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news 1999

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Derek with annotation by Mel Derek's been in touch. He's currently "...delving into the realms of management with Angela Capel... who is the best female singer I have heard from these shores."

Fans of Derek's bass playing and live work should not worry. "I have not given up playing live,a deal is looking good for the near future..."

Keep tuned for a possible top Simple Minds rarity on offer! More soon.

(The picture is from the front over of Néapolis... with 'slappy stick man' drawn by Mel Gaynor!).



"I am very sorry that I have not been more informative over the last few weeks. We now have a clearer view of how things can be done. At the moment the website is being updated and the secure server should be opened on the last day of the year. If only for me to say that I actually got it going in 1999.

Spooky Artwork I have completed the recording and I am, well, quite happy with it. To tell you the truth I don't think that I have ever been completely happy with anything yet, but at least with this project I only have myself to blame, no one told me what to do or what not to do. So I decided to put together a rather large selection of quite varied ideas from over the last ten years. I know that you won't like all of them you may not even like any of them, either way what ever, you like or don't like, I would love you to tell me what you think.

And if you really hate it I promise you a complete refund.

For anyone who feels a little cautious about leaving credit card details on the Internet we have set up a P.O. box. Details will be on the site. I have also put some other slightly off the wall friends of mine that I have worked with last year along with a new Rabbie Burns project that I would love to develop on to the mix records page, I will also update the samples for you to listen to, and your comments are welcome here too. I sincerely want to thank you for your interest and encouraging words that have inspired me to make this album."

Mick MacNeil

Mick MacNeil's long awaited, first solo album is released on December 31st. Entitled People, Places And Things, it's a compilation of ideas from the last 10 years. Four samples are available on his website, which includes the excellent Berlin Blitz.

Finally the wait is over!

Visit MixMuzik at http://www.mixmuzik.com. There's also a mailing list which you can subscribe to receive priority information.

Triple J Radio in Australia is rebroadcasting a Simple Minds classic concert from 1981 today! Recorded during their successful Sons And Fascination tour, the concert is rumoured to be the Sydney, December 1981 gig. If so, this features definitive versions of Sons And Fascination and a cracking version of Room.

At the moment, this concert exists on badly chewed, old cassette bootlegs, and as a passable selection of songs on the Ghostdancing triple LP. A better quality, FM recording, would be much appreciated.

Apparently the show will be broadcast at 2:00 PM.


And this Saturday, BBC Radio Two will be broadcasting a biography of legendary producer Trevor Horn. From the Radio Times:
7:00PM - 8:00PM
BBC Radio Two (Radio Two Online)
Video Didn't Kill The Radio Star
20 years of Trevor Horn. Stuart Maconie presents this portrait of influential record producer Trevor Horn with contributions from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Martin Fry, Kevin Godley and Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.
It was Trevor Horn, along with Stephen Lipson, who produced Street Fighting Years.



I've been quietly updating the discography over the last couple of weeks. New entries include:
Simplemente - Peruvian compilation LP
Alive And Kicking (84,85,86) - Australian compilation EP
These items have been 'missing' from the discography for a while.

Mission In Motion The latest issue of Mission In Motion has just arrived. This double issue of the Spanish fanzine includes the usual round-up of letters, reviews, interviews and features. Highlights include a look back 10 years to Street Fighting Years, reviews of Once Upon A Time plus the exclusive Mick MacNeil interview from Endless River fanzine.

There's also a piece on the history of Simple Minds fanzines. If any Spanish readers could translate the pieces on Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? for me then that would be much appreciated! (I must apologize for those waiting for WDTDN #9 - I'm going to try to take time off over Christmas to get this issue finished and out!)

More information can be found here.

Forum Submission #1

Remember the forum on simpleminds.com? Whilst I worked behind-the-scenes on it, I also submitted some stories of my own which were never used. Rather than let the work go to waste, and with simpleminds.com undergoing total redesign at the moment, I thought I'd post them here. Enjoy!

The annual Christmas party is usually the last place I'd expect to hear a first hand Simple Minds story. But this year, the wife of a colleague asked "Has my husband told you my Simple Minds story?"

"No," I replied.

After kicking her husband in the shin, she continued. "I used to work as security at the Birmingham NEC for ten years."

I've heard lots of Simple Minds stories, but none had started as promising as this one.

"I was to the left of the stage," she said. "People were climbing up the stairs from the audience and congregating on the side of the stage. It was looking unprofessional; these people could be seen from the audience and the band were currently playing. So I was asked to keep people from entering the area."

She also mentioned that this was one of the most embarrassing things that happened to her in this job. So, it was getting better and better.

"So I stopped people from going up the stairs and they cleared the area to the side of the stage. No-one was allowed through without an 'Access All Areas' pass":


I can believe it. I tried my usual 'attempt-to-get-backstage' lines on her without any success. "But I'm with the band." "That's my mate over there." "I'm on the list." "The tour manager said it's OK." All met with a stern "NO." She knew her job. No-one without a pass was getting through there.

So she continued her story, which took place in 1989 during the Street Fighting Years tour. "All of a sudden, this girl suddenly ran up the steps. I had to lunge to grab her by the arm as she rushed pass. I pulled her back and said 'Where's your pass? You're not going on stage without a pass!' Suddenly I was aware of someone shouting at me and people waving."

"They were shouting: 'She's in the band. Let her up on stage. She's in the band'"

And with that, my colleague's wife removed her grip on Lisa Germano who raced up the stairs, onto the stage, and picked up her violin - just in time to start playing on Belfast Child.

Very rare Chelsea Girl poster The following appeared in Scotland On Sunday a couple of weeks ago:

"'The next Simple Minds album will include a first, some purely acoustic tracks,' says Kerr. 'The band has also brought in a North American songwriter to galvanise the production schedule and the result will be a more up-tempo album than Simple Minds fans have been used to,' he added.

(The North American songwriter is, of course, Kevin Hunter.)

However, the article mainly concentrated on Jim's plans to get more involved in the Internet and the setting up his own record company after the current deal with Chrysalis-EMI is up in the spring.

The interview mentioned a release date of February 2000 for the new album. This doesn't tally with current rumours of an April release. Checking this out, it's known that the album has been delivered to Chrysalis-EMI, but there's no release date yet!

(Thanks to David Malcolm).


A taped bootleg of an early Simple Minds gig from 1979 has recently turned up. Finding shows from this era is very difficult, and the quality of the recording is extremely bad. But what makes this tape unique is a unique performance of an unknown song at the start of the gig.

Whilst researching Life In A Day for Who's Doing The Dreaming Now #9, a magazine interview (ZigZag Magazine) mentioned that Simple Minds started their shows with a song called Sweetthing. This song has remained undocumented until now.

Coupled with the bootleg tape, it could be assumed that this song is Sweetthing. But another contenter for the title is Rosemary's Baby - a song from this period which has never been heard.

And whilst on the subject of opening concerts with unknown songs, Simple Minds opened their early Once Upon A Time gigs with a short instrumental that's never been released officially.

So, as a first for this web site, I've included audio samples of both these unreleased songs. If any member of the band can identify either one, then it would be greatly appreciated!

(The version of the 1985 instrumental was taken from the double LP bootleg Alive And Kicking.)

Unknown Song #1
Manchester, UK
1979

Excerpt from instrumental introduction

152KB - PC WAV Format
28 seconds

Unknown Song #2
Heidelburg, Germany
1985

Whole song

332KB - PC WAV Format
62 seconds



Simple Minds Box Virgin have released a new Simple Minds box set - just in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, it's simply a packaging of the stock copies of New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), Once Upon A Time and Street Fighting Years in a glossy brown box. This won't appeal to any fans of the band since these are probably the albums that everyone's got already.

At least the Disky reissue (Original Gold) featured an unpublished photograph on the sleeve; there's nothing as imaginative here.

More information about this box set can be found here.



Live Adventures I have really neglected the bootleg discography recently. The last update of this particular project was back in February. So it really is time to continue.

Unfortunately, my record player was broken, so rather than wait for it to get fixed, I've started with the CD bootlegs. Unlike the majority of the LP bootlegs which are usually documenting a unique concert, the CD bootlegs are:

Sometimes repressings of an LP bootleg (a bad thing)
Copies of a radio transcription disc/recorded from an FM broadcast (a good thing)
Copies of another CD bootleg (a bad thing)
So, from the first batch of CD bootlegs, only Perfect Reception and Dutch Daze cover unique concerts. Live Adventures and parts of Life In A Day cover the same ground as the early LP bootleg The Best Years Of Our Lives whilst Live In Glagow 1982 is a worse copy of the All Kings Are White LP.

Full details, complete with crossreferencing, in the bootleg section.

(Many will realize that Form Phaullus Function is missing from this set. If anyone has a copy they are willing to sell to me then that would be most appreciated!)



Check out the The Marketplace for more Simple Minds items wanted and for sale.

But, have you ever wanted the deluxe press-kit version of Néapolis? pukpuk@uptomail.com has one for sale, and it features the following:

Simple Minds: Neapolis (Very Limited Press Box Set)
CD Néapolis
Interview CD (regarding Néapolis release)
Video tape: 'Glitterball' video clip
3 coloured photos (on Kodak photo paper)
Press Release 'Néapolis'
Biography
Transcript of the interview CD

All this in a big silver movietape-style case, with 'Simple Minds' engraved on top.
For more information, see its entry in the discography.

Endless River: Issue #12 The September issue of Endless River is now out. The highlight of this issue is an interview with Simple Minds official biographer Alfred Bos. The rest of the issue is packed with the usual features of news, CD and website reviews. Another feature takes on Real Life and concentrates on the discography and press reaction to the Minds' first album of the nineties.

More information about Endless River is here.

For those wondering, I'm still working on Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? #9. And Moises e-mailed me with the news that he's working on the next issue of Mission In Motion. Looks like the fanzine scene is hotting up again.


Jon Stone has several items for sale including Saints And Sinners by Johnny And The Self Abusers and a signed copy of Once Upon A Time. Check out his list in the Marketplace.

Check out American Pie for a a new interpretation of Don't You (Forget About Me). The film, which is a cross between Porky's and There's Something About Mary, features a band at the high school prom slaughtering the classic. Wait for the cry of "You suck!" after the band finish the song.

On the other hand, the film's not too bad.


More radio shows have appeared recently and have now been added to the discography. In The Zone from Westwood One features a choice selection of songs from the band's Glasgow 1995 show, and was aired in 1998.

Stepping back to 1995, the Glastonbury 95 set has also been updated with the first disc details. Plus full information about Planet Live from Coca-Cola which states that it's a recording of the band's 1995 show at Dublin's The Point, but turns out to be a recording from The Olympia, Paris.

More information can be found here.

Message from Shaun Tranter
Convention co-organiser

Hello all,

Shaun here. Sorry I haven't put anything up before but I just wanted a few weeks away from anything to do with the convention. Basically to recharge the batteries.

Clive passed on your e-mails to me, and thanks for those. It made it all worth while.

So far, all I've had is one letter from a person who attended the convention, giving me some constructive criticism of what he liked and didn't like. Any chance of a few more.

Many thanks to Dave Kelly and the boys for the tribute band. Many thanks to Jonathan Thomas for giving out the flyers at the Kosovo show. It paid off as I was speaking to a few people that came down after being handed the flyer. Chris Beard is God - well almost - thanks a million. Thanks to Andy from Discovery Records. Hope some of you managed to get some bargains.

One thing I will ask for: if any of you have cuttings on Simple Minds, would you be so kind as to photocopy some and donate them to the press wall for the next convention. Feel free to donate whatever you want.

As yet, no date has been fixed for the next convention. A million thanks to everybody that attended. You made all the hard work worthwhile. I could list everybody's name, but there are too many people to mention. So thanks once again to everybody.

I trust you all had a great day and see you next time.

Take care,
Shaun Tranter

27 St. Johns Road
Weston Hills
Spalding
Lincs
PE12 6DG
UK
Congratualations to Simple Minds who were presented a lifetime achivement award for services to Scottish Music Industry over the last twenty years. Jim picked up the award on behalf of the band last week.


simpleminds.com, the band's official web site, has closed. A new, redesigned site will be launched in February 2000, probably coinciding with the release of their new studio album. Readers of Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? will not be surprised - the news that a new web site was being designed was included in issue #8. Surfers will not be surprised either - the site hadn't been updated since Christmas 1998.

It's not all bad news though. Check out the newly redesigned Toorkwaz web site which includes some new Simple Minds pictures and artwork. (Surf to Music->Simple Minds. You'll need the Flash plug-in to view it.)


Veldt Logo More news from Veldt, the Brighton based band previously mentioned on the 25th August.

Their name does come from the instrumental Veldt that can be found on Simple Minds' second album, the experimental Real To Real Cacophony. Veldt "are great fans of Simple Minds early work, specifically around the Real To Real Cacophany, Empires And Dance and Sons And Fascination era."

A tour is expected in the spring/summer 2000. At the moment, the band has just spent some time in the studio for a major label, so there may be a commercial release by then.

For those who can't wait, some of their songs are available on their web site http://users.computerweekly.net/veldt/home.htm. These are highly recommended. From the choral and vocal effects of Fear, to the techno blast of Illusion Girl, the songs exhibit a wide variety of styles. Most have echoes of Simple Minds: Illusion Girl is Once Upon A Time (the piano effects) meets Néapolis (effects and dubs), with the bass full up in the mix. Vignette mixes R.E.M. keyboards, with Film Theme percussion: a grand fusion of ideas. Bullet is another must-listen, whilst Jumpsuit sounds like it takes Charlie's opening guitar riff from Someone Somewhere (In Summertime) and builds an entire song out of it.

The band used to use Simple Minds samples in their songs. Now they just "play in the style of..." Check them out.


The links section has now been updated. The new EMI-Chrysalis Records web site is featured, but has little Simple Minds content. Of more interest are the web sites of Mick MacNeil and Veldt.
The Hermes Claydon Set Sale continues. The update features some additional items.


After running continuously for over a year, the Néapolis mailing list is currently off-line. The owners of the list discovered that their mail server had been hacked and was being used to send spam mails. Upgrading the mail software to prevent this abuse has resulted in the list breaking - it's being worked on and normality should be restored soon.
Derek And Mel
Forbes/Gaynor And Friends
Brindisi, 29th August, 1999

Line-up:

Derek ForbesBass and lead vocals
Mel GaynorDrums and vocals
Ray McVeighLead guitar
Gordon GaynorRhythm/Lead guitar
Gee BelloPercussion and vocals
David QuinnKeyboards
Louise BerryLead and backing vocals
Mellissa GaynorBacking Vocals
Set List:
Theme For Great Cities
30 Frames A Second
Changeling
I Travel
Up On The Catwalk
Pleasantly Disturbed

Other songs planned:
Waterfront
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Love Song
Imagine (by John Lennon)

"The gig went ahead as planned on Sunday night, the 29th of August, after a few hiccups with the P.A and some missing guitars!!!!! The line-up was: Derek Forbes..bass and lead vocals...Mel Gaynor...drums and vocals...Ray McVeigh...Lead guitar.... Gordon Gaynor..rhythm/lead guitar....Gee Bello...percussion and vocals..... David Quinn...keyboards....Louise Berry...Lead and backing vocals... and last but not least...Mellissa Gaynor...backing vocals.

The set was Theme For Great Cities, 30 Frames A Second, Changeling, I Travel, Catwalk and Pleasantly Disturbed. At this point the rain started to come down, so Emiliana Torrini came on for 2 songs, (she's from Iceland, and sounds uncannily like Bjork),the crowd loved her. Then it was our turn to come back on and do Song for Peace, which Mel wrote, and Gee Bello sang on the night.

At the end of this song, the clouds burst, so we had to abandon the gig, which meant Waterfront, Don't You, Love Song and ME singing Imagine was never heard. David Quinn, who was wearing his kilt and a Rangers top, went onstage again with his bagpipes and the crowd loved this and came running back for the ceilidh. McVeigh, Quinn and myself bared our arses to the crowd in defiance of tyranny, after which we went to the dressing room and had another wild party with the pipes. It was even more raucos than the party we had in Glasgow after the ssec gig.

We have been asked by the mayor to do a concert for them again at the Millenium.

Famous Hughie Armstrong was superb as my Bass tech...aye yer auld arse.

Derek Forbes (via e-mail)



Mick MacNeil Jim was first to mention Mick MacNeil's solo album last year. Since then, there's been no news about this exciting project.

However, official news about Mick's solo album will soon be posted to Mick's web site (http://www.mixmuzik.com). Whilst there are no details as yet (such as a title or price), the word is that it is definitely coming. The expected release date is December 1999.

Only limited numbers of the album will be available exclusively through Mick's web site (via an advanced booking facility). Updates will be posted here when the news is announced plus a MIXMUZIK mailing list will also be set up to keep everyone informed.



Review: Brindisi Gig
By Cristina Canciani

"We're all disappointed. The audience is still little, maybe we are about a hundred. The days before the organizers kept on spreading the news that all the Minds would play and many people gave up when they realised that just Mel & Dan were here.

We're getting angry. We're sick of hearing too many bands, they're good but we don't care a pin about them. Besides we're getting treated in an absurd way; there's a lot of security and cops who keep us very far from the stage, watch over us as we were criminals and most of all when Dan & Mel go on stage, they make a wall against us.

Our band goes on stage at about half past eleven, but Dan promised to play 18 songs anyway. We try to get closer but cannot since we're forced to see Mel & Dan down there above the cop's and security's heads and that's the thing that I hate most; after spending a lot of money to come here, after a long journey, we cannot taste our band as we want.

But it's useless to get angry, I try to concentrate on music. They play Theme For Great Cities, 30 Frames A Second, Changeling, Beautiful People, Up On The Catwalk, Pleasantly Disturbed.

Then after break with Emiliana (who sounds exactly like Bjork, and Song For Peace, written for the occasion.

Again the music is excellent, even though the P.A. is too loud and noisy (at the sound-check it was perfect). The only flaw is Dan & Mel's voices. Dan is good but cold, he can't be as rich as Jim, he's not a vocalist. Mel has definitely a rough and weak voice, he sings all Up On The Catwalk by himself. Let's wait until they settle themselves.

As the gig goes on the audience relax but there's a weird atmosphere; lightning in the sky, the wind changes and we find ourselves drowned in smoke trails from the stage. A smell of something burning. The few spotlights project huge smoke circles against the sky. Now they're playing Pleasantly Disturbed. The blonde girl (Louise Berry) sings softly and her voice fluctuates through the mist. A soft rain starts to fall and the backlit drops look like little burning sparkles. We're taking part in a Sabbath.

Then, after Emiliana, we have just the time to listen to Song For Peace, then the rain starts to pour and the band has to stop. We just may not hear this gig! Is it Jim muse's revenge? We're on our way to the backstage when we see Dan beside the keyboardist who wears a kilt and plays a pipe. We give Dan the Scots flag and he sings When The Saints Go Marching In standing to attention.

Now we're just close to the stage, we're crazy. The song ends and abruptly and Dan shows us his naked bottom. He's wonderful! He's nuts and as instinctive as a kid. We're nuts as well. Then we go to the backstage. Quick talks, photos, autographs and a lot of warm kisses before leaving. They're all wonderful! Dan & Mel said maybe the're back in Italy early next year: "Someone, Somewhere In Wintertime" said Dan.

This is the end of a historical day, even though strange and hard, and the end of an even more historical gig that many people didn't understand. It signs an important and crucial stage of the Minds career, it's just the second time Mel & Derek play by themselves but most of all it's the proof that the old classics are still excellent, fresh and worth playing live, they must be played live again!

I'm looking forward to seeing a whole gig with the new set.

I go back to the hotel tired but happy because this day was wonderful. The time spent with the band and my friends widely repaid me of all the troubles. The only regret is for the few people who attended the gig, I hope Dan & Mel aren't discouraged by this."

Cristina Canciani
Cristia is the editor/writer of Le Menti fanzine

Recent news about the forthcoming Brindisi gig which will see Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor playing a selection of early Simple Minds tracks:

In Aid of Worldwide Childrens present a day of music and solidarity dedicated to all the children of the Balklands.

The Manifesto:

The committee of In Aid of Worldwide Childrens are promoting in Brindisi, one day of music and solidarity dedicated to all the children of the Balklands.

The benefit concert will take place at the Communal Stage on the 29th August, with the support of the High Sponsorship of the Presidency of the Council, the Region, the Province and the Commons of Brindisi and the regional CRI and the provincial Unicef. They will participate with many groups from the international and national musical panorama, including Mel Gaynor and Derek Forbes formerly of Simple Minds who are forming a band in support, The Loft, Emiliana, Jovine, Opacupa, Zoè Workshop of Art, Wladimir Lenissenkov and other artists.

The concert will begin at 17.00, and will be introduced by Brigitte Nilsen and George Best.

The purposes of this initiative is to finance everything from the intial planning destined to treat the psychological damage of the children involved in the recent conflict to the prevention of the dangers represented by the large number of mines still today present on the territory.

The Committee "In Aid of Worldwide Children"

(Translated by AltaVista Online Translation from Italian)


Veldt Logo I recently received a mail from one of the members of Veldt.

"Veldt are a band based in Brighton, UK, who have Simple Minds, Roxy Music and David Bowie influences."

It's not known if they took their name from the Simple Minds song Veldt which was featured on Real To Real Cacophony.

Check out their web page at http://users.computerweekly.net/veldt/home.htm.



Global Underground:Budapest Global Underground:New York There's been whipsers about a remix of Theme For Great Cities on various dance compilation CDs. Interestingly, two different mixes of the same track have turned up on the Global Underground series. Basically a famous DJ (in these cases Paul Oakenfold and Nick Warren) creates the compilation with a collection of dance remixes representative of a major city.

The song in question is called Life In Minds by Life On Mars. This group has sampled the distinctive opening of the Sons And Fascination classic:

Life On Mars - Life In Minds (L.I.M Vocal Mix) [4:48]
Featured on: 007 Paul Oakenfold: New York
Global Underground GU 007

Life On Mars - Life In Minds (Evolution Mix) [6:44]
Featured on: 011 Nick Warren: Budapest
Global Underground GU 011
The L.I.M Vocal just features a sample of the song, whilst it's both sampled and played on the Evolution Mix. And for the record, I prefer them to the Fila Brazillia and Fluke remixes of last year.

The CDs can be ordered from the Global Underground web site.

Convention 1999 For those wondering what happened on The Big Breakfast and at The Simple Minds 1999 Convention then don't worry: a full update with pictures, scans, screen captures and all the inside information will be uploaded soon.

In the meantime, here's some recent news:


The September/October issue of Careers And Colleges magazine, which is targetted to high school students in the US, will be mentioning Simple Minds, albeit very briefly.

David Schaffer has written a career profile of a radio DJ who has previously interviewed Simple Minds. The paragraph will read as follows:

"Gunther says one benefit of the job is being able to meet some of his favourite performers. So far, he has interviewed Ani DiFranco and members of Toad The Wet Sprocket, The Goo Goo Dolls and Simple Minds among others. "It's great getting to know them as regular people and hard working professionals," he says."



Real Life DAT One of the rarest commercial releases in the Simple Minds discography is the Real Life DAT. Real Life was the first album to be released by Virgin Records on this format, and copies could be ordered from records shops during the first months of the album's release.

The DAT format did not take off as a commercial format, so Real Life remains one of the few DAT albums to be released. Damien Buggy (DAMIEN.BUGGY@UKGATEWAY.NET) has one for sale. E-mail him with any offers.

Note: the picture is of my DAT which has been signed. Damien is selling an unsigned copy.

(Trivia: the minimal blue 'anonymous' popstars sleeve for the Real Life album was designed to fit on a DAT cover. After the DAT release was not commerically successful, the Real Life sleeve was changed to the picture of Jim, Mel and Charlie for later pressings on vinyl, cassette and CD.)

Also check out the Marketplace: Ojje Holt is after Themes Volumes One, Three and Four. Can you help out?



Endless River #11 The latest issue of Endless River is now out. The bulk of the fanzine features an exclusive interview with Mick MacNeil. Subjects covered include his life on Barra, his early musical training, joining Simple Minds, memorable concerts and experiences with the band, the day he quit, and the possibilities of him rejoining.

Plus there's the usual roundup of news, bootlegs and web site reviews.

Definitely recommended for the MacNeil interview. Subscription information can be found here.

More information about Forbes/Gaynor And Friends has recently been reported in the southern Italian paper Il Quotidiano:

"A benefit gig will see the Scottish "Simple Minds"(sic) be playing in Brindisi on August the 29th. Mel Gaynor the drummer is expected next week in Brindisi to check out the avaibility of the stadium. The gig will see Bjork performing live before "Simple Minds"(sic). All the profits will be donated to the children of Kosovo.".

Note that the paper mentions Simple Minds but the actual band playing will be Forbes/Gaynor And Friends. (See news: 12th July).



Channel Four The Big Breakfast Convention organisers Shaun Tranter and Clive Johnson, along with myself, will be appearing on Channel Four's The Big Breakfast today. Prompted by The Sun's brief report that Simple Minds' fan club, Travelling Man, was winding up due to lack of interest, the programmes researchers quickly contacted Clive, Shaun and myself to make an appearance on behalf of Simple Minds fans.

We'll be on between 8:30-9:00. Topics will include the convention, the state of Simple Minds fan clubs and fanzines, mention of the Interent and (in line with the show's sense of humour) a selection of amusing stories about my experiences with the band.



Travelling Man #1 Travelling Man #2 The Sun's report (which appeared in the Bizarre column last Thursday) wasn't quite accurate. After this issue of Travelling Man, Voiceprint will no longer be running the fan club. How the official fan club will continue, and in what guise, is unknown at the moment.

"It will be more Slaughterfront than Waterfront."

That's how Derek Forbes describes the new Forbes/Gaynor And Friends, a band unveiled at the Kosovo gig and performing at least two shows in Italy this year.

Derek and Mel will be performing a set list comprised of a selection of Simple Minds songs upto Sparkle In The Rain. "That means songs like: Somebody Up There Likes You, Theme For Great Cities, 70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall, Changeling, New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), Pleasantly Disturbed, Boys From Brazil, This Fear Of Gods, Sweat In Bullet, King is White And In The Crowd, I Travel, Love Song, Today I Died Again, Scar, Someone,Somewhere In Summertime, Room... and as many more as we can physically do."

Fans of Simple Minds earlier work will be extremely excited by this plan. Some of those songs haven't been played live for years.

The line-up sounds really intreguing. "We have a few special guests for vocals, it would blow your mind to know who we have in the frame, guitarists are also high calibre... but the keyboard position is the one that will interest you most... put it this way... we'll sound more like the old band than Tom and Jerry!."

Gigs are already planned. "The first gig is on the 29th of August in Brindisi, then after that on the 30th we play Lecce, but this gig is not confirmed as yet". Some of the shows will also be televised.

And if that was not enough, Derek and Mel are also marketing "a certain product to celebrate the millenium." No more news as to what that will be.

Finally, Derek signs off hoping to see all the 'diehards' at the gigs. Just try to keep us away! More news as it comes in



Meanwhile, Jim and Charlie will finish the recording of the new album in a week or so. It's then expected that the band will take a break before mixing starts in mid-August. This final mix is due to be delivered to Chrysalis for a release in mid/end October.

This is an incredibly tight schedule. Chrysalis are going to have to work hard to get the album out this year. If the October date slips, then expect the album early next year.



Original Gold Sleeve 'New' Simple Minds product appeared in the shops this week. Original Gold is the latest, dubious re-packaging of the Minds' back catalogue. Disky, the European reissue label, who have already released Real To Real Cacophony and Real Life, have put together this two-CD set of... Real To Real Cacophony and Real Life.

It's cheap at £9.99, and there's a great unpublished picture of the guys from a Sparkle In The Rain photo session on the front, but with it's flimsy, easily-marked card packaging, and its strange pairing of two very different Simple Minds albums, it's really one for the completists only.

Original Gold's entry in the discography is here.

Those who enjoyed the music from the eighties will also enjoy the Disky Original Gold sets by Duran Duran, Culture Club and Spandau Ballet which also appeared this week.



MixMuzik logo
Mick Cam
Mick Cam
Mick Cam
Mick Cam
Mick Cam
Fans of the elusive Mick MacNeil, the original keyboard player with Simple Minds, who suddendly and dramatically left the band after the Street Fighting Years tour, will welcome the unexpected lauch of his studio's web site. The site called MixMuzik can be found at: http://www.mixmuzik.com.

Still under construction, the site includes snippets of several new songs by Mick, plus a RealTime movie where he's basically messing around with a video cam.

The songs include the somber, classically inspired Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Ancestors which sounds a distant cousin of She Walks Through The Fair. With the introduction of the female vocalist, the song takes a new direction, and if the TV show Silent Witness ever moves to Scotland, then MacNeil should definitely be given the score.

Studio NRG is Then Jerico's Energy which appeared on the Orgasmaphobia album last year. (See the entry for 16th June 1998). Berlin Blitz is great, with air raid sirens preceeding a soaring, upbeat piano driven instrumental - this song is the most similar to the "Simple Minds" sound.

The other pieces steer away from the Mick's previous style: Joyride is another piano lead instrumental that sounds like classical American film music, Ben (Piano) is a solo piano piece and Need Someone features the female singer this time, but feels like 'lounge musak.'

Varied stuff. And great to hear some more work from Mick.

The video is a masterpiece, and he does touch on his career with Simple Minds (although very briefly):
Joined a band, then joined another band, then another band.
Band, band, band.
Chucked it.
Studio, studio, studio.
What about... what about... what about...
See what happens tomorrow - OK?

This is just the start. Mick plans currently are to focus on original compositions and recording for television and film soundtracks, but he's got his own projects as well. There's the recording studio, Mix Studio, and also a record label called Mix Records.

It's good to know that we might be hearing new material from Mick MacNeil soon.  


Gold Disc More items have been turning up for the auction at the Simple Minds Convention, which is now less than a month away.

Simple Minds ex-manager Bruce Findlay has come up with the goods, donating a gold disc award for Live In The City Of Light for the event. More items have turned up from Simple Minds Limited which includes more tour iteraries and some engraved whisky flasks. Nice stuff.

The current, full list of auction items can be found here.



The Match The Match is scheduled for release on July 15th. This film, about a rivalry between two Scottish pubs which is resolved by a football match, supposedly features the new Simple Minds song Hello.

Some doubt has been cast on this, since it's now rumoured that the song wasn't completed in time, and wasn't included. As no soundtrack albums have surfaced as yet, so we'll just have to wait and see.

The film was recently reviewed by Q Magazine:

Directed by Mick Davies.
Starring Max Beesley, Laura Fraser, Richard.E.Grant

Dumb but occasionally fun film that could have gone straight to TV and been none the poorer. Beesley is Wullie Smith, roped in to lead a Highland pub team in a showdown match with their local rivals, while trying to win "the girl" as well. The Full Motty, if you like.

Rating : 2/5 (equating to 'Average. Caution advised')



Hermes Carlyon is continuing his sale of Simple Minds records and memorabilia at knock down prices.

His list can be found here. There's some real bargins to be snapped up - for instance, a Real Life promotional pen for £5.00? He's pratically giving it away.

The new album is being produced by Kevin Hunter and Charlie Burchill.


Jim was interviewed by Todd Richards as part of the Some Sweet Day 1999 marathon of Simple Minds songs. There were some technical problems with interviews on the day, but Jim and Todd talked about a wide range of subjects, including the Scotland Rocks For Kosovo line-up and the sound and the direction of the new album.

Quotes of interest included Todd asking Jim about the new line-up. "I guess Simple Minds is a bit of a family as much as people come and go. Like families we love each other but we also have our fair amount of fights and break-ups - a pretty passionate lot. I want to play with people who are enthusiastic about playing and enthusiastic about touring. That's not always the case with some of the musicians. When you go on tour you've got to leave a lot behind. Just because it suits Charlie and I, it doesn't always suit the other guys. You can bet you life that whoever we play with - it'll be a great band...."

And the new album is sounding very interesting. " I would say it's 100% different from Néapolis, it's very rough and ready. It's not in that vein at all. It's a very joyful sound, it's very upbeat. I think the melodies are incredibly strong, and the music itself is quite sparse, like maybe bass, drums, guitar and voice playing. It's very beautiful.

Another interesting piece of news was that Virgin are considering a box-set. "This year I went down to talk with them. They were talking about it and I asked them to hold off for another year or so. Or maybe it would be more appropriate to do it in our twenty-fifth year or something..

The full transcript is here.

And the playlists are up and can be found here. "Please let [everyone] know that the marathon was a complete success and that we appreciate all their emails and phone calls. Their good wishes kept us going." - Todd.

And here's hoping for another show next year. With webcasting!



I've started to collect information about the 1999 Simple Minds Convention on one page. Soon, I'll be travelling down to Camden and getting some photographs of the venue and places of interest with Simple Minds connections in the area. I'll also be adding some maps and travel information.

To really kick the page off in style, I've included pictures of the first auction items to be donated. All from the band's ex-tour manager, Stan Tippins, this collection features backstage pass laminates and a collection of ultra-rare tour itineraries. The convention page is here.

After the gradual erosion of Simple Minds over the late eighties and early nineties, it seemed by 1995's Good News From The Next World that the band had reached some form of absolute minimum. The name of Simple Minds would now be associated with the song writing duo of Jim and Charlie, with studio and live work being augmented with session musicians.

There was a sense of loss since the so-called 'classic' line-up of Simple Minds was seen as the definitive version of the band. For many, Simple Minds would be lacking without the talents of Mick MacNeil, Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor. Not only for live and studio work, but also for the composition of the songs. Albums such as New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and especially Sparkle In The Rain reflect the talent of this group working as a song writing team.

Then, in 1996, the unthinkable happened with the return of Derek Forbes. And hopes were raised still further with Mel Gaynor resuming his drumming with the group for their 1997 and 1998 festival tours. But they were not included in the songwriting - Néapolis hosts a Kerr/Burchill writing credit, but expectation was high that Simple Minds were beginning to function as a group once more.

(Some even hoped for the return of Mick MacNeil from his musical wilderness. It did seem that anything was possible.)

So the events of the last few months, culminating with the Scotland Rocks For Kosovo concert, have left many fans questioning the nature of Simple Minds. The first news that Jim and Charlie were not working with Derek or Mel on the demos for the new album was a shock. Furthermore, the songwriting team was working with Kevin Hunter on the batch of demos, a name that many fans were unaware of. As Jim explained, new people working in the team offered new ideas and new perspectives. Indeed - a new sound? But with the enigmatic working titles appearing and Jim's enthusiasm with the new collection of songs, it sounded like the demos were coming along well.

When ideas of a May webcast were circulating (obviously preempted by the Scotland Rocks For Kosovo gig), Jim mentioned the new lineup. It was a shock when we finally discovered who was involved. Derek and Mel were not to be seen during the Simple Minds segment of the show: they played with Mark Kerr on drums and Eddie Duffy on bass.

More facts have emerged. The new album is being recorded by this line-up. Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor are not involved.

There could be many reasons. Mel in particular has been busy recording his solo album (he's wanted to write separately since 1988-89), and continuing his session work with live appearances with Robert Palmer. Perhaps Mel couldn't commit to the new Simple Minds schedule? Then again, nothing has been heard of from Derek - we all assumed he'd be working on the new album.

It's almost as if Simple Minds have combined with the seminal Sly-Silver-Sly. Both Kevin Hunter and Mark Kerr were involved with this new Glasgow band before becoming associated with Simple Minds. Charlie was supposed to be producing their debut album - have parts of those bands combined forces?

How does this hold for the future and the new album? Jim is very enthusiastic about the new album and I won't judge the new line-up until I hear it. Perhaps Derek and Mel will become involved with the post-album tour? Who knows?

The current feeling on the mailing list is one of anger and disbelief. What is going on with the band? Why aren't Derek or Mel involved? We don't want to return to the days of the Kerr/Burchill core with unfamiliar faces on keyboards, bass and drums.

The fact that neither Derek or Mel are not involved with the new album doesn't bode well with those who want a return to the 'classic' Simple Minds. But if this is the new direction that Jim and Charlie want to take the band, then so be it. I'm sure Jim has thought through the possible ramifications (and potential cries of "nepotism") when putting his brother behind the drumkit. Or the reaction of the fans when Derek Forbes is seemingly replaced by another.

I'm just going to wait and see what happens. Then I'll form opinions when I hear the new album, and when I see Simple Minds (in whatever form that takes) play live again.

The line-up for Monday's concert was:

Jim Kerr: Vocals
Charlie Burchill: Guitar
Mark Taylor: Keyboards
Mark Kerr: Drums
Eddie Duffy: Bass

Eddie Duffy is a young bass player from the Toryglen area of Glasgow and is apparently a friend of Mark Kerr's. Presumably this was the new line-up that Jim hinted at when there were plans for a May webcast (which never occurred).


Some Sweet Day 1999 takes place tomorrow. Good luck to Todd and Aaron and I hope everything goes well with this Simple Minds marathon. Unfortunately, it won't be webcast. "I'm really sorry for this, as I know a lot of SM fans from around the world were excited to hear the event, and to hear that an event like this did/does happen" - Todd.

The online flyer is here

More news has filtered through about the line-up of the band for this concert.

Jim and Charlie were joined on stage with long-time keyboard support from Mark Taylor, 'new' face Mark Kerr on drums (the role he played in G.U.N) and a (currently) unknown bass player.

What of Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor? It was speculated that Mel may not play due to other commitments - he's been playing drums for Robert Palmer. But both Derek and Mel turned up in an earlier group, bringing the roof down with a cover of Led Zepplin's classic Kashmir.

Derek was playing lead guitar instead of bass. Trivia fans will remember that he intended on returning to lead guitar whilst playing bass for Simple Minds in the very early days, but transfered to the bass after his guitar was stolen during the recording of the Chelsea Girl demo.

SECC The concert that everyone's been waiting for has finally taken place. Scotland Rocks For Kosovo featured Scotland's finest putting on a show for the refugees of Kosovo.

Simple Minds played the following set list:

Plus Jim could be heard in the finalé: all the artists of the evening got up to sing A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan and Give Peace A Chance by John Lennon. I don't know if Charlie was playing in the finalé's line-up.

A taster of the event was broadcast by BBC Radio Two (who were Simple Minds friendly which made a nice change) with presenter/interviewer Lynn "I'm looking forward to your new album" Parsons. She interviewed Jim backstage before the gig.

Apparently it was long-time Simple Minds friend and journalist Billy Sloan who organised the event in just six weeks. Jim recounted "The local newspaper was running a campaign. And one of our friends, Billy Sloan, wanted to raise some money... the day he called we were working on the new record. What can I do? We're idealists! When you get asked to do this, you can't say no."

Asked about playing in their hometown of Glasgow, Jim admitted "Simple Minds haven't done that many good gigs in Glasgow! There's family, friends... you're overwhelmed... somewhat in the past we've suffered. But Glasgow was the first to support us." In fact, Jim mentioned that they drove past the venue of Simple Minds' first gig on the way to the show: "Satellite City, a tacky disco upstairs at the legendary Glasgow Apollo" to quote Billy Sloan.

Interesting fact about the new album. It has no title. It's not called "Our Secrets Are The Same" nor "All Our Secrets Are The Same" or any other combination. Every day it's got a new title.

BBC Radio Two broadcast two songs from the gig (as they did for most artists). Alive And Kicking appeared in it's Néapolis-era guise with backing drone effects (debuted during the 1997 festival tour.) Don't You (Forget About Me) was much more interesting with a great opening from Charlie, and including keyboard and sonic effects. Unfortunately, the ending wasn't the great sing-a-long of old, but seemed to die out. Maybe the band were pressed for time.

Highlights of the other acts: A brave, interesting, and fullfilling acoustic version of Vienna by Midge Ure, and great sets by G.U.N and Big Country. In fact G.U.N were full of praise for Simple Minds: "The band took us in and put us on the support at Wembley with 70,000 people in the audience. Then they took us on the European Tour of the arenas." They also mentioned that it was the combination of Simple Minds and the event's organisers that persuaded them to reform.

The line-up and times of the performance of the concert are as follows:

TimeArtist
7:30Intro
7:35 - 7:55G.U.N
8:05 - 8:20Jimmy Somerville
8:30 - 8:50Teenage Fanclub
9:00 - 9:15Ricky Ross (Acoustic)
9:25 - 9:45Simple Minds
9:55 - 10:10Midge Ure (Acoustic)
10:20 - 10:50Big Country
10:50 - 10:55Finalé

BBC Radio 2 (88-90.2 MHZ) will be broadcasting highlights of the concert. (It looks like it's replaced Chaka Khan's original broadcast time slot which has been moved to the start of June.) The show starts at 10:30 (on Monday, 31st May) and is scheduled to finish at 12:00 PM. Get those tapes ready. (Online information for BBC Radio 2 here)

For those outside the UK, you may carry BBC Radio 2 as part of your cable or satellite package.

Those in Scotland are even more lucky, as BBC Radio Scotland will be broadcasting the entire concert. Check your copy of the radio listings for more details.


The Simple Minds 1999 Convention tickets are now on sale. The price is £10 sterling. Doors will open at on the day 1.00 PM and the event will finish at 10.15 PM (blame the closing times on England's arcane licensing laws.) Tickets will be available via post from Clive. His address is:

Clive Johnson
Cherry Tree Cottage
Bedchester
Shaftesbury
Dorset
SP7 0JU
UK
Tel: (01747) 812320

Payment details:
UK: Cheque or postal order
Rest Of The World: IMO (International Money Order), Eurocheque or bankers draft in pounds sterling
(Cash will be accepted but please send it as registered post)

All cheques and drafts to be made payable to Clive Johnson.

When writing to Clive, please enclose an SAE (Self Addressed Envelope) if writing from the UK, or two IRCs (International Reply Coupon - available from post offices) if you're writing from outside the UK.


Jim surprised us all with an interview on the BBC's sports radio channel BBC Radio Five. It was broadcast yesterday. Jim mentioned that he was currently busy setting up a record label (Mindmood?) and also a production company (Mindseye?)


Two new additions to the Marketplace: both Duncan Eyre and David Johnson are looking for Simple Minds items. Can you help out?

The online-flyer for this Simple Minds radio marathon can be found here. Co-host Todd Richards has a confirmed interview with Jim just before the event starts on June 3rd. Hopefully the Scotland Rocks For Kosovo event won't interefer with the timing of the interview.

A web-cast is still being worked on.

The event will cover the entire history of Simple Minds, featuring rare B-side and remixes alongside studio tracks and singles (with even live material from the short 1998 European Festival Tour.) Todd writes :"This should prove to be a great event. I've even had other fans offering to drive hundreds of miles to help me with the show!"

Further line-up details have been added to the Scotland Rocks For Kosovo concert. Joining Simple Minds will be Teenage Fan Club, Paul Buchanen (of The Blue Nile), Big Country, G.U.N (reforming for the event) and Jimmy Somerville. Other guests include Gail Porter, Johnathon Watson and McCoist And MacAulay.


Mel Gaynor has been spotted working with Robert Palmer. He was supplying the drumming for Palmer's appearance on Jools Holland's late-night music show last week. He will also be appearing behind the drum kit for Palmer on T.F.I Friday this Friday.
Simple Minds tour manager of the last decade, Stan Tippins, has been asked to manage the forthcoming Sade tour. Oft stated to be in retirement, Stan is apparently considering the job offer.
SECC Simple Minds will be playing live at the newly announced Scotland Rocks For Kosovo benefit concert. It's going to be held in Glasgow, at the SECC, on May 31st. This benefit gig for the refugees of Kosovo will involve Simple Minds with a host of other stars. Jimmy Sommerville and a reformed G.U.N have also been mentioned, but as of yet, many of the details of the concert are still very sketchy.

Despite currently working on the new album, the word from the Minds' camp is "they're going to do it." The number of songs to be played, and even the line-up of the band is unknown at this time.

Tickets are on sale now. They cost either £20.00 and £25.00 and are available from the SECC's box office: (0141) 287 7777. The SECC's web site is here. The postal address is : Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre, Finnieston St., Glasgow G3 8YW, Scotland.


BBC Logo The event coincides with the BBC's biggest ever live coverage of the 100 musical events occuring in Glasgow that week. The BBC have set up a web site to cover the events: BBC Music Live. The BBC describe it as "the UK's biggest broadcast live music festival - a six day celebration of musical diversity, live on stage, live on air and in Glasgow.."

There is no mention of Scotland Rocks For Kosovo. As it's only been recently announced, the BBC may not have had time to determine whether it will be broadcast (at the moment, they'll be broadcasting Chaka Khan from the SECC on that day). Keep an eye on this site, and the BBC's site, for possible details.


Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? Issue 8 Endless River Issue 10 New issues of Endless River and Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? are available.

Endless River looks back ten years to the Street Fighting Years, reviews some bootlegs and web sites, and reproduces a Mel Gaynor interview from a magazine interview. Similarly Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? has collected some magazine interviews from Mel Gaynor and Peter Walsh. It also includes an exclusive interview with Dougie Cowen, the band's technical guru, who "follows the band around the world putting plugs on things." And add to that all the latest news, reviews, discographies and bootlegs.

All issues of Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? will be sent out this weekend - flyers need to be added to include the details of the forthcoming concert.

Payment details can be found in the fanzine section.


Esprit, one of the best suppliers of second-hand, rare and deleted records, have recently donated some desirable Simple Minds records for the convention. All from the Néapolis era, their batch of items includes the 12" promos from War Babies (one of which includes two unreleased remixes), and the glossy round French promo of Glitterball. Check out the links to the right for their entries in the discography.

Of course, if you can't wait until the convention to get your hands on these, contact Esprit - they've always got lots of interesting items in stock.


On the subject of rare and desirable, Mallorca is selling some ultimate Simple Minds collectables. Acetates are metal discs, covered with shellac, and are used in recording studios as a quick way of pressing work-in-progress or completed works on disc. Mallorca is selling two acetates which were pressed at the Townhouse Studios - where the majority of Simple Minds records were recorded.

10" acetate: Promised You A Miracle (Live)/Book Of Brilliant Things (Live)
12" acetate: Promised You A Miracle (Live)/Book Of Brilliant Things (Live)/Glittering Prize (Live)/Celebrate (Live)

He also has a one-sided white-label test-pressing of the last disc of the Live In The City Of Light LP. Again, rare stuff!

The Breakfast Club The Breakfast Club will be shown on Wednesday 5th May on BBC1 at 11:40 PM. This John Hughes brat-pack film features Don't You (Forget About Me) as the film's title song. If you've never seen the film before, it's pretty good. Listen out for a different version of Don't You (Forget About Me) as the opening titles end and the narration at the start of the film starts.
The convention tickets will soon be on sale. The payment details are as follows:
UK: Cheque or postal order
Rest Of The World: Eurocheque or bankers draft in pounds sterling
(Cash will be accepted but please send it as registered post)

All cheques and drafts to be made payable to Clive Johnson.

(See the news for April 25th for the address.)


Jim's just sold his Dublin house to an unidentified buyer. Apparently it's been the most expensive property sale in Ireland in 1999.

Rumour has it that fellow resident Chrysalis recording artist Robbie Williams was interested in the property. If so, maybe Chrysalis could start working as an estate agent, arranging house swaps between the artists on the label!

Todd Richards, presenter at WBWC 88.3FM, The Sting has now confirmed a date for the forthcoming Simple Minds radio marathon. "I am proud to announce the offical date of Some Sweet Day '99. On Thursday June 3rd, 1999, WBWC 88.3FM, The Sting will again air 18hrs of Simple Minds music. As part of the 1999 Summer Marathon Series, Some Sweet Day '99 will be hosted by myself, Aaron Burke, and many of our fellow fans of the Minds. I am still waiting to hear from Jim Kerr on an interview for the event, but things look good!"

"As if this wasn't enough, Portions of Some Sweet Day '99 will be recorded and sent to the 1999 Simple Minds convention in August to be aired there."

Todd is also looking into an online webcast of the event, but that's not been confirmed at this time. However an online playlist of the songs, albums and other information will be made available.


The Simple Minds 1999 Convention tickets will go on sale in mid-May, with a price confirmed at £10 sterling. Doors will open at 1.00 PM and the event will finish at 10.15 PM (blame the closing times on England's arcane licensing laws.) Tickets will be available via post from Clive. His address is:

Clive Johnson
Cherry Tree Cottage
Bedchester
Shaftesbury
Dorset
SP7 0JU
UK

Please send no money now - this site will be updated when you can send the money. When writing to Clive, please enclose an SAE (Self Addressed Envelope) if writing from the UK, or an IRC (International Reply Coupon - available from post offices) if you're writing from outside the UK.


Tonight is Annie Night on Radio One. The station is honouring their first woman DJ who has been fighting for real rock over the past 25 years.

It was Annie who hosted The Old Grey Whistle Test when Simple Minds made their television debut in 1979 with Life In A Day. It was Annie's request show on Sunday evenings that became compulsive listening. She played Simple Minds almost every show, and is responsible for my first interest in the band.

She also presented The Street Fighting Years, a radio documentary on the band which was broadcast in summer 1989. This show turns up on the two cassette tapes in the Street Fighting Years box set.

Many artists are playing tribute to her. I don't know if Jim or Charlie will appear, or if any Simple Minds songs will be featured, but I've no doubt that it will be a great selection of shows.

The shows start at 9:00 PM and runs through to 1.00 AM.


The results of the UK Music New Media Awards, the Oscars for the best music sites on the Internet, have now been announced. These awards are organised by dotmusic, the insider's guide to UK music, and it was with them that you could register votes for this site.

With 948 sites registered, and 30,000 votes, this site made it into the Top 200 Internet music sites. It's actual placing was at 114 - so thanks to all those who voted and showed support.

So recent poster to the Néapolis mailing list recently caused a stir by posting information that seemed, on the surface, to be inside knowledge about the band's activities. His appearance on the list was dramatic - a first time poster correcting a leak of information, a poster who implied that he worked in the record company, a poster who knew enough about Simple Minds to weave in a series of falsehoods and lies.

We fell for it. Why? Because he knew enough about the band to be convincing and he posted exactly what we wanted to hear. Of course, Jim does write for simpleminds.com and they do update every two months or so, but being typical fans, we always want more.

The false information has appeared on almost every unofficial Simple Minds website and had started to filter into the fanzines. Luckily, Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? #8 is going to the printers this week - I have time to amend it. It's not so lucky for other fanzines who have already published.

As for the dynamic nature of the web, I can just remove the false information. But that would allow the myths and falsehoods to circulate and multiply. Therefore all false information on this news page is rendered as red text. This web site is a reference - to both true and false information. It will be kept on site to debunk it.

To summarize:
The list of demo titles was made up.
The producer of the new album is still unknown
The proposed compilation album Simple Minds Singles Collection 79-99 was a myth.
Jim and Charlie are not huge Tortoise or Mogwai fans
There is no single planned before the summer

Dave Kelly, who has formed a Simple Minds tribue band for the forthcoming convention recently posted a request to the Néapolis mailing list. He's going to have to re-advertise for a guitarist and maybe a drummer.

"Just a slight setback in that our guitarist has pulled out because he has to work in the USA in the summer. Also I am trying to negotiate with the drummer to stay on. He was a friend of the guitarist and says it would cost too much regards travelling etc.

It's probably come at the worst time as now is the time to start rehearsing.

If anyone missed my original e-mail I am looking for a guitarist and maybe a drummer. I am based in Rochdale (Lancs), the bass player is based in Gateshead and the singer is based in Preston (Lancs). You will need to good enough to fit in straight away, as I plan to carry on as normal and start rehearsing."

As I pointed out to Dave, it took Simple Minds a while to get their line-up completed! If you can help out Dave, e-mail him at DKelly2368@aol.com. (See news of the 13th January for more information.)


Zero has created a Simple Minds web site with a difference. Using the latest photomontage software, he's created a selection of photographs and logos of the band from hundreds of smaller images. Some of the pictures are produced from the cover artwork and pictures on this web site.

Surf over to http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Vine/3137/photom/montage.htm and follow the links to Pictures and then Music. The Simple Minds collections can be found in the top left-hand frame.

Expect a new Simple Minds single before the summer! Simple Minds' sound is now described as "post-rock influenced: Jim and Charlie have become huge Tortoise and Mogwai fans."

(Perhaps the new single could be Hello, the song that's already been finished from the Our Secrets Are The Same sessions. See the news from 28th February for more info.)


Last year, Todd Richards co-hosted a Simple Minds radio marathon broadcast on WBWC 88.3 FM The Sting located near Cleveland in the USA. (See then entries for 19th August 1998 - 24th August 1998.) The show, called Some Sweet Day lasted eighteen hours and touched every part of the band's back catalogue.

Another Simple Minds marathon is planned for this year. Todd hopes to hold the show in late May or early June. It will feature another huge show featuring nothing but Simple Minds but there are further exciting plans to make it bigger and better than last year. Once these have been confirmed, they will be posted on this site. Details of the previous show can be found at http://runninglate.freeservers.com/simpleminds.html


Simple Minds Greatest Hits Simple Minds Hit Collection Plans for a Simple Minds compilation album have been shelved. The proposed Simple Minds: Singles Collection 79-99 promised to release all the band's 7" releases in one package, a celebration of the band's 20 year history. Unfortunately, EMI weren't behind the idea, so it's been dropped.

So that means that 20th annniversary of the release of Life In A Day will be marked by nothing official.

On the subject of compilation albums, a really dodgy looking collection of songs has appeared as Simple Minds Hit Collection 1980-1995. It turned up in a market, and whilst the CD itself appears professional, the cover is of dubious quality (borrowing heavily from Good News From The Next World artwork.) It's probably a bootleg, or a poor foreign pressing (much like Billboard's The Greatest Hits Of Simple Minds).

Hit Collection 1980-1995 (Jewelcase CD WH-19950412-1)
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Alive And Kicking
Waterfront
See the lights
Sanctify Yourself
Belfast Child
Love Song
All the Things She Said
Promised You A Miracle
Ghostdancing
Speed Your Love To Me
Glittering Prize
Let There Be Love
She's A River
Hypnotised
7 Deadly Sins
(It looks like a mangled European version of Glittering Prize 81/92 with a couple of Good News From The Next World tracks.)


Last year, you could vote for this site at Dotmusic's UK Music New Media Awards. Although I didn't win anything, I've been told that the site received a substantial number of votes. Thanks for all those who gave their support last year!

It's voting time again. If you enjoy this site, then please click the button below to register your support for Dream Giver in the Reader's Choice Category.


Check out the Marketplace. New additions have been made to the For Sale and Wanted sections.
Finally, some definitive news about the convention! Shaun and Clive checked out and booked the venue this last weekend.

Simple Minds Convention 1999
Camden Underworld, Camden, North London, UK
August 1st, 1999

More information about the convention and the events planned will be posted in the months leading up to the event. Tickets will be on sale soon, and the price is expected to be in the region of £10.00 sterling.

Unfortunately, due to the licensing at the Underworld, they can only admit people over the age of 18.


A new bootleg from the 1998 summer shows is now circulating. Like the previous tour bootleg Ice To The Skies this bootleg has been issued on CDRs. Step Back To The Past is a double CD set and features the following set list:
Step Back To The Past (Digipak LZCD 065/066)
War Babies
Up On The Catwalk
30 Frames A Second
Colours Fly And Catherine Wheel
She's A River
See The Lights
Glitterball
Tears Of A Guy
Superman V Supersoul (Called Superman V Supergirl on the sleeve!)
New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84)
Someone Somewhere In Summertime
Big Sleep
Hypnotised
Let There Be Love
Waterfront
Don't You (Forget About Me)
Love Song
Belfast Child
Alive And Kicking
War Babies*
Glitterball*
Don't You (Forget About Me)*
Belfast Child*
The majority of the songs were recorded at the concert at the Forum, Milan (2nd June 1998) with the remainder (marked with *) recorded at Laterano in Rome (1st May 1998). Both concerts are audience recordings with the Milan show being of higher quality than the Rome recording.
Jim is being interviewed on Radio Five Live today. He's appearing on the show Dream Teams at 9:40 PM tonight. (Not Tuesday as I previously, mistakenly stated.) The BBC's listing for the radio station is here.

Luckily, for non-UK residents, the show is being broadcast using RealAudio here.

Celtic or Liverpool?

That was the question being asked yesterday, when it was reported that the consortium had shifted their interest from Celtic to Liverpool. This is what the press were saying today:

No Reds Takeover, Insists Kerr
Kenny Dalglish's consortium has distanced itself from speculation linking the former Kop idol with an Anfield takeover, as has the club itself.
A Liverpool statement read: "Liverpool FC has had no approaches from anyone wanting to buy the club."
And Dalglish's rock star pal Jim Kerr added: "We haven't gone to Liverpool. We remain convinced we have something to offer Celtic."
Liverpool's major shareholder is chairman David Moores, who owns 58 per cent of the shares.
The club has 31,300 shares that are currently valued at £4,000 each, which puts the value on the club at around £125million.
But Moores is unlikely to be interested in selling.
Dalglish, who still lives in Southport, said: "I know nothing about this at all."
"David Moores has been magnificent to Liverpool FC. If there is any position he deserves to hold, it is as chairman. If he thinks I can be of any help then I'm sure he would ask."

Shaun and Clive will be travelling to London on Saturday to check out the potential venue for the convention. A location had been selected previously, but fell through (they were given some incorrect information about the availability and prices.)

Expect some definite convention news soon.

The official site, simpleminds.com, was recently updated with news of the first completed song from the new studio album. On a trip to the USA to discuss finance with US investors (all part of the ongoing Celtic activities), Jim ended up finishing a song called Hello. This involved communicating over the Atlantic with Charlie, who was back at Jim's highland residence. (For all the details, check out the news section of the official site... and then come back here.)


Simple Minds: Current studio album.

Working title: Our Secrets Are The Same
Proposed release date: September 1999

Demos completed:
The Lights Pour
Hello
Gone Too Far
I Woke Up
Christians
Waterfalls
All Our Secrets Are The Same
Black Angel
You
The Sound Of The Streets
Once Again
True Story
The Loch

Note: Some demo titles mentioned in previous updates (such as Thin Girl and Traffic) have been dropped.

The Lights Pour is very similar to a Magazine song: The Lights Pour Out Of Me. Similarly the title of Black Angel reminds me of Black Angel's Death Song by The Velvet Underground.

Traditionally, this is normally a very quiet period for Simple Minds. But a recent posting to the Néapolis mailing list gave out all the information. See the sidebar for more information.

The album will be recorded over two months from mid-April to mid-June. The band will be working at Glasgow's Ca Va studios, working with producer Stephen Lipson (Street Fighting Years and Real Life) with mixing provided by Charlie and Peter Walsh (New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) and Néapolis.) Ca Va has a long history for the band: they recorded their first demos there (some of which were released on The Early Years 1977-78 last year) plus mixed/recorded some of the Real Life album.

The line-up will include Derek Forbes and Mel Gaynor. Kevin Hunter has been involved in the demo work, providing backing vocals and second guitar, but his involvement with the forthcoming recordings is unsure. (I've just completed an interview with Kevin for Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? #9.)

The original poster suggested that Brian McGee was back with the band instead of Mel Gaynor. Incorrect - this was confusion with Brian's involvement with Simple Minds for the Néapolis demos in 1996. More information has surfaced about Brian's involvement with this phase of the band.

Brian McGee 1998 British tabloid The Sun published an interview with Brian on October 30th, 1998, under a headline of Out Of Our Tiny Minds. It 'revealed' the truth behind the band, but actually turned out to be a very interesting interview with Brian McGee: not only was Simple Minds covered but his work in Propaganda and his new band Unfinished Business. "If Jim asked me to do the the next Minds album I'd say no. I'm still pally with Jim but I could never go through that again.."


News has also recently surfaced about a potential new compilation album for the band. Chrysalis/EMI are proposing a singles collection with the title Simple Minds: Singles collection 79-99. Obviously such a project needs Virgin's clearance, but if all goes well, this album should be released in April. The record company are thinking of releasing a remixed version of I Travel (again!) or New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) as a single to advertise the album.


Information has also been filtering out about Simple Minds touring plans after the completion of Our Secrets Are The Same. A webcast has been proposed for May: this would debut the album to the world months before the release date. Plans include holding the event at Jim's house or at Ca Va studios. Details will be posted here when they are available.

Additionally it looks like the band will tour the USA after the completion of the album. Simple Minds haven't played in America since the Good News From The Next World tour. Additional dates for the rest of the world will be probably announced nearer the time: expect more gigs in 2000.


Smiling In Tonight The next round of Once Upon A Time bootlegs have been reviewed and uploaded - you'll find them in the discography section. They represent a mixed selection in terms of quality. Never Look Back and Ghostdancing aren't bad, but the quality and contents of the other three are definitely lacking.

Expect more Once Upon A Time bootlegs soon - this will include one of the ultimate bootlegs, the Silver And Gold box set.

These bootlegs are reviewed in the bootleg section.


Finally, have you ever wanted to own the Néapolis press kit: round film tin (11" diameter, 2" depth) filled with promotional goodies? There's one up for auction in the Marketplace, plus loads of other Simple Minds collectables (test pressings and autographed items.) Check out Guido's auction here.
Jim was recently interviewed on Radio Five Live, the UK's sports radio channel. The main conversation was based on the Celtic Consortium, although there was some Simple Minds news. Fifteen songs have been demoed, the album will be recorded and finished off between April and May, and it will be released in September.

Hardly anyone heard the interview as it wasn't widely publicized. When I asked Jim about this, he wrote: "The interviews that concern Celtic are often quite spontaneous or else recorded without us knowing when they will go out - at most I decide to do them one day in advance and usually they are reactive to some development within the Celtic soap opera." As the story is expected to continue, keep an eye on the back pages of the papers, and listen to the sports channels.

Jim also asked everyone to bombard the Celtic Official Site with support for him. "Free seats for all next season! Honest!"


Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? issue eight is almost finished. It's publication has been put back so I can include the latest information about the convention. Shaun Tranter and Clive Johnson are visiting places in London this weekend - hopefully a venue and date will be announced soon!


Scott Shelley is selling a promotional US Real Life set. It's the album and two promotional CD singles in a small autograph style book. Check out the Marketplace for more information.

Endless River issue 9 There's news about two films involving the music of Simple Minds. The first, Sawdust Tales should be familar to followers of the band through 1996-97. Simple Minds contributed If I Had Wings from Néapolis to the soundtrack of this German film. More information about the production can be found here. I believe this will be the last word on the film; it didn't get massive distribtion, and I don't know of anyone who's seen it.

Easier to track down is The Siege (starting Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis) which is currently showing. Great Leap Forward (from Good News From The Next World) can be heard in the background during a bar scene.


Issue nine of Endless River is now out. This comes highly recommended as it features a great exclusive interview with Derek Forbes which took place during the Néapolis summer tour. There's more about the fanzine in the Fanzine Section

Dave Kelly is considering forming a tribute band for the forthcoming convention. Dave writes :

"I have volunteered to form a tribute band for a one-off performance at the Simple Minds convention. So over the next few months I will be asking for possible band members.

I play keyboards and guitar but would prefer to be "The Man in the Sky." That means I'm looking for a drummer, bass, guitar and of course a budding Jim Kerr.

This is a serious announcement for serious musicians as you will be playing in front of Minds fans and you will need your own instruments and P.A. Ideally I would like to choose from the Manchester and North West England area. I will be advertising this locally as well. This makes sense for rehersal reasons. Unless there is a good way of communicating, after all this is the age of Technology.

The set (approx 15) will be from the following songs:
Chelsea Girl
Wasteland
Pleasantly Disturbed
Garden of Hate
Special view
Scar
Room
I Travel
Love Song
The American
This Earth That You Walk Upon
In Trance as Mission
Big Sleep
Someone Somewhere
Colours fly
Promised You a Miracle
Glittering Prize
Up on Catwalk
Book of Brilliant Things
Waterfront
Speeds Your Love To Me
East at Easter
Street Hassle
Kick Inside of Me
Once Upon a Time
Ghostdancing
Alive and Kicking
Sanctify Yourself
Come Along Way
Don't You
New Gold Dream '87
Street Fighting Years
Soul Crying Out
This Is Your Land
Belfast Child
Real Life
See The Lights
Let There Be Love
She's a River
Hypnotised
Great Leap Forward
War Babies
Glitterball

If anyone has the energy then please E-mail me.

REM - Up Album Questions were recently asked about the similarity between a classic Simple Minds instrumental called Film Theme (from the band's second album Real To Real Cacophony) and a track on the new R.E.M. album Up called Suspicion.

I can understand the comparisions. R.E.M's song begins with percussion very similar to the intro to Film Theme and both songs feature a melancholy melody performed on similar instruments. But it's there that any similarities end; both songs are, apart from these coincidences, very different.

Not a bad album though!


Questions were also asked about Andy Duncan, the percussion player on the Street Fighting Years tour and the Real Life album. Andy's name has recently turned up on Robbie Williams' new album I've Been Expecting You. But there's no mention of the song that Robbie Williams and Mark Taylor were writing together (perhaps it never really got past the hotel jam session.)


Some great new items are up for grabs in The Marketplace. Greg Torrington has a small list of rare items including a Once Upon A Time CD signed by Jim.
A recent topic of discussion on the Néapolis mailing list was Kevin Hunter - a new collaborator with Jim and Charlie working on the new album. Although information about Kevin Hunter is scarce, the following appears in Who's Doing The Dreaming Now? issue seven:

"Kevin's name turns up on albums as diverse as Sheryl Crow, Lush (Spooky album) and Storyville (Dog Years album)."


At the end of January, the venue for the forthcoming Simple Minds convention will be announced. Shaun Tranter and Clive Johnson will be checking out locations around London later this month. Once they've settled on somewhere to hold the event, a definitive date should be forthcoming.

Are you in a Simple Minds tribute band? Or do you know of one? The organisers would like to book a band for the convention. Obviously the group must be able to travel to London in the Autumn, but if you know of anyone then contact Shaun or Clive.


The Early Years 1977-78 Be careful if you're offered a copy of The Early Years 1977-78. This CD of demo recordings by Johnny And The Self Abusers and Simple Minds appeared briefly in March last year, but was quickly withdrawn.

Now bootleg versions are starting to circulate. I've not seen a bootleg copy, but I expect it's pressed on CDR. The originals are pressed on silver CD, housed in a jewelcase and feature an essay by Billy Sloan in the booklet.

The Early Years 1977-78 is sadly still deleted - final clearance is still being worked on.


Do you have the "green-screen-blues" with simpleminds.com? If you access the site, and the first enhanced page is just bright green, then you'll have to update your version of Shockwave. Simply repeat the installation of Shockwave (using the link from the official site) and all should be well.

simpleminds.com has been updated recently and features Jim's thoughts on 1998.

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