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GOLDEN TICKET
You know that old expression?
Used when something extra good has materialised out of the blue. Could be that a thing or an event has unfolded, leaving no thought possible other than that the stars have aligned and luck’s flickering light has surprisingly landed right there and then on you!

In pastimes whenever that occurred, it was almost guaranteed that a family member or friend might approach and with wide eyes state.
“Wow! You got the golden ticket with that!”

In doing so they’d selflessly ignore that luck’s glances had possibly passed them by at that moment - en route to me perhaps?
They’d be happy all the same, as I would be for them in the reverse situation. And all would be happier still, sensing that this mysterious thing called luck seemingly existed at all.

Over the years more than a fair share of golden tickets have ended up in my now fleshy palms. This I know.
The latest example, involving work, turned up only a couple of days ago.

As luck would have it. I had just that very minute returned home and was perched on the bottom step of the staircase loosening the laces on my shoes. Meanwhile from the floor above where a home studio is situated, I could hear Charlie Burchill mess around with an unfamiliar piano melody.

From what I could guess, it had to be one of those new song ideas that he had mentioned earlier that morning? A beautifully energetic tune, both sad and uplifting at the same time, it had “Charlie greatness” instantly written all over it. It also just happened to fit perfectly in rhythm and mood with a series of words that only minutes earlier, while out walking and thinking, I had earmarked as being full of potential for the creation of certain type of new song.

Never for a second was I thinking that only minutes later Charlie would gift me an idea so potent and perfectly suited, that it would have been worth dreaming about.
And yet, he had done that and so much more. Leaving me in no doubt that my songwriting luck had in no way run its course, and that another “golden ticket” had possibly found its way to my door?

On a different train of thought. I recall when as a six year old being taken for the first time to our local library in Govanhill, Glasgow. Situated minutes from Holy Cross Primary School, and a couple of streets away from the street where we then lived. The library had been gifted to the city by the then world’s wealthiest man, the Scotsman, Andrew Carnegie,
and a recent visit to the famous Carnegie Hall concert venue in Manhattan, New York, had triggered the thought of how much I owed Carnegie for his act of generosity.

Registering as a young member of Govanhill library, Dad had pointed out that I now owned “a real golden ticket.“ Explaining further that by having access to the contents of a huge library, I was one of the “luckiest kids in the world.”

He could not have been more correct.
It was many of those Govanhill library books that first fed my childish imagination. And that same imagination, built up over decades, allows me now, even when I am sitting untying my shoes, to still be creating new songs for Simple Minds.

www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSA00853

www.carnegiehall.org
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GOLDEN TICKET
You know that old expression?
Used when something extra good has materialised out of the blue. Could be that a thing or an event has unfolded, leaving no thought possible other than that the stars have aligned and luck’s flickering light has surprisingly landed right there and then on you!

In pastimes whenever that occurred, it was almost guaranteed that a family member or friend might approach and with wide eyes state. 
“Wow! You got the golden ticket with that!”

In doing so they’d selflessly ignore that luck’s glances had possibly passed them by at that moment - en route to me perhaps? 
They’d be happy all the same, as I would be for them in the reverse situation. And all would be happier still, sensing that this mysterious thing called luck seemingly existed at all. 

Over the years more than a fair share of golden tickets have ended up in my now fleshy palms. This I know.
The latest example, involving work, turned up only a couple of days ago. 

As luck would have it. I had just that very minute returned home and was perched on the bottom step of the staircase loosening the laces on my shoes. Meanwhile from the floor above where a home studio is situated, I could hear Charlie Burchill mess around with an unfamiliar piano melody. 

From what I could guess, it had to be one of those new song ideas that he had mentioned earlier that morning? A beautifully energetic tune, both sad and uplifting at the same time, it had “Charlie greatness” instantly written all over it. It also just happened to fit perfectly in rhythm and mood with a  series of words that only minutes earlier, while out walking and thinking, I had earmarked as being full of potential for the creation of certain type of new song.

Never for a second was I thinking that only minutes later Charlie would gift me an idea so potent and perfectly suited, that it would have been worth dreaming about.
And yet, he had done that and so much more. Leaving me in no doubt that my songwriting luck had in no way run its course, and that another “golden ticket” had possibly found its way to my door?

On a different train of thought. I recall when as a six year old being taken for the first time to our local library in Govanhill, Glasgow. Situated minutes from Holy Cross Primary School, and a couple of streets away from the street where we then lived. The library had been gifted to the city by the then world’s wealthiest man, the Scotsman, Andrew Carnegie, 
and a recent visit to the famous Carnegie Hall concert venue in Manhattan, New York, had triggered the thought of how much I owed Carnegie for his act of generosity.

Registering as a young member of Govanhill library, Dad had pointed out that I now owned “a real golden ticket.“ Explaining further that by having access to the contents of a huge library, I was one of the “luckiest kids in the world.” 

He could not have been more correct.
It was many of those Govanhill library books that first fed my childish imagination. And that same imagination, built up over decades, allows me now, even when I am sitting untying my shoes, to still be creating new songs for Simple Minds.

https://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSA00853

https://www.carnegiehall.org

 

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Thank goodness for musicians and authors, to have the ability to work on someone’s mood and imagination, especially a children’s author, to be able to take a child’s mind into another world, a new adventure. I was a real bookworm when I was young, one of my favourite books was The Secret Garden. Then taking my own children to the library when they were young. One of the best things a parent can do is introduce them to the world of books and music. You and Charlie definitely have a special bond, you both won a golden ticket all those years ago when you met up!

Jim, I’m from Chattanooga, Tn and today I attended a Christian music festival with my wife called JFest. My wife has a love of Christian music, me sorta but I have a love of music overall. Imagine my surprise when a band called Building 429 ended their set with a Minds Classic (Don’t You) Forget About Me. Would have been much better if it had been you guys, but was the highlight of my day! Cheers!

One of my favorite songs ever. The library is wonderful, it allows you to read and dream of places you've maybe never been, to learn about people, and their adventures in life. What a gem. It's so cool to hear that you and Charlie are creating new music, your friendship is sweet. I am at the beach for my birthday. The beach, and a new Simple Minds post. Life is Good. ☺️

🎼 Jim. I Love every detail in this adventure of your life and times you share and what is also to me a golden ticket is when that very thing happens, when, well for me doing something like tying shoe lace and something happens at the same time that is going to be birthed or life changing and you really remember that exact moment when it happened because you were " tying or untying your shoe" that's a golden ticket right there never to be forgotten, those very simple things in life that are the very best in a lifes moment in time, like for instance " I remember the very first time I heard sense of discovery, I had hurried to the park during work hours where I couldnt be interrupted by anyone, and my golden ticket remembering the exact spot I was in the moment the very first notes played after your interview on the radio, that was a best perfect moment and I began pulling out of the driveway to get back to my office while the rest of the song played and there were no interruptions. Truly lovely words 💕 🎼🎶 let the music play, I'm so excited 😘 iv been thinking everyday " they must be writing" cant wait to here the song. 😚💃

I love your stories Jim but I am so excited to learn that you & Charlie are writing new songs. Anticipation!!!

Bloody Awesome !! :) it almost feels as good as winning the lottery hearing these news haha :) <3 <3 Well done you two !! it's worth celebrating with something special not only for the good news but also for that mystical, outstanding, very special link, that you & Charlie share.... it's just so very special ! Perfect synchronicity..... it's a smile-giver 😘😘

Charlie messing around with unfamiliar piano melodies sounds very interesting. ☺ I will try to get one of those golden tickets next week (and I hope I am lucky). Happy weekend to you and Charlie and the rest of the gang. ☺

Books were my golden tickets as a child - I lost myself in them for hours, re-read them over and over, learned a huge amount from them that I wouldn't have otherwise. Loved my Secret Seven books at that age too 🙂 These days I still borrow 2 books from my local library every week, so glad to have one just 10 minutes walk from my house 👍 Very much looking forward to hearing more of this "Charlie greatness" combined with the serendipity of your lyrics 😎🤩

Golden Tickets. Golden stories that you wove together so beautifully.

We didn't have much money as kids ....not that we knew that but Dad would take me to the library in the centre of Cambridge.....who knew you could get books for free and change them every week, I read every famous five book, swallows and amazons and more.....it opened my mind to chance, adventure, romance, travel and more.....now as I'm about to hit my 50th I still read every day without fail, both my kids read and it's the biggest gift of love you can receive....my personal golden ticket!

Takes me back to when I first watched the film-Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory when Charlie found his Golden Ticket in his chocolate bar. I assure you when I get my ticket for a SM concert it always feels Golden to me-its a Glittering Prize,that’s mine,and SM gigs always are Golden because for one I love to see my band and two my band loves seeing us fans and perfoming 120% for us Thankyou ⭐️❤️⭐️

Many a happy day I spent in Govanhill library Enid Blyton then Science fiction.

Lovely thoughts, something all of us should consider especially when life seems to seeping a huge weight of lead into your stomach. Those thoughts being, we all receive, find earn, win golden tickets in our lives. They are usually for things you cant buy! Like my walk this morning in the sun drenched Scottish Border hills accompanied by four crazy collies, who make me laugh every day as we perch high each morning, staring down at the river Tweed and just drift away....

Hope it's as good as 'Book Of Brilliant Things'...... maybe a name for the new Burchill/Kerr Library when it's finished :-)

I think i had my best Golden ticket with Simple Minds several years back, happy memories ! 😊

Thank you for sharing your Golden Ticket with us.

I can still remember the feeling of anticipation, sitting on the bus, on the way to our local library after school. Those weekly book selections were mulled over several times before the final choice was made. I’m sure your joint songwriting collaborations result in many songs also being mulled over before a final track listing is decided. Looking forward to hearing your new songs with as much anticipation as a childhood visit to the library!

Yet another great write up Jim. Very enjoyable to read these stories that are part of your life journey, and it's all very much a journey. Also, I love a good library, have a good one here in Ipswich Queensland but still miss the old library in my old home town

As poetic a piece of prose as any lyric you have written! I doff my hat,Mr Kerr!

Jim, your father was the one who handed you the key, to get the golden ticket. By spending quality time with you as a child, he gave you the ticket for success and the courage to explore the universe!

Love this story. My Dad and I write together and quite often “go for a walk” mid session. It always clears the mind and by the time we get back the creative fog has lifted and we know exactly what’s needed next. Fresh air definitely = fresh ideas!

Nicely told Jim. 'Book of Brilliant Things' came to mind as I was reading this over... I'm just getting my day started here in Toronto... looks like ive got a great start to a great day... loved reading this! Very inspirational.

CHARLIE AND JIM " MY OPINION THERE'S GOLD FEELING SPECIAL IN THE WORDS AND THE SOUND ' THIS WAS IS MY GOLDEN TICKETS EVERY CONCERT EVERY SONG - FACT IS CHARLIE AND JIM WORKED IT OUT BECOMING THE " BEST SONG WRITER'S SIDE BY SIDE IN THIS WORLD - ALL THE WORDS AND THE MUSIC TELLS THIS OUTRIGHT

I have a collection of special Golden Tickets of my own and they are all from going to your amazing gigs since 1989! Every ticket to see you is a Golden Ticket to me and will always be! ⭐️❤️⭐️

Yet another lovely story. Its time for that book Jim. 🎸🎸🎸

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FIVE MINUTES TO GLORIA!
I slept the sleep of a thousand sleeps. When I woke the sun was shining and the first thought going through my head was
“OK. It’s six months since Simple Minds tour came to end. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about getting back out and playing some music?“

8 hours sleep is a vast amount. Rarely does it happen. Of course I had some intervals during the night when I became conscious for a minute or so - here and there. Each time that happened last night, I had the potent music of John Lee Hooker in my head.

I suppose that was the connection that led me to think about playing live again? Because these days, it is always the sound of John Lee Hooker that we play over the P.A. during those final moments that lead to drifting on stage.
In particular JLH’s version of ‘Gloria’ performed with Van Morrison, is now our “call to arms.” Reminding us to ditch all thought of whatever has happened during that day, and use the next few minutes to concentrate on what is expected of us during the next hours on any given night in which we have the duty to perform. As I write this right now, I can hear the sound of our tour manger, pacing the corridor outside our dressing rooms, raising his voice as he warns.
"Five minutes to Gloria everybody. Let's go!!"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTiFinpXRcg

To my mind the loosely connected role of the “intro music” acts to replace the factory horn, or perhaps those shipyard sirens, characteristic of the industrial years of our childhood in Glasgow.
Although hardly musical, those discordant alerts reminded people - our people and our families - that it was time to go to work. Likewise, the role of the much sweeter church bells that called congregations to prayer.

John Lee Hooker was born at roughly the same period as my grandfather. He was the son of a sharecropper, my grandfather, the son of a miner. The effects of poverty and back breaking work is universal. Likewise the continual effect that comes with sound of blues music.
Seemingly some of us are born with a deeper connection to the blues, feeling like it was handed down.

It might not be so obvious to connect blues music to the sound of Simple Minds. But if you look underneath, you’d discover that the effect of the blues is written through our artistic genes. We took our name from Bowie's "Jean Genie" - while Bowie unashamedly ripped that riff from various blues standards. If you are going to steal, you should always steal from the best.

Going all the way back, you can hear blues reverberations on on our debut album - within the choruses of songs like Chelsea Girl and Pleasantly Disturbed. Decades later, you could still find bluesy echoes on some of our latest songs e.g. Walk Between Worlds, Barrowlands Star.
The technology involved has evolved, much like technology has within the roles of much of our lives. But the musical link that bridges what we do now - to the son of a sharecropper - is most definitely there. Should you go looking.

Much more than any other kind of music, I find a spiritual strength in blues music. At the core, that feeling of spirituality, is matched by a sexuality that although difficult to define, nevertheless gives the music its precious lifeblood. It’s human touch.

On the wall next to my kitchen table hangs three portraits.
Fats Domino. Mahalia Jackson. John Lee Hooker.
All Saints to me, and I can think of no better start to the morning than looking at them as I sip my first black coffee of the day.

Now! What was I saying again about it being time for Simple Minds to plan on getting back out and playing live?
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FIVE MINUTES TO GLORIA!
I slept the sleep of a thousand sleeps. When I woke the sun was shining and the first thought going through my head was 
“OK. It’s six months since Simple Minds tour came to end. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about getting back out and playing some music?“

8 hours sleep is a vast amount. Rarely does it happen. Of course I had some intervals during the night when I became conscious for a minute or so - here and there. Each time that happened last night, I had the potent music of John Lee Hooker in my head.

I suppose that was the connection that led me to think about playing live again? Because these days, it is always the sound of John Lee Hooker that we play over the P.A. during those final moments that lead to drifting on stage.
In particular JLH’s version of ‘Gloria’ performed with Van Morrison, is now our “call to arms.” Reminding us to ditch all thought of whatever has happened during that day, and use the next few minutes to concentrate on what is expected of us during the next hours on any given night in which we have the duty to perform. As I write this right now, I can hear the sound of our tour manger, pacing the corridor outside our dressing rooms, raising his voice as he warns. 
 Five minutes to Gloria everybody. Lets go!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTiFinpXRcg

To my mind the loosely connected role of the “intro music” acts to replace the factory horn, or perhaps those shipyard sirens, characteristic of the industrial years of our childhood in Glasgow. 
Although hardly musical, those discordant alerts reminded people - our people and our families - that it was time to go to work. Likewise, the role of the much sweeter church bells that called congregations to prayer.

John Lee Hooker was born at roughly the same period as my grandfather. He was the son of a sharecropper, my grandfather, the son of a miner. The effects of poverty and back breaking work is universal. Likewise the continual effect that comes with sound of blues music.
Seemingly some of us are born with a deeper connection to the blues, feeling like it was handed down.

It might not be so obvious to connect blues music to the sound of Simple Minds. But if you look underneath, you’d discover that the effect of the blues is written through our artistic genes. We took our name from Bowies Jean Genie - while Bowie unashamedly ripped that riff from various blues standards. If you are going to steal, you should always steal from the best.

Going all the way back, you can hear blues reverberations on on our debut album - within the choruses of songs like Chelsea Girl and Pleasantly Disturbed. Decades later, you could still find bluesy echoes on some of our latest songs e.g. Walk Between Worlds, Barrowlands Star.
The technology involved has evolved, much like technology has within the roles of much of our lives. But the musical link that bridges what we do now - to the son of a sharecropper - is most definitely there. Should you go looking.

Much more than any other kind of music, I find a spiritual strength in blues music. At the core, that feeling of spirituality, is matched by a sexuality that although difficult to define, nevertheless gives the music its precious lifeblood. It’s human touch.

On the wall next to my kitchen table hangs three portraits.
Fats Domino. Mahalia Jackson. John Lee Hooker.
All Saints to me, and I can think of no better start to the morning than looking at them as I sip my first black coffee of the day.

Now! What was I saying again about it being time for Simple Minds to plan on getting back out and playing live?

 

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Come to the United States! So today I was with my daughter who is 18. It was one of those 80 degree (f) days where the sun blankets you in it’s warmth and there is not a cloud in the sky...only a slight breeze. We take her Jeep with all the windows down and our dog to the country where we can just run free. We are blasting 80’s music and David Bowie “modern love” comes on. It was a perfect moment.

It‘s funny how you always seemed to be on tour until the very moment I became a fan (thanks to the flatmate Mel Sku) and decided I‘d love to see you live...🤣 don‘t worry, I do not take it personally, you guys definitely deserve the break! Reading that you begin contemplating a tour again, however, is music to my ears 🤗 hope to see you in the not too distant future, then.

Great words Jim and good to hear you are planning to get back on the road again. At the moment I am staying in your Hotel in Taormina at the moment for the second time and its lovely, the view tonight of Mt Etna with the snow in it is just breath taking and inspiring :-)

What a lovely positive post this morning ❤️ I play my Them / Van Morrison version of Gloria a lot, love it 💖 We are all looking forward to you guys being back on tour as much as you are, possibly even more 😁

Coming back to us in the US too, I hope. Happy Sunday! 🌻🌼🌞

Gmorning Jim... Music is alive in each of us, in any kind of variety. Blues, rock, soul...who cares? The important thing is to have it, to listen to it, to share it with other people.. And so it is with our Music...Simple Minds!! It’s growing inside us every day and it’s amazing how it can fill us in our single days. For sure Simple Minds Music has its influences, so other bands have.. God only knows how it makes feeling good.. Missing so much Simple Minds🙌🏼

JK you have me grooving this morning with that tune. The Blues definitely speaks from the soul, it speaks of stories of pain, heartache, struggle, and sometimes it's hot 🔥, like your song pick for the day. The other day, I had , It's not love, and tweet, tweet, tweet stuck in my head, lol. I adore your picture, it's very abstract, and I ❤️ kitties. Well, I better sell a few violins this week, looks like I may need to buy some front row tickets in the future. You made my Mother's Day even better. 🌹 I'm pretty sure you are going to blow up the Simple Minds New Gold Dreamers page into the Universe, with this glorious news.

My heart is beating so fast at the thought of an announcement! I started saving as soon as the last tour ended and made the decision not to go on holiday this year in order to see you as much as possible on the next tour. My walls are adorned with lots of memorabilia, mainly SM (and LB AKA JK) but a few others (Bowie, Cure, Numan, Beatles), I like to be reminded of the things and people that make me happy whichever room I’m in! Let’s hope it’s not too long before an announcement and we can all start making our travel plans to see the best band on earth!!! 🎶❤️🎶

Love your writings 🖤, can’t wait to see the Simple Minds in Holland ....

Wow to this post ! 💞I so love blues music too 😎 <3 You playing music ? all I have to say is Yeahhhhhhhh :) 😘 ps: wasn't the fats dominoe for your dad ? I guess he got one too ;) pps: about the fats domino painting : so flippin spooky story, I was thinking about that painting you had bought only 2 days ago, and I hadn't seen that post.... :O

GOOD NEWS from the next tour? Hope so. Take a great leap forward, hear your Big Music, Kick It In our minds, See the Lights onstage round The World Your Walk Upon, Boys from Brazil are waiting,who knows African Skies? After the Band played on and felt Alive n Kicking you can take a step back and Let it all come down into a New Gold Dream.

Love the photo - and with a cat! Looking forward to new music and a show some day!!

What a nice way to finish my day Jim reading your writings!!.. I live in France and have just celebrated my son’s 13th birthday ( Sean ) with my French/Spanish family that inherited me !... it’s windy here today along with a slowing sinking sun which is playing with the shadows around me !..after a great day and a few malts 🥃’s it’s great to sit back and reflect ! .. last time we saw you was in Nimes Jim , and you commented on our flag 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 high up in the stadium 🏟...lookingfoward to seeing you guys again!!...

I like that you avidly share how the Delta blues players and other early artistic influencer's drove your own appetite to learn that same craft thereby enriching the lives of those who follow your music.We also know of many other musicians who cite the influence of Simple Minds on their drive to make music, so you honor those that you hold in esteem by following in those same footsteps. ✌️

Jim in at a family party but when Jim shares some feelings I leave everyone 😂 .. did you change idea over the the new Springsteen song then 😊? Just saying..I miss you....(all...😉..!) .and ...well ...I'm sending you a silent kiss. Adri

We as Simple Minds fans always miss it when a Tour ends and can’t wait to see you all again! We are so blessed that you continue to make music and play live to us. I know it’s a two way thing-you make us happy and to see your faces on stage says a million words. We look forward to new material and also news of more live shows Thankyou Jim Love to you All ⭐️❤️⭐️

Please come back to the north east preferably Durham please please please

The 'call to arms' thing is spot on. Last night my band played the annual Bowie convention in Derby. On a whim I went for 'You belong in rock and roll' from the second Tin Machine album as an intro. We wandered on a bit too early.... and basically ended up conducting a mass singalong for two minutes, which focussed band and audience perfectly for what was to follow.....

I was only talking about you to my friend in the USA yesterday Jim! She was asking about any news on Simple Minds gigs/touring.... now I can tell her the best news in a long time! 😁😁😁

Take a holiday, some relaxed low key gigs around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. A new Bold dream but worth the imagination.

Funny.... I woke up with a thought in my mind... could this be a year that SM won't be touring?.... Love JLH ❤

The best news Jim, I’ve missed you please come to Melbourne ❤️

Hmmmm what is this ‘blues music’ you’re speaking of? Don’t think we know that stuff here in south Louisiana! 😂 Makes me happy to hear you brought a piece of New Orleans back home with you! C’est Bon! Have a great day, Jim 💜

Mr Kerr. I know you like the odd trip to Wales. You would normally aim for Cardiff, however, Swansea would love to welcome you. Will I be able to get my SM live fix in 2019? Or are you thinking next year?

Blues music, lovely sunshine leads the way to a good old bbq!! See you in dublin again some day slan x

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