Mr Before And After

In January last year I went and visited Virginia Turbett so I could take a proper and extensive view of her archive of Simple Minds images. She has something like 1000 images or more of the band so you can imagine what total fangirl heaven I was in just even TRYING to view over 1000 images in just a few hours.

One of the vintage prints she had there that I fell in love with was this one below of Jim. As you can see he had just had his make up done, ready for the gig that night in Edinburgh at the Odeon on August 28th, 1981.

In November last year, I visited Virginia again and noticed in the contact sheets that there was a “before” shot of Jim – well, technically a “during”, I guess. There was one of him having his make up applied. I have been wanting a copy of it ever since so I could display them side by side.

FINALLY I received the other photo today (see below). I don’t think I will ever stop seeing this man as the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

I have them both on temporary display in a frame together but they are different sizes. The vintage print (the “after”) is 10 x 8 inches but “the before” is A4 size. At some point soon I’ll put them in seperate, dedicated frames and display them properly.

But for now…I am “made up”! Oh, Mr Kerr. You are beautiful.

And if you want to check out some of the other prints Virginia has (a very small selection of what is in her archive…just of SM alone, let alone the plethora of other bands and artists she’s photographed!) see www.virginiaturbett.com

Mangled Magazine Interview With Jim

A quick interview with Jim from 1979. I feel vindicated about my thoughts on cassettes. Lol

See…I don’t get the comparisons to Magazine, either. But I’d have died to have seen one of those gigs now!

As for the “Secondhand Simplicity” review title? A lazy alliteration…that’s all it was. I seem to remember it was a pretty good review otherwise. I’m sure I have it posted here on the blog somewhere.

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Farewell, My Lovely…

She is scanned, packaged and ready to go…to travel across to the US of A tomorrow.

Of course there’s a tinge of sadness…more than a tinge, in all honesty…but it helped to raise more money than I ever dare dream of for Race For Life this year.

Will I ever raise that much again? Who knows?

Hey…it really is such a small sacrifice. Other people give up SO MUCH to help others and make a difference…I basically just went for a walk and gave up a prized possession. No biggy.

Onwards and upwards!

P.S. I wonder where Jim keeps his copy…

Minds Music Monday – Why I Love…Soul Crying Out

Lighting the political touchpaper in 1989 with words of angst and hope, Soul Crying Out has to be one of Simple Minds’ most beautiful, heartfelt pieces on the current state of the world (of then…as it is now) as you are ever likely to hear.

Starting with a soft, jangly guitar riff from Charlie Burchill and wonderful whispering vocal from Jim Kerr…the pair immediately pull you in to the quiet plea of the track. The world is in turmoil. People are hurting.

It’s a tome on what became – for the suffering working classes – Thatcher’s “legacy”. Of course, she was still in power when the song was written and released…but thankfully her time was running out.

But the damage had pretty much all been done by 1989. She’d been in power for 10 years, and in those years, mines closed, shipyards closed, unemployment reached record highs. And there was the disgusting “guinea pig” experiment of testing out the Poll Tax in Scotland. A policy, that if put forward by a Labour government might have been seen as fair, just and egalitarian. It certainly sounds Communist in its ideal – a single same rate tax for all. Everyone is equal. That’s the Communist philosophy, right? But let’s be honest, the world really is Animal Farm Orwellian, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Those lines “And the government says you’re gonna pay, pay, pay!”, driven home by Jim with rising tones in his voice, only to soften again…nailing it in with sorrow “and you pay / still you pay”.

“And I say / I don’t know
Maybe I don’t care”

Apathy – a disease. Jim talked about it in an interview with Billy Sloan in 1984, saying he felt that apathy was the biggest disease hitting the UK then. I can see his point…but to try and drag yourself out of that state when you are being oppressed by your government, you can’t find a job, no one in your family has a job, what do you do?

The disease wasn’t so much the apathy…but her. Maggie. That’s definitely how I see it.

Jim, you were lucky not to suffer the apathy. To be strong-willed enough not to let it consume you. Many others were not so lucky. Try not to be too judgemental. Not everyone is blessed with your willpower, resolve and self-belief. That goes beyond optimism.

But it gave him the opportunity to twist the song into hope and aspiration.

“All I know is / I gotta get out of here
And I’m going / going any way
Do you know some place to go?
I’m getting out of here.”

By 1990, Thatcher was gone, but there was still seven years of Conservative power to endure. John Major tried his best to lessen some of the worst effects of the previous 11 years of government. He will most likely be the Conservative government’s last “centre-right” leader for some time to come.

For today, those highest in office within the Conservative Party are all “Maggie’s children”. Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Jeremy Hunt, and Boris Johnson all err on the side of the Fascist side of right-wing politics.

Anyway, enough of the political talk and the potential for apathy.

Let’s listen to what may be Simple Minds’ best political statement they ever produced.

And that is (some way into trying to explain eloquently) why I love Soul Crying Out.

(P.S. I definitely need to do a new piece of art for this! The one above is well old!)

Five Years A (Mega) Fan

While it is that beautiful man’s birthday – it is also my fan anniversary. This year it is FIVE YEARS since I became a Simple Minds uber fan.

I clean near forgot as I have had something else rather dominating my thoughts today – and it wasn’t that it’s Jim’s 60th, no.

I’ve been hard at work on something today and there’s a few other bits and pieces going on…all enough to distract me from remembering my fan anniversary for several hours today.

But here we are. FIVE YEARS! Of following the most amazing band in the world, EVER. From the very earliest days right up til the present moment…Simple Minds have been my entire universe these past five years.

I can’t imagine my life without this band in it now.
Thank you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ – a heart for each of the current members of the band.