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.

10 Years Ago – No Regrets?

Well, you’re not meant to have any regrets in life. And of course, I did try to get “into” SM fully in 2006…but here I am in 2009 professing my love for OUAT and well, if only I tried building on that again.

I’d have been around for the release of Graffiti Soul and Lostboy! and for the 5×5 tour and OMG! Just…

But a wise friend told me not to think on what I have missed, but what I had experienced since actually becoming the SM fan I am now. I mean…just yesterday…fulfilling the dream of taking the first step in learning to play the drums…and look who my teacher is?! Wow! Amazing!

So…no regrets, eh? Oh…but I’m still wishing for that TARDIS, at least to take me back to experience just ONE 5×5 gig!

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!

Dream Given!

simpleminds.org – aka Dream Giver Redux – has been my ABSOLUTE Simple Minds bible for these past four years. Esp. in the early days of my fandom. Daily visits…devouring voraciously the wealth of information on the site. It was utterly invaluable and helped me learn so much about the history of the band and a lot of the vinyl, magazine and newspaper cuttings and general memorabilia I have collected was referenced on here. And, without it…my art would not have flourished…without all the lyrics printed there.

It is still a site I visit on a regular basis.

So, today I am a very happy bunny. Humbled and honoured to have had a name check and my own blog mentioned on the site. Just…AMAZING! Thank you so, so much Simon for the nod! I can’t express what it means…genuinely.

Mourning…

Jim, I miss you. There are things about you that drive me absolutely nuts. I’m sure the reverse is also true. Of course it would be! I never deluded myself it could be anything else.

But I miss…a new day. A day full of promise, and hope and joy. And you would always be at the centre of it. My day would always begin with a Simple Minds song. The most uplifting of them all I would find that roused me from my sleep was New Gold Dream. And then, I would open up Facebook and see what you had posted this morning. You have been the centre of my universe, well, if not all the four years I have been a mega Simple Minds fan, then certainly for the past three of the four years.

The positivity you gave to me. The belief that I could be something…someone…do something…achieve things…set goals for myself and complete them…have determination…not feel defeatist….it’s what made me fall in love with you.

I don’t care how that sounds. Of course I knew it would always be unrequited! That was always going to be…but I did, perhaps delude myself I was liked by you in return. How could I not have? The amount of attention my art received…that *I* received? I can never really articulate properly what that meant. You gave me such positivity and belief in myself. Something I had not had in a very long time…if I ever actually had it at all.

There was such a void in my life. It was just empty. And I was searching for something, and I found Simple Minds. It all became such a huge part of my life. You did.

The interactivity I’ve had with you has meant so very much. Too much, probably. How could it not? You don’t ever have to talk to us, correspond with us. You don’t even need to have a presence on Facebook. You could just let admins take care of SMO, but you don’t. It is you that talks to us fans, and I had always been forever grateful of it.

Did I take it for granted? Sometimes, yes. Would I over-enthuse? Of course! How many times did you tell me to “calm down”? Lol. But that excitement and adoration would get the better of me. It always did.

From the earliest times…and through the past few years…talking to you about Blackstar when it was released. Sharing with you the grief of David’s passing. Discussions on SM music…how you came about writing the lyrics for songs on Sons/Sister…walking about the streets of Glasgow with the tunes playing on your Walkman. (You changed the way I would take my daily constitutional as a result.) Right up until the most recent exchange about Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry. I treasured every exchange we had. (Well, nearly every…there was one I didn’t appreciate. And how has that come back to bite me, yet again.)

All the good that has been! My love of the music. Of interactivity with you, meeting other fans, making new and lasting friendships with people I may have never otherwise have met…it was Simple Minds that brought us together. Going to gigs. Loving the live music experience. I have been to more gigs in the past 18 months than I have ever been to in my entire life.

Meeting you. Having an actual dream come true. Dreaming that I had met you and that you had hugged me. And then it was made real. You talking to me from the stage in Bristol. Saying my name. I had longed to hear you say my name…and I never imagined you saying it in such a way. I was given a copy of the audio of it…and I played it over and over. Never had my name sounded more exotic 🙂

You have given me such sweet gifts, Jim. I treasure them all. So, how could I not offer you gifts in return? Tokens of appreciation…gratitude…love? I know you told me in February not to send you gifts, but I did it because I wanted to. Not because I felt obliged but to express beyond words what it all meant, and still means.

It *STILL* means absolutely everything. I want you to know that. I don’t want to feel embittered. Because it has been such a wonderful part of my life.

I have to explain Aix…what happened. Why I looked so “gloomy”. Before I left…well, firstly, what happened between us had happened, and on the same day I’d heard that my mum had taken ill and was in hospital, then hours later, my great niece also ended up in hospital. I was about to travel some 600 miles, via various transport, to a music festival and the timing could not be worse.

I could not have gone. But I’d have wasted money I couldn’t afford to waste by not going.

I wanted to be at the front because…being at the front at a Simple Minds concert…there is usually no place on earth I would rather be. And…I was hoping I could somehow express regret for how I had behaved…for the things I had said. But, I couldn’t bring myself to look at you. Not as an act of defiance. Unlike your defiant stance at the end of The Signal And The Noise. To tell me you don’t care. I don’t believe you! Had you not cared…had you not been hurt, you’d have not blocked me from SMO FB. That is what I want to believe. I need to believe it! That you are hurting too. And that…although I am but one fan, and there are MANY others to take my place…that you actually liked and appreciated me. That that is why you would talk to me, because you wanted to, that you were happy to. Not because you felt obliged.

And so, I could not bring myself to look at you. Your defiant stance told me all I needed to know. Why would I want to look and have you pierce right through me? How was I ever going to make you see how remorseful I was? I have never felt more unwelcome at a Simple Minds gig. I suppose I could have moved through the crowd and disappeared…but I couldn’t leave my friend.

I was waiting for something to happen. Waiting for it to get better…to feel the usual excitement and joy I would normally feel. To hear those amazing songs. To watch you grab the audience by the hand and watch them take flight with you. To take flight with you myself. I missed watching you.

Being a Simple Minds fan…being a Jim Kerr fan…

It transcended everything – beyond the music. Your love and acknowledgement. Love is probably far too strong a word…but you used to make me feel loved in return. Esp. from early 2016…with the art and the interactivity. I had never known anything like it. I probably never will again.

You gave me so much, Jim. How could I have not…fallen in love with you? If you have truly had enough of me. If you really can just, move on? Well I must too. But I don’t know how…

Simple Minds have become my life. I never saw it being any other way. It’s inked on my skin. I’ll never regret the tattoos. I’ll never regret a single second of any it. And I don’t want to talk in past tense…like it’s all over. I don’t want it to be over! I thought this was just the beginning…

My love for Simple Minds is bonded irrevocably with my love for you, Jim. I’m not sure one can exist without the other.

Bowie And Butler

David Bowie is… was still on in Melbourne when I got out to Oz in 2015. I really thought about flying down there to see it for my birthday, but thought it would be highly unfair on the OH to go without her (seeing as we both missed out on going to the exhibition in London).

It just seemed a selfish thing to do…despite her numerous more times of seeing Bowie live, than my solitary single time. But I at least got to see him once, and that once I will cherish forever.

But my single time of seeing him doesn’t have a story like THIS! Wow! That’s some dedication, Bruce!

Okay, my one and only time seeing David was outdoors too…and it rained. I was sopping! But, for me, when David arrived on stage, the clouds parted and the setting sun shone. I can’t beat that ammount of dedication. I certainly know the awestruck feeling, though. Never met David. Never wrote to him. Never would have dared! What could I/would I possibly say to him?

This is Bruce Butler’s fan story…take it away, Bruce…

OMG! LOL!

Poor Jim…this SSOOO must have been what I looked like to him outside Drury Lane after the gig! I’m sorry, Jim! (Thanks to Gertie to initially sharing this on SM fan page on Facebook)

The Sensitive Fan And The Sarcastic Diva

Oh, I wasn’t going to comment on this. I really wasn’t! I can see all arguments…all sides.

A fan from America made a comment about why Minds always seem to stick to touring Europe and never seem to get stateside.
Jim made a rather flippant (and possibly tactless) reply about there being aeroplanes available.
It’s a two-way street!

Jim always seems to have had this attitude of “if you love us, you’ll commit” but perhaps if he used more tact sometimes, fans would WANT to keep committing? Fans will continue to commit if they feel appreciated.

I know from personal experience. You want the love you feel reciprocated. It can take the smallest of acts! For me, just him liking a comment I’ve made, or replying to me…even if it *is* bitchy, sarcastic…or on the very rare occasion downright spiteful and tetchy (okay, maybe not then…but I still prefer a response than to being ignored…and I have had a kind of roundabout apology from him in the past…and he REALLY DOESN’T DO APOLOGIES!)…he *can* be caught at a bad time…he has his off moments, just like the rest of us. We think he’s a god (he sometimes thinks he’s a god!) but he’s just a bloke. A damn talented one, granted, but a bloke nontheless, with all the foibles and faults we all have (If I look at myself, I have plenty – selfishness being my worst and ugliest!).

I get a little pissed that there are the fans of 30+ years and those who have been to multiple gigs that get seemingly “preferential” treatment. I mean…we all have to start SOMEWHERE! But, I suppose it is rightly so they do. 

I’m still less than three years into mega fandom…and I have only been to three gigs so far, but I have found other ways to show my love, passion and enthusiasm for this band. And it HAS been appreciated…and the “love” gets reciprocated…probably not to the degree I want…particularly not so much now…but I am one of MANY fans clamouring for attention…and they (in turn) are MY ONE BAND. 

For better or worse, Jim has a pretty good idea of who I am now…and probably actually gets quite exasperated when he sees me responding to comments, posting on their visitor wall, etc, but he rarely shows it. I know I make a pest of myself…and I am endlessly apologising for it!

So…yes! ALL fans…no matter how “fair weather” they may seem want to feel appreciated. We invest our time and money in these bands….a little reciprocation, no matter how (seemingly) unwarranted makes us feel good. 

Of course, in the days before the Internet, our feelings and views as fans would hardly have been heard. And certainly reply correspondence would have been VERY rare. It is only really with the take off of social media, particularly within the past 10 years have we been able to “reach out and touch the stars”.

The fan could have worded his comment better. Jim could have been more tactful in his reply. A bit less sarcastic. His humour doesn’t always come across…esp. to those fans not used to it, or those with which English is not their first language. Things can be taken very much at face value. 

Music is such an emotive thing. And such a joyous thing. Our love of music is one thing that unites us as humans. It’s one of our genuine universal languages.

If we can’t love each other…can we just agree to love the music and respect each other while doing so?

“We all have our problems
Some big, some are small”
– Prince, The Cross

Regrets – I Have A Few…

The biggest one being: not becoming a mega Minds fan just 2 years earlier than I did (or that it didn’t gel for me when I first tried in 2006…gave up after not really liking Life In A Day too much – and how that changed once I gave it more time in 2014! It’s still not my most fave Minds album…but there are tracks I love and I hear the OOZING potential).

I would have loved this tour so, so much! 

I have finally scored myself a copy (a rather pristine copy, I must say!) of the 5×5 Live box set. It is now, bizarrely, out of print – which seems daft to me.

I’d also love to see Yvonne Bird’s suggestion of 5×5 Live being produced on coloured vinyl, in a limited run for Record Store Day 2017, come to fruition. I’ll definitely be lined up outside the local HMV for that one (I have vouchers to use…otherwise I’d go to an independent store for sure)!

In the meantime, I will continue to live in eternal regret that I couldn’t expereince at least ONE of these gigs by being there.

So, sssooo angry today!!!

Someone took offence to a comment I made on the New Gold Dreamers Facebook group. What I said was TOTALLY tongue-in-cheek and, in my eyes, NO WAY offensive AT ALL.

The comment was a post with video showing Jim coaxing Charlie into an end of gig “dad dance”.

I said… “Lol. Charlie is sssooo ‘I really don’t think so, Jim. I’ll leave looking like a pratt to you, my friend.’ Lol”

I mean, bloody hell! I was just theorising as to what was going on in Charlie’s mind. He didn’t seem that “up for it” from what I could tell.

I didn’t call Jim a pratt! I was being silly and taking the Mickey. Not even Jim takes himself THAT seriously, dancing like that! I mean, FFS, we refer to his moves as “dad dancing” after all.

I said in reply to her saying “Bit rude” – or whatever the fuck knee-jerk shit she said….“Oh, come on…Jim’s dancing is a bit…” THAT’S ALL I SAID! Nothing offensive in that, that I can see, is there?

I went on to say how much I love his dancing. He doesn’t give a shit, and it’s funny!

I was merely observing how Charlie was with my comment.

They replied “only positive comments here.” FUCK SAKE!!! IT WASN’T NEGATIVE!!! GET OVER YOURSELF!

I deleted the damn comments. Blow me.

Anyway, I’ve now left the New Gold Dreamers group, so I hope this person is happy.