Roxy Music At 50 – BBC Radio 2 Specials


I caught up with both parts of ‘The Band’s Story’ episodes last night. It has really ramped up my excitement for seeing them at the Hydro in October.

Their world tour starts in one month’s time (exactly one month away today!) in Toronto.

When listening to the various members of the band talking about the active years and their memories, I couldn’t help but find myself giggling over the fact that two Geordies were talking and only one of them sounded like one. I’d never heard Paul Thomson talk before.

Anyway, both shows are great and there is a “Fan’s Story” too and they speak to Jim for it. I wish he’d have been given more time. His part of it seemed short, so I’ll add my own little exchange with him about Roxy – just at the point when the bug finally bit me and I got myself listening to them.

I recommend all three shows. They’re broken up into three separate hour long shows, so you can time your time listening to them. I’ll endeavour to separate out Jim’s piece on Roxy so it’s quicker to get to.

Enjoy them, and roll on October 10th!

Vive la Roxy!

Links for programs below:

The Bands’ Story – Part One

The Bands’ Story – Part Two

The Fans’ Story

Jim’s piece starts around 17 min 30 sec into the show.

And then…back to a time when I’d not be quiet (thinking of him saying “you’re quiet” to me at the m&g in Paris) – and he’d respond. Our exchanges on music I miss. Loved those days…

(P.S. I always have to have the last word. Lol)


P.P.S I love sssoooo much more than just Over You and More Than This now! (There were a few more than that back then too, to be fair.)

ONE WEEK TO GO! NGD CELEBRATIONS BEGIN!

Oh! Next weekend! The weather promises to be grand! I have VIP tickets for both shows. My t-shirt arrived this morning as well. I’m all set.

Still have to study in the meantime though! Buddhism in practice. Seems rather apt somehow…

Anyway, here’s a vid. Haven’t even watched it all myself yet. Just eager to share.

Brilliant days…wake up on brilliant days…

The Alchemists – New Gold Dream (Full Article)

For anyone who didn’t get to read last month’s Mojo magazine article featuring Simple Minds and the “seminal” New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) – then here is the full feature below.

For full viewing options, click on the main header of the article (if you are at the blog’s main home page), then click on the individual smaller images to get resizing options for reading.

Enjoy!

P.S. Does contain a C-Bomb from His Kerrness…



Bingo!

Click image to access podcast via Spotify.

My friend, Sue, posted about this on SMOG. To be honest, it was the only way I would be alerted to it. I used to do all the super enthusiastic fan stuff….trawl through social media each morning to see what new morsels of things about the band and Jim were on offer. Even when I was vigilant like that, some things would pass me by and slip through the net.

Something like this would because – I can’t say I’m a fan of Letsetz (see previous post, re: his ‘qualifications’ and the argument of being ‘born with it’) and I listened to this under some duress.

Did I enjoy it? For the most part, yes. Jim obviously went into a nearby studio to record his part of it as the audio was crystal clear – as if he was sitting in the studio with Lefshitz…ahem, I mean Lefsetz. There were some, frankly, very crass and impertinent questions thrown at Jim that I felt should NOT be up for discussion. Mostly about finances. What that has to do with Jim’s artistic career I cannot fathom and they certainly would NOT be questions I would ever throw at him!

“Are Scots really tight with money?” Seriously? That was a question! Glad to hear that Jim highlighted the philanthropic ways of Andrew Carnegie (still need to go and have a day trip to Dunfermline!) as just one example of Scots definitely NOT being tightwads.

After a short while, I did find myself playing “Jim Kerr interview bingo”: “The world was in monochrome until I went to Italy” – HOUSE; “We wanted to be in a great live band and take it all round the world” – HOUSE; “We went to Arista HQ and instead of seeing portraits of Iggy, Lou and Patti, there was a massive portrait of Barry Manilow” – HOUSE; “I sang with Iggy Pop and David Bowie at Rockfield Studios” – HOUSE; “Jimmy Iovine is a legend” (Don’t get me started on that one, either!) – HOUSE! The whole story of Don’t You all over again – fucking REALLY?!

To be fair, there were a couple of things that were new to me. Probably about the last 15-20 minutes of an over 2 hour interview gave me some new insight. For that I was thankful, especially when it came to a certain aspect of how Jim spends his time. That made sense, at last. It was good to hear that.

I would ask different questions, for sure. But it’s never going to be me. It’s NEVER going to be me…which sucks ass. Because I feel I could ask some really great questions. I can put the adulation, infatuation and general awe aside – given enough exposure to him in which all becomes pretty blasé. It was getting there (I think), until Covid and it all came crashing down.

I have much more to say on this, but so little time to discuss it. Mostly the interview with Lefsetz, ONCE AGAIN, left me wishing I could have my own chance to interview Jim. It also left me wondering – will there actually be anything that he’ll have for his “Self Help” memoir that will genuinely be new information to me, or be a revelation?

At the end of it…it is a fascinating story and it IS awe-inspiring. He had the courage of his convictions to succeed and look where he is. He was prepared to play the long game and he reaps the rewards as we speak.

Enjoy the interview. I have more philosophy to do!

Christophe in Cognac

Anyone going to see Simple Minds next week in Cognac in France will also get to experience this wonderful photographic exhibition by Christophe Duron.

I got to speak to him briefly after the Paris gig and he was really excited about this. Who could blame him? It looks great and he has taken some fantastic photos of Jim and Charlie in particular.

As a say, if you’re in Cognac for the gig, make time to have a good keek at Christophe’s fab photos.

Jim Kerr – The Belief Academy

I’ve come up with an idea. For wanting to be able to interview Jim and knowing that as much as I would like for it to happen this blog is NEVER going to be seen as ‘professional’ enough to get the chance to interview him, then…let’s examine, dissect and discuss things he has said in other interviews, either past or recent. 

To begin with, two recent interviews come to mind. One is from 1989 and the release of Street Fighting Years. There is a part of this interview I found most surprising! One, for the Jim Kerr of 1989 to say such a thing, and for the feeling that the Jim of 2022 most likely not being in agreement with the Jim of 1989 in the present day. I’ll come to the second interview in a moment, but for now, let’s discuss the first.

The piece of footage should automatically play from the correct point but if it doesn’t, play it from 06:55 to hear what he says.

I’ve never heard him be quite so… I’m not even sure what words to use here? Humble…dismissive…doubtful…offhand…. Yeah, I’m not really sure what the right word to put here is. My point is, it seems a statement very unlike Jim to make in terms of his songwriting, “I don’t think I do a very good job, but it’s the best I can do.” I was genuinely astounded by that. 

I guess one could argue he’s not talking about his songwriting, his lyric writing, per se but more his overall contribution to the band dynamic. Perhaps he is trying to talk in broader terms as he seems to suggest that what he feels is his contribution to the art, the ‘product’ of Simple Minds is to ‘package’ the music in the best way possible. That still makes that statement one that I would have never expected to hear from him. Its tone and its sense of doubt. Its modesty and … humility.

It’s not something that feels very forthcoming from the Jim Kerr of 2022, and I don’t think the Jim Kerr of 1979 had it. The Kerr of 1979 had nothing to lose though. The Kerr of 2022 has an Ivor Novello, 60 million album sales, a 20 album back catalogue and countless successful chart hits and tours to counter any of the doubt that would ever creep in. So, the Kerr of 1989 should fall somewhere in between, right? So, why does he not seem to? Why would he say something like that in 1989? They’ve just had their first UK Number 1 single with Belfast Child…let alone what has come before it – some dozen other UK Top 40 hit singles (EveryHit.com). Was it purely an exercise in humility? To stay grounded? Perhaps. Who needs to show modesty now with the wealth of accolades to one’s name, right? 

The second piece of conversation I saw that piqued my interest came from a video clip from 1998. Jim is doing this piece to camera about the recording of Neapolis and talking about Glitterball and what it’s about (interesting to hear how he described what the song was about – made me hear the track with fresh ears it has). He then talks about … inspiration and guidance I guess one would view it. He says, “I would love to put together some place where people are taught – not really taught how to do things but maybe helped to believe in themselves more. I think belief is everything.”

The clip should (again) play from the right point but if it doesn’t, view it from 03:05 to narrow out the piece. 

I felt that this is what Jim tried to do with me back in the mists of time. He … I was going to say ‘obviously’ but it was never obvious to me… I’ve never really been able to accept it…but there must have been something in why he gave such … credence to my art…to me? I have always dismissed it as he was ‘just being nice.’ I’ve never understood it. I’ve never felt worthy of it. And because of these things I feel as though I have made him feel so very tired of me. Because I just kept on trying to prove my worth. To feel justified, vindicated…accepting of it. And it absolutely made me fall in love with him. That part of it has never, ever gone away. I don’t think it ever will. 

So, these two statements almost cancel each other out in my interpretation of things. To say that “belief is everything” and then to say of your own artistic ability “I don’t think I do a very good job…” I guess it’s the “…but it’s the best I can do”, that is the key. I never ever feel like the things I do ARE the best things I can do. I always feel utterly inept and am always questioning my ability to do anything. If I enjoy doing things, it’s half the battle won. It’s usually the enjoyment I derive from it that spurs me on with things rather than any real sense I am any good at it. Like now, for example, with uni – it’s the enjoyment I derive from the discovery of things – learning new things every day that spurs me on. Am I actually any good at learning? Do I truly have any academic ability? Will I ever get to be anywhere near where I aspire to be? Probably not. In all real likelihood? No. So, this is where I need to learn from Jim. It shouldn’t matter to me. I keep having to remind myself ALL THE TIME that ‘the race is the prize’. That the growth comes from the learning – not the university degree at the end.

Theorised name for Jim’s proposed ‘school’.

I feel rather sad that instead of some kind of ‘academy’ that Jim was pondering wanting to put together in that video clip from 1998, what he actually ended up doing was establishing a hotel. I think Taormina probably had enough of those to be fair. I like the idea of a Socrates style academy. SocKERRtes – yeah. Lol. Doesn’t really work as well as ArKERRmedes. It could have easily been the ArKERRmedes Academy – or even better, the ArtKERRmedes Academy! Lol. I’ll get my coat.

On a serious note, that academy would have been grand. And on a personal note, I need to keep reminding myself to hold fast, to stay positive, to back my ability, to BELIEVE in my potential. To have faith in myself! I can’t keep expecting people to show faith in me if I have none of it myself! And if I keep believing that I CAN’T do it, or I won’t be any good at it, then I’ll just compound that belief won’t I? 

So, there are two questions I’d ask Jim: Where do you think the line between self-belief and complete delusion of one’s own ability lies? And, what happened to the ‘belief academy’ idea? Answers on a postcard some day? I wish!

Nostalgie Jim

I’ve never seen this interview in its entirety. I’ve only just started watching it now.

An hour to interview him?! IN MY DREAMS! Interesting he admits to be nervous. Can’t ever imagine Mr James Kerr Esq. being nervous! When he was being interviewed in 1979? Yes. In 2009? Nae chance…

Oh, how I wish for that hour though.

Never.

Gonna.

Happen.