The Seven Year Itch?

It’s been seven years. Seven years since I became that rabid “obsessive”. Seven years since the world of Simple Minds truly opened up to me. 

I was reminded of the fact of how…embedded in this new-found “obsession” I was by a post that appeared in my FB “memories” a couple of days back.

The memory in question was going to see Nana Mouskouri at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The memory was a reminder of how wonderful that new-found obsession felt. How much I loved discovering those treasures and being floored by them and truly just not being able to get enough of them. Devouring the music greedily and just playing stuff again and again and again and wondering if I would EVER tire of listening to them. 

I worry that, over time, the love for Jim has vastly overtaken the love for the band, and for the music. It was already strikingly obvious that was probably happening in 2018 over the whole “real fans” affair and my blocking from the band FB page.

Years passed and it never seemed to get old. If anything I would get incrementally more and more obsessed. When I was out in Oz with mum in 2015/16, the music was my comfort and solace at night. I was petrified of being at my mum’s house at night. It felt like the most unsafe place to be. The only way I found I could settle myself down and try and get to sleep was to play Simple Minds on Spotify. Play them on shuffle mode. Just…the sound of the music, the sound of Jim’s voice. Sometimes I would play some interviews as well. The interview Jim had with Billy Sloan – that was a recent discovery then, and I played it often when I was out in Oz. It soothed me – and it would make me happy and also would make me cry too, because he’s being “just Jim”. Just this normal guy talking to his pal. And the thing I’d play the most – the bit of it I’d play most is this bit (it should autoplay from the correct point – if not 3min 16sec mark) – his laugh. It is just the most beautiful sound in the world to me.

The memory of that Nana Mouskouri gig reminded me how absorbed in the band and the music I was. Thinking about that coach journey home from London and listening to that Spotify shuffle mix and Boys From Brazil coming on and being in love with it! The song. The music! The lyrics. Astounded by what I was hearing. Even though I celebrate my fan anniversary on Jim’s birthday – it was closer to the end of July in 2014 when I started listening to their back catalogue intently. So by the Mouskouri gig I am maybe 8 weeks into my fandom, at most!

I haven’t felt compelled to write a post out like that and share it on SMOG for…I don’t know how long! Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call posts aside (which were just links to blog posts) – it’s been several months since I had posted like that on SMOG – probably not since sharing my mocked up mural of Jim on there. 

I think because…I’m missing it. I’m missing that joy of being a fan that is starting to erode away. The Sons/Sister 40th Anniversary pulled some of that into focus, on a personal level. But on the flip side, I am feeling quite cut off and set adrift.

Apart from SAF/SFC and bootlegs from around 1981/1982, I haven’t really been listening to too much Simple Minds at all lately. As the years of my fandom went on, I used to wonder if I would ever tire of listening to them as intently as I have done all these years. Worried what it would mean for me if that time ever came. I was never sure it ever would. A couple of times it did happen for brief periods…but it was mostly a kind of “forced circumstance” thing. Like with the “real fans” episode. When that was happening, I found it hard to listen to anything. After a time I could listen to early stuff but I couldn’t listen to later stuff. To Walk Between Worlds. It was all too attached to Jim. 

I’m worried I’ve grown tired of listening to the music. Even things I really love! Albums I really love like Empires And Dance. I’ve been looking through Spotify over the past week or so and I am finding myself thinking “Do I *want* to listen to Simple Minds? Aw naw, you’re good”, kind of thing. Then I think “well maybe I’ve just grown a bit weary of the studio stuff…what about a bootleg?” and I’ll look at my list of bootlegs and think equally “Aw, naw. You’re good.” It’s kind of terrifying me because I have never actually felt like this!

I’m worried I am too deeply entrenched into attaching my feelings for the music with other things. The vibe from the fanbase. The vibe from Jim. I mean…I’ll love Jim for as long as a summer’s day. Never seem to tire of him (though I really should – for sanity’s sake). Lord knows he probably wishes I’ll fuck off and leave him alone. I can’t erase that feeling as it is no doubt true. Either that, or he really doesn’t give a shit either way. I don’t know which feeling is the worst to grapple with – dislike or indifference?

And I wish there was some news or just SOMETHING coming along! It’s a long wait until March! Not from this point in time – but from the time the wait has started. And I know Simple Minds have taken breaks like this in the past – but they haven’t been forced upon them, or us as fans. With gigs and the music industry starting to get back on its feet now, the lack of anything from SMHQ feels like a gaping chasm! 

Was it just me that found it highly ironic in Jim’s post about (potentially) having tea with Colin Hay last week that he mentioned watching Hay’s online gigs? I mean, really? Talk about rub it in, right?! To be fair – I have watched only one of these kind of gigs – a Field Music one, and it suffered technical problems, so it isn’t something that overly appeals to me. And I am guessing, and had guessed from very early on that the idea of this kind of thing didn’t appeal to Jim much and that SM fans had a snowball’s chance in hell of seeing anything like it from them. Fair enough. I wasn’t going to push the argument. But where was the imagination? Where was something that said, “well, we could do THIS!”, etc?! So, we got a little performance for Christmas – for charity, so that was great, and some Spotify playlists from Jim until he escaped his Glasgow lockdown prison? And I KNOW they’ve been working, so…why not throw us something from those sessions? Why not? In the meantime we get reschedule after reschedule and the Oz/NZ fans get a full tour cancellation. 

Jim…can you not appreciate how disheartening it has been for us?! Is loyalty NOT a two-way street? It is great to have you at least corresponding with more regularity. But this is why I felt so disheartened at seeing your reply to Colin Hay last week. It shows you’re looking at the band FB page and if you are looking – why not engage with us more?! 

We love you and we’re missing you. We’re missing seeing you live. And it seemed like you were going to start engaging with us again. A post back in early August titled “White Hot Days” seemed to show a little bit of interactivity with a couple of fans and I thought, “Oh, he’s back! He’s really back!” And, as I say it’s been great that you’ve been posting more of late, but…

Anyway…I’m pissing in the wind. As if you visit here and will see any of this anyway. 

I’m scared that my passion is waning. That my love for this band is dying out. I mean, surely this is the death knell, right? When you no longer feel that compelled to listen to the music any more? 

Do I still ogle Jim? By heck I do! Do I listen to him talk? Listen to interviews and watch videos? The interviews, yes! The music videos…sometimes. 

This is genuinely the first time I have felt this…waning in the passion of listening to the music. For the past week listening to anything else but Simple Minds. 

I had been through a similar thing with David Bowie. Before Simple Minds, Bowie was my “go to” for everything. And I listened to him A LOT…and it waned when they came along. I listened to Bowie less because I had SM. But now I barely listen to either of them.

That memory of Boys From Brazil on the coach ride home is such a wonderful, special memory. I don’t want creating new memories like that to come to an end.

Tired Of The SMOG…

It’s just the same old crap over and over. Are the band the same without Mick, Derek, Mel? Are they even Simple Minds with only Jim and Charlie left? They’re a mockery now. Play Butlins. They’re not Simple Minds any more. YA DA FUCKING YA!

Is it any wonder I am steering clear of the fan pages these days? I know we don’t all have to agree – be equally – we don’t have to keep expressing the same “opinion” all the bloody time, either!

I’m just tired of it. Really tired of it. So I’ll just stay here in my own little space. I cannot to arsed to argue a point or converse with anyone on the fane pages any more. It’s just so full of BS these days.

Kick It In, Lassie!

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.

The “watched kettle” is yet to boil…

Seeing Your Way Through

What a beautiful thing! A comment from a SM fan that I don’t know on SMOG in regards to a post I put up of the “the light shines brightest in the darkest places” fan art.

Restores my faith in humanity. Just when you feel the world is at its worst – there are still beautiful people here.

I feel so much better than I did this time last week. So much better.

And as much as I still wish for Jim’s love, friendship and acceptance. The person I really need to feel love from more than anyone else is…me.

That’s the crux of it.

Acceptance. Self-love. Recovery.

Thank you to this person. I didn’t feel it was right for me to share your identity here, but I wanted to thank you here all the same.

Today has been a very good and very positive day.

Lament…

Well, this certainly has had the punters talking. And more so than any SMOG post can achieve. A shame the actual band page is all but abandoned now. It used to be so dynamic and wonderful! Even if a post like this makes me feel a little ostracised on a personal level – I’d much rather this on the band page than nowt!

The stats speak for themselves. Over 2.5k likes – 700+ comments, 80 odd shares on the post, as of 6.50pm this evening.

If Jim came back and played some pun games as well, I’d be a happy bunny. If … he would talk to me. If I could get affirmation. Yeah, okay…I get that I can annoy the boots off him but I used to feel, if nothing else, a level of tolerance. I don’t even feel that any more.

ANYWAY. I SHALL STOP FUCKING TALKING ABOUT IT! THE ONLY PERSON THAT IS ACTUALLY BRINGING ME DOWN ABOUT THIS FUCKING SHIT IS ME. AND THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN TRULY FIX IT IS ME.

In other news….I still think he is the most beautiful creature ever to exist. Below, a piece of banner art in all of his resplendent, naked-from-the-waist-up glory!

Also in other news – red bean paste swirled in yoghurt is as delicious as I was anticipating. YES…the tin is ACTUAL, proper red bean paste! Praise be.

I have also booked tickets for the reopening of the Riverside Museum on Monday. Yes!

Dan’s My Man! Wonderful In Young Life – Live At Last.

This amazing young man, Dan Crouch, has been sharing some piano solo covers of Simple Minds songs on the SM Official Group page. He had done fabulous covers of Hunter And The Hunted and most recently The American. And because he had covered The American it had me thinking that maybe he would be willing to try Wonderful In Young Life.

So I asked him….explaining away that it really hasn’t ever been performed live and that when I had a reply from Jim once about ever being done live, Jim pretty much dismissed it outright.

Bless you, Dan! Bless his cottons socks! He only went and done it and it’s GORGEOUS! I was crying my eyes out watching it. Just from…well, the joy of seeing it, Dan’s wonderful interpretation and the fact he actually DID grant my wish. What a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Thank you so much, Dan! You are…wonderful 😊❤️

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SimpleMindsHQ/permalink/576367563273418/

In Here The Sun Shines So Bright – From The “Burning Gold” Memories.

Looking in from the outer, I see some tentative improvement on “The Group”. At least a few more memories are filtering through and the admins at SMOG (well, more accurately, the admins at SMO via SMOG…same admins? Dunno) at least asked for some participation and contributions from fans yesterday.

It may have legs yet. I still need convincing.

In the meantime, the memories shared by the North American fans and by those who travelled to the USA and Canada to see a gig or gigs have been great to see. Some wonderful phots and videos shared.

In amongst the ones I saw yesterday was this amazing snap of Jim by Cody Fulfer. Wonderful stuff.

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.

Burning Gold Memories…

Well maybe SMOG will get better. But I fear it’ll be VERY selective and VERY exclusive.

And…I have no memories from a lifetime ago…nothing of any significance to contribute so I’ll keep schtum. My memories will probably just be shared here on the blog.

This post from Carol Loudon deserved its posting to SMOG. It’s beautiful. The note from Jim is wonderful. And to have a setlist handwritten by him is just…wow!

And here I can express just how lovely it is, how much envy I have of it…how much it kind of stings with regret…how much I wish for things…and all from the comfort of my own blog. No one to tell me what a sad, pathetic creature I am. No one to spread scorn upon my feelings.

As for Carol not having met them still? Oh, I do get it. I get this thing about not wanting the myth shattered. Not wanting that…exalted image you have of someone be tainted. But having met Jim several times now, albeit them all very briefly, I would never want it any differently. He’s beautiful. What else can I say? I feel absolutely inferior in his presence. I always will. But…just to be there. I adore him.

Aside from Jim? They are all so lovely. Charlie at the meet and greet last year tried to engage with me…get me talking..and I was just a clam. Lol. But he’s lovely. At Bridlington in 2017, there was a man who was so, so nervous! He wanted to get his tour program signed but was too scared to ask. As Charlie was leaving to get on the tour bus, I stopped him. “Charlie, this man (pointing to the man in question) would love to have his tour program signed, but he’s too nervous to ask. Would you please sign it for him?” Of course he did! The irony of ME stopping Charlie to ask if he’d sign a tour program for a nervous fan was not lost on me. But…I just knew how that guy was feeling. And he was right there! He’d have regretted not asking all the rest of his days.

I’m pretty sure Jim signed it too. But once Jim appeared, my memory turned into a haze. Lol. Such a silly mess of a girl I am.

Meeting Brian McGee last year. And Bruce Findlay too. Having my drumming lessons with Cherisse. And meeting Mick MacNeil just last month. They are all so lovely, patient and kind.

So, yes, I see some good in SMOG…but I’m worried about just HOW exclusive it’ll feel and I feel somewhat immediately ostracised from things. Time will tell.