New Kerrsday Treasures

Some new arrivals for this Kerrsday.

The first three are all promo photos taken of Jim inside the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm.

The black and white photo has a newspaper headline attached to it on the back that translates in English as saying, “Jim Kerr in Simple Minds visited Stockholm Stadium on Saturday, where the band will play on June 9.”

The three photos have dates stamped on them. The two colour ones are dated April 1st, 1989, (a date of March 31st has been crossed out on one of them). The B&W one is dated March 31st, 1989. Checking what day of the week it was then, it tells me Saturday was April 1st.

It would seem from this that Jim made the trip esp. to get the promo shots done at the stadium. I was sceptical, but it is definitely the stadium in Stockholm that he’s been photographed inside.

Finally, the smaller photo (actual size is 7×5 inches) of an even younger Jim was taken backstage at Kant Kino on March 3rd, 1980.

Timely photos, all of them. (He looks a right poser in the one the Swedish newspaper chose to print to promote the concert. Lol)

Rock Secrets – Jim Kerr and Billy MacKenzie

This book was produced by Virgin Records in 1982, and asked rock and pop stars of the time a standard Q and A. About 40 of them were printed in the book, including one “mystery star” who if you could name and send in a postcard to Virgin with your answer, you could win a cash prize.

I couldn’t work out who it was. I’ll share the relevant pages in the days to come, so you can have a go at solving the puzzle.

I had seen the one of Jim shared on Twitter some months back and I had genuinely thought I’d posted about it here but seemingly hadn’t.

I certainly remember the “lips, hips and quick wit” turn-ons making an impact and me thinking “well, I’ve got one out of three”. Lol. The only thing I have ever liked about myself are my lips.

I think he should have specified that the “hips” need to be slim and not child-bearing.

Quick wit? Yeah, I fucking wish! Yeah, he’s seen how “quick-witted” I am in front of him. Lol. More like “fuck-witted”. Nope! I’m the kind of person who thinks of a great come-back or put down HOURS after the event…or even the next day. No “quick wit” here.

So…decent lips, hips the size of a house and a slow, dumb fuck. Catch of the century! Lol

Oh…those boots! We agree on them, Jim.

“The cafes of Europe”! Hark at you! Mr Glasgow! Lol. I do love the inverted snobbery you’d sometimes exude. oh, why the hell not! Who could blame you? I’d be doing the same.

I would dream of a couple of hours in a tearoom with you. Sipping lapsang souchong and eating finger pieces and the loveliest, airiest scones – seeing as you don’t “do” dairy – what’s in place of the clotted cream, Mr Kerr? I’m having clotted cream on mine…with the most delicious wild Scottish raspberry jam. Cream first!

Yes. I still have such daydreams. My subconscious certainly wouldn’t allow me to have such wonderful imaginings during my sleep. I never dream about you now. Even in my sleep, too much “reality” creeps in.

Anyway…Stuart Holland posted Jim’s Q and A on SMOG and reminded me of it. I then went back to Twitter to hunt down exactly where this thing came from and found the source. Amazingly, someone was actually selling a copy on eBay, so I grabbed it.

I might share one or two others some time, but for now, here are Jim’s and Billy MacKenzie’s…

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

Knackered Distraction

Felt very drained today. The nerves from conducting last night’s interview got the better of me and I woke up in the middle of the night with it all still swilling around in my head. Excited that it seemed to go okay and excited to share it on the blog, but still with niggles about how I conducted it, how I conducted myself, how articulate (or otherwise) I was. Did I laugh my stupid nervous laugh too much, did I ask good enough questions and/or thought-provoking enough questions, etc, etc.

I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours and woke up feeling extremely drained and tired.

I walked into the city this afternoon to the West End and the Botanic Gardens and met up with Michelle. As drained as I was, I walked 10km and did nearly 15,000 steps. I couldn’t face walking all the way back home, so we caught the subway back from Hillhead to St Enoch and I got the train from Queen Street back to Ashfield.

I haven’t taken any public transport in months, but I was just too fucked to do that walk back home. I need to get myself in better condition!

Tonight I have just been reclining on my bed, exhausted.

I did some banner art. I do love this line so much.

Anyway, soon lights out for me. Night night.

Always Destined To Be The … Next Big Thing

I posted this onto SMOG earlier this afternoon – but I get the feeling it is going to be somewhat overshadowed by a wonderful post about Jim, which I am sure he will love (who can blame him?). Anyway, I thought I’d also post it here as well. (I haven’t altered the words I posted.)


Back a few years ago, I posted something on the Simple Minds visitor wall. I think it was a review of a gig. It came from an independent fanzine. Jim replied to my post, saying he had fond memories of some of the guys who set up these kind of publications, recalling the names of Johnny Waller and Lindsay Hutton, particularly, on this occasion. Hutton had started a fanzine called “Next Big Thing”.

Well I stumbled on to a copy of Next Big Thing today, and there within the pages was an advert for Empires And Dance, as well as a glowing review of the album by Lindsay himself. (Albeit if he is somewhat disparaging to Roxy Music and Gary Numan in the process. Oops!)

It took me on my own little nostalgia trip. Of a time that I particularly loved being a Simple Minds fan. Thanks for those wee chit-chats, Jim. They’ll always be super special to me. I loved putting on my “researcher’s hat” for that one as when you replied to me you had said “I wonder what happened to Johnny and Lindsay?”, which had me off and searching for you. A time you made me feel both happy and purposeful.

If it doesn’t come out too clear for reading, then here is a transcript of what is written below.

“The danceable solution to teenage revolution? If Roxy were still any cop they’d be making albums like this. I don’t altogether go along with the belief that synthesisers always ruin things. There’s ample proof of the reverse here, but the fact that idiots like gerbil face Numan seem to represent the genre, mean that there is no media indication that there is life after electronics. ‘Empires’ is the 3rd Minds elpee and places them well up the league. Especially tasty are the opener ‘I Travel’ and the Jeepster style backbeat of ‘Celebrate’. If you’ve been put off by the moderne talk of Morley then think again kiddo, because this sound can co-exist with rock ‘n’ roll because it’s performed from the heart. Can you afford not to own a record by a band whose singer drew Noddy on the Berlin Wall in lime green chalk? Good wee group this.”