Win A Copy Of “Heart Of The Crowd“ SM Book!

Simple Minds are giving away a copy of the special edition copy of Heart Of The Crowd. To be in with a chance, check out the details on how to enter in this tweet, or see their FB page for details.

But be quick! Entries close next Friday, Feb 19th!

Pete’s Piece (In The Book.

Just had to share this bit. The last few sentences…

More times than you could ever think it, Pete – and in as vivid detail as my imagination will allow. Usually culminating in the most GLORIOUS of “EUREKA!” moments, as Jim leaps from seated spot in the bath tub…

***SPOILER ALERT*** It’s About “The Damn Book”

I don’t discuss any individual fans contributions at all, but I do discuss certain elements in the book – so if you want a full surprise of what’s inside for your Christmas Day, or own reading enjoyment… DON’T WATCH THE VIDEO!

And below will be my own entry in the book, so…

Well, I shared my email, so you know what I contributed, but this will be the printed, truncated version as it appears on the page in the book – page 203.


Kick It In, Lassie!

Oh, geez. I really stirred things up on SMOG last night.

I really didn’t think it would be commented on in such volume. I thought maybe a few of us would still be waiting for the book to arrive. Not as many people as that would still be waiting for it. But lo…

Then Ronnie Gurr and THEN Richard Houghton add comments and my toes were starting to curl with the fuss I had made.

I honestly didn’t mean to drag them into it!

I genuinely just wanted to get a handle on who was still waiting. Whether I could get an idea on if the book was just trickling through to fans or whether there were quite a number receiving it and us still waiting were just stragglers not having much luck with the postal service.

And so goes yet ANOTHER time I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut! I mean…it did help to alleviate my concerns about the book’s slow arrival, but conversely I felt like the girl that kicked the hornet’s nest.

Always acting with the best of intentions. Always ending up inadvertently stirring up trouble.

Anyway….too late now. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle.

Another day is upon us…and still I wait. With a bit more quiet reserve this morning.

The “watched kettle” is yet to boil…

What’s In The Book?

I’m yet to receive my copy of the book – so I actually don’t know a lot of what’s inside. (Despite some fans being hellbent on showing us all the contents of the book by sharing all their bits on the group pages – as excited as I am for all the fans that are in it…maybe just share your bit only, yeah? Think of others. Can you do that?!) But what I would like to share is this…my email I sent to have my little submission included.

Obviously I appreciated that if anything I had submitted was to be included, it would be truncated. But here is the complete, uncut email (not all of it would have been printed anyway!), with the photo I submitted for inclusion.

(I had no idea who would view the email. Richard Houghton’s name wasn’t mentioned at this point.)


Hello to whomever is reading this,

I don’t even know how to express myself here, so I apologise if I end up rambling or making no sense.

I only recently became a big SM fan. I was fairly fair-weather prior to the summer of 2014. I don’t really want to go over it. Kind of defeats the point of my email, I guess. I dunno. I could write pages, really. I have done. On my blog. To other fans. To Jim.

I kind of just don’t feel I can contribute anything of any real significance. I’ve not been a “longterm” fan. I haven’t been following the band since 1979 (or earlier…or even just a few years later). I’ve not gone to any big stadium gigs – Roundhay or MK Bowl or any such.

And, well…it may all be too late. But if I can submit ANYTHING, I would like it to be the image attached to the email. It means the world to me. It might not even be allowed to be printed? I don’t know. It’s a superimposed blend of images I had mashed together. A lovely painting of a Kyoto snow scene just randomly found via a Google search that I thought evoked the image the lyrics to Hunter And The Hunted produce, and Jim on the cover of Melody Maker magazine in 1982 – an image of him side profile in front of a Canadian flag (for want of it being a Japanese maple leaf, I thought a Canadian maple leaf would work). The photo was taken by Tom Sheehan. Some work on my part and “voila”, as they say – I was stunned at what I had created with this blending of these two images.

Never really been proud of anything I do. Never had any reason to be. But with this…I dunno. It just seemed so special. I posted it to the SM Facebook visitor wall. It wasn’t really commented on the first time. A friend and fellow fan said to me “post it again! It’s really awesome! Jim needs to see it.” Well, the second time, Jim seemed to take notice and did a lovely post about it. My heart pounded in my chest for hours! I had never been so happy or so astounded. I really can’t put into words how much that meant.

Then a another friend suggested I ask if he would sign a copy of it for me. And so I did via Messenger on FB. “Someone will be in touch,” came the reply. “Oh, that’s nice,” I thought. “Well at least I wasn’t ignored”, but believed it was just a fob off. I don’t know who actually replied. Perhaps it really was Jim?

Anyway, I sent a copy of it to be signed and this is what you see. It has been on my bedroom wall ever since (well, actually, I was in Australia when it all happened so it took a few months for it to end up on the wall, but…it’s been there quite a while).

If I am too late then, hey, that’s my fault. If it is unacceptable for whatever reason, I get that too. I took so long because I genuinely felt there was nothing for me to contribute. But if there can be anything, I would like it to be this photo. Just this. It is the thing I hold most dear. Beyond the gigs I have been racking up, all the other memorabilia I have, beyond meeting Jim and other members of the band. This was a thing that made me believe in myself for just a brief moment in time.

Sometimes I can gaze upon it and it just brings me to tears.

Thanks for listening, Larelle Read

“Johnny-come-lately” since 2014.

To The (Previously) Unseen Eye

There are some photos surfacing showing the way the look and layout of the book “Heart Of The Crowd (A Fan History)” is like. The photos look really lovely, as does the layout of the book. With the release of the book now only a week away, it is getting all rather exciting!

Back in May, Ronnie Gurr messaged me. I had shared a photo of Jim and was saying how much I’d love to get a copy of it from the photographer that took it, but they seemed a pretty big name these days and were asking $1500 a print. And I REALLY don’t have that sort of money.

I didn’t name names. Ronnie was intrigued as to who it was. We got to chatting and somehow ended up on the subject of magazine covers and I mentioned the cover of the Record Mirror from 1980 with an erroneously named Brian McGee (they named him as Mick!) on the cover – in his briefs.

Ronnie told me that the photo of Brian isn’t what he had submitted to be the photo on the cover but it was actually a photo he took of Jim that he thought was better suited to it. And by heck, was it! I was in absolute agreement. I guess the Record Mirror editor thought people would want to see a band member pretty much in their “all-together”…but…well, unless it WAS actually Jim, not me!

Anyway…these photos shared of the book show the photo that Ronnie shared with me. I have just been sitting on this image for months, so desperately wanting to show it but thinking better of it.

I could have asked Ronnie’s permission to post it here but I really didn’t think he’d be wanting me to share it. And, I still have a clearer version of it (still just a snap of it he took on…his living room floor, I guess, considering the carpet I can see in the image I have of it). I still won’t share that one though. It isn’t mine to share. But I hope you can see from how it has been photographed in the pages of the book that it is well braw.

Jim looks gorgeous, as always. I just want to run my fingers through all that hair! OMG! You beautiful man, Mr Kerr! 🥰🥰🥰

In case not obvious, the pic I’m referring to is on the top right corner of the book pages.

Just ONE more thing to be excited about the book for. And I await the chance of getting a really decent copy of this photo from Mr Gurr. He tells me the New Year. I’m counting the days! Tick tock, Ronnie!

UPDATE: currently (and as much as it pains me to link to this site) the book is showing at a discounted rate of £31.19 on Amazon – click HERE to pre-order from the site.

Hurray For Scotland!

“They’ll be coming” – not exactly the three little words most people will get filled with an overriding sense of joy and the HUGEST avalanche of relief from but…you know…I think we’ve established I’m not “most people”. Lol

But those words on Friday? That’s how they made me feel.

I wasn’t going to go into detail on Friday. I just wanted to put up my own three little words in response and have that be that. But, if any of you reading this is a regular visitor here – you have been witness to what complete and utter angst I have been going through these past months. Tying myself up in knots. Never being able to get past and move on. Having little niggles gnaw away at me constantly.

I have to say I have NEVER been so thankful for football, and more to the point, Scotland winning a match! And making it into the Euros.

I had been counting the days myself, for a completely different reason and thing. It took seven months. SEVEN MONTHS from “Jalopy” to the “Tartan Army”. Seven months that with each passing day, week, month just seemed to get progressively worse.

God knows I tried to brush it aside! But sometimes the more I tried, the worse it got. I honestly don’t need to explain. LOOK AT THE BLOG!

I already feel the little niggles creeping back. “But did he know it was me? I had changed my profile pic to one of me as a ten year old – so if he looks for visual clues for fans then mine wouldn’t have been obvious.” But then I think, “but who else is called LARELLE, you div?! He knew it was you. Stop being an idiot. JUST BE HAPPY.” And I allow the relief to fill me again.

Yep. It’s all very stupid and irrational, I know. But all I could see was him looking at me with that face in Copenhagen. And yes, “Jalopy” happened about a month after the gig. But as time moved on, I kept believing that the jalopy reply was a kind of “sign off”.

I genuinely cannot express enough the amount of relief I had on Friday. I almost couldn’t believe it happened. And then I kept waiting for it to disappear…like I had just dreamed it or imagined it. I just went to have a look again and – it’s still there. I didn’t just imagine it. It actually happened.

And I am so, so happy and relieved. But I still hope you stay around a bit more, Jim. Us fans, we all love you so much! You’ve read the book now. You know how much you mean to us all! Yes, okay, for quite a number it is all essentially about the music and its effects – but you are the man that helped to make it. All of the effect springs from you! And while you are reeling from having to remain grounded from there having been a ton of rescheduling and touring put on hold, we’re all missing it too as fans. But just a small booster. One little antidote to things is you just being around. That we can bounce off each other and keep each other all feeling upbeat and hopeful of things getting better.

I know there are whiney shits. Hell, I’m one of them! But I love knowing that you’re here and you’re with us and that you’re okay. So, please. Don’t be a stranger, Jim. And please talk if you can. To some of us in replies to comments. Or to all of us with a video message or something. We’d take any little morsels you’re willing to offer!

But, finally, personally…one last time. THANK YOU! I absolutely adore you. You know. I mean, geez, I used to say it – long before the book – that if you ever needed a boost to your ego and confidence, just come here. Look at my blog! Look how much you are loved and adored just by me alone.

No News Isn’t Always Good News…

Ah…you know what I was saying in my video(s) yesterday about being mildly gutted if my fan bit is not in the book…well…

Seemingly those who are in it have been receiving emails about it being confirmed that YES – they ARE in the book and that they can see their piece in the book before committing to buying it.

No such email has arrived in my Inbox as yet. I have a sinking feeling!

On top of that, there was something else I had been anticipating happening that didn’t eventuate either.

Today I feel very dejected AND rejected! I don’t need this two days before my birthday! I feel like I’m being kicked while I’m down!

And this was the main reason I grappled about even submitting anything because I KNEW that if I did and my bit didn’t get to be in the book – I’d be gutted. Better to have not bothered was my reckoning. I couldn’t be disappointed about it then. Save myself the heartache.

Silly, I know, but it was the reason behind not putting something in in the first place. Just all those things… I’ve had my five minutes, Jim’s sick to the eye teeth of me, the fans wish I would fuck off and die, I have no idea what to write about, I’m a johnny-come-lately with no real story to tell.

ANYWAY! You just have to keep on keeping on. You just have to keep holding your head up high and just…push on.

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

I was too good for the book! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

As if.

Perhaps my email just hasn’t arrived yet? Lol. Yeah…

I know. It is what it is. Never mind. I’ll have all the rest of the lovely thing to enjoy. Signed photos. A lanyard that I should have got at Copenhagen on the soundcheck that couldn’t happen! Or at the meet and greets that didn’t take place. An old poster. The certificate of authenticity! Ticket stubs. The fridge magnet! The badge stickers. I wish one of those badge stickers had been the screenshot of Jim on Top Of The Pops in the white jaiket when they were on doing Promised You A Miracle. Lol – I’ve got to take all the small, petty things that make me happy!

MUSTN’T GRUMBLE…