Facebook

19 hours ago

Simple Minds Official

HAIL CAESAR!
Growing up as a football mad kid in Glasgow, it was inevitable that I would become a Celtic fan.
After all I was first taken to Celtic Park as a five year old, and was raised close enough to see the stadium floodlights in the distance from my bedroom window.

My parents were Celtic fans, and although Mum is no longer with us, Dad retains his passion for the club to this day. He rarely misses the opportunity to watch the team in action, and rarely does the team's progress - or lack of - not come up in the almost daily conversations we have.

Does that mean that we live up to the caricature of being averse to our city rivals Glasgow Rangers? Far from it. Dad's closest friend is a Rangers fan. My closest friend in Glasgow likewise. Glasgow is mad about football. Too mad sometimes.

For those interested, a healthy football rivalry went on within Simple Minds.
Original members, Duncan Barnwell and Derek Forbes are Rangers fans, likewise drummer, Brian McGee - the only Rangers fan - in a school where every other pupil including, Charlie Burchill, Tony Donald, and myself supported Celtic.

The biggest Rangers fan in our circle however is our trusted, Glasgow based, sound engineer/producer, Kevin Burleigh.
He is lethal with his sarcasm and to this day I avoid him when Celtic are in poor form.
Derek Forbes likewise, always enjoyed making us squirm during a long period when his team seemed perennial champions.
Yes, more than good. He was brilliant at doing that.

But come on!
It's only a game after all.
Or at least for me it is.

And yet, despite it being only a game. Our club and it's well being continues to mean much to us. As do those who contributed so much to the club.
It is for that reason then that along with many in our country, and within the football world, we were saddened to hear yesterday's news.


Leading the team onto the field at the first game I ever attended, Billy McNeil would have been the first "real life" Celtic player I set eyes on. That is a vision I could never forget.
A giant of a man, with the aura of a superhero. The team that Billy captained went on over the next years to give me some of the most joyful days and nights of my life.
I say that without any exaggeration.

It also no exaggeration to say that for both Charlie Burchill and I, it was always an honour, and the greatest fun, to spend time as we did on various occasions with guys like Billy McNeil, who among other men and women in our community, inspired us to believe that you could come from a working class background in Glasgow - and still go on to make a successful reputation worldwide.

Today our thoughts with the family of Billy McNeill.
... See MoreSee Less

HAIL CAESAR!
Growing up as a football mad kid in Glasgow, it was inevitable that I would become a Celtic fan. 
After all I was first taken to Celtic Park as a five year old, and was raised close enough to see the stadium floodlights in the distance from my bedroom window.
 
My parents were Celtic fans, and although Mum is no longer with us, Dad retains his passion for the club to this day. He rarely misses the opportunity to watch the team in action, and rarely does the teams progress - or lack of - not come up in the almost daily conversations we have.

Does that mean that we live up to the caricature of being averse to our city rivals Glasgow Rangers? Far from it. Dads closest friend is a Rangers fan. My closest friend in Glasgow likewise. Glasgow is mad about football. Too mad sometimes.

For those interested, a healthy football rivalry went on within Simple Minds.
Original members, Duncan Barnwell and Derek Forbes are Rangers fans, likewise drummer, Brian McGee - the only Rangers fan - in a school where every other pupil including, Charlie Burchill, Tony Donald, and myself supported Celtic. 

The biggest Rangers fan in our circle however is our trusted, Glasgow based, sound engineer/producer, Kevin Burleigh. 
He is lethal with his sarcasm and to this day I avoid him when Celtic are in poor form.
Derek Forbes likewise, always enjoyed making us squirm during a long period when his team seemed perennial champions.
Yes, more than good. He was brilliant at doing that.

But come on! 
Its only a game after all.
Or at least for me it is.

And yet, despite it being only a game. Our club and its well being continues to mean much to us. As do those who contributed so much to the club.
It is for that reason then that along with many in our country, and within the football world, we were saddened to hear yesterdays news.
 

Leading the team onto the field at the first game I ever attended, Billy McNeil would have been the first real life Celtic player I set eyes on. That is a vision I could never forget.
A giant of a man, with the aura of a superhero. The team that Billy captained went on over the next years to give me some of the most joyful days and nights of my life.
I say that without any exaggeration.

It also no exaggeration to say that for both Charlie Burchill and I, it was always an honour, and the greatest fun, to spend time as we did on various occasions with guys like Billy McNeil, who among other men and women in our community, inspired us to believe that you could come from a working class background in Glasgow - and still go on to make a successful reputation worldwide. 

Today our thoughts with the family of Billy McNeill.

 

Comment on Facebook

I'm a Rangers man. Billy McNeill and the great Tommy Burns put todays players to shame on and off the pitch. Hail Cesar.😢

Aye Jim bhoy, Billy McNeil was and still is a Celtic legend. I went to a sportsman dinner in Rothes, some years ago. Big Billy was one of the ex football players speaking that night. He came over to our table and chatted with us and I got my picture taken with him. He was so down to earth and a real gentleman. Happy memories. I sitting writing this with a great big smile on my face. RIP Billy McNeil. You will never be forgotten.

I know the feeling Jim... As you might know my town got two football teams too. Mine which is Torino F.c. and juve where CR7 is playing lately (dunno if he will resist too much more after failing the champions League 😁.) That said he is a champ. Well...when a true gent and champ like Gaetano Scirea died all supporters no matter about the team they were from cried for him. Because this is a sense of being thankful for what he gave in general to the whole world of sport and to football, great values of behaviour of a man before and being a great player then. RIP Billy.

It didn't matter what club you supported when you were kids because there was always a healthy respect for many of the quality players around. Billy was one of many who deserved respect for playing for one team throughout his career. He won so much in his time and it has been nice seeing so many tributes to him from supporters of teams across the land. Nice words Jim (don't we say that everytime? 😉).

Lovely words and memories Jim. I can’t remember the last time I was at a football match but Simple Minds have given me some of the most joyful days and nights of my life and I thank you for that. Take care and enjoy your fond memories x

Our greatest ever captain. RIP

So sorry for the passing of your friend. I am glad he gave you fantastic memories. Our family loves football, my son, and daughter played, even Leonardo loves football. ⚽❤️

Lovely words Jim. I'm a Liverpool fan and Sir Kenny's words are gospel and I know he spoke very fondly of Billy ♥️

Good piece and good man for writing it. What people fail to realise is the greatest of rivalries, anywhere and in anything are what makes sport or whatever it is. What is also more important is that whatever side of the divide you lie on the rivalry would be nothing without the other side, or at least nowhere near or as significant. RIP Mr McNeill, a great symbol and the tribute he was given by his biggest foe John Greig is exactly what I am talking about. Both great clubs and a great football city. 💚💙

Great player. I'm a Pars fan. But this man and many other great players of that era were amazing to watch.

Great words Jim,i am a massive Rangers man and have total respect for Billy for his achievements and how he conducted himself.In this day and age i wish there was more like him.

I admit to being intrigued by why Billy was called Cesar, and was about to ask, but thought it best I just try and look it up myself and see whether the Internet at large could answer the intrigue. Well, it was a rather convoluted but wonderfully humbling story, it seems. Imagine a footballer these days being the only guy in the team with a car?! It would be more fanciful and humbling for there to be one guy in the team WITHOUT a car these days. https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/how-celtic-legend-billy-mcneill-got-his-cesar-nickname-1-4913346

Hail Cesar' So many superlatives are written about sportsmen or women who shine bright for a period, then seem to fall from view. Players like Billy McNeill however are true legends whose light will continue to shine as big and bright as the aura that seemed to surround him. I remember 'that night' and the next day in school as the only St Mirren fan in a school full of Celtic fans. i watched as they ran up,the grassy hill time, and time again. To simply charge down whooping for joy. I might have joined in for a couple lol.

I join in the pain of Billy's family and all the Celtic Glasgow fans, both on the human side and also as an Inter Milan fan the team that that day when Billy lifted the Champions Cup to the sky was defeated by Celtic that day of 1967 in Lisbon 😢 R.I.P. Billy

Beautiful tribute from a gentleman to a gentleman. 💕

I'm a celtic fan and caeser is a legend at parkhead he was the very first man to lift to european cup.😢😢💚💚🍀🍀🍀

He will always be highly regarded here in Aberdeen. As Aberdeen manager he laid the foundations of the team that had so much success in the 80's. RIP Caesar.

Well said Mr K. Hail Hail. Met Big Billy at Parkhead in 1996 - an absolute gentleman and fantastic ambassador for the club. May the Lion sleep well, he is forever a Legend 💚🙏🏻🍀

As a leeds united fan i have to say how much i enjoyed watching Billy Mcneil and also listening to him....a man as good with his words as his feet...would have loved him at leeds....rest well ...

Hi Jim very well said, me and my family are from Toryglen but left in 84, but the passion is still very strong HH

Rip Billy always remembered xx

As a diehard Newcastle United fan and proud Geordie. Celtic was always my second team from the late 60,s.rip big man.

I made many a trip to Ibrox from Dundee when I was a boy and my Dad had his fortnight off the rigs. Seen some sublime , and sometimes terrible fitba. But one of the best events I ever had the privilege of witnessing, other than Davie Coopers left foot, was you lads belting it out in 1985, and The Waterboys in support, just sublime.

Real football fans can recognise those things that transcend club loyalty and respect the wonderful achievements of anyone who graces the hallowed turf 💚

Rest In Peace Billy McNeill from this Falkirk Bairn 🌹

+ View previous comments

LITTLE RED CINQUECENTO!
Thanks to Christine Harrison who commented in response to yesterday's post
"My sister and I were fortunate to stay at Villa Angela a couple of years ago and as a bonus run into you on one of your mountain walks. Taormina is beautiful and Sicily is a magical place. How wonderful for you to have this haven."

I love those wilderness walks. Sometimes I like to get out and about on four wheels also.
Ferrrari?
Nah!
Give me the keys to the Cinquecento.
Not much room for hitch-hikers unfortunately.
Not much room for Charlie and his guitar either.

What would I listen to while driving?
Who knows, but I still get a kick out of David Bowie singing Space Oddity in Italian.
I bought a copy of that on my first ever visit to Italy, when I was on a school trip back in 1973.

What would you listen to?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5prJDXxQk
... See MoreSee Less

LITTLE RED CINQUECENTO!
Thanks to Christine Harrison who commented in response to yesterdays post  
My sister and I were fortunate to stay at Villa Angela a couple of years ago and as a bonus run into you on one of your mountain walks. Taormina is beautiful and Sicily is a magical place. How wonderful for you to have this haven.

 I love those wilderness walks. Sometimes I like to get out and about on four wheels also.
 Ferrrari? 
Nah! 
Give me the keys to the Cinquecento.
Not much room for hitch-hikers unfortunately.
Not much room for Charlie and his guitar either.

What would I listen to while driving? 
Who knows, but I still get a kick out of David Bowie singing Space Oddity in Italian. 
I bought a copy of that on my first ever visit to Italy, when I was on a school trip back in 1973.

What would you listen to?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5prJDXxQk

 

Comment on Facebook

I can just see you zipping around listening to “I Get Around”. For me, especially with the sunshine it would have to be the The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Do It Again, Sloop John B, but my favourite for the beautiful voice of Carl Wilson.....I Can Hear Music! 😊

Cool ride, great color too. Well, I'd probably zip around listening to I Travel, and Love Song, then Roxy, Out of the Blue.I was listening to them yesterday, and Bowie the day before. I probably would listen to some Italian music. My sister just did our DNA, I have a little Italian in me. Who knew. I just love your stories so much❣️

60's Motown is great driving music. Traveling for fun is about the journey but we always do a dance along with Tighten Up after reaching our destination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wro3bqi4Eb8

I too have visited that wonderful hotel. And it’s clearly found it’s right owner. Funny how the world works like that. To this day I drive in Como a 500 cabrio abarth.

That is the cutest car I’ve ever seen! David Bowie for sure. Depeche Mode maybe. Wow. You guys across the pond have the most beautiful countries. Places I will probably only see in pictures. I can paint them from a picture, but I can dream of painting it in person.

I visited Sicily three or four years ago and arrived to find the whole hotel car park full of cinquecentos! Turned out it was a convention -but on arrival it looked like Sicilians only drove one kind of very cute car!

Question: What is your favorite scenic view there? I can live vicariously through you guys. I will probably never see such beautiful country much less walk it’s trails.

Reminds me of our holiday in 1998 (where we got engaged!) in Thassos, Greece. We'd already toured the island for several days in a Jeep but one day we woke up and it was drizzly rain. Hired a Cinquecento and had great fun ........ no radio though

I’ve been meaning to ask. The artwork from Fiona of The Leopard? Did that come by way of you talking about the novel in the New Year? Sharing that Radio 4 abridged reading of it? (That was fab, by the way.) You have got me listening to Radio 4 plays again big time. When you get the chance, you must listen to this. It’s on my “must see” the next time I’m in Glasgow. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04xs4b2

Of course SM. Love great driving music! Brings back memories of a Contiki tour in 1989 touring Europe! Street Fighting Years was the “cassette tape” of choice! We were in Germany on a overnight river cruise in St Goar and could hear a concert playing over the hill. It was of course SM. Nearly 30 years later myself and my husband are about to embark on another wonderful European vacation! Will definitely be pumping out a few tunes while driving around!

Love your song New sunshine morning , Slave to the rhythm from Grace Jones of course very special, also songs from Cat Stevens, love classic Music, but AC/DC too, Love Biko Your Song and hope to see you singing Belfast Child typical italiano? Adriano 😎Celentano hope to see you soon in Mainz Someone somewhere in summertime, my first visit in a diskothek with some friends and my favourite song.

Dear Jim... Sicily si the best place in the world and Villa Angela Too! 👋👋👋

I was taken back a couple of days ago when David Bowie’s let’s dance came on the radio! Brought back happy memories of my dad and off hazy summer holidays!!

Great story, I love it! I would turn the car on put it in drive and push play on In dreams then Walk between worlds, Silent kiss, utopia, Magic, well the whole album. Then hunter and the hunted, > I mean if I'm driving around Italy I'll probably be driving awhile, then I will have to throw in there a rod Stewart song, your in my heart your in my soul. This is to much fun! 😎💕

Ooh Bowie singing in Italian! I gave you a limited record store daycopy as a little present here in Florence, after that magical acoustic gig! Lovely memory to share ❤️

Great to go shopping in a car you can take into the store with you.

It would be Bowie for me as well... Heroes in German surprised me today 😁. I also have a habit of falling in love with a song for a time and playing it on repeat this week it was Dressed to Suppress by Metric

If I was on my own it would be New Order (on a very high volume). But facing a trip to the Baltic Sea with parts of the family in a small car on an overcrowded motorway I hope we can compromise on a bit of Prince music. ☺🎵

5x5 live fear of gods and hunter and the hunted just fantastical

If I were in Italy, stuffed in a tiny Fiat... well, surprisingly, I've never been to Italy, but I collect quite a bit of Italian music... and none of that mobster-bullshit they have playing in every "Olive Garden"... I love Italian film scores... especially the sleazy stuff by Nico Fidenco, and the spooky stuff by Goblin. BUT... if I was cruising around in a bright red and cute Cinquecento (as long as it had a stereo in it), I'd be blasting this one by Ivan Cattaneo (and this guy is from your era, too!) This whole album called "Urlo" is fabulous, and if you don't have it... seek it out, it's totally worth it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP3UT33t37M

Little Black Mini Cooper carrying three of us to our little bolthole in the Lake District - The Joshua Tree, panoramic widescreen music put on as the mountains appear on the horizon; aural & visual pleasure!

Fleetwood Mac the chain, great tune for that great car 🚗 🎶

What? That was my mum’s car when I was little!! ❤️ what do I listen while I drive?? I think you know it a bit...

“Little Red Cinquecento, need to find Taormina love that’s gonna last, eh hey!”

That's a beauty. I used to have a red 126. Sons and Fascination is a good album for the road.

+ View previous comments

Load more

Video

The latest album from Simple Minds: ‘Walk Between Worlds’ is OUT NOW.

History Timeline