We Talk A Lot – Mostly To Ourselves: Pondering “Today I Died Again”.

“He don’t say much. He’s bored with the fans.“ – it’s how it feels anyway. And if I hear one more “he’s a busy man” excuse, I’ll scream! Because…HE IS ALWAYS BUSY! He is Jim fucking Kerr – apart from me using “fucking” just now – “busy” is his middle name – for want of him actually having one (a middle name, that is).

Even at his most busiest, back in time…back to those halcyon days I REALLY need to move on from that have well and truly died and aren’t coming back any time soon, it seems – he would reply to people. Not just me!

The slow death of the visitor wall just kills me. He actually used to seem to take a vested interest in what people were posting to the visitor wall. Like certain things and even respond to people there. If someone had a question about the music or lyrics and he felt keen enough to, he’d respond to people there.

I mean, heck…without his interest there, the whole “art” thing of mine would have NEVER happened. I almost feel like I want to bang his head against a wall just…so he can see how important this aspect of the fandom is to some fans. It goes beyond the music! You inspire so many of us, Jim! When you respond to people it…here’s a favourite word of yours – it TRANSCENDS mere “music and listener”, mere “songwriter and fan”, mere “singer and swooning ninny”. Lol

And I miss it. Not just for me, but for other fans too!

A case in point: last night on SMOG, a fan asked about Today I Died Again – whether it was about domestic violence – quite how they reached that theory I do not know entirely (I guess just from the interaction that happens between the lead couple within the song lyric?) but I shared what I felt was my interpretation of it, and linked to my post on “Why I love…” about it.

Another fan later replied with a quote from Dream Giver Redux with this excerpt: “This song’s reincarnation theme was inspired from Jim’s reading of the Bhagavad Gita.”

Really? Okay, well the only thing that actually alludes to reincarnation within the song IS the title itself and the singing of it – and maybe the line of “back to a year, back to a youth” – even then, that’s tenuous. Also, I am not sure about whether Jim would have read Bhagavad Gita at that point. I am sure he said he first read the book in 1982 in a recent post (recent being…within the past couple of years). I know it subsequently became a much favoured book of his. As a consequence I tried reading the book. I didn’t get very far with it to be honest. I basically read this whole preamble about the book’s translation which was quite a few pages long (about 40, if memory serves). It just felt too taxing in the end. The only thing that stuck was the gained knowledge of learning it was a source of inspiration for Gandhi, which I find beyond perplexing that one of the world’s great pacifists was inspired by a book about war. Well…at least had a scene of battle as its main focal point.

Today I Died Again is penned in 1980, obviously, so I would think that predates Jim reading Bhagavad Gita? Perhaps I have my info wrong and he did indeed read it back then? I still see little evidence of the influence of the book on the song. But perhaps that’s just my interpretation of it?

Anyway, (sorry, I went off researching, and now I feel as if I have worked on this post for much longer than I intended to)…back to the fan enquiry and pondering of the song.

There would be a time, not that long in the past, in which I would have said “you could ask Jim – he might give you a reply. Who better to ask?” And that’s where I return to the special! Being able to ask the man who wrote those amazing lyrics. Okay, he may not have always replied even when I came into the fandom, even to me, but there was a heck of a lot better chance of a response six years ago than there is now! And it really, REALLY saddens me.

I was about to go off on another angry rant but…I guess I just need to give up. “No one likes a quitter”. Well, great then. No one will ever like me. Stellar. I can live with it. When you feel you’ve done all you can and you’re getting nowhere, you have to “embrace the suck” and just…walk away, I guess? Am I right, Jim?

Perhaps it is better we all ponder it amongst ourselves? There was a time, pre-Internet, where we’d had little choice to do so. The fans wouldn’t be interacting with each other as we do now. There’s no way we could pose a question to you like that unless there was luck and/or special circumstances. We wrote to you (old fashioned “snail mail” style) and you took the time to reply. Or we’d have thought to ask you backstage, had we been lucky to see you after a gig. Back then I’d guess you’d have been very reluctant to share or offer up such tokens of openness anyway. “Interpret them as you see fit.”

Admittedly, that is the beauty of your songwriting – particularly back then. Just how much they could be open to interpretation. Your very own Burroughs technique. “I’ve always liked ambiguities and fragments and things with a bit more of a mystery to them”, you said in an interview for Dutch TV in 1983.

“Out of the mouth of babes“ – and what a babe! Lol. (Yep. I’ll never stop adoring you, you gorgeous man. Fuck, I’m a hopeless case!)

So…what exactly IS Today I Died Again about? You can search for my “Why I love” piece on it and see what you think. I may just read over it again myself and see of my idea about it has changed.

“She can’t remember before the heat” – bloody hot flushes, hey hen?! Lol

It Stings A Bit!

The price. Probably the content too.

But the price!

You know…if it didn’t feel as though the good stuff over the past few years was all but dead, then maybe I’d have felt able…willing…

But now it all does feel in the past. I’ve spent a lot of this lockdown in mourning. Mourning some of the things that really made me love being a Simple Minds fan. I can’t emphasise enough how special that all was all that interactivity with Jim.

Would it have made great content for the book? I doubt it. It all felt…personal and special. Maybe it would have felt a bit “kiss and tell”? Lol. I know how stupid that sounds. I really do!

I’ll shut up now. Anyway, the book is £45 and will probably make me wish I was just about every single person that features in it, so do I want it? Do I want to spend £45 on a book of envy?

Dunno…

I know! Woe is me. He’d probably tell me to “grew a pair”. Well, I wish he would – because at least he’d be bloody TALKING TO ME! Lol

Click on the image to see pre-order details. Due for release on December 3rd, 2020.

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.

What’s Left?

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.

Missing Inaction?

A deliberate ‘typo’ on my part, that title…

Most fans are talking about dates and wanting news…or if they’re not, they’re going on about how they miss how the band “really were”… “back then” when they (the fans, that is) were teens. Some are reminiscing about Street Fighting Years, which is all well and good too. We are all looking for ways to occupy ourselves in these uncertain times.

But…the thing I miss…the thing I crave? JIM INTERACTING WITH US!

Maybe there is a cycle or a pattern that…because I am a relative “babe” in terms of Simple Minds fandom, I have yet to see, witness or experience? We’ve pretty much had an online presence and rapport (I say ‘we’ve’ to imply SM fans in general) with the band for 20 years now.

And I fully appreciate that this makes me sound like one of those “when the band were REALLY good” hark-back-to-days-gone-by types. But it just used to feel – until very recently – that he actually LIKED to interact with us. It didn’t come across as a burden or an obligation, or part of the “keep ‘em sweet” machinations of management or some such. He appeared genuinely keen to interact.

Perhaps we have bored him? Or we no longer serve a purpose?

He did give full warning of his intentions in that “my lips are sealed” post on SMO back in June last year. Well, not so much of intent to stop as such, but it was a telling thing that it was all about the social interactivity and his posting on social media.

And what about these posts that I’ve published so regularly over the years. Why do it? What is the point, if any, outside of promoting, and informing the ongoing actions of SM? And will I continue to do so as frequently in future? I’m not sure what the answer to all of that is?

Jim Kerr on Simple Minds Official Facebook page, June 21st, 2019

I dunno. I have nothing else to say. The posts are there…you know. They still happen. But not as much as before. But…the thing that remains missing, the thing that is gone is him responding to us. Replying with retorts and quips and fun little things. And sometimes with a nice meaty reply, responding to a question someone had asked, etc. And he’d give a wonderfully detailed response sometimes. And those would be amazing.

That was one thing I was really looking forward to with the Soundcheck in Copenhagen. There was meant to be a Q and A as well in which you could put forward questions. And yes! I put a question forward and if you know me at all, you’ll be able to guess it (and no, it was NOT “Jim, will you marry/shag me”! Lol. For I already know the definitive answer to that one!). Again, I am not overly upset or downhearted about that. I am just so thankful for seeing those two shows.

Am I upset about missing other shows this year? To a degree. But I understand the circumstances. I appreciate what’s going on and I think it is right that we should curb the mass gatherings for now to try and stem the rate of infection around the world.

But the thing I miss…the one thing I miss and long for above all else right now is…feeling like I…we…could talk to Jim. And already in the safest way possible…online…no passing on any germs. That…rapport…there was a reciprocation that was implied and felt. And because it is gone it feels like he just…hates me. And so I keep questioning it. “What the hell did I do to upset him?” I just end up projecting it all inwardly. Like it’s all my fault that all this interactivity seems to have died down and gone away.

Perhaps all that is needed is time?

Copenhagen Bonus – Setlist And Charlie Burchill Plectrum

After show two I hung around the stage to see if a setlist might be on offer. After about 10 minutes I decided to give up. But before leaving the venue I thought “I’ll go over to GG and say goodnight.”
“How was it?”, he asked. “Amazing!”, I said. “Did you get to see both shows?” “Yes.”
“Ah!”, he says “wait”, and opens a drawer and hands me a setlist “I put this aside for you.” How lovely was that?!
Thank you, GG! You are a gentleman ❤️

But that wasn’t the only lovely thing to happen! Just before that…as the show ended, Charlie was handing out plectrums and although I was near, I missed out. After he walked off stage, there was a tap on my shoulder. A lady behind me handed me one. She showed me that she had two of them and offered one to me. So, so lovely! I thanked her profusely.

Two gifts from the most extraordinary night.

Copenhagen was “Wonderful, wonderful”….
IMG_20200315_211444.jpg

Fan AND Friend? In My Dreams!

Oh, how I wish I could straddle those first two descriptions, but I know I will only ever be steadfastly in the first. If I’m even in there. I might not be “real” enough to even fit that mould.
*sigh*

Probably why I never actually passed on good luck to the band in general (extended good luck and safe travels to some individual members), as I am feeling less and less “part of it”, the more I get…absorbed in it.

Never mind, eh?

Anyway. I’ll dream I’m at least in the first and have endless fantasies of being in the second…