Jim’s July Playlist – The Reaction

“The dogs are impatient for attention….” he opened with. Pretty obvious metaphor there. It wasn’t lost on me, I just tried to brush it aside yesterday.

Anyway, I thought with the whole deluded continuation of “discs and doughnuts”, I’d post my reactions to Jim’s choices this month.

Will O The Wisp

I must confess that I really was unfamiliar with the folklore tale behind it. I knew it was a term but really didn’t know anything about it and felt compelled to look it up. It didn’t escape my attention that a variation on the character is known as “the Spunkie” in the Scottish Highlands. Maybe that is where the alternative term for “having spunk” – ie: to be gallus and have attitude and bolshiness – comes from?
Anyway, on to the song itself. After one listen…I’m not sure. Very few songs capture me after a solitary listen, it has to be said. Those that do are pretty damn special. The only judgment I can pass for now is that I probably prefer other Pet Shop Boys songs to this. But I will give it a few more listens…it may lure me in…

Israelites

To be honest, all I could think of initially is this!

But in all seriousness, it’s a great reggae/soul/gospel fusion. Obviously political too – well, to my ears it has a political slant.

She Sells Sanctuary

I have to admit as much I have enjoyed hearing the song over the years, it was a rare one that escaped my knowledge lyrically. Most songs if they grab my attention I’ll educate myself on lyrically. I guess for this I just liked the tune and was happy for Astbury’s lyrics to be just gobbledegook to my ears.

She’s A Mystery To Me

What is NOT to love about the Big O? Geez, the man could sing the phonebook and have you crying tears. An immaculate falsetto too – used to perfection to end the song. My mum bought a copy of Mystery Girl for herself. I had bought a copy of You Got It as a single and she had to trump me. Lol. She loved him. I think she may have even seen him perform live but I am not so sure now – and I can’t really ask her. We were both so saddened by his passing. A great loss at still a relative young age.

When Jim mentioned that semi-conscious half sleep, half wake state, I had to comment about Alasdair Gray, Lanark, and my discovery of the word “dwam”. Reading Lanark, I have been made aware of so many words I had never heard before and “dwam” was just one of them. And because I had never seen/heard it before I had to look up its meaning and I instantly fell in love with it.

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Let The Good Times Roll

The Cars are one of those bands that I dabble into now and again and enjoy listening to a “best of” and then they languish again. Much like how it was for Simple Minds for the longest time. I am only familiar with “the hits” and the use of Drive showing the footage of the Ethiopian famine at Live Aid – forever synonymous with those images. Ingrained on the conscious. As much as Ric Ocasek is seen as the main head of the group, it was the songs with Benjamin Orr on vocals that are my faves – Let’s Go and Just What I Needed, as well as Drive, of course – but all the songwriting is Ric’s. Favourite line is from Let’s Go “she’s got wonderful eyes and a risqué mouth” – combined with Orr’s delivery of it – I just find it damn sexy.

Hey, but it’s Let The Good Times Roll that we’re on about here. I’m surprised Jim didn’t relay the story of the signing to Zoom/Arista as part of it because he had mentioned in the past that as part of the celebration of Simple Minds signing the Arista deal, they went to a Cars gig and it was another reason why the song has resonance with him – as for Simple Minds the “good times” were indeed about to roll.

Kooks

It’s such a fab song. And what a gift David gave to Duncan writing this for him. He and David had such a wonderful relationship. It was heartbreaking seeing Duncan on Twitter announce his imminent fatherhood and the sadness he felt that David wouldn’t get to experience being a grandfather. 😦

The song is just a lovely “you and me against the world, kid!” anthem. Both kitschy and beautiful.

What Jim said of Bowie’s Glastonbury performance I agree with. It actually seemed quite lacklustre and David himself just didn’t seem in the right place for it. His music of the period fell a bit flat for me. He had released album ‘Hours…’ several months prior and I wasn’t keen on it, to be honest. Move ahead three years and Heathen could not have been any different! To me, Heathen is on a par with Low as my all-time favourite Bowie album.

Back to Glasto…I’m not sure what it was beyond the music. His voice seemed weak to me. He had given up smoking. Iman was pregnant with Lexie and so he was trying to stay away from the “cancer sticks” – sadly it seemed to be somewhat to the detriment of his voice at the time. I’ve not watched the performance since the time. I never wanted to go back to it. I was seeing the hype over social media last weekend and I wasn’t particularly fussed. And I certainly didn’t want to put my head above the parapet and express my disappointment with the set back then. Perhaps I should watch it on iPlayer to see if my opinion and feeling has changed?

Almost exactly 12 months later I got to see him live for the one and only time – seeing him at a day long festival at Old Trafford cricket ground called Move. He was top of the bill. Suede were on before him. There were several other acts on the bill – the other highlight being The Divine Comedy (another man who could sing the phonebook and make me swoon – Neil Hannon). The weather was dodgy during the day and when Suede arrived on stage the heavens opened. Brett Anderson did his best to distract us in the crowd from the downpour but we all looked like drowned rats by the time David appeared. When he did appear, the gloaming sunlight returned – as if we had been joined by God himself. I was soaked to the bone and freezing cold, but I didn’t care. He was wonderful.

Thunderstruck

Oh, I have an aversion to Brian Johnson fronted AC/DC, I really do. I can tolerate Back In Black, but after that, I just find them a parody of themselves. To me, Johnson is a mimic of Bon Scott – and not a good one. “Cartoon rock” is a summation I’d agree with. Not when Bon was around though! Not on your nelly.

So, along with the glockenspiel and triangle, we can add “air-drums” to Jim’s calibre of “instruments” he can play? Lol

Thank god I got me a real kit last week! Jim can probably play his air-drums better than I can play my real ones right now though!

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The Joke

And so we go from the ridiculous to the sublime. Oh, you are too right, Mr Kerr on this one. The emotion in that lady’s voice?! Wow. Nothing else to add.

You can listen to Jim’s playlist here…
(Check Simple Minds FB for his explanation of the choices.)

 

Let’s Rock!

A wonderful friend of mine in Oz – Wendy – has done these amazing rock paintings for me.

When she showed me the progress of the New Gold Dream themed one a few days back, I cried my eyes out. I knew she was working on a silhouette of Jim but I wasn’t expecting that amazing NGD cover background on the rock. I was overwhelmed.

Today she shared photos of both completed rocks with me and I absolutely adore them both.

They will take several weeks to get to me all the way from sunny Queensland, but they will find the most loving home here when they arrive in not-quite-so-sunny Glasgow.

“RockField – The Studio On The Farm” Documentary To Air On BBC Channels!

The documentary on the famous Monmouthshire recording studio is set to air simultaneously on BBC Two Wales and BBC Four on Saturday, July 18th at 9pm BST.

Below is a trailer on the documentary – with a tiny snippet of Jim discussing Simple Minds’ meeting with David Bowie and Iggy Pop while the band were there recording second album Real To Real Cacophony in 1979.

I have been hoping this would be getting a UK airing at some point. Really looking forward to this one.

Minds Music Monday – All Tomorrow’s Parties – Greatest Ever Cover?

The more I listen to it, the more I think it might just be. If not, then a very close second to Street Hassle. So…what is it about Simple Minds covering Lou Reed songs that makes them so wonderful?

Jim’s worship of Lou? Does it give an extra sense of “duty”? Does he just…care more? Wants to do an even BETTER job on a Reed composition than any other? Well…it’s not just down to Jim that makes these covers such gems. It’s the music of them too. Charlie and Mick making a gorgeous piece for Street Hassle and then Gordy doing his bit for All Tomorrow’s Parties.

It’s what I love most about ATP. There’s a beautiful melancholy to it…melodious melancholy. And I just ADORE Jim’s voice on it. There’s just such a tenderness in his voice. And a tone to his voice that harks back more to Sons And Fascination/New Gold Dream period Jim. The nuances and tone – just really beautiful.

Neon Lights gets shat upon so much by the fans. Most refer to it as “Neon Shites”. I was guilty of it too. I dismissed it rather quickly when I became a mega fan. But I decided to give it more of my time when it was reissued as part of the Rejuvenation box set. And I am glad I did. Granted, it still isn’t perfect – but it certainly isn’t the out and out turkey most fans seem to feel it is. The biggest gem of them all, for me, being this beautiful version of All Tomorrow’s Parties.

To me it gets more and more beautiful with each listen…

A Change Of…Terms?

Where do I start? Well, I start by saying – the blog ends up being my safe place for a moan…a gripe…a whinge. Mostly because I know Jim doesn’t want to hear it. I appreciate that.

Well, I kind of expressed, briefly, in the comments about the use of the phrase “longterm” – like how I had my gripe that got me into a WHOLE HEAP of trouble about “real fans” – ooh, at least he steered clear of THAT! Lol

But I elaborated on my gripe here. I often do. And go on about wishing I could be his “penpal“…in a sense. (I could easily cut his hair. I cut my OH’s hair most of the time.) That I’d love to interview him for the blog. That I wish “discs and doughnuts” could actually be A THING – just one time – between the two of us. Also, I go on about how I miss him pretty much every day he isn’t on Facebook. Lol.

I just crave the connection I felt was there some time back.

I’m a clingy, lovelorn, emotionally retarded fuckhead – I know! (Honestly, Alasdair Gray’s writing speaks sssooo fucking much to me! I’m there most of the time thinking “Know how you feel, Al. You’re speaking my language, friend!” Geez, I wish I had got to meet him now! Damn!)

Something happened though. And when that “something” sometimes happens, I forget to give a word of thanks. A “thanks for listening”…for taking it on board. For making me feel like…I have a voice, I am still being listened to. Appreciated. That my feelings matter. That you still care. Maybe? Hopefully? Perhaps it’s all still just delusional wishful thinking…

But just in case, Jim…thank you! Coincidence, no doubt. Wishful thinking? Most likely. Even if so, the “change of heart” post was greatly appreciated.

And well…hey fans…feel like trying to get your story in the book? Expressing your “Sense Of Discovery” of Simple Minds? Here’s your chance! You have just over a month to submit something. I think this may be one HUMONGOUS book!

Ever since reading this morning’s post, this has been the earworm…

The Longterm?

How does one define how ‘long’ the longterm is? I ponder because in Jim’s post today he talks about the “Book Of Brilliant Things” or whatever it’s going to end up being called. The fan-based SM compendium.

“….we are looking to create something to which all longterm Simple Minds fans will hopefully want to contribute their stories.”

Well, that wording makes me feel precluded from it immediately. “Longterm”. How long is longterm?

To me it by its very definition means a substantial number of years. And given that, my not quite six years of fandom would hardly qualify as “longterm”. Thirty plus years, perhaps? Had I stayed with them from 1985, definitely! I have certainly tried cramming 30+ years of fandom into these past near six years. I have probably got a bigger collection of memorabilia and been to more gigs than a lot of “longterm” fans.

But that is by the by, I guess. Because the yardstick seems to be a measure of time. Not money, emotional investment, affinity….or some deluded sense of affinity one felt they may have had.

I’ve told the story so many times now, I’m not even sure I have the heart to tell it any more in all honesty.

It’s all there in my art anyway. And if any of THAT was used or printed? Well…that would be the most amazing thing ever. But even to have had Jim share it on the SM FB page back in the day when he liked it and he wasn’t sick to death of me….

That will always be a treasure. It means more than just about anything else I’ve ever done in my sad, pathetic existence on this sphere.

He replied to someone today about needing a hair cut. “Cut mine and I’ll be your penpal.”

Jesus! Can you just stop being a tease?!

*sigh*

Better still…I’ll try and stop being a “try hard” and go away. Shuffle off…well…at least the SM planet, as someone suggested (and not just of the SM planet, either!) I do some time back.

End this silly “affliction”. I blame John Francis Lawson and David leaving me far too soon.

I need to find that self-worth I had found for myself somewhere along the line. As fake as it was. Sadly some of it came from you, Jim.

An “enthusiast” is good…but an over-enthusiast, no matter how else it appears to the contrary is, ultimately, undesired.

Jim Kerr – In His Own Words – Record Mirror 1985

We’ve always had an Art School tag…I don’t even think there is an art school in Glasgow.

Jim Kerr, 1984 on Simple Minds

I do NOT believe for a single second he’d have said that! I mean, geez, the Glasgow School of Art is one of the city’s most famous buildings! They even played there in the early days as far as I am aware. If he said it, he was trying to be contrary and funny, which was obviously lost on the magazine! Lol

Also can I just say – the thing about him saying Chrissie being a friend – and more? Oh…I dream! Well, I dream JUST to be a friend. Geez! Just friendship would do. Anything else is beyond pie in the sky. “Friendship” is pie in the sky enough!

I took close up scans of the pics as well. Pretty sure the one of him holding the mic is one of Virginia’s.

I’m post some more as and when.