A Little Peace…

Recently I have been told by a few people that I write very well. One suggested I contact a music magazine and lodge an application to work for them. This person had written articles themselves for the magazine in question and they gave me the email address of the editor.

I didn’t do anything about it. I would fear pursuing it. It is one thing to write at one’s own leisure your own thoughts and feelings or to write your own musical reviews and share that content on a blog that you have sole say over. It’s quite a different thing to work for someone else and work to a deadline. I’m not sure I could do it.

Just today a person asked me if I write professionally. The answer is no I don’t. There is one minor thing I do in which I write small pieces of text, but I don’t work to a deadline and my “boss” for the most part gives me free rein over what is written.

But could I ever write like this?

That, I strongly doubt. Granted, I have not spent over 40 years of my life writing professionally. And for many years prior to that most likely being quite good at English, enjoying the language and writing stories. Jim did.

I never had the imagination to create imaginary places. Never felt I had “the gift” for that kind of thing. Compared to what I’d hear from others in class, my stories sucked. So as a consequence I guess I felt like writing was just “not my bag”.

Until I read Anne Frank’s diary. To read her diary is to find that, no matter how insular you feel. No matter how insignificant your world may feel to you, you are living a life and you have your own dramas, hopes, fears and dreams. And yes, ultimately her story was so much bigger than what was going on in that tiny annex…but the way she made the minutiae of that circumstance feel is just SSOOO compelling!

Could I have worded how I felt about her diary like that as a 13 year old reading it for the first time? NO WAY! But it was an impetus for me to keep a diary myself. And YES, my life was far, FAR more insignificant (in no way suggesting Frank’s was). BUT…I was writing. I was using language. Trying hard to teach myself a level of expression that was escaping me from not being at school. I just kept wanting to teach myself.

I read books. Not sweeping epics of prose, just regular novels. I tried with Shakespeare. Lord knows I tried. But I attached myself more to James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. I read the poetry of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson and children’s books by May Gibbs and read the 87th Precinct detective novels of Ed McBain. I read “trash” too. Sidney Sheldon novels and Anne Rice vampire novels. I went from Anne Frank to Anne Rice.

I asked for a concise dictionary for my 15th birthday and read it like a novel.

At the library, I would look at the encyclopaedias and VOLUMES of dictionaries and wish to have them at home. You weren’t allowed to borrow reference books. I could never understand why.

To be asked in recent times whether I write for a living is amazing. To be told by others that I have some kind of “flair” or “way” is wonderful. And just maybe on the odd occasion I allow myself to accept such compliments and think I am worthy of them. But for the most part? No.

Beyond Jim’s beautiful way with words and expressing himself was this…

How could someone believe “an eye for an eye” is good? Because, isn’t that ultimately what war is? An eye for an eye? Fighting fire with fire? Two wrongs don’t make a right, do they?

Why is it such a childish thought to want peace? Not to have wars? And why do we never learn? Why are we destined to make the same mistakes over and over?

How is pacifism NOT the answer? How is love not the answer?

I want to end with this. Because it is just so beautiful in its simplicity. No big words. Just the basics and the question of “why”?

ELEVEN!!!!


Because I’m always thinking “tick tock” as I count these days down…this song popped into my head this morning. 

I can’t tell you how jealous of that girl I was. Lol. He was already married to Ali FFS! I was 12/13 years old! Lol. It wasn’t gonna happen…

I was tagged by thebizarremooneyeball

6 albums I’ve been playing a lot lately. Well, if I was REALLY truthful, it would ALL be Simple Minds albums! “A lot” is a relative term…but these are the albums I’ve played most recently…and some frequently.

Moving clockwise, from top right:

1. Diamond Dogs by David Bowie
One of my fave Bowie albums. He played a lot of the instruments himself. An entire concept…meant to be adapted to a theatrical piece for the stage. It sadly petered out…but you get all the imagery from the album. The first copy of it I had was the 1990 Rykodisc version with the alternate Dodo and Candidate tracks on it. I love them as much as those on the album proper. Fave track from the album? – Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me.

2. Achtung Baby (Deluxe Edition) by U2
Absolutely adore this album. By far my favourite U2 album. My fandom was probably really on the wane by this time. I was heavily into Bowie by this time, but my brother was still a big U2 fan. I listened to his copy first, then soon bought my own. I was hooked! The deluxe edition has a great selection of bonus tracks. Songs from the single releases, etc. I pretty much stopped buying singles by the early 90s. Albums were much better value all round, so I missed hearing a lot of the bonus tracks at the time. Love them now. Fave track from the album? – Ultra Violet (Light My Way).

3. Zooropa by U2
Not quite as strong as Achtung Baby (IMHO), but still firmly in my favourite period of U2. I love their more “experimental”, European influenced sound during this period. Love the Zoo TV tour stuff. MacPhisto – I mean, I would! Lol. It’s hard for me to choose a fave track off this album. I bought Stay (Far Away, So Close) as a single (ha! What was I saying about no longer buying singles?! Tosh!) – so that holds a special place. I love the sexual playfulness of Babyface. But…ultimately…I have to choose the title track…Zooropa. What an opening song! A statement of intent if ever there was one!

4. Silver Box by Simple Minds
It’s been nearly a year since I became a Simple Minds fan. I’m not sure of the exact date but, I love the idea that by sheer coincidence, it might have been Jim Kerr’s birthday (July 9th)…so that’ll be my anniversary date from now on in.

Anyway, on to Silver Box. It contains rare, early live tracks and demo versions of songs. I’ve said this several times on my blog when linking to tracks from the album, but the demo versions are just as amazing as the full studio recorded versions. Jim Kerr really likes to play around with his words, so tracks like Twist/Run/Repulsion have completely different lyrics to what end up on the album. The set also contains the “lost” Simple Minds album “Our Secrets Are The Same” – which I can’t understand for the life of me WHY no record company wanted to touch this. Sadly, Virgin cash in in the end, releasing it as part of this box set. Favourite track from the set? Well…considering it’s five discs…I’ll choose one from each. Disc one: Twist/Run/Repulsion. Disc Two: Life In Oils. Disc Three: Ghostdancing. Disc four: Bangin’ On The Door. Disc Five: Neon Cowboys.

5. Island Life by Grace Jones
Apart from my brother having a 12" version of Walking In The Rain, I didn’t have much exposure to Gracie until this came out in 1985. I would borrow a copy of in on cassette from the local library and play it every day while I had it out on loan. The cassette copy the library had had bonus tracks. I recently made a Spotify playlist of the album with these bonus tracks added to it. Love Gracie! Fave track from the album? Warm Leatherette.

6. X5 by Simple Minds
Yes…it’s a box set like Silver Box…but I play this SSSOOO much. Seriously!! I never STOP playing it! The bonus tracks…the remastering of the albums themselves. It’s just AMAZING! A must for any Simple Minds fan! And seeing as there are 6 albums on here (Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call usually get bundled together…but they ARE separate entities tied by being recorded in one MEGA session)…I’ll pick a fave from each disc. Disc one: Murder Story. Disc two: Premonition. Disc three: Constantinople Line (but, frankly, D3 is impossible to single out one fave). Disc four: Boys From Brazil (but Seeing Out The Angel is also beautiful!). Disc five: Wonderful In Young Life. Disc Six: New Gold Dream (German 12" Remix) – now has such special significance :-))

And that’s my six. I tag bitter-milk deluge-in-a-paper-cup depechecure hanzcubed bunny-and-the-echomen goodytwolose

Highjacked!

Sorry…my Simple Minds/Jim Kerr/Harry Lloyd blog appears to have turned into a U2 blog for the night. Whoops!

Was a U2 fan before being a Bowie fan…then a Simple Minds fan…so…sorry about that.

WHY AM I APOLOGISING? IT’S *MY* BLOG, GODDAMMIT! Lol.

Many people say The Joshua Tree is their greatest album – I disagree. It’s this! Don’t get me wrong…I love The Joshua Tree – but I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE Achtung Baby. Their magnum opus for me :-)) #U2