strength and a belief in myself that I had never had. And the things it allowed me to do no doubt seem minuscule to many, but for me they were momentous and profound. And I loved him for it. I loved him for freeing me from the things I felt restricted by.

But I guess it has come full circle and now I feel somewhat imprisoned by those feelings that at one time felt so freeing and liberating. Because I keep craving those things.

He has NEVER bored me. He has never made me tired and he has never stopped being a curiosity to me.

I live in hope that my awareness of my emotional stupidity is the thing that sees me through it. But I also fear a feeling of a loss. That I need to walk away from it all. That before I drown, I should try and get myself out of the water. Instead of just praying he’ll reach out to me with a hand, with a fingertip to say “I won’t let you drown.”

It’s like… I want permission. I want permission to love him. I want to know that it’s okay that I do. And that he doesn’t see me as odd or strange, or thinks I’m weird or an idiot, or worst of all – pities me. That he understands. That he cares that I care! But how can I expect that of him?

I don’t know where I go from here. I feel I should talk about it because… because supposedly it helps to talk? I worry about “exposing” myself.

I don’t know how to end this post.

Heart Of The Crowd – Limited Edition Boxed Presentation

So initially I held off getting the Heart Of The Crowd book on pre-order. I just wasn’t sure I wanted to expose myself to all those stories. I was slowly coming round to it and was starting to think that maybe it would be good. And the £45 didn’t seem too bad. A little more expensive than I had liked (as I said before, the 16 Years book is of a similar volume but was just that more modestly priced at £35) but, you know…I’m sure it would be worth it.

I am glad I had held off because one of the fans on one of the SM groups alerted us to THIS!

The blurb about it reads:

With foreword from Jim Kerr. The Special Box edition is limited to 1,000 copies only and are all individually numbered.

The Special Box edition comes compete with bonus items including: Certificate of Authenticity numbered 1-1000, two rare early black and white photos signed by Jim and Charlie, a plectrum made for Charlie for the 2020 tour, Simple Minds 40 Hits tour VIP pass with lanyard, Simple Minds 2020 fridge magnet, sticker sheet with 24 badges, replica Saturday Night Live ticket from 1985, replica BBC In Corcert ticket from 1979, replica Mars Bar Club flyer from 1977 (I think they mean 1978, I hope they do!), all presented in a box with artwork.

Well…I couldn’t actually resist THIS version and have gone ahead and pre-ordered it. When you make it ultra collectable, of course then you pull me in! I already have the photo of Jim. I got some prints from Laurie Evans just a short while ago and it included that particular photo of Jim. I don’t have any of Charlie (of Laurie’s in print form), so there’s a bonus already.

I won’t lie – I took a steep intake of breath when I saw the cost but it wasn’t like I wasn’t prepared. And I do think given the collectable nature of it and all the bonus content, it is actually a more reasonable price than the standard copy of the book. All of that other stuff for £40 more quid? Sounds bloody decent to me!

So, yes. This special box limited edition is priced at £85 but, in my eyes, better value for money than the standard edition.

I just pray now that my little contribution features in it…but I highly doubt it. There is nothing grandiose in my fan story I have to offer. certainly not what I had submitted anyway.

Yep. I was keeping quiet about it. About the fact I actually DID submit something. But I sat on my hands for months because I felt I had nothing to offer the book as Miss Johnny-Come-Lately “not a real fan – earn your stripes, girly” fan – so…yeah.

I’ll be no doubt desperately disheartened if my little bit doesn’t make it in…but I have had more than my share in recent times. And I’ll love Jim all the rest of my days for being so kind and lovely to me when he did. (Oh, how I miss it! STOP CRYING!!! 😭😭😭)

Nothing could ever mean more to me than that.

So…if you have £85 to burn, have contributed to the book and know you’re appearing in it (some fans already seem to know they are in it) then you MAY just want to splash out. At only 1,000 limited copies, I wouldn’t dilly dally though!

Details on purchasing the book can be viewed HERE

The Blog That Nobody Follows

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It was never the reason I started this blog. Not to gain followers. It was never about that. If nobody read it, I would STILL be posting here. If it never had “an audience” it would still be going.

It has always been about self-expression and showing my passion and love for this band.

It didn’t even start seriously! It started on Tumblr – which is a very image and gif rich social media platform hybrid. It’s much more a visual based thing. Just a big excuse to share lots of gorgeous images and gifs of Jim (and the rest of the band). A big excuse to ogle. (Oh, how I like an ogle.) For a time I even had a secondary Tumblr page solely dedicated to Jim’s left ear! Lol. This is how frivolous and silly it all started out as!

If I had wanted followers, I’d have stayed on Tumblr. In my short time on there I gained about 300 followers and it would have kept growing exponentially as that’s what most social media platforms are about. Equally, if I wanted my blog to have followers, I’d be sharing posts and going on about it here, there and everywhere. Endlessly sharing links and posting stuff to Simple Minds groups on Facebook and retweeting links to Twitter users, etc, etc. Basically spammed people to death with my blog.

Blogs are different to other aspects of social media. Yes, they can have that element to them as well but the overriding reason someone creates a blog isn’t really about gaining a fanbase or followers, as such.

Tumblr did have its limitations. It’s very much its own community there. And it wasn’t really the place for more serious contemplation or expression. I felt anyway. I felt as if I was outgrowing Tumblr. I wanted something more. I didn’t want to completely come away from the fun stuff. The ogling of Jim and the silly things that went on at Tumblr, but the move away from Tumblr was a great reason to start to bring in a more serious slant to stuff.

It took time. Time for the love of the band to really develop into something that I felt I could try to articulate and express more.

Over time I have introduced several “themes” to the blog. Not completely leaving the fun side behind at Tumblr, I coined “Kerrsday Thursday” for the blog. A weekly ogling session of all things Jim. I had written pieces titled “Why I Love…” in which I would try and go in depth and explain why I loved a particular Simple Minds song and therefore why it was in its place in my Top 50 Simple Minds songs. Nearly five years down the road, and I STILL haven’t finished all 50.

The weekend whiriiGIG was coined in which I would share a live performance from YouTube that I enjoyed. Mainly bootleg gigs. Before it was the “weekend whirliGIG” it had been on the blog as a TARDIS dream gig wish. A gig that I would wish I had been able to go to but…due to age, distance, non fandom, it didn’t take place for me.

And it eventually came a space to share band news and things and a place for me to feel free to comment and talk about those things.

A place for my art too. The digital fan art being a huge aspect of that…but also painting and drawing that I would do – not necessarily of the band, either.

The joy of gigs and seeing them live. And then just….expanding on that and started to give reviews of other gigs I started to go to. In the past three years in particular, I have been to see more live music and more gigs than I had ever done in the previous near 30 years (as of then) of my adult life.

And this year – my 50th year – was going to be the most gig rich year yet! Until Covid-19 had other plans. My calendar of events had just started. I had been to a Poliça gig to see my guys, Warm Digits, as their support. A gig wish was fulfilled by seeing Bryan Ferry at the SEC Armadillo the week prior to flying over to Copenhagen to see what was meant to be the first of THIRTEEN Simple Minds shows for this year. And there were so many other gigs lined up besides! More Warm Digits gigs, as they have just released a new album. Then there was meant to be King Creosote on the day we were due back from Copenhagen. And beyond that…John Grant, Jimmy Webb, Crowded House, The Stranglers. One of the Warm Digits bills had them at the Stag and Dagger in Edinburgh and I was looking forward to getting to see other bands on the bill there. Perth band Parliamo, in particular.

I had started to conduct the odd interview as well. I had interviews with Simple Minds original lighting technician, Jaine Henderson, former band manager, Bruce Findlay and just recently an interview with Warm Digits’ Steve Jefferis.

I have been trying to make something of it. Not just have it be a Jim Kerr ogle-fest or a sycophantic endless declaration of love and admiration for him. It always runs the risk of falling back to that.

But, hey! I am human after all. I have feelings, thoughts, concerns, worries, hang ups. And at the end of the day MY blog is MY outlet for things. I really try not to drag it down with too much personal stuff. But if it happens…I shouldn’t really feel the need to apologise for that. At the end of it – it IS a personal blog. It isn’t in any way monetised. It doesn’t exist to make money! It doesn’t exist to gain followers.

But, you know what? It DOES have followers. A small number of them. But the fact it has any at all astounds me. And at times, it embarrasses the fuck out of me! A lot of the time, in fact.

And I have regular readers too. And then new comments coming in too. And I have had wonderful acknowledgements from people I admire and hold in esteem and these things feel very unworthy.

So, to all of you who visit and/or leave a comment, to Scott, (and to the other Scott as well that I know visits too) and to recent visitors leaving comments, Catrine and Gavin. To Stuart as well. And to the new followers who’ve subscribed, thank you.

To Gordon Machray of Simple Minds International on Facebook, to Simon Cornwell – who runs the sublime Dream Giver Redux – the absolute Simple Minds online bible, to Paolo Viani – who runs Simple Minds Historical on Facebook, and to Ronnie Gurr of Hanging Around Books. For all your nods of acknowledgement, I am humbled and thankful and feel it very undeserved.

Vive la Simple Minds!

Five Years A (Mega) Fan

While it is that beautiful man’s birthday – it is also my fan anniversary. This year it is FIVE YEARS since I became a Simple Minds uber fan.

I clean near forgot as I have had something else rather dominating my thoughts today – and it wasn’t that it’s Jim’s 60th, no.

I’ve been hard at work on something today and there’s a few other bits and pieces going on…all enough to distract me from remembering my fan anniversary for several hours today.

But here we are. FIVE YEARS! Of following the most amazing band in the world, EVER. From the very earliest days right up til the present moment…Simple Minds have been my entire universe these past five years.

I can’t imagine my life without this band in it now.
Thank you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ – a heart for each of the current members of the band.

Show Me What You Can Do

Much like with Simple Minds, I had been aware of Talking Heads for the longest time. My brother had copies of More Songs About Buildings And Food and Fear Of Music. At least in my head these are the TH album covers I remember seeing in his collection.

I don’t remember him listening to them much…but he must have. And I certainly never listened to them (I would sneak into his bedroom when he was out with friends and play his albums on his full stack sound system). I remember being a little scared of the cover of MSABAF – it looked rather strange to my young eyes for some reason.

As I got older, I naturally became more aware of them. Knew things like Psycho Killer, Once In A Lifetime, Burning Down The House – in the age of MTV such groundbreaking videos made in impact. Then of course Stop Making Sense was a HUGE thing in the cinemas upon its release. It was EVERYWHERE!

As I got more exposed to their music over the past few years, I have a favourite in amongst the songs I know of theirs – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).

Over the past couple of months, I have started to immerse myself in the music of Talking Heads. It’s been a progression.

First I gave Fear Of Music the odd listen. Cities started to grow on me as a track. I then started to listen to MSABAF and recently that has really, really grown on me. It is the album I currently play most. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel is currently the constant earwarm. But a lot of the album is really getting under the skin.

This is how music from particular artists would seep in and finally make an impact with me. It was rarely an instantaneous thing. It’s always been like true love is…a growth. A measured process.

I feel a little silly for being retrograde with this stuff…but that is the shining legacy of the music I grew up with – that there was SSOOO much great stuff around one worried they would spread themselves too thin trying to explore it all.

I feel I should try and give new bands and new music my time too. I try – but it certainly doesn’t come from the charts. That stuff really does not interest me at all. That may be some inverted snobbery there. But I can’t help but feel snobbish when chart “music” feels much more about marketability than being an artistic endeavour.

I think the exploration of Talking Heads will continue…and I’m sure lots of other retrograde and retrospective explorations of late 70s/early 80s post-punk/new wave outfits will continue.

Vive la music!