Today I Saw A Fill-em

My mum never knew her father’s parents – her grandparents – actually, she never even got to know her father for he died shortly after her birth – complications he’d long carried with him from WWI. Errol Forde Clancy was his name. First generation Australian, a son of Irish immigrants. Speaking of films…my Nan (mum’s mum) would often recount the story to mum (and mum, as a consequence to us kids) of Granddad refusing to stand up in the cinema when the national anthem played (back then of course still God Save The King – as it would have been at that time, during the reign of George V – and film being in its infancy). “He wouldn’t stand up for me!”, he’d say to my Nan, “so why should I do it for him?”
I’m sure he’d have felt differently had Advance Australia Fair been the anthem.
Somehow just one word…one quirk from mum’s Irish ancestry filtered through audibly…and it was her way of saying the word “fill-em”. I never knew anyone else who’d say it like that…unless they were actually Irish.
It’s audible in Jim singing it in Thirty Frames A Second…he actually says it that way too – with his talking voice.
I love the word. Sometimes the sound of a word, its intonation when spoken, can give it as much significance as its actual definition. Such is the case with “film”.

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The Renaissance – Reconsidering The Rebirth

This man! Sometimes I pour scorn on him and piss on him…well…that’s how it’s feeling today. I adore him above all else…and he has more talent in that fold on the upper corner of his left ear that I fetishise so much than I have in my whole entire being.

And there also…I will be flippant in my explanation! I can’t help myself!

The last thing I ever want to do, esp. after what happened in July, is piss him off or upset him. So I need to be mindful and careful and observant. I usually am. Ninety five per cent of the time, I am.

One, a couple of days back – someone left a comment on a post about the Rejuvenation box set asking whether albums will be released separately as “I really don’t want Neon Lights on vinyl”. Inwardly my reaction was polared. Firstly “Man, you were brave to put that comment here on SMO!” – secondly “I hear ya…but, tough!  We’ve got it.” – lastly, and in devil’s advocate mode of making a suggestion of what he COULD do with his unwanted copy of Neon Lights, I shared a YouTube clip of the scene from Shaun Of The Dead in which the main protagonists in the film use vinyl records as weapons to attack zombies. Obviously THIS IS NOT something I would do myself – although faced with actual zombies…who knows? I have a copy of Neon Lights on CD…and it is coveted and held securely in my boxed treasure trove of Simple Minds music, merch and memorablia. I’m not using the CD as an onion slicer.

With today’s post, Jim reminded me that, although it may not still be completely my cup of tea, within its origins for being, I do need to give Neon Lights due respect. That the concept of it was born out of respect for those musicians and artists that SM themselves hold dear. And that, without them and without wanting to emulate them, there would be no Simple Minds at all!

I had already been having those feelings myself. With the album being available to listen to on Spotify, I dived in again. I also added it to the playlist of my mega SM content. I have a complete playlist on Spotify. Literally EVERYTHING Simple Minds. Everything SM related goes in it….Dark Flowers stuff is in there, Lostboy! tracks, collaborations, all sorts.

I fell asleep giving it its first listen when it was back on Spotify…and I don’t mean that to sound disrespectful…it’s just the time of day I start listening to music, and the setting in which it happens. It was around 2.30am and I was in bed, snug as a bug in a rug. I gently drifted off as Jim was telling me “how good” Gloria makes him feel (lucky cow she is! Lol)

I stirred and awoke for a few moments to take in and be mesmerised by All Tomorrow’s Parties. In a dreamy half-sleep, it sounded dreamy and beautiful. Jim’s voice wonderfully emotive, as if the ghost of Nico was haunting it.

From then, I let shuffle mode do its work and surprise me. It did with Bring On The Dancing Horses and then Needle And The Damage Done.

When I first became “uber” SM fan, and first listened to Neon Lights, I liked The Man Who Sold The World – Charlie’s guitar playing is unreal and I liked Jim’s vocal (though I still twitch when he delivers “foreign land” rather than the correct lyric of “form and land” – but that is me being an anally retentive pedantic fuck). I also liked Dancing Barefoot. But beyond that…? Besides…I wanted SIMPLE MINDS…not “Simple Minds does…” – I still had a whole back catalogue to explore. And I was falling head over heels in love with their very own magic. I didn’t need to hear them cover others. Not a whole album’s worth!

But, you know…one of my very favourite Bowie albums is Pin-Ups. It’s always been a bone of contention between me and my OH. She can’t stand it, but I bloody love it. You go out on the street now and ask 100 people who did the song Sorrow, I bet all 100 would say David Bowie and not the original artist. It was Bowie covering The Who that got me listening to them. To me most of the songs were IMPROVED by being given the Bowie sprinkle of gold dust.

So, why should it be any different with Simple Minds? The more I listen, the more I am being won round.

And the way Jim writes about it. That period of time in the history of SM, how the album came to be…WHY it came to be…IT MAKES SENSE!

I missed both embryonic stages of Simple Minds. I missed the initial one because I had only a few years previous stopped being an actual embryo myself, and I was stuck down at the arse end of the world…a heady mix descendent of Germans settled in Adelaide, Irish immigrants in country southern NSW, and native Aboriginies from that same rural NSW setting. Think Sidney Nolan paintings of an outlaw with a huge metal bucket on his head…the skewed romance of it all. “Such is life.”

The “Renaissance” of Simple Minds was happening just after I “upped sticks” and moved away from the arse end of the world to arrive in “The Mother Country”. It would take another 14 years for me to finally say “WE NEED TO FUCKING LISTEN TO SIMPLE MINDS, YOU AND ME! A PROPER DIVING IMMERSION!” You and me being – myself and my own psyche.

Better late than never.

I understand the importance of Neon Lights as a consequence.

From the bottom of my crazy old heart, Jim, thank you for today’s post. Thank you for just bringing it home. ❤️❤️

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Spotify 2018 Listening Stats

I really, really do lve Silent Kiss ❤️😊😚

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The only pages I didn’t save were the ones giving me a link to my Top 100 Songs of 2018 playlist – which you’ll find a link to below – and the final “share” page to share your Spotify stats rundown via social media.

 

New (Gold) Icon

I’ve done two previous posts I have labelled “icon”. One highlighting a piece of art I did incorporating Sir, and the other, once trying to capture this moment.

I love the way the sunlight filters through the break in the curtains and shines upon the pic. And to think I told this man he isn’t a messiah! (Sorry, Jim! I was an evil cow for saying that 😦 Love you ❤️)

Anyway…I couldn’t title the post “icon” AGAIN…hence the new title.

The first time I made an “icon” titled post, I was trying to capture the point that the sunlight through the break in the curtains reached the centre of the NME cover of Jim and lit up his face “icon style”. You can see from the previous post, I didn’t do that well. It never worked that well. But this morning, the sun was shining and I had my new phone to hand…and well…I took a few snaps and I like the contrast I caught between the first one (which failed in its objective) and the subsequent ones – playing with light levels on the phone’s camera settings. I’m sharing three of these as I like all three and couldn’t decide which one to post. (I posted one version on my FB timeline, another on the SMO visitor wall.)

I just find it a beautiful thing. Gonna have to hope I get a south-east facing bedroom in the new house to have any chance to replicate this. We’ll see…

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When One Thing Leads To Another – And What Things!

A couple of days ago, I saw an FB friend tag Brian McGee, mentioning him in a post and it suddenly had me thinking “I’ve not really seen much from Brian of late, and he friended me a while back. Has he just not been posting? Or has FB been glitching and not been showing me his updates? So I went looking at his FB profile to see.

And well, it would seem, a bit of both things happened. Brian doesn’t post TOO often, but I had also not seen any recent posts. One in particular escaped my attention from the end of September. A post Brian had been tagged in, from Jaine Henderson…with a gem of a photo within it.

Before doing this post, I had contacted Jaine to ask permission to share the photo here. It’s one thing that she put it on FB and tagged Brian (which in turn means Brian’s friends, and friends of friends can see it…it has a limited publicity), quite another thing to have it here, so I thought it best to at least try and seek permission.

I am yet to get a reply, so, with some trepidation, I will share it here in the hope it is okay, as it actually has been open to public eyes. Neither Jaine nor Brian seem to know who the photographer is…but it was obviously someone in “the gang”.

It’s just a great snapshot. Those ties!! That wallpaper! Lol. OMG – Joe looks like a BABY! Lol (And he’s older than Jim! Only by a few months.) Brian in those shades. JIM WITH A GUITAR?! WTF?! Obviously just a prop. And his shades too! Lol

I must admit when I first saw it, Brian stuck out instantly. I mean it’s on his FB timeline, but I recognised him straight off. And then over to the right side of the photo I was looking, thinking “that looks for ALL THE WORLD like Jim – but he’s got a guitar?! Surely not!”

Reading the comments revealed with certainty who was in the picture:
From left to right: Joe Donnelly, Brian McGee, Tony Donald, Jim Kerr

One question posed by someone in the comments wondered if Charlie Burchill had taken the photo. No one seemed sure. Brian thinks the photo dates from around 1976.

Let’s hope it’s okay to stay here. If not, of course I will remove at once!

UPDATE: Permission kindly granted. Thank you, Jaine 🙂

That’s Entertainment – AND Inspiration!

Wow! What a story, Lesley O’Toole! Your first professionl journalist’s interview being granted by Jim…and from there?! I’ll let Lesley tell the story herself in these two wonderful posts shared on Instagram.

Thank you for sharing the story, Lesley.

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Jim Kerr and me: December 8, 1982 at London’s Lyceum. In 1984 when I was still a law student at Bristol University, and still wild about Simple Minds, I wrote my first ever professional magazine piece – an interview with Jim. All the Scottish bands and loads more used to stay at London’s (in)famous Columbia Hotel so I wrote to JK c/o the hotel, asked him if he’d do the interview, and included a stamped addressed envelope. He wrote back saying: “Yes, 2pm Sunday.” I already had my own fanzine but this was the start of my “proper” career as an entertainment journalist. I still wonder if I’d be a lawyer now were it not for this. I certainly wouldn’t be as blessed and happy as I am living in LA. So thank you Jim for saying yes, and thank you Simple Minds for 35+ years of pure joy. Breathless with excitement for more of it at LA’s beautiful Orpheum Theatre later. ❤️🙏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🎤🎸🥁 . . . . . @simplemindsmusic @gedgrimesmusic @cherissedrums #simpleminds #jimkerr #orpheumtheatre #thewaywewere #myfaveband #columbiahotel

A post shared by Lesley O'Toole (@lesleyotooleinla) on

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#FBF Simple Minds have been my favourite band for too long to mention – since I was a kid anyway. Jim Kerr was also my first professional interview as a journalist and who knows if I’d even have become one were it not for that and him. Last month I found myself in the front row for their concert at LA’s gorgeous Orpheum Theatre. And then Jim spotted me and sang to me. Which song? Only my all-time Simple Minds fave – Someone Somewhere in Summertime. Gigantic coincidence or no? No in fact – but some sort of conspiracy perpetrated by my friend Ged Grimes, their brilliant bass player, who somehow remembered my fave song, saw me in the audience and conspired with JK. I have no photos or video (these were taken later that night) but it will be in my head forever. Ged and Jim – thank you! I adore you both and this meant the world. And Happy St. Andrew’s Day to all my Scottish friends. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿❤️🎤 . . . . . . . @gedgrimesmusic @simplemindsmusic #gedgrimes #jimkerr #simpleminds #orpheumtheatrela #orpheumtheatre #someonesomewhereinsummertime #magicmoment #standrewsday #scotland #lovescotland

A post shared by Lesley O'Toole (@lesleyotooleinla) on

Simple Minds – Newcastle Oz – Photoset

A great set of fan photos here shared by kind permission from Gillian Spencer. Thank you!

To view full size images, click on the post from the home page, once at the post, click on the individual images for size viewing options on the lower right of the screen.