The Reminiscence Bump – Examples

I would have liked to have written more in relation to Jim’s post yesterday, but I had just written my waffling blurb about Space (or more accurately what the song Space means to me) for MMM and I didn’t have that much writing left in me. So I left it for today.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to write today. I had my Covid vaccine booster and my flu vaccine yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve had the flu jag. I woke up feeling fine. Other than a sore arm from the jags, I felt okay. I slept okay. A bit intermittent, but quite soundly when I did actually sleep. I think now it is catching up with me though as now I am here at my PC, ready to exercise the old brain and writing muscles, I can feel my energy draining away. I’m yawning and feeling quite lethargic now. I’m hoping it’s just for today that I’ll feel like this. I have a gig to go to in Newcastle on Thursday and I want to have my energy up for that! 

Anyway! On with the “reminiscence bump” that Jim wrote about yesterday. 

I really loved that post. I didn’t know that his knowledge and love for Wichita Lineman went back that far. But I guess why would I? I always think the melody in Wichita Lineman sounds like Grace Jones’s La Vie En Rose, or vice versa (that would be more accurate). Jimmy Webb is an overdue postponed gig I have to go to next year. 

I don’t have any recollections of ever having heard Wichita Lineman until the first time I saw Jim writing about it. 

But that “reminiscence bump”? There are plenty of songs that do that. And there was no way I could list them and the images, feelings and settings they transport me back to. I just as succinctly as possible spoke about the memory and “bump” Boys From Brazil now gives me. Nana Mouskouri and a coach ride home from London on a dark and dreary night. 

But there are other songs that give me experiences of deep “bumps” when I hear them. ELO’s Hold On Tight gives me the vivid memory of a car ride home from my siblings paternal grandparents house. They lived way out of Sydney. I can’t quite remember where it was now. I think it was south of Sydney, in a town called Nowra. A beautiful part of the state of New South Wales, actually. Anyway, the car radio is on and it comes on on the radio and I find it a really hopeful and uplifting song (there’s Jim thinking “you find ELO uplifting? They’re dross! To each their own, Mr Kerr. To each their own.) and it had been a nice day at my siblings’ grandparents house. I went there with my eldest brother, his wife and my sister. I usually felt “the odd one out” the few times I went to their house as…well…I wasn’t their grandchild and their grandma wasn’t the most warming of ladies, but that day she was quite nice to me and seemed to want to engage in conversation with me. So my memory of the day is a good one. And the ride home in the car was full of lovely music and everyone was in good spirits. So I see my brother driving the car at the front, his wife beside him in the passenger seat, me in the back seat directly behind Roy, and my sister, Cheryl, sitting next to me to my right. The sun was fading. It was a winter’s day, so it was quite cool. And I can see that lovely scenery of Southern yet not quite coastal New South Wales out the window. 

So there’s one example. 

Another is hearing the Skyhooks song All My Friends Are Getting Married. It was a newish song at the time. I’m sure I’m maybe only 5 years old. Perhaps maybe a little older, as I am in my brother Quince’s (real name Gary – hasn’t been called Gary by anyone in I don’t know HOW long – 40+ years? I was the last person to doggedly stick to calling him Gary, and I finally stopped in the mid 1990s) bedroom playing records, using his Technics turntable…so I HAD to be older than five! But I wouldn’t have been much older. But the visuals the song gives me are vivid. I am in Quince’s room (we were always alternating rooms growing up – but at this point Quince had the first bedroom down the hall, the smallest of the bedrooms) and I am playing the Skyhooks album Ego Is Not A Dirty Word and I absolutely ADORE All My Friends Are Getting Married…as young as I am. I can appreciate it for the lamenting song it. The chorus goes “well, all my friends are getting married / yes, they’re all growing old / they’re all staying home on the weekend / they’re all doing what they’re told”. There’s a kind of melancholy to it I could appreciate. But I misconstrued the lament as a kid. I thought it was a lament on missing out on the married life when in actual fact it was a lament that all your single friends have buggered off and settled down! Lol

Anyway…the “bump” is a visual of home. Of Quince’s bedroom. Of a dull, gloomy day. I could see through to the laundry room from Quince’s bedroom and can see out the back door to a (rare) dull, gloomy sky. I was always looking skyward as a kid. Always looking up – literally, if not metaphorically. 

Some of the “bumps”, as exemplified above are very fleeting snapshots, but no less vivid. 

Another one is another car journey. I am with my sister and brother-in-law. REM’s Losing My Religion is on the radio and we are driving through the back streets of Busby – the place I grew up in. An outer south-western suburb of Sydney. Busby was quite a sprawling suburb. All of that area of Sydney, those outer south-western suburbs was farmland and then was turned into council housing developments in the early 1960s. Had the Kerrs ended up emigrating to Australia and landed in Sydney, I am pretty sure an area like Busby or its surrounds is where they would have ended up. The car is actually travelling long South Liverpool Road. There you go – get your Google Maps out and have a keek! Lol

One final one I’ll share is a “bump” – yet ANOTHER car journey – that is a vivid recall when hearing the Tin Tin Out version of Here’s Where The Story Ends. It has real symbolism to it, and very personal, so I can’t share much of it – but the song’s title is a fitting meaning to why this particular car journey was happening. I’ll say as much as the journey was an outpatients hospital visit to Leicester. And it was the ending of one story and the beginning of another. It’s a vivid recall of trying to find the hospital and getting lost (pre-Google Maps and GPS navigation – having to locate the place the old fashioned way) but eventually locating it after going around roundabouts and driving round in literary circles for a good half an hour. 

Other memories get sparked by curtain songs. Certain Bowie songs have me back at home “deep in your room / you never leave your room”. Iggy Pop songs do that too. Bjork songs do. Grace Jones, U2, INXS, Spy vs Spy, Pretenders, Icehouse, Sherbet, The Carpenters – all of them conjure up memories, vivid visuals of me listening to the music either in the livingroom on the crappy “family” sound system, or in my own bedroom I had later as a late teen/early adult. 

Creedence Clearwater Revival, I am sitting around in the kitchen with my mum. We’re usually drinking, playing trivial pursuit or some other board game, getting merrily drunk and just having a fab “girls night in”. We loved doing that. Just having a night in together, getting pissed and listening to music. She loved old crooners too, so I’d borrow things from the library to listen to. Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald. 

Anyway. Enough of the nostalgia for one day. Geez, I keep myself deep within the clutches of nostalgia enough as it is – I don’t need any more excuses to wallow! My arm and shoulder is frigging aching to f*** anyway, and my head is starting to hurt a little. 

And because it’s vaguely relevant, I’ll end on this…

Almost The Kind Of Post I Miss

Some poetry. Inner thoughts. Something beyond the mere plug of a gig, a product. Of course, that needs to be done, I guess.

But there is that human touch I was so starting to miss.

The end message seems to be “buck up, kid. Nothing lasts forever.”

Yeah. Don’t remind me. And don’t remind you are not one for sentiment much. Yet, you are.

And of course you have reminded me that I am wallowing. Which I try not to do. For ultimately, the only person who can make me happy, who can “cure my ills” is me.

Oh, but you helped. You helped immeasurably. And I freely admit I grew addicted.

You were medicine. A daily fix. Much like your daily walk is a therapeutic drug… your posts were to me. And… if there was word from you directly? A response? A reply to me? Such an elixir! The day was made. The smile barely leaving my face. “She grinned like a Cheshire cat.”

I kidded myself that moving here I’d take almost daily Clyde walks. Since my return from Oz, I’ve been down to the Clyde a solitary time. Crossed it several other times though… and it always brings that same Cheshire smile – be it ever so briefly.

The other thing I have loved here – to do with water… the sound of the rain on my bedroom windows. There’s a strange kind of comfort…

I’m Done – Prip Has Left The Building

I didn’t see the point of SMOG. I mean…the posting thing? I’m not concerned for myself. I don’t feel I have anything much to this group to contribute to be honest. I tend not to with any of the SM groups. Not posting to them myself anyway. Not very often. But I comment on posts and interact with others and get involved in discussions and the like.

Nothing about that on SMOG is much different to any other SM group at the moment. If anything, the official group could learn A LOT from the existing groups…where fans are free to post things and feel included.

Yes, the other SM groups are closed groups, for the most part. But the interactions and discussions fans have within those groups are great. And there is a SM group to suit everyone. And you don’t feel compelled to contribute, but you still feel part of something. There’s a spirit to them!

SMOG is a strange beast. A walled garden that people can peer into. We’ve all been given the tools to contribute, but only a selected few have been allowed to maintain the splendour of the garden. I am speaking in metaphor, yes.

Here is the stat. Today there has been a solitary post. Yesterday also just the one post. The first few days several posts were shared. There has been a total of 428 posts to the Simple Minds Official Group and just 14 post have been filtered through from the fans…the majority of those in the first 48 hours of the group being up and running. FOURTEEN in over FOUR HUNDRED posts submitted. Really?

I understand what they are trying to do. But, it just isn’t dynamic enough and fans are feeling quite…well, ignored, basically.

Either make it more apparent you want the “creme de la creme” of fan posts…or just be a little more easy with things and filter some more posts through, for heaven’s sake! This “creme de la creme” approach would make sense if all the posts so far were to…”a standard”…but they vary wildly. So…SHARE SOME MORE POSTS!

Make people feel included. And if or when that happens, I may feel like wanting to be part of it again. But for now? I’m oot.

Rant over.

SMOG – You Can Sense It In The Air…

Well, what the Simple Minds fandom really needed was yet ANOTHER Facebook group.

Sigh.

I’m already in f*** knows how many. But the latest is “official”. Excuse my initial cynicism but…what’s the objective?

Simple Minds Official for band news only? Jim posts there. Fuck all the wonderful interactivity that used to happen? No more visitor wall? All that is now meant to happen at Simple Minds Official Group (aka SMOG…aka Fans In The Mist)?

Only today did I look on my blog as to what I am pretty sure was my last piece of interactivity with Jim. I’d posted on the visitor wall about a review of a gig from back in the day from a guy called Johnny Waller. Jim had responded and talked about Johnny, saying he’d run a local fanzine and also mentioned Lindsay Hutton too. He said he’d wondered what happened to them. Of course, like a good little researcher/investigative journalist I went on a search and found out for him.

As always, it was a lovely exchange that I’m always so appreciative of. That was in February. It’s now nearly September.

I know he has his dad’s health to consider. I am always mindful of it.

But even at his most busy times, Jim always seemed to take the time to interact. I mean hell, one exchange we had he was in the middle of the Night Of The Proms stuff in Germany leading up to Christmas 2016. I had mentioned an interview in which Noel Gallagher sang the praises of David Bowie’s latter work. Something Jim has rarely expressed being a fan of.

He replied to me…with a rather extensive response, and it was amazing. Those exchanges I absolutely cherish!

I worry that SMOG is the signalling of change…and not necessarily for the better.

It feels like the magic is being slowly sucked out of things.

I shall see how things go…but unlike when I first started to be around the fanbase and Jim was around and as he got more aware of me things just…evolved and there was that great chunk of interactivity…it has all but dried up. Yesterday’s news is now today’s fish supper wrapping.

Adios amigos…

Flown off on those angel wings.

As for me interacting with fellow fans? Well…there’s…oh, take your pick…SMI, New Gold Dreamers, Fans, Fans Club, Fans Club Italia, Sardinia, Spain…on and on and on…

Not to mention fan pages just for Jim…

And one on one and private chat, etc, etc.

I Wish You Were Here

Is *not* a thing I imagine Jim is thinking right now of me. Lol. He’s probably relishing being 12,000 miles away! If there is even a thought about it at all.

In the story of the Kerr family’s ALMOST emmigration to Australia, I am also glad his mum had a change of heart, because there very well may have been no Simple Minds had the move Down Under taken place.

And I can well understand his mum’s change of heart. It’s no easy thing to do! It’s a life-changing and life-long commitment to up sticks and move half-way round the world. Esp. back in the 1960’s. Little chance of you ever flying back home to visit family for a couple of weeks a year, or every couple of years back then. One, plane travel would have been damn expensive and, even then, it would have taken at least double the amount of time it takes to fly to and fro now. It still isn’t THAT cheap, but it is far more affordable if you have a place to stay once there. These days it’s the accommodation rather than the price of the flight that is the biggest expense.

My own story of emmigration to the UK was not an easy one. When I got with my partner, the plan was for us to stay in Australia. But…for several reasons, it became apparant that was not going to work. What’s a person to do? I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…so as much as it pained me to leave my family, I took the move. They were the options – end it wth the love of my life and stay with my family, or leave my family to be with the one I love. Being an Anglophile helped that decision immeasurably.

So, here I am, some 20 years down the line. Did I ever regret that decision? In recent times? Perhaps maybe a little. But…only a little. For the distance it takes to travel. For the past 10 years only having had one opportunity to return home, instead of the serveral times I travelled back during my first 10 years in Blighty. I could continue with the personal aspect of this, but pefer not to. All I will say is…on the whole…no regrets. The past 10 years have been much harder than the first. And…I missed David. My brother, David…lost to liver cancer in 2014. Mum is aging, getting more and more decrepit. Those aspects about being so distant by geography are hard on the old emotions. Anyway…enough of the maudlin personal stuff. There’s wonderful stuff happening down there. Simple Minds have arrived! Well, Jim has at least…seemingly. I get the impression he’s been there a number of days already…possibly swinging down via Bali (as he was pondering to do half-way through the SM North American tour).

Let the Oz fans rejoice! How I wish that Gillian could have returned the favour and put me up at her place for a week. She was more than willing to do so! To be reunited with her and Nicola would have been grand. Have Ally join us on the day. Perhaps have met a few more of the Oz SM fans I’ve yet to meet. Had I not met Gwenda at the gig, we’d have had the chance to have met at some point, as she doesn’t live far from my sister. In a stupid small world, it was Simple Minds that got us knowing each other. We grew up living only one mile apart, but had never met!

Then there is the chance of seeing my best mate, Steven. Well, if I am out there next year, and I am sure that is on the cards, no matter what…we can celebrate 30 years of friendship! The life I’ve had…I never expected I would ever have a friend for 30 years. Lasting friendships were hard to come by for me. And, well, Steven and I have had our ups and downs too, but there is an amazing bond there and I absolutely love him with all my heart. That person you can be fully, totally, wholly yourself with. That “no filter” friend. Worts and all. Thick and thin. He’s it.

And, this time had I made it out, I couldn’t have gone to Adelaide and Janis. But now when I *do* go…the Hills will be alive with th sound of us chomping on the best food in the world! And if I am there to see Simple Minds, then GODDAMN, Janis is coming too! I doubt they’d do her favourite (Somebody Up There Likes You), but they SHOULD (hopefully, fingers crossed…Jim, if you’re reading this – Lol – as if – I am putting this request in early – next gig in Adelaide, PLEASE do Let There Be Love) do her second favourite song.

Anyway! Enjoy your fleeting visit to Oz, SM. At least PRETEND to be a bit gutted that I didn’t make it out there to see you, Sir. Lol. Yeah, I know…you were secretly thanking the almighty (Buddha) that I didn’t make it. I’ll delude myself anyway.

7587DB08-042A-47C4-87FD-03D465EB18A3DFE940BF-D557-4676-810D-16630A9A9DC5

The link in the post is this one – and a memory for me of every journey I took into the city on the train from mum’s. Sons And Fascination on the way in, Sister Feelings Call on the way back. Images of train tracks and the landscape of the inner city suburbs of Sydney now synonymous with the title track.And artwork I do for it that contains a skewed view I took from mum’s kitchen window in it.

FDA3A708-1AB6-4784-A4D7-AF073E598D96

 

 

An Artist’s Worth…

Well, it may sound weird still to call yourself an artist…but you can do it with affirmation and pride. A body of work that shows its worth, that you’ve received accreditation and validation for.
So, it may sound odd to your “Weird Ears”…but it is wholly justified.

A case in point…just how the rest of this post is written.

I’m sure if he could feel how I am feeling internally at the moment…or would take a second to look at my Facebook timeline, he’d tell me to “cheer up”. If only life could be bettered with a fake smile? And just to be able to switch yourself off from depresssion. I am in the grip. I don’t want to be. I’ll drag myself out of it again, I’m sure. I do all I can to count my blessings. To remind myself how fortunate I am. I don’t wish for riches. Not material riches. But for things that feel intangible. More intelligence. More talent. More creativity.

If he were to tell me to “cheer up”, I am sure (at the moment) response to him would be, “don’t tell me to ‘cheer up’! Empathise! As you did when you wrote the beautiful Dolphins. Stay an empath, Jim. Don’t be fair-weathered. Remember to Walk Between Worlds. Remember the two way street of empathy.”

He chose the extended version of I Travel for his post…but I’d have chosen the Utah Saints Mix myself. That, the Interference Mix of The American and the German Mix of New Gold Dream are my holy trinity of remix favourites.

(As a side note, I love those pilot shades, Captain Kerr.)


(It’s not the full near 8 minute epic…but beggars can’t be choosers. This is all YouTube has.)

53E06CE8-44BB-49CE-9B17-85CD97ACE123

The Inner Life Of Animals

I really, really want to thank him for sharing this book. It is utterly FASCINATING! But I just dare not. “Operation Stay Away” hasn’t even lasted two days! It got off to a false start in the first place from him sharing this and talking about birds (though ultimately the post was about Elbow).

I’m so engrossed, I am voraciously reading it…something that rarely happens to me these days. But it is just so well written…it just draws you in! Like…when you get a new teacher at school and they can just…explain things to you in ways other teachers couldn’t. It all snaps in your brain, and things finally make sense.

It’s wonderful!

So…if you ever visit this ridiculous excuse of a Simple Minds blog, Jim…thank you! Really. You have no idea…

Day Two Of “Operation Stay Away”…

And…fuck he’s making it hard! It’s a phenomenal write-up…and the thing I actually love most about him…despite all the silly ogling. I think I am genuinely in love with this man…

Oh, how I want to reply. To say SOMETHING…if nothing more than “Wow!” and “Thank you!” You know…all that thought-provoking stuff that would have him talk to me again…

😔

Full of intelligence, wit, and downright silliness…

Jim Kerr…please stop being intangibly beautiful and breaking my heart!

(For some reason, again…I can’t embed the link to SMO FB properly, so I have screengrabbed the post. But, of course, if you are on Facebook you can read it for yourself…and the amazing replies and interactivity he is now once again having with fans. Feeling free to reply, no doubt, without worrying about some overzealous, lovesick puppy following his every word…)

Popularity Contests…

I really don’t know what’s going on with Jim, I don’t. How could I ever? I don’t know him the slightest bit, personally. But he certainly knows enough about me…and I felt he used it as ammunition TWICE, in recent replies to me.

Today he brought up poor Annick’s post to the visitor wall – AGAIN! As if he didn’t make her feel bad enough for the first time round, singling her out, getting all the sycphants on board, agreeing with him.

As I said in my previous post…I EMPATHISE WITH BOTH SIDES! Jim owes us nothing! We paid for our ticket, he performed on stage for us. That’s the exchange. Unless with ticket price distinctly says “meet and greet”, all we have paid for is a performance that starts roughly at 9pm and usually has to end via curfew at 11pm. That’s it. 

When time allows, when the mood dictates, he’ll meet us. 

IT ISN’T A GIVEN! I read some fans recently saying they INSISTED getting a photo with him, after he explained he was tired and was pressed for time. That is JUST AS WRONG! To insist with him like that. If he told me he was tired, there wasn’t time. I’d be disappointed but would wholeheartened understand. 

No one gets my anguish about meeting him, I don’t think. 

I don’t want to be in the position of Annick. Waiting there for him, only to see him for a fleeting second while he gets straight on the tour bus and the door closes. And so, I would rather not try in the first place and save myself that deflated feeling.

He will in all likelihood never have the desire to meet me, as I do him (for a time…oh, how I deluded myself he might actually want to meet me too. Sad sap!).

If nothing else, my reply to him earlier (I like to think) made him reword the post and remove what he’d said in relation to Annick. A shame that he forgets that Facebook leaves a viewable edit history for all to see…so it still remains, just not within the main thread of the visible post.

The constant “popularity contest” is getting a bit tiring now. I can well understand him wanting to share rave reviews from fans…but they are interspersed with contradictory highlights of fans for 30+ years being thanked…and new young fans being thanked…fans that have gone to 17 million gigs being thanked….fans that have travelled from Tuvalu being thanked.

Recently, he told a fan “there are no ‘us fans’. Fans are indivdual.” That may be true…be we are collective in our love of the band. That’s the thing that unites us…

Whether we are a fan of 30 years, or 3 years….been to 355 gigs, or 3 gigs….aged 6, or 46.

I am getting so tired of proving my worth as a fan to this man. I dunno! Prehaps it’s what he wants? He just wants me to fuck off? For a man that seems to fuss over and appreciate long-term fans, he’s got a funny way of showing how much he wants to keep newer fans so THEY in turn become long-term fans also. 

Utterly perplexing…