Jim Kerr Interview – Q Magazine – March 1998

The caption on the first photo – There was so much talk about Jim’s “penny whistle” at the time. Bloody hell! Also…the end of the article…him going on about Mariella Frostrup. Tie a knot in it, Kerr! Surely you were already with somebody else by this point? You’re never alone for long, it seems. I could comment further…but I won’t.

Anyway, I guess you can’t keep a good man down….

Click on the images for better and maximum viewing options.

As a side note of what was discussed above is this (below). I stumbled upon it about a week ago. Don’t ask me how I got there – despite how it looks, rather bloody innocently, I can assure you! It was printed in the Sunday Mirror on September 4th, 2005. They obviously had Jim look at a bunch of photos of himself and comment on them. The article was titled “My Pap Pics: Jim Kerr” and I’m guessing he was shown a rather “revealing” photo of himself? The “Brussels banana” photo, perhaps? The photos of the article weren’t printed, just the text. Anyway…here are his MODEST words about it. He was rather more modest several years later….shrinkage? 😂😂😂

So…who are we to believe? Bragging Jim of 2005? Or modest Jim of 2014 interviewed in the Irish Independent newspaper?

Answers on a QR-coded postcard…

Bowie Talk – Missing Jim – Sexy Songs – Minds Music Monday – Lightning

I miss Monday’s the way they used to be. Actually, I miss just about how every day would start a few years back. When I was getting into Simple Minds and getting myself involved in the fanbase, the thing that always seemed to make every day feel like it started off on the right note was Jim’s posts on Facebook. 

And I didn’t care what he talked about. It didn’t have to be SM specific, or even music related. Damn, it could even be about football! Lol. I didn’t care. Whatever the subject, he always made it engaging. And he’d engage with us about it. 

There’d be a little kind of game. If you caught the post early enough, he’d seemingly hang about for a few minutes, waiting for replies to come in and if someone commented with something that piqued his interest, he’d respond. 

It sounds SSOO mundane – I know! But I miss it. I miss it SO much. This morning I awoke just thinking about it, lamenting on what was. Thinking, “Oh, Jim made Monday’s feel fun. Actually he made every morning feel good. Every day was a New Sunshine Morning back then.” I cannae help but feel like I came along on the tail end of everything.

But, one can’t go back. One must move forward – esp. In the Kerr world. There’s no room for nostalgia (it’s a dirty word!) or for back-peddling, or for reminiscing. 

I should be thankful he even posts at all these days.

I’d love to ask him if he’s had the chance to hear the Toy version of “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving” and what he thinks of the endless Bowie content that has been released since David’s death. But I guess why should I care what Jim Kerr thinks, eh? Again…it’s just a silly nostalgic thing. Me feeling some kind of silly “bond” from having had some banter with him in the past on the subject of David Bowie. Deluding myself there has been “conversation” between us. 

So, perhaps I’ll pose it to you lot? The three regular visitors to the blog. What do you guys think of the whole Bowie “legacy”? To me it feels like it’s being milked like the most overfilled dairy cow. There have been so many releases in the past five years, I have lost count! Myriad compilations and box sets, both as sets of studio albums and as live albums. A lot of the live content previously unreleased, granted, but it does feel like a sad money grab sometimes. And does the Bowie estate REALLY need the money? And I do wonder how it would all sit with David himself. 

Having said that, I do feel mildly excited about Toy getting a release. I remember news of it at the time and being intrigued by the prospect of what he was doing. Then he seemed to ditch the project in favour of working on Heathen, which I am incredibly thankful for because, along with Low, it is my favourite David Bowie album. 

I didn’t get caught up in the whole live box set saga. There was only one album out of those I wanted. I listened to it on Spotify, enjoyed it, and so I invested in it. My only purchase of them all was to get a copy of Ouvrez Le Chien. I thought about investing in Metrobolist as well but, for what? So I’d have a copy of it under what was meant to be its original title? We lived with it for 50 years as The Man Who Sold The World, what’s the point in now referring to it as Metrobolist? 

I will probably invest in a copy of Toy though. We’ll see. 

Now on to this week’s MMM. As I discussed previously, I haven’t been in much of a mood to listen to any Simple Minds of late. Certainly not to the degree that I have done for the past seven years! I listen to bits here and there. Not much. 

I was listening to a few random tunes a few nights ago. Just ones I have thought I hadn’t listened to in a while and I wanted to hear again. Silent Kiss was one of them. And there I was inwardly thinking “Why, oh, why, oh, why did you have to make it a bonus track on Walk Between Worlds so it never gets performed live?! Am I destined to have ALL my very favourite Simple Minds songs be tracks that NEVER end up on a set list?” It seems so…

We had that little “exchange”, Jim and I. Me saying to him “Sexy songs are the best”, and him replying with “Agreed!”. It took me ages to try and work out the song that brought that little exchange into being but then I did some digging to finally discover it was Silent Kiss. But it isn’t just sexy, it’s yearning. It’s beautiful. 

After Silent Kiss played I was thinking about what other songs that I hadn’t listened to for a long time I considered to be sexy. And I decided on this! I think it is an incredibly underrated song. I find it sexy as hell, even though I admit I somewhat misinterpreted what the song was about initially – but if anyone can make a song about a suicide bomber bloody sexy, then it’s Jim Kerr!

So for this week’s Minds Music Monday, may I present to you… Lightning

Minds Music Monday – Superman V Supersoul

Today is the official calendar start of spring – but I much prefer to think of it in seasonal terms and don’t really feel any real sense of spring until the equinox on March 20th.

That in mind, I wanted to choose something that conjured up warmth and light and joy and optimism, and maybe a bit of Utopia and in the case of this song, enlightenment. Something to symbolise that, indeed, spring is on the way.

I knew it was a spiritual song. You can hear it and sense it without being told, as it delivers that sense, that feeling of a warm spring day. A warming of the soul.

But I actually hadn’t read the info on Dream Giver about it – or if I had, it was so long ago, none of it ever really sank in.

Having read it last night, I was moved by Jim’s words. Moved by how moved HE was by the song.

I can’t help but feel it was semi-autobiographical what he had written in the email? That perhaps it was he who had the dream of the wedding procession and of the Prince (aka Krishna) and the beautiful coquettish brides. That he was the man left standing in the loft apartment staring at the painting on the kitchen wall.

He has talked about the Bhagavad Gita several times in the past. It has had quite an influence on him over the years.

I enjoyed it too, having read it from him mentioning it again in recent years.

I’ll share the piece Jim had written about Superman v Supersoul below. There are so many days in which I miss him and I miss just…feeling with him, connected to him, part of him. More than just through music and through a “singer and fan” dynamic.

I know I have to stop going on about it! And I know I have to find some kind of closure as it has so obviously come to an end – whatever “this” was. Whatever connection I felt there was. Whatever skewed imagining of “togetherness” I had deludedly conjured up for myself and dreamed for myself. It has obviously faded.

For want of painting myself a dream and walking into it to experience it and live it in my subconscious, I better “get real”.

I miss the romance of the togetherness. Of feeling kindred. Of feeling sometimes I could allow to kid myself that, on the odd occasion, there was a “like mind”. That we were connected beyond the music. And that it wasn’t just me that felt it.

(The end of the first paragraph of Jim’s words … God is a DJ? “This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts.”)

UPDATE: (later the same morning) I mixed up my books! I tried to read Bhagavad Gita but got lost in the rambling preface of the copy I bought – an English translation of the book from German – and didn’t continue to read it. So in actual fact, I was mixing up my Siddhartas (which I have read) with my Bhagavad Gitas (not actually read yet) – and I’m wondering if Jim didn’t do the same in this email? I may just have to have another attempt at reading Bhagavad Gita.

One made a very long time ago – in March, 2016, in fact.

People are finding God in different places. Some stare at the sky. Others walk the desert. A friend of mine recently put forward the notion that God has taken to stalking the floors of discotheques!

The scenario in the song: An individual, closing his eyes after staring long and hard at a beautiful painting of a scene from the “Bhagavad Gita” finds that he is transported body and soul into the painted image – which in fact becomes reality all around him. There suspended in time for what feels like a whole night he finds himself drowning in the sights and sounds of a wedding procession which is taking place in the most heavenly blue moonlit garden.

All around him the most sensuous music drifts and he listens while watching the screams and laughter of the beautiful young brides who cannot contain themselves as they receive the flirting and teasing attention of an obvious boy prince, who must be no other than Lord Krishna… the sense of joy is palpable as peacocks mesmerize, and it’s there and then our character decides that this can only be the one true paradise…

Suddenly it’s gone, where to!, where from? The man is left staring out the window of his loft apartment at the shimmering lights of the cityscape; and the sprawling chaos of the streets below. He vows on the spot to completely change his way of life; and tears well as he shifts his eyes back to the small calendar painting, given to him free last year, on the street by a “devotee” and now hanging on his kitchen wall.

Paradise.” – Jim, e-mail, 11th March 1998

Also: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus

Why I Love…Lightning

That start. The bass and clang…something gritty and industrial about it. Almost like it’s going to turn into a Einstürzende Neubauten track!

Then a wonderfully buzzing style of synth that comes in. The pace of it is awesome.

I absolutely adore these lyrics! On the Dream Giver web site (simpleminds.org), Jim talks about the song being about a boy that grows up to be an arms dealer and the lyrics certainly imply that…but they can also be interpreted as…lust, desire, wanting an affair with someone.

I want to see what you see
I want to touch, let me play
I want to try every poison in sight
I want to lie where you lay

— — — — — — — — — — — —

Let me touch, let me touch
Let me feel what you feel
I want to know how certain this is
I want to know this is real

But it’s all an internal dialogue that this “arms dealer” is having with himself. The man about to leave all that destruction in his path, telling the boy of his youth that “we’ve” done it for the greater good. And that is how people justify heinous acts like that to themselves. Their god wants them to it. It filters out those “infidels”. To murder for your god is good and worthy.

And, the words in the verses to me can have duel meaning. The way Jim is singing…breathy, whispering at times. I find it a really, really sensual song. But in actual fact the song has very heavy subject matter.

As I say…before I ventured to the Dream Giver site to look it up, to confirm the lyrics for an art piece on the song…I assumed it was about the lust and desire for another person.

And then there is a melodically sweet musical breakdown as Jim delivers the lines “I long to be where you are”, contained in this part of the verse:

“I want to touch what you touch
I long to be where you are
I’ll always know – you’ll let me know all this gets too far”

It’s like the sprinkle of rain, the cascade of a waterfall…the ashen shards from hand grenade? The descending sparks from a bomb?

I had started on this “Why I Love” in the middle of September, and couldn’t rightly articulate what I wanted to say about the song at the time, so I moved on to doing one for Space, and left it until tonight.

Now it seems more eerily apt to touch upon. A metaphor for much going on for the band right now. And curious too that within the band’s history that, at this point, both Derek and Mel have come back to the fold…and Pete Walsh is once again being used as producer for the Neapolis album that Lightning is a track from.

And given what Jim said a number of days ago about the (Simple Minds) bus only moving forward, with fixed steering and no reverse gear. And that he’d said those words in 1977 as a young, headstrong kid who was “unbearable in many ways, not so bad in others” and that “I’m still that kid”.

Perhaps HE is now the “arms dealer”? Doing some detrimental damage for what appears to be “the greater good”?

It was just an observation. It’s hard not to get drawn into it. It is just a concern for the future. I’m not passing judgements, laying blame, etc. I just fear, much like of the subject matter of this song…it’ll all implode. Sometimes a reverse gear is good…when you’re careering to a cliff and there is no other way out.

But enough of metaphors. And I will not be pressed to talk anymore…so don’t ask.

As for the song itself? Musically, the pace of it, the synths, crashing guitars, that fabulous breakdown of waterfall/shards.
Jim’s lyrics are just…crazy f***ing sexy. Seriously…I really do find this song so, so sexy lyrically…even with knowing what this song is about and all. His vocal on it is just….honey…

And that is why I love…Lightning.

Simple Minds – Lightning

Because I tend to listen to a Minds mix on Spotify in bed at night, I may not hear a particular song for several weeks (shuffle mode never really moves away much from a set number of songs it plays…never really seems like a true randomised algorithm).

A case in point: this morning, 7am. I don’t remember the last time I heard Lightning – several weeks I’m sure…maybe on the train on the way up to the Bridlington gig? 

Anyway, this morning I played it nine times over. The first play it was rousing me awake from my slumber and I was only conscious of it halfway through. On the second play, I was trying to link to it on Facebook. From the third time onwards it was just…”how bloody awesome – and SEXY – is this song?” *REPEAT*

I couldn’t wait for the next Minds Music Monday to link to it. Please, enjoy one of the sexiest SM songs ever made (even if it is reputedly about a suicide bomber)…

“Let me touch, let me touch”…

Lyric Of The Day – Lightning

Lyric of the day

Song: Lightning

Album: Neapolis

Year of release: 1998

Written by: Kerr/Burchill

I’m always learning….every day.

I am not quite as familiar with this song as I am others. I always thought it was a very sexy song….a song about desire….well, it kind of is, but not the desire for sex or lust, it seems!

Checking the lyrics on the wonderful Dream Giver Redux site, I saw that the song is actually a political song…about an arms dealer!

Amazing how we can interperet songs in our own way. This is why I love to study the music I love. I spent YEARS studying Bowie songs…and now I’m doing it with Simple Minds.

I learn new stuff every day…and I always seem to fall a little more in love with Jim each day too. It really isn’t purely a physical thing. I’m as much in love with his brain as I am his beauty :-))

I’m a HOPELESS CASE! Lol