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.

 

Visual Treats

Well, for me anyways. Quite a number of photos I hadn’t seen before in the pages of this little booklet.

I’m sharing most of the previously unseen (by me) photos within. A few of them have been around before but I just liked scanning them and having a perhaps better copy than I previously did.

I’ve tried to clean some of them up. The print quality of the booklet wasn’t the best so I’ll try to share good, clean scans of the photos.

For now though…

Simple Minds In Canberra…

I absolutely LOVED Graham Kennedy. Known as “The King” in Australia, he wasn’t without his controversy. He particularly enjoyed performing impressions of Australian crows (which are actually ravens – just putting that ornithological fact out there for you) – which can sound like they are swearing rather painfully if you’ve ever heard them?

Anyway….I have no recollection of this, but I can bet I was watching the show that night. I was always watching Coast To Coast – it was essential viewing for me.

Finding this clip on the DVD had me tickled pink, it really did.

More little snippets of clips to come…

The Prince Charles Of Stadium Rock?

OMG! Those clips on the DVD were GOLD DUST! There’s a clip from 1989 from Good Morning Australia (seemingly) – Basia Bonkowski is interviewing Jim and well…just watch the clip below. Lol (It’s the ears, right?)

The observant amongst you MAY see something that actually shouldn’t be there. I couldn’t help myself.
*smiles sheepishly*

Simple Minds In Classic Pop Magazine

Simple Minds are the main feature in this month’s Classic Pop magazine, talking tours, new material, recording time, as well as talking about the release of the Street Fighting Years box set.

Non-subscribers to the magazine will be able to purchase the cover seen above, but subscribers get a different exclusive cover. I will post image of that later.

There is also a review of SFY further within the magazine.

So far the reviews for Street Fighting Years haven’t been overly kind. And this isn’t much different. Not as harsh as the Mojo hiding that’s for sure. I now find myself getting strangely defensive of the album.

Street Fighting Years Box Set Reissue Reviews

A couple of reviews of the SFY box set have been printed in both Mojo and Uncut magazines this week. The Mojo one is particularly scathing but the “fortune cookie wisdom” in regards to Jim’s lyrics in the Uncut review isn’t exactly complimentary, either! Although overall, it is a kinder review.

The reissue lands in two weeks time.

Mojo magazine review.
Uncut magazine review.

At Least It’s ‘On Topic’….

So…two of my recent posts to the SMO visitor wall get deleted for…whatever reason. Okay. Fair enough.

But this gets to stay? No comeback from Jim? Nae nuthin’?

Well, it’s “on topic”, I suppose.

At least they’ve been allowed to express an opinion…

To each their own.

Street Fighting Years – Reissues/Box Set – Released 06/03/2020

It’s the one a lot of fans have been waiting for and well…it’s fairly disappointing, insomuch as there’s nothing to surprise. No previously unreleased material. Well the Verona audio is deemed “previously unissued” – whatever the fuck THAT’S meant to mean. Not previously in audio only format, I’m assuming?

This new push for “edits” continues with a disc that contains both edits and full versions of songs and some remixes. Why edits? Especially within a product that appeals most to the ardent fan rather than the casual fair weather fan? I just about understood it with “40: The Best of 1979-2019”. It was to appeal to the casual fan, not the ardent one.

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If you want true fans … “real” fans to continue to invest in this output, you’re going to have to up your game. Sorry, but it’s the truth. You can’t just keep on relying on us being pulled in by the aesthetics of the packaging. It’ll start to have a tone of “nice legs, shame about the face” with it. “Nice packaging, shame about the content.”

It’s a big investment for some pretty imagery.

The only thing that genuinely appeals about it now is the booklet and Trevor Horn interview.

But don’t let me put you off! Available to pre-order – the best price I’ve seen for it is via the Townsend Music store, currently listed as £43 for the 4CD Boxset. You can view more details on the contents of the boxset HERE (which also contains info on the 2CD and 2LP versions of the album).

I’ll wait to invest. I’m guessing that by the time this year’s Verona gig swings by, the price will have dropped and I’ll grab a copy then. I did similar with Sparkle In The Rain and Once Upon A Time. I bought them both several months down the line at discounted cost.

Now…had this been a Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call boxset….