Before Lostboy! There Was “Special School” Boy! Lol (Pro Synth Network with Mick MacNeil)

I need to explain this post header. Lol

“The Man in the Sky”, Mick MacNeil, was being interviewed….well, more joined in in a live stream chat (with a loose interview in there) for this YouTube channel called the Pro Synth Network. Basically a weekly synth geek’s get together to discuss all things Synth and keyboard based. New bits of kit out on the market, etc, etc.

Once we get the technicals and geek talk out the way, about 45 minutes in, then there is talk with Mick about his time with Simple Minds and just…his background of being a synth player and how it all came to be. It’s a great thing and Mick shares great anecdotes and is a lot of fun. He always gives great banter.

I am going to drop in on the interview right at the point where Mick says he went to see the band before he joined. What he says about Jim absolutely cracked me up and had me in stitches! Which then meant I missed the next minute or so of the conversation. The very interesting point Mick made about Jim and his stutter (or on anyone with a stutter – in the broader sense).

Anyway, let’s cut to it. But I recommended you maybe go back a few minutes on the clip and listen to Mick talk about taking up (or having it thrust upon him, more accurately!) the accordion and sticking with the rest of the video.

 

Simple Minds Magazine Article – Mojo Magazine Early 2012

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 Revolution In August?

Yes, August will be a quiet month gig wise… but there is THIS. I missed seeing him at the same store a few months back. Only saw that he had been there a few days after it happened.

This time I know and can quite easily get there on the day. Maybe see if I can very briefly interview him? It def. would be cool if he agreed! We shall see in a few weeks time!

Steve In Stevenage…

You know sometimes when you see something … you’ve just been made aware of it but it happened just a couple of days prior so you missed it completely?

Well…that just happened to me. I’m checking the local record stores, particularly those over the Hertfordshire border…to see what they’re stocking and their prices for Saturday’s RSD. I checked Revolution Records in Stevenage to see that just this Monday gone STEVE HILLAGE WAS THERE DOING AN ALBUM SIGNING! I AM GUTTED!

I am ssssoooo gutted I missed this. I think I’d have been the ONLY person there to say “So, Steve…what was like working with Simple Minds on Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call?”

I’D HAVE GRILLED HIS ARSE! Lol. “Is the story about the pot plant true? Did you really fall down a stairwell on an office chair?” You know…all the probing questions! Lol

Oh, shit. I can’t believe I missed him! 😩😩😩

Mick Produces Tales

Mick MacNeil’s show last night on Indy Live was the most brilliant one so far. If I had asked to interview him myself, I could not have asked for better. He literally picked up where I had finished off with my interview with Bruce – for Mick talked about the producers of Simple Minds albums, namely John Leckie and Jimmy Iovine, but he also brushed upon the Steves – Hillage and Lilywhite.

The anecdotes that came with them had me in stitches. I was enthralled with it all. I could listen to tales of the early days of Simple Minds for eternity and NEVER get bored. It’s the only way I have, personally, of getting a sense of being there and in amongst it. I find this stuff ssooo exciting and wonderful.

Thank you for last night, Mick (hmmm…that’s not sounding quite right…you know what I mean! Lol). I know you may not be able to continue doing the show EVERY week, but I hope we will still continue to present some kind of thing. Perhaps a monthly podcast would work? You definitely already have one subscriber right here! And I am sure you will have many others besides. Please consider continuing a show in some capacity or other.

I have truncated last night’s show for you guys here on the blog. Just concentrating on Mick’s chat, because that is, for me, the most interesting part of the show. Mick feels he waffles on and bores the listeners. He definitely doesn’t with me! The anecdotes. The technical talk. I find all of it fascinating.

UPDATE: All three of Mick’s shows can be heard in their entirity HERE – the audio below is an edited edition of last night’s show.

Steve Hillage Interview – Guitarist Magazine – Dec, 2018

This guy I find hilarious…if purely by accident on his part. But I adore him too – for his involvement in the Simple Minds story. It really was a stroke of genius to hire him to produce Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call. I mean, John Leckie had been great…and Real To Real Cacophony and Empires And Dance (esp.) sound fabulous – but things needed to move on.

From mentions of Dunstable (the town nearest Luton…almost twinned at times, certainly when it comes to the local hospital, known to all locally as the L&D), to his expensive drinking tastes on his rider…to Boots selling the best lumbar belts money can by, to one (of MANY, MANY…I mean, there are a few stories the SM boys can and HAVE told about working with Steve) Spinal Tap moment of recall…I loved reading this interview.

(click the images to enlarge and read…options appear on the bottom right of the page)

Virgin Records Labelled With Love – w/ Contribution By Jim Kerr – Classic Pop Magazine – Sept/Oct, 2013

It’s amazing when trawling around searching the Internet the kind of titbits you unearth…