A Friend Of Frank

What a difference a week can make, eh?

I tried to shield the blog from it as much as possible, although it didn’t escape unscathed as my mood last weekend was probably at the worst it had been all year – culminating in a complete anxiety attack and me considering chucking in the whole uni thing.

A combination of things, really. My appalling low self-opinion of myself, and my capabilities and the massive comedown from Paris… just all the things I do to myself combined with the PGD (Post Gig Depression). Just how ‘anti’ ME I am. If there happens to be any haters out there visiting this blog right now and are reading these words – TRUST ME – you could not hate me any more than I hate myself. Rest assured!

But this time I battled through it. Sunday and Monday were the worst days. Sunday I was feeling the worst anxiety I have had when approaching an assignment. I looked over the two options I felt I had for my assignment – The Blues or Writing Stories (ie: Creative Writing). I kept dismissing the writing stories topic because I am petrified of it. It was a hard week of study and only towards the end of it did I begin to enjoy it. I really enjoyed the blues week so it had always been the much stronger contender.

Anyway, I can’t go into too much more detail about it but suffice it to say that I was wracked with indecision and felt frozen with anxiety to even begin the assignment.

Things didn’t improve on Monday. I emailed my tutor in a cry for help. I explained all that was going on. A prompt reply with reassurance was the first step. A phone call followed the next day. That helped further.

I made a start on Tuesday. It all still felt so overwhelming but I was tackling it head on. Trying to look at it positively. Reassured by words from good friends. A good day of progress on Wednesday. A tutor session on Wednesday evening. More headway on Thursday. Inspiration from Graeme Thomson at the Mitchell Library on Thursday night. A lot more headway on Friday – all of this, slowly but surely lifted the weight and the clouds to now where I can clearly see and breathe, more relaxed yet still focused. Still apprehensive about the assignment – but at a point where if I really DO get a crap mark from it, it wasn’t through lack of trying!

ANYWAY! Short story is, as the week has progressed well and my mood has lifted day by day. We are halfway through the course, so I guess that was the time to have that massive ‘crisis of (no) confidence’ point nearly every student goes through.

I was smart enough to cry for help. To contact my tutor, instead of just trying to be this person who lets the blackness, anxiety and pressure overwhelm them.

Last night I had some fun. I won TWO Scrabble games – one pretty resoundingly – and just allowed myself to properly relax for the first time in … more than two weeks.

Frank’s hot pal.

Frank Gallagher posted this photo of Jim with the words “Sent ma pal some swag. He seems to be enjoying it.” It’s a nice pic. In an exercise in fun and frivolity and letting my hair down, I left a comment…

“Hey, your pal is hot – can I have his number?” with a couple of cheeky grinning winking emojis. Ah, why not? It’s not as if I am confessing anything new that NOBODY knows! Lol. I’m sure even that hermit guy they made that film about knows that I am a bit ‘gone’ on His Kerrness.

Frank is always up for a fun response anyway…and he didn’t disappoint… “Aye. How much you got $$$$”

Serious note…don’t I wish I could actually TALK to this man for longer than a constrained two minute window in the middle of a meet and greet? I guess I can just keep on wishing with that one…oh, well.

And…that smile! I wish that was for me too. I’ll pretend it is. “Good job on getting that assignment done, Larrrrrelllllle – you can do anything you put your mind to. Nae danger. Dinnae fash yersel!”

Fake it til you make it…

The Short(bread) News Grapevine

Exciting news! There will be a new “Priptona Talks” interview on the blog soon. I am excited by this one! As I have been with all my previous interviews. More details on that to come, so keep an eye out.

Last week there was a rather unexpected parcel that arrived on my doorstep. The sender of this parcel? One Francis Xavier Gallagher! I had left a comment on a post of his in which he had shown some shortbread for sale in his wife’s haberdashery store. I asked him if he made the shortbread himself. He confirmed that indeed it was he who makes it. I said in reply that I’d love to try it. “Stand by, Madame” was his reply.

At that point I thought “Oh, he’s not going to send me some is he? Nah! He would nae!”

Well, he bloody did! And not just some shortbread, but a Soundman Confidential mug in which to brew the bevvy that would accompany the shortbread, and some badges and a sticker. How bloody wonderful is that?!

Marks out of 10 for the shortbread? Delicious! 10/10! It had the mark of quality – both buttery and crumbly. The only downside to it all was – there wasn’t enough! You get a taste of something that good, you want more!

The best bit about the mug for me? Because I am left-handed, the logo stays facing me. Frank’s eyebrows follow me around the room! Lol.

On top of all that, news that…the rhythm section of Simple Minds (at least) – Ged and Cherisse are back into rehearsing SM material. Not sure what the rest of the band are up to, but at least there is some practice going on! With only seven weeks to go until the tour gets under way – FINGERS ARTHRITICALLY CROSSED – it’s great to have some optimism going on within the band dynamic that the tour WILL go ahead.

Pictorial Passion – Musical Years In Review – 2021 and 1982

Last night Spotify revealed my yearly listening stats to me. There was no real surprise to find Simple Minds at the top of the tree yet again! And that Boys From Brazil was my top track for seventh year running. All the SM tracks in my Top 5 played tracks of 2021 all came from Sons And Fascination and given it was the 40th anniversary of the album, that would be of no surprise to anyone.

My latter love for Jonathan Richman shows itself in him being at number five of my Top 5 played artists.

My top podcast showed how much I have been enjoying Frank Gallagher’s Soundman Confidential this year. I love the bit about that yes, it’s okay for you to consider the host a member of your family now. Lol. Never in a million hears did I ever think I’d be having little online exchanges with Frank! I felt that Jim always made him sound intimidating as fuck, but he’s brilliant and is always wonderful. And even comments on my FB posts sometimes…which I find amazing that he’s sitting there in Flagstaff, AZ, reading my complete pap! Just last week he responded to one of my posts about enrolling in the OU for my Higher Ed. English diploma and my endless self-doubt. His response was “drive til they take the keys away”. I responded by asking him to “spread some gallus my way”. He replied back, “you don’t need anyone’s permission to be yourself”. He’s lovely. Just lovely.

Of course there is much more music I listen to outside of Spotify so it isn’t 100% everything I listen to. I have been listening to SM live bootlegs and gigs much more this year and that won’t be reflected on Spotify stats, just as one example.

Here’s the breakdown of it in full visual splendour.

Lastly, today sees the release of Classic Pop magazine’s retro look back to all things 1982 in a dedicated special issue. In amongst the artists and bands discussed is a piece on the art side of music which features Malcolm Garrett. And of course the main feature to do with Simple Minds is a look through New Gold Dream. There’s a part of it that covers the official videos released. They mention the Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize videos. Someone Somewhere In Summertime was the third single from the album and therefore should have had a video released but one was never made. Instead the magazine talked about this one (below). I love what is said about Jim’s moves. Lol. You’ll not be surprised to learn that I adore this video and quite a bit of art from me has come from it. I will leave my favourite example of that at the end of the post.

Click to play Someone Somewhere In Summertime video.

Interviewland – The Boss and The Piraña.

There are a few interviews I have neglected to highlight here – because my blog is slack and too Kerr obsessive to think of much else. Lol

ANYWAY!

Bruce has been interviewed and the result is a three part podcast of discussion. You can find the link to the SHOUT podcast HERE

Also, Mr Francis Xavier Gallagher (aka Soundman Confidential) has gotten round to interviewing old Chuckie B – and you can take a listen to that one HERE

Also there was a second part to Kenny Hyslop’s interview with Neil Saint for the Retropopic Radio station. You can find the links HERE

Priptona, out! 👋🏻

The Podcast – The F***ing Podcast

Even just the way the interview started. Even BEFORE hearing the start of the interview, I knew it would be awesome. But…just the start. The ringing phone, and as soon as the phone is answered Frank saying “give me a one-two” and Jim saying…well, I won’t spoil it.

But it had be grinning like a loon from the get go. And the smile didn’t leave my face for the following 50 odd minutes.

A lot of the stuff Jim has said before, of course. And when you listen to EVERY interview he does, you’ll hear the same things over and over. But it never gets old. He never seems to tire telling them. There is always the same level of enthusiasm in his voice and in his relaying of the stories and the telling of the tales.

And…I fall in love with him AGAIN. Over and over. It all goes round and round.

I guess the thing that sunk in this time, even though he has said it before is that…he’s right. To have done what he has done. To have that relentless drive to make a success of it. To push on. To not be defeatist. To use the knock backs and set backs, and the things that would put other mere mortals on their knees – it takes “a type”. You need to be “a type”. Luck…and to be “a type”.

I think it is singularly the thing that makes me love him most of all, is that he IS that “type”.

You know…yes! I do fancy the pants off him for the aesthetic, esp. of the younger man – I won’t lie. That’s where the lust and sexual attraction is – but that’s the thing too. The thing that makes him sexy AF probably actually ISN’T his looks, per se, it’s everything. The whole sum of his parts. That drive. That ambition. The absolutely stone-faced, dogged, utter infallibility of him!

There’s a bit in it in which he said to Frank that he remembered a time that Frank gave him “a serve” as we’d say in Oz. A kind of “dressing down”. I won’t go into a lot of detail because I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment of you guys listening to it. But the end of it was Frank saying to Jim, “What are you gonna do about it? Go home and cry to your mummy?”

You know. I would have. I did. I would do. I was weak. I have always been weak. And my weakness shows in a life barely lived.

But he took it as fuel. He took it as fuel to push on. To just…stick at it and make the most of a shit situation. To not let it get the better of him. Defeat him. He’d knuckle down. He’d get the thing licked.

And I guess this is why I attach myself so much to Jim. Because he just…he makes me feel alive. He gives me oxygen!

He’s just a million beautiful, positive things. Passion, drive, energy, talent, brains, beauty. I love him to pieces. I just do. Retrospectively, from point dot. From that young upstart dreaming the dreams of getting the band together until the present, Mr “Elder Statesmen” who you can hear when he talks still has that buzz of that 16 year old kid.

It’s why I wish more than anything to be his friend. I just want to be around him. I just want to bask in his light. He’s like the sun.

But…he’s a winner. And as a winner, he likes to surround himself with fellow winners. Hence, he would want absolutely NOWT to do with me! Loz from Loserville.

I could listen to him talk all day, every day. I could happily bask in his light all day too. Just to feel some of that sun.

I wrote this years ago, about him. It hasn’t changed. I still feel exactly the same.

I was buzzing for ages afterwards, mulling over it all in my head. Smiling, trying to drift off to sleep, hoping I’d dream of him. Dream of sitting around talking to him. Or perhaps walking and talking with him? My friend Stephen has planted this whole being “taken up The Trossachs” idea in my head…as the ultimate dream. As if! As if he would.

I tried to settle and get to sleep and thought, “Geez, I wish I was Frank!”

You can find the details of Frank Gallagher’s Soundman Confidential podcast in my previous posts.

A Frank Talk

I have been patiently waiting for this since Jim first mentioned it in a post back in August. The…as phrased in tweet you can see below (and retweeted by Bruce Findlay who subsequently brought it to my attention)…GALLUS, Francis Xavier Gallagher, has a podcast that starts next week.

Such was the wait that when Frank replied to a post from Jim a couple of weeks back, I replied to Frank saying “hey, when’s the podcast coming out, Frank?” He did reply, but not with a firm date, just “middle of November”.

Even better news is…Jim is his first guest! Squeeeee! I am even MORE excited now! Roll on next Wednesday and to Frank’s podcast!

Sons And Fascination – From San Francisco

Recorded by SM’s sound tech (of then), Frank Gallagher, in San Francisco. The boys sound really on the mark here. I love this song. It’s probably my fave album title track of theirs along with New Gold Dream and Walk Between Worlds (honourable mention to Graffiti Soul as well).

Anyway, I love that ad lib stuff. I was wondering why Jim had changed the line to “when boys of San Francisco call” – but then Billy Sloan goes on to explain why.

Enjoy!

Semi Monde!