You can never go back. So why would you even attempt?
Then again, although you cannot turn back time, you can still revisit places that hold some significance personally.
Once there, it might be easier to recall pasts events by walking the very same steps, sensing a return to what once was
as you now reflect on changes in the world that surround you, and the changes within likewise.
I suppose that was my thinking earlier this year when I checked into the very same, small, one bedroom hotel room, that I last
spent time in way back in May 1985.
Back then I was struggling to finish off many of the lyrics to the songs that eventually appeared on our most successful album,
Once Upon A Time.
Having become a father for the first time only weeks before, my attention had been more on family throughout the previous
months. And then suddenly feeling the pressure with studio time now booked in London and New York for the following month, I needed
to isolate myself in order to first focus, and then deliver on the completion of a bunch of new tunes awaiting lyrics and vocal melodies.
Our increasingly nervous producer, Jimmy Iovine, was also piling pressure.
Convinced that Simple Minds were about to "Crack it...Big Time",
Jimmy was rarin' to go. The only thing holding us back he declared, barking down the
phone on a daily basis with his Brooklyn, New York, Italian- American accent - was me?
"Where are these f*cking songs Jim?" he'd boom.
"Clearmountain and me have been waiting' for weeks."
"Why is it every lyric writer I work with is a liar? All of you, always late. Always making lame excuses?" "Well, they'd better be as
good as you said they would Jim."
They'II f*cking have to be if you want to go one better than that Keith Forsey crap that you
are sittn' at the top of the Billboard charts with right now?"
I still miss Jimmy. His bullying. His wisdom. His "It's us against the world" mentality.
In any case, the strategy more than worked. Alive And Kicking,
All The Things She Said,
Oh Jungleland, are among some of the songs that materialised during a 10 day
period where I stared incessantly out at a sky blue horizon. Listening daily, and for hours on end, to a cassette full of new
Simple Minds ideas.
But that was then. And this is now!
And yet almost 32 years later, the idea of revisiting that same little room and locking myself inside those same four walls, with a view
to finishing yet another collection of new Minds tunes - had taken on an increasingly curious dimension.
Would it all click and fall into place for me again just as it did eons ago? Or was I merely over indulging my superstitious nature,
within a still beautiful coastal city that had brought me so much luck previously?
Signal And The Noise is the result of my revisit.
31st December 2017