I’m a lucky, lucky girl to work for my Boss Lady (as I affectionately call her) – Virginia Turbett, because I get to enjoy some perks. One being viewing wonderful photos before many others get to see them.
Today I was asked to post these to Instagram with the following caption:
“Due to popular demand – here are a couple of never printed and never scanned images of Simple Minds on the day in March 1981 when they signed to Virgin. See the gorgeous, young laddies from Scotland sup warm champagne out of plastic beakers in the artfully ‘junk shop’ styled office of Virgin MD Simon Draper. Also there that day were Virgin A&R Legends and Minds Super-fans – Ross Stapleton and Ronnie Gurr, both of whom have championed the band from their earliest gigs to this day.”
Gorgeous young laddies alright! Lord knows I have my preference. “WHO could it be?” You’re all wondering….well…. his first name rhymes with a slang term for a certain body part! 😱😉 That’ll keep you lot guessing…and if you’re brave enough – comment your answers and if someone gets it right, I’ll send you a print – of my artwork…not of Virginia’s. Sorry – I have no authority to do that!
Anyway…geez, what a momentous day that Virgin signing was, eh?
Back in May I had a chat with Ronnie Gurr at Hanging Around Books about a photo of Jim that I would have liked to have gotten a copy of from the photographer who took it, but I looked into their prices (without enquiring with them directly) and saw they wanted over £1000 for a print!! 😱😱
The conversation moved on to the topic of a Record Mirror cover, and the use of a photo of Brian McGee in his undies that Ronnie had taken when with the band on tour in Germany in the late summer of 1980.
He said to me “this (see below) is the photo I submitted for the cover, but they went with the one of Brian instead.”
I sat looking at the screen in a mixture of awe and disbelief. Awe that such a fabulous photo of Jim had been stowed away unseen for so many years, and disbelief that the editor at Record Mirror snubbed the use of this photo for one of Brian in his togs!
Not only that, but the music mag then goes on to erroneously name Brian as “Mike McNeil”. Geezo! They don’t even get the erroneous name correct!
Anyway, 40 years down the line, I was in fangirl raptures to see such a wonderful photo of Jim. Since seeing it, I have been hankering for a copy and over these months I have every now and then been virtually nudging Ronnie for a copy of the photo.
AT LAST! The day arrived yesterday. I received three photos in total. The photo above of Jim which measures 10×8 inches, the black and white group photo below of the band on the flight staircase, which measures 7×5 inches, and the one below that of the band by the Berlin Wall, which measures 6×4 inches.
All three are wonderful, new and fairly rare treasures. All three photos were taken by Ronnie. But of the three, of course that one of Jim (for me) is the most highly prized. It is now in a frame by my bedside. The b&w band photo is framed and sitting atop the other bedside drawer.
If you would like to get prints yourself, you can contact Ronnie via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the photos featured in the Hanging Around Books photozines are available to order as prints. You can view the catalogue of books available by visiting hangingaroundbooks.com (just click the link!)
Oh, geez. I really stirred things up on SMOG last night.
I really didn’t think it would be commented on in such volume. I thought maybe a few of us would still be waiting for the book to arrive. Not as many people as that would still be waiting for it. But lo…
Then Ronnie Gurr and THEN Richard Houghton add comments and my toes were starting to curl with the fuss I had made.
I honestly didn’t mean to drag them into it!
I genuinely just wanted to get a handle on who was still waiting. Whether I could get an idea on if the book was just trickling through to fans or whether there were quite a number receiving it and us still waiting were just stragglers not having much luck with the postal service.
And so goes yet ANOTHER time I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut! I mean…it did help to alleviate my concerns about the book’s slow arrival, but conversely I felt like the girl that kicked the hornet’s nest.
Always acting with the best of intentions. Always ending up inadvertently stirring up trouble.
Anyway….too late now. The genie can’t be put back in the bottle.
Another day is upon us…and still I wait. With a bit more quiet reserve this morning.
There are some photos surfacing showing the way the look and layout of the book “Heart Of The Crowd (A Fan History)” is like. The photos look really lovely, as does the layout of the book. With the release of the book now only a week away, it is getting all rather exciting!
Back in May, Ronnie Gurr messaged me. I had shared a photo of Jim and was saying how much I’d love to get a copy of it from the photographer that took it, but they seemed a pretty big name these days and were asking $1500 a print. And I REALLY don’t have that sort of money.
I didn’t name names. Ronnie was intrigued as to who it was. We got to chatting and somehow ended up on the subject of magazine covers and I mentioned the cover of the Record Mirror from 1980 with an erroneously named Brian McGee (they named him as Mick!) on the cover – in his briefs.
Ronnie told me that the photo of Brian isn’t what he had submitted to be the photo on the cover but it was actually a photo he took of Jim that he thought was better suited to it. And by heck, was it! I was in absolute agreement. I guess the Record Mirror editor thought people would want to see a band member pretty much in their “all-together”…but…well, unless it WAS actually Jim, not me!
Anyway…these photos shared of the book show the photo that Ronnie shared with me. I have just been sitting on this image for months, so desperately wanting to show it but thinking better of it.
I could have asked Ronnie’s permission to post it here but I really didn’t think he’d be wanting me to share it. And, I still have a clearer version of it (still just a snap of it he took on…his living room floor, I guess, considering the carpet I can see in the image I have of it). I still won’t share that one though. It isn’t mine to share. But I hope you can see from how it has been photographed in the pages of the book that it is well braw.
Jim looks gorgeous, as always. I just want to run my fingers through all that hair! OMG! You beautiful man, Mr Kerr! 🥰🥰🥰
Just ONE more thing to be excited about the book for. And I await the chance of getting a really decent copy of this photo from Mr Gurr. He tells me the New Year. I’m counting the days! Tick tock, Ronnie!
UPDATE: currently (and as much as it pains me to link to this site) the book is showing at a discounted rate of £31.19 on Amazon – click HERE to pre-order from the site.
It’s a clipping I only recently came into possession of and I had never (for obvious reasons) read the article before.
Some interesting things said. Interesting to read Mick saying that he thought they’d have all stayed together…maybe might had still been together (as of then) if Brian hadn’t have left when he did.
Also interesting them bringing up the cover of Record Mirror mag with Brian on it. I was only very recently chatting to Ronnie about that cover. He said to me it wasn’t the photo he wanted on the cover and shared with me a photo of Jim he had submitted for use (which I won’t be sharing here unless I get photographer’s permission first – I haven’t asked him).
Good bit of talk about Rockfield and Iggy and Bowie in the lead up to Saturday’s airing of the documentary on the BBC.
Jim seems rather more philosophical in this than he has done at other times.
A couple more clippings to come….including another Sheila Rock gem (hence the reason I ended up with the clipping – prior to the “naked titties” one surfacing).
A new release by Hanging Around Books sees images taken in 1978 by Laurie Evans feature in the book.
I feel ssooo bad as I made the horrendous assumption that Laurie is a man! My apologies, Laurie.
I’ve been waiting a while on this one as I had contacted Laurie some time back from seeing photos she’d taken of Jim on the banks of the Clyde years ago and enquired about prints. She told me of its imminent release then and I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival since then.
The book is officially released on Feb 28th but is available to pre-order.
Well, I was freaking out that I wasn’t going to make it for the 6pm arrival time as I was still at the house waiting for a taxi to come collect me at 5.40pm. It’s Saturday night in Glasgow… traffic will be heaving! But it was mercifully fine. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact we are as far (or as close… depending on your perspective) from the city centre of Glasgow as we were in our old house from Luton Town centre. My taxi fare into the city was £6. We were at the Old Fruit Market in 10 mins.
I arrived and spotted one Mr Ronald Gurr at the bar. I sidled up and said hello. We chatted a bit. He asked me after a while “do you know where you’re seated?” “Nope. I have no idea.” “You could be seated with them”, he says to me. “Pfffft! I doubt that!” “Well… you never know”, he says.
As it was, I was seated at a table with Ronnie himself.
There wasn’t much of a view from my seat to be honest. £150 paid to see f*** all – it was starting well.
A couple of hours in Ronnie says to me “they’ll be on at midnight”. Whaaaa???! It wasn’t even 8pm!
I was also kept company by Rita and Nicolle. It was great to be with fellow SM fans.
A pit stop to the ladies halfway through the night and I walked by a table that some of the band was seated at. I waved to Cherisse on my way by and she stood up and stopped me to say hello. We chatted briefly and I chatted to Ged briefly also. It was so lovely of Cherisse to stop me and say hello. Much too kind.
Rita, Nicolle and I were just wishing the hours away until they received their award and would be performing.
Finally… after many awards handed out and quite a few auctioned off items for the Nordoff-Robbins charity, the final award of the night was given out.
Jim was gracious in his acceptance speech and then handed the mic over, rather unexpectedly, to Charlie. “I haven’t got anything to say. No one understands me anyway!” Lol. Bless him. Poor Charlie.
They then went straight into performing three songs – Waterfront, Love Song and Don’t You (Forget About Me). The crowd were loving it, and Jim had everyone (some ladies at the front in particular) eating out of the palm of his hand as usual (nothing ever changes).
Bruce Findlay was also there last night. He had earlier in the evening handed out the “Living Legends” Award to the Incredible String Band – one of his all time favourite bands.
He stayed on and was watching SM perform. And I could see Jim acknowledging Bruce during their set. It was a lovely moment to see.
I have no footage or photos. My phone stayed firmly in my bag all night.
There is some official photos around. Reports of the evening in the media, etc. I just wanted to just take it in and enjoy it.
It’s been a tough old week but this was lovely.
A little less of a feeling I am persona non grata once again by a few would be nice… but, you cannae have everything I guess.