But over seven years of producing the art though. Writing and study have taken over in recent months. I’m not sure when I last made anything. It has always been my own “Act Of Love”.
The “art” always expressed the things that I wanted to say when words failed me. Mostly “I love you, Jim” is pretty much what every single piece said. Well, perhaps they more accurately said “I love this song, and I love the words this man has written for it.” That’s what I really hope they all said.
The page will continue to exist. And now and then there still might be the odd giveaway. Perhaps there still may just be a new piece of artwork from time to time – never say never – but I feel my creativity is moving in another direction. Perhaps in the direction it was always meant to go? Who knows?
Thanks to everyone who ever took an interest in what I was making and producing. Those who followed the FB page and gave me feedback. Those who took time to enter competitions and giveaways.
Biggest thanks of all to Jim, for being an inspiration, a muse and for…creating a monster by giving me such a wonderful gift of that Hunter And The Hunted post. Lol. I’m sorry I subsequently made a complete tit of myself for the proceeding seven years.
The weather over the weekend has been glorious and continues to be wonderfully sunny, if not still a wee bit cold. I am looking forward to warmer days. The sun has been lovely and thank god that, it least as hours of sun is concerned, spring has sprung. Those rays just need to be a tad warmer yet. No fear of me taking my ‘tap aff’ just yet! Lol
Today’s choice for me conjures up warm weather. A dusky late afternoon basking in glorious sunshine. A sun that warms body and soul.
Visions of Angkor Wat, or maybe the Kedarnath Temple in Gopeshwar in northern India…or any other temple that is within range of the Himalayas.
This song has a similar personal feeling for me than Spaceface does. Almost like they fit hand in glove. Even with the similarities in title – Space/Spaceface. There’s also a line within Wonderful In Young Life that fits in with the theme that I find particularly poignant. “Surviving these changes in paces and faces in free wonder, free wonder, free wonder style.”
For the two minutes I decided to try and sell my “art” as a kind of merch thing, selling prints, shirts and mugs, I titled my “business” Free Wonder Style. Paid for a web domain and everything. Feels another lifetime ago now. Hey ho.
Anyway, I digress already and we’re barely under way!
Space always felt like a “letting go” song. It resonated most with me when the “limerence” was at its worst. When I felt that Jim wanted “no more”. The placement of that idea? That signal? That came wholly within my own mind. When you’re wanting something so much. Wanting to feel a connection that you wish for all the world is there but deep down, within your rational mind, you know it isn’t. It can’t ever be. It never was.
“Imagination wears you out / crying brings you down again. The dream is over / the feeling’s gone / and we were something / you were dreaming all along.”
YOU WERE DREAMING ALL ALONG.
Everything about the song. Each line. Each line would just be like….
But then I’d hole on to the uplifting bits. “I’m the star you see tonight / and I wish I may / I wish I might / be in your dreams tonight.”
How many times I have been in bed at night, getting ready to settle down to sleep and I have silently mouthed a little chant of “please let me dream of him, please let me dream of him”.
I did it again last night! But he appeared. With the rest of the band. I couldn’t quite work out the scenario of the dream. I think I was allowed to go to see them rehearse somewhere. Cherisse greeted me in the dream. Let me in, showed me round. I bumped into Charlie. We had a brief chat but then he had to go off. As for Jim? Well, he was busy elsewhere, conducting interviews and what not. I saw him at the far end of one area within this kinda “complex” this dream was set in, but he was too far away from me to even say hello to or anything.
My dreams generally have a huge smack of reality to them.
It’s a song that I feel makes me come to terms with things. And I hate how ridiculous that makes me sound! The whole “limerence” thing. I don’t want it to be a “thing”, you know?
Like I said in my previous post discussing limerence. I feel like I am an otherwise intelligent and rational person. And I fear my explanation of my own “limerence” is not clear enough. I feel like I have to explain myself over and over again. I am NOT so deluded as to want “romantic love” from Jim! It really isn’t that! I don’t want to “run off with him”! That’s fucking ridiculous! I’m not THAT absurd or that much of a fantasist!
It really was just – friendship. A bond. I like you, and I hope you like me too. I just have been craving a closeness that just isn’t there. I have me and my small bunch of friends and well, Jim joked way back before Simple Minds got REALLY big that he had 8000 friends – or whatever astronomical figure it was then. And I know – rational hat on, that there are many people he’s known for years, all his life nearly. People he calls pals who he’d hardly have any contact with! So…who the fuck am I? What kind of fucking audacity have I got to wish for getting emails or letters or shite like that from him, eh? I mean, Jesus! It would be different if I had known him from when I was wee. Like, really known him outside of Minds and all that. Knew him as “Jim fae Prospecthill Circus” like, you know? But I don’t.
That “just a fan” status thing is hard to take. But it’s the cold, hard reality of it. It doesn’t stop it from sucking ass though!
Sometimes…just to stop it hurting sometimes, I initiate the whole “it’s his loss” talk. It doesn’t make it any less painful. And it really doesn’t apply. It cannae. I cannae make him give two shits. And it’s not fair on him that I try and enforce it, like.
So, getting back to Space. It makes me comes to terms with what is. What the “status quo” is. Where the lay of the land is. But, it still has that hope in it! Goddamnit! Like all Simple Minds songs do. It’s like it says to me “I know what you want, but you cannae have it. But, you can have it in your dreams.”
Well, of course I can have it in my dreams. I can have anything in my dreams. And I’m not even gonna go into the dreams I can have. Oh, the dreams I can have! That would make for some colourful posts, I tell ya!
Spaceface is more the antithesis of Space. Spaceface is pure joy. My “happy place”, as I call it. Pure “hunner per cent” uplifting. It’s my number one “feel good” Simple Minds track. Whereas Space is…a lament. There are things I want that I can’t have and I have to accept that. But…it’s okay to dream. It’s okay to want those things. To desire them. To wish for them. But don’t let it consume you. And there are times…too many times it feels as if it has consumed me. It has overtaken everything and made me ill. Or it has been exacerbated by another element of mental illness and I used it erroneously as a coping mechanism against other aspects of combating episodes of mental illness.
I still find it INCREDIBLY difficult to admit to and talk openly about my mental ill health. I don’t want to be seen as “mental” or “sick”. And I fear what people think of me – and it’s a vicious cycle because it is such an integral part of my ill health – that CONSTANT fear and concern of what people think of me and how I am perceived by others. But that is something I cannot alter. I cannot alter people’s perceptions of me. And in whatever way people perceive me, if it is an a way that is negative and it means they distance themselves from me – well, IT IS “their loss”. But the “people pleaser” in me continues to struggle to come to terms with that. Even though I accept and understand all the rationale behind it. You CAN’T have EVERYBODY like you! You just can’t. And nor should you want to. And Jim falls into that, you know?
It’s a whole jumbled up plethora of stuff.
Space is sometimes a very hard listen for me because of what the song symbolises to me.
When I am at my worst, mental health wise, I would cling on so much to the line “if you’re talking / I will listen”. Because sometimes it felt like Jim was listening to me.
It still stings my eyes with tears just how much I used to feel that and how much I have held on to it. How tightly I have held onto that.
It’s a long, slow letting go. I had been alone for so long. Before 2014 and Simple Minds mega fandom. So alone. Never imagined in a million years that Jim himself would make me feel welcome and part of the fold. It was a lighting of touch paper though. And such emotional sparks flew from within.
An inferno that is slowly quelling to kindling.
“The dream is over / party’s over.”
Star light. That light needs to shine from within.
“There’s no place like home.” A much used quote lifted from The Wizard Of Oz. But it rings true. And it certainly seemed to have rung true on the nights of November 18th and 19th, 1982.
Simple Minds had just returned to Glasgow after another whirlwind stint of touring to the far reaches of the globe (yes, GLOBE – no “flat earth” conspiracy theorists here! Have ANY of these flat-earthers NEVER been on a plane? How do they explain the curvature of the earth and the horizon? I digress!) – heading back to Australia, New Zealand and Canada directly after the release of New Gold Dream.
I was looking into fanzines on eBay last night, after having seen an enquiring post on my FB feed about a certain Scottish produced fanzine. I thought I’d have a hunt around the interwebs and see what I could find. I decided on eBay first and got caught up looking at fanzines on there. One in particular caught my eye. One called Deadbeat. I looked at the listing of every issue and viewed the images, trying to scan and find more info on the fanzine production itself more than anything.
No one was then more surprised than me to find within the shared images of one listing of the magazine – THIS! A review of Simple Minds playing Tiffany’s in November, 1982. It’s unclear as to whether the reviewer is at the first gig or the second, but regardless of that it’s a glowing review.
The only error in the review is that they say Mike Ogletree is on drums. And it wasn’t until I was listening over the bootleg last night did I think to myself “Naw, pal. That ain’t Mike, that’s Mel.” Mike’s last gig was in Toronto about 10 nights prior to this gig. So in actual fact, it was Mel’s first or second night at the kit – depending on which night the reviewer was there.
They wax lyrical about Jim. Such praise! Excited at my discovery of this review last night I did a very rare thing (these days) and posted it to SMOG first with a link to Art & Talk’s upload of the November 18th gig to YouTube. In my post on SMOG, in reference to the lashings of praise heaped on Jim, I said “anyone would think I wrote the review! Lol.”
It is true though – anyone WOULD think I had time travelled and gone and reviewed it for the fanzine. It is wonderful to see such praise given to His Kerrness though. And it’s certainly nothing I wouldn’t have done myself.
A companion piece for me are the photos I have from Virginia of them playing the second night at Tiffany’s. My favourite photo of the set? One of Jim on the stage – looking pretty fucking sensational, I have to say in signature white collared shirt, shiny tailored trousers and black wee “ballet” shoes. And in the bottom left corner of the frame you can see his brother, Mark, looking as though he would rather be anywhere else than watching his big bro up on stage. Lol. Poor Mark! It’s not in the ones I have posted above, but you can view the particular photo I am referring to on Virginia’s site HERE
Lastly, here is the link to the first of the two Tiffany’s gigs that A&T uploaded. Oh, for a night at Tiffany’s! This is the next best thing…
It’s a Happy St Andrew’s Day from me here in a rather suitably dreich looking Glesga.
Yesterday it had been two years since we moved to Glasgow. There really is no other place in the world I would rather be! Even if the likes of the nurse at the local GP surgery and Vito around the corner at the chippy find this notion of mine hard to comprehend.
Over the past two years, I have had numerous probes into the accent people hear spewing forth from my gob. Most detect the Australian accent but are tentative to pinpoint it outright in case I may be a Kiwi and end up insulted, so the query usually comes with a “Which one? Oz or NZ?” Or, like in Vito’s case, a more general “Where ya fae?”
With Vito I was tempted to be a wee bit cheeky and say “Just aroond the corner.” Or perhaps “Luton. Moved to Glasgow nearly two years ago now.” But of course I knew exactly what he meant by the probing question. Originally. Where are you from? Where does that accent come from?
So I replied “Sydney, originally.” “And you like Glasgow?”, he asks. “I absolutely love it here”, I reply. “Even with all the rain?”, he says, with a rather incredulous look on his face. I just smiled, grabbed my fish supper from the counter and bid him a fond adieu.
Smirking away as I regaled inwardly on the encounter on my short walk back home, it wasn’t entirely lost on me the irony of a man of obvious Italian descent (how many Scotsman do you know called Vito?) asking me why on earth I was an Aussie living in Glasgow.
Another encounter happened last year during a walk to the canal around near Applecross and Speirs Wharf. A man was taking his dog for a walk and he was making his way up from the M8 underpass by Cowcaddens. He was headed for Speirs Wharf but he stopped us to check that he was headed in the right direction. I was with my Other Half and he detected both our accents. A good blether ensued. I won’t share the whole conversation. I can’t remember all of it at any rate. But I remember him being quite stunned that I was here living in Glasgow. He didn’t seemed so shocked by my OH being here. I guess someone from England moving up to Scotland isn’t particularly rare. But with me? Well, he had to have some fun. “You must be on the run, right? You murdered someone back there and that’s why you moved here, right? Good place to hide oot. No wan would suspect a ‘hing.”
Lol. Yeah. Only for the fact my accent gives me away every time.
So, yes. Two years in and there isn’t a day I haven’t loved living here or wished to be somewhere else. This is home. I found my place in the world. At least geographically.
Lastly, and as a side note, there’s a new Wet Leg tune out. I think it might be their best one yet. Interesting video!
A backstage “post gig” sequence of photos that I first worked on years ago and decided to update. Jim’s holding a can of Coca Cola. Obviously it was at a point in time when he wasn’t too concerned with looking after his voice. I guess he was young and maybe didn’t foresee the band still going strong so many years later – living for the now.
These days he takes much more care of his voice, thankfully. ❤️
I wished those flats at Prospecthill Circus still existed. And that I had the talent to actually paint this on the side of a building rather than have it exist digitally and only imagine how it could look on a wall – painted directly on it.
Imagine approaching Glasgow City Council to get this painted somewhere? It would be amazing!
That reminds me – I need to go and have a look at that Shuggie Bain mural painted on the side of Barrowland on Friday.
UPDATE: I worked on creating this (photo below) this morning and was about to post it on my own Facebook timeline when I though, “Oh, maybe I should post it to SMOG. I few people might appreciate it. It might get the odd like.” HOLY SHIT! I think it’s going to end up being probably the most popular thing I have ever posted on there! Wow!
Even if I do say so myself, my photoshop work is pretty darn convincing.