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IMMIGRANT SONG
Scots born, I'm from third generation immigrant stock on both sides of my family. So there you have it - I'm from people who arrived in the UK on boats. Cattle boats - most likely.
Likewise the neighbourhood I was raised in particularly during my early childhood years, comprised of families among others who’s origins were Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Indian, and Pakistani mainly.

I was back in that Glasgow neighbourhood this week, drawn to Victoria Road by the recently opened organic grocery store, as well as an even more recently opened pizza restaurant that has been getting astoundingly good reviews. So tiny is the restaurant that I counted only a handful of tables, all of them full. Hence the queue, that despite my curiosity, I was much too impatient to join.
Maybe next time?

Regrettably for me, amiss from the neighbourly melting pot that was home to me back then, and in comparison with other major UK cities, was any recognisable Afro/Caribbean community.
To experience that culture, I would have to wait until the age of sixteen, when I could visit a childhood friend who had moved to London and could not wait to show us around the then ‘edge-y’ areas of Brixton and Notting Hill.

On one of those visits around July 1975, when we were existing by getting drunk on cheap cider and sleeping on the floor of a shabby basement flat in Finsbury Park, my friend told me about a reggae artist called Bob Marley.

Although the artist was largely unknown to me, my pal had been playing a live recording of Marley & The Wailers album since the moment we had arrived a few days earlier. He’d also seen Marley perform in London only the week before - describing it as “witnessing a near religious experience.”
Amazingly, five years later when reggae's global ambassador, Marley, turned up in Glasgow, our local critics used the same sentiment to describe the show they had witnessed.
By that time, I had chance to dig deeper into the world of reggae, becoming a fan of Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse, and above all, Toots and the Maytalls.
My life without doubt still enriched by artists with direct connection to Jamaica as I continue on with an 'exodus' of my very own.

Bringing me to my main thought today.

On June 22 every year, the UK (quite rightly) celebrates )
Windrush Day to honor the British Caribbean community.
And I could not agree more with the following.
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/22/windrush-anchor-modern-britain-racial-equality

In addition to that and in relation to Simple Minds, we could never forget the contribution of Mel Gaynor, Mike Ogletree and Sarah Brown.
Through family networks, they would surely be connected to what has become known as the Windrush Generation.
And I am certain that they are as proud of their roots, as we are equally to consider them such big parts in our story to date.

And now…I’m off to listen to Toots!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ivk0x1vThYI
... See MoreSee Less

IMMIGRANT SONG
Scots born, Im from third generation immigrant stock on both sides of my family. So there you have it - Im from people who arrived in the UK on boats. Cattle boats - most likely.
Likewise the neighbourhood I was raised in particularly during my early childhood years, comprised of families among others who’s origins were Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Indian, and Pakistani mainly.

I was back in that Glasgow neighbourhood this week, drawn to Victoria Road by the recently opened organic grocery store, as well as an even more recently opened pizza restaurant that has been getting astoundingly good  reviews. So tiny is the restaurant that I counted only a handful of tables, all of them full. Hence the queue, that despite my curiosity, I was much too impatient to join.
Maybe next time?

Regrettably for me, amiss from the neighbourly melting pot that was home to me back then, and in comparison with other major UK cities, was any recognisable Afro/Caribbean community.
To experience that culture, I would have to wait until the age of sixteen, when I could visit a childhood friend who had moved to London and could not wait to show us around the then ‘edge-y’ areas of Brixton and Notting Hill.

On one of those visits around July 1975, when we were existing by getting drunk on cheap cider and sleeping on the floor of a shabby basement flat in Finsbury Park, my friend told me about a reggae artist called Bob Marley. 

Although the artist was largely unknown to me, my pal had been playing a live recording of Marley & The Wailers album since the moment we had arrived a few days earlier. He’d also seen Marley perform in London only the week before - describing it as “witnessing a near religious experience.”
Amazingly, five years later when reggaes global ambassador, Marley, turned up in Glasgow, our local critics used the same sentiment to describe the show they had witnessed.
By that time, I had chance to dig deeper into the world of reggae, becoming a fan of Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse, and above all, Toots and the Maytalls.
My life without doubt still enriched by artists with direct connection to Jamaica as I continue on with  an exodus of my very own.

Bringing me to my main thought today.

On June 22 every year, the UK (quite rightly) celebrates )
 Windrush Day to honor the British Caribbean community. 
And I could not agree more with the following.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/22/windrush-anchor-modern-britain-racial-equality

In addition to that and in relation to Simple Minds, we could never forget the contribution of Mel Gaynor, Mike Ogletree and Sarah Brown. 
Through family networks, they would surely be connected to what has become known as the Windrush Generation.
And I am certain that they are as proud of their roots, as we are equally to consider them such big parts in our story to date.

And now…I’m off to listen to Toots!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ivk0x1vThYI

 

Comment on Facebook

Your post had me reflecting on the courage of my Glaswegian Father and Irish Mother immigrating with 3 little kids from London’s East End to the other side of the world for a ‘better life’ in Australia in the 60s. Over the years it took 3 failed attempts to resettle back in the UK before they realised that their new country was indeed ‘home’. How fortunate I am as an immigrant to the ‘Great Southern Land’ (had to put an Iva Davies - Flowers/Icehouse reference in respect of my first live SM experience way back in Newcastle in 1981). What a brilliant night it was last November when you returned to Newcastle and raised the bar yet again!

Nice one Jim 🙂 I worked on a few Bob Marley and The Wailers gigs as a stagehand when I was 18 back in Brisbane. I had never experienced anything like it up until that point in my life. The combined positive energy of the audience and the band was overwhelming. I still carry that wonderful memory with me. 🙂

I’m sat outside in the beautiful warm evening sunshine in good company and with a cold beer too , clicked the link to the track and it’s just perfect listening , so more of the same for the next hour at least

Jim would you ever writes us a book with all these beautiful stories?...its always a pleasure to read you

Exodus is one of the best albums ever, who couldn’t like reggae music? Particularly Bob Marley also Jimmy Cliff, I also liked the 2 tone era, ska playing a big part of my teens, but Northern Soul music also popular in the clubs was also a favourite of mine, the late 70s was a very good time for music imo. A song I’ve been listening to recently is Sly and the Family Stone’s Everyday People, quite poignant in these times. Bob...we’re Jammin! 🎶

Another example of Jamaica greatness... GRACE JONES! One weird tidbit about her, despite being from Jamaica, she and her family at some point moved to Syracuse NY (an area that is very close to where I grew up). While you go listen to Toots... I'm going to listen to Grace, and cherish my memories of when I visited Jamaica 4 years ago. More than once, some of the locals commented that they'd never seen someone who had clearly seen so little sun. I had sunblock 80 SPF on, and a greasy layer of Blue Mountain Insect Repellent on, as mosquitoes in Jamaica are like the size of hummingbirds!

You have had such amazing experiences. I’m a little jelly. (Jealous lol) wanna take a random girl from Kansas along for the ride? Lol.

Jim Kerr, your writings are always heartwarming and I have been witness to what Simple Minds are about, all these years. I never made a connection to Bob Marley though. But this makes it even better. We are all just people wandering the earth. Let it be a home for everybody. And you'd better start writing a book now. Would be great to read :-)

We’re all enriched by the folk who came to live and work and play in the UK. It’s sad that some people forget ! Your thoughts are a nice poke on the shoulder for us all brother

Another reason to love your stories. I am proud of the land of my birth and Mr Marley’s part of our legacy. 🇯🇲👸🏾🇯🇲🌳💞 Toots played in the background of my childhood! I’m glad you listen too.

Hi Jim I saw The legend Bob Marley and the Wailers live in the Lyceum in ‘73 which led of course to the live album.A surreal experience for a young Ayrshire lad living in the Home Counties because of his fathers job in London.Since then visited the museum in Jamaica and love everything reggae n Caribbean which I’ve been lucky enough to visit on numerous occasions

Was just wondering today how you felt about Caribbean music. So pleased to see this post. Hoping you have seen the beauty of of the Virgin Islands.

If you get to frequent that pizza place soon, I hope they'll have the soy sauce to hand... or are you always BYO? Looking forward to hearing Sarah's Mahalia Jackson album. It's going to be amazing. Also... if you're looking for some "cultcha", there's a Mela going on at Kelvingrove this weekend. Be plenty of food there. That's where I'd be 😁

Love toots and the may tails , Lee Perry et al / Jimmy cliff the carribean Bard

Oh and by the way... Happy Birthday to that Simple Minder known as Derek Forbes!

Good story but I miss my friend Jimmy Cliff in this story. 🇯🇲

I grew up in Bristol in the 60's, not until I moved to London in 1970 did I understand Reggae, Gospel and the Blues x

I no you probably get pissed off with my question but when you going to put all these brilliant wee stories in a book 😎👍

I’m pretty sure 54-46 is on most of my playlists. ♥️ Toots!

Great story, always a pleasure to read you <3

Another great chapter from your life Jim ! ... we owe so much to those people who came to these islands with their colour full culture !...as a young Scot I was lucky enough to live and work in London through no fault of my own , the people I befriended from all different ethnic backgrounds will always live with me , such wonderful clever friendly people ❤️...

My family immigrated to Australia 50 years ago. I too found myself in a melting pot of beautiful cultures mostly Italians where we chose to settle. Gosh i miss that Mummas cooking as she refered to me as a skinny kid and wS always trying to feed me. Im sure you would know but Iva Davies did a few shows called Dubhouse it was fantastic it was recorded live from Melbourne's St Kilda and a venue in Sydneys King Cross.

🎼Jim.. I Loved all the words in this post and Jim it took me back in time as well, My great great grandma was full blooded Indian and my great grandma on Mom's side (both) was full blooded czechoslovakia who lost two husband's came over on a boat before age 27 and was told there's a man on the hill (way older then her) looking for a wife, she said ok so they married and had five children one being my grandma the oldest who lived the longest, and passed just four months before turning 100 years old, I'm so glad my czeck grandma married the man on the hill or I wouldn't be here🌻💕 Beautiful 🌍🚣

Thanks for taking the time to post, and share your beautiful stories. Another awesome song pick. Love Bob, I also like Peter Tosh too. What a great tribute to Sarah, and the rest of your mates❣️ Someone mentioned Grace Jones, I could listen to Slave to the Rhythm, like 500 hundred times and never tire. Get that pizza, JK. 😋

I got into dub and Trojan in the mid-nineties, so when I got to London a few years later, I checked out a flat in Streatham. On this late Friday afternoon I walked past a house and leaning out of the first floor was a West Indian guy in a rasta hat and smoking a spliff between two massive speakers blasting out some heavy manners. I'm a 6ft 2 skinny white guy, so I just nodded at him, he returned a slow nod and a smile. I thought, I want to live here. I took the flat and walked back down the High Road. I found barbers, grocers, textile shops all open and every where was multi-cultural, with a high number of West Indian and African elements. I really enjoyed my years in south London.

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MY LIPS ARE SEALED!
It must be almost two decades now since I first started posting regularly on social media/websites etc?

At that time Simple Minds were not getting much media attention at all, and although the reasons were many, rather then than suffer in silence or tear ourselves up through any sense of frustration, we instead welcomed the then newly arrived technology that seemingly had the potential to enable us with direct contact to people around the globe interested in Simple Minds.

Seemingly, because at that point in time, we had no sense of the true possibilities? All being so new, all we had to rely on were the words of a few 'experts' with futuristic spiel touting for business.

In doing so they would offer their services in return for exorbitant fees 'to design and co-ordinate 'Simple Minds On-Line Media'
They would be the 'Middle Men' in other words, "opening up the door to a brand new world for us." A link between us and our fans.

Some of them were a good help in terms of getting a community established on- line. But soon enough it felt like there was increasingly less need for their involvement.
It now all seems so archaic, feels more like a century ago than decades.

And what about these posts that I've published so regularly over the years. Why do it? What is the point, if any, outside of promoting, and informing the ongoing actions of SM?
And will I continue to do so as frequently in future?

I'm not sure what the answer to all of that is?

It could be that I'm merely a self obsessed blowhard. One who just doesn't know when to shut up.
If so? Then woe is me.

I am however a fan of many things. And on top of that I'm a natural enthusiast, given to express.
Once those things are expressed, no matter how relevant or superficial, my head feels clear enough to move on to the real business of the day. The stuff that in the end puts bread on the table and keeps the fridge well stocked with parmigianno.

As for the things I have written about during those years of posting? I have sprawled through all manner of subjects that radiate and circulate from and around my experience within Simple Minds.
As well as occasionally riffing on things that are central to my life - out with our little band.
Why do the latter? I think it's important to let the curtain of hype/image pull back occasionally, to present something that resonates with the a human touch.

Hopefully I have included enough humour, as well as all other shades of emotions in the process of publishing these notes, the purpose of which for the most part is really just to say hello! And to continue saying thanks to all for listening to the music and coming to see the shows.

As for the stuff that I don't write about?
There is certainly a ton of stuff that occurs, of which I tend not to dwell on here.
Because although no denying that it is both - at the core - Simple Minds still feels more like a family, than a business.
And well, with that being so somethings just feel better kept close to the chest.
After all who in their right mind runs down the high street shouting out their grievances to the world at large?

Therefore when it comes to negativity, or venting anger and frustration of any sort...my lips are mostly sealed - as I continue to promote what I love instead of bashing all that would be easy to hate.

And that is as it should be.
... See MoreSee Less

MY LIPS ARE SEALED!
It must be almost two decades now since I first started posting regularly on social media/websites etc?

At that time Simple Minds were not getting much media attention at all, and although the reasons were many, rather then than suffer in silence or tear ourselves up through any sense of frustration, we instead welcomed the then newly arrived technology that seemingly had the potential to enable us with direct contact to people around the globe interested in Simple Minds.

Seemingly, because at that point in time, we had no sense of the true possibilities? All being so new, all we had to rely on were the words of a few experts with futuristic spiel touting for business. 

In doing so they would offer their services in return for exorbitant fees to design and co-ordinate Simple Minds On-Line Media
They would be the Middle Men in other words, opening up the door to a brand new world for us. A link between us and our fans.

Some of them were a good help in terms of getting a community established on- line. But soon enough it felt like there was increasingly less need for their involvement. 
It now all seems so archaic, feels more like a century ago than decades. 

And what about these posts that Ive published so regularly over the years. Why do it? What is the point, if any, outside of promoting, and informing the ongoing actions of SM? 
And will I continue to do so as frequently in future?

Im not sure what the answer to all of that is?

It could be that Im merely a self obsessed blowhard. One who just doesnt know when to shut up. 
If so? Then woe is me.

I am however a fan of many things. And on top of that Im a natural enthusiast, given to express.
Once those things are expressed, no matter how relevant or superficial, my head feels clear enough to move on to the real business of the day. The stuff that in the end puts bread on the table and keeps the fridge well stocked with parmigianno.

As for the things I have written about during those years of posting? I have sprawled through all manner of subjects that radiate and circulate from and around my experience within Simple Minds. 
As well as occasionally riffing on things that are central to my life - out with our little band.
Why do the latter? I think its important to let the curtain of hype/image pull back occasionally, to present something that resonates with the a human touch.

Hopefully I have included enough humour, as well as all other shades of emotions in the process of publishing these notes, the purpose of which for the most part is really just to say hello! And to continue saying thanks to all for listening to the music and coming to see the shows.

As for the stuff that I dont write about?
There is certainly a ton of stuff that occurs, of which I tend not to dwell on here. 
Because although no denying that it is both - at the core - Simple Minds still feels more like a family, than a business.
And well,  with that being so somethings just feel better kept close to the chest. 
After all who in their right mind runs down the high street shouting out their grievances to the world at large?

Therefore when it comes to negativity, or venting anger and  frustration of any sort...my lips are mostly sealed - as I continue to promote what I love instead of bashing all that would be easy to hate.

And that is as it should be.

 

Comment on Facebook

Social media lol, oh to be of our age. For so many years, I would be down the pub with my hand made compilation tapes, hoping for the landlord to choose my offering of songs, desperate for others to 'get' simple minds. Many years of reading melody maker or NME, hoping for an article. I never picked up on the fan magazines ( but maybe should have). So I went through the years, being known as the guy who 'lived simple minds ( not loved. I truly lived lol)' in my small world. But then the Internet comes to town and in its purest sence, I was a total beginner in the art of search engines - so I type on my most important love, for more info and 'ask jeeves' brings up, Dreamgiver?? This site was a historical masterpiece,which luckily also had a link to Sm.com. What the hell! A site that will have even more photos,,stories, news about more music and possible tours? I go on it and I am so so excited. Probably too excited, as it was frustrating waiting for boxes to open and links to press, but I got used to it. Then there was the Simpleminds.com community. I had no idea how long all this had been going on for - but found out quickly that it had been a month or so and already a large following of fans. I sat and listened to interesting posts being set up. But it seemed more like a social chat board, than a site for stories and past/present emotions about the band. Well probably within a day of writing ' hello I am Lawrie and I love simple mind's lol with no replies, I took the plunge and just spilled out my love for Simpleminds.com. Yep, it probably was far to excitable and over the top, but I loved the opportunity to just shout out what I had bottled up inside about MY Band!. Suddenly, it all became my dream world, lots if people came out of the woodwork, telling the same type of stories and talking about their thoughts and dreams about the band - it just became natural, that I had found so many other people who shared my emotions. I never for one second thought that Jim or other members were also writing or listening, and in my opinion, that was a godsend can it did not have an effect on my writing total tosh lol. But thankyou Jim, it certainly filled a missing segment in my life, a chance to share my belief that a simple minds fan is a fan that has been very fortunate with their choice of music. Writing? Well sometimes you have to learn from mistakes Simpleminds community became a black hole, too much familiarity and confidence, too much negativity being bounced about - everyone a critic, instead of happy thoughts in the morning or early evening. Communication is a two way Street, but a fan site talking about the negatives us never a great promotional tool Other fans opened their versions over the years and all made great efforts, but all also failed to pass the test of time. Facebook is old gate for many now. Just like friendsreunited a few years ago, but for a 50 year old,its a great way to communicate. And I personally believe these ' general thoughts' each day or so by you are fun and thought provoking. Thankyou for keeping things going,can it is always a thought/concideration/pleasure each day, just to quickly look at what has been written next. Keep it up young man lol P,S I have met life longnfriends from your ideas and I don't believe my passion for friendship with like minded people will die any sooner that simple Minds will die in my heart

You’re an original “influencer” Jim :)

Where would we be without your posts, Jim? Giving so much insight into your world, your musings? I for one love reading them 💖💖💖

It's Gorgeous. I am always in awe 🙂. Your amazing. I certainly would never take for granted your posting. What would we do... Without them. I love them. I very much so, hope everything is going positive with your father. Xxo💕. Fun picture👄

I never tire of your posts, especially, the more personal ones. As with your post today I can concur, with the things you wrote. I’ve also been delighted on several occasions, to have had a response from you, which truly lifted my spirits. A happy Summer Solstice Day to you Jim. 🌞👋🏻😀 x

Dear JK - thank you so much for sharing your stories. Yours is the only one I am really looking forward to. Its not just a message but more an insight of what SM is doing, with a personal human touch. Maybe you don’t have the 5 million “followers” But yes you have the real people who are really interested in your story.... thanks again. By the way, my 👄 are not sealed. I shout it out loud

Hello, please continue to post. When I go on FB, your new post pops up first. It puts a big smile on my face. It is wonderful how you take the time to chat with us. I especially like your funny posts. You crack me up, and your music picks are awesome, and you teach us about new music. I am sure you are a busy guy, but you make time, and so do your other mates. We are grateful for that. I had a little bit of a emotional week. We bought our friend with ALS, a TV along with a firestick yesterday.We can hook it up to Alexa, and he can voice command. So amazing, now he can watch football (soccer) and he can see his daughters soccer games, through this new technology. Now, if only it could make him a sandwich! Again thank you for your posts, you lift my spirits, as for my lips, they are full, and I am extremely loyal. May you have a beautiful weekend, sweet Jim. 🙂

Your posts are a massive connection for us Simple Minds fans. Always thoughtful, interesting, insightful and you can tell a good story, sharing a good joke from time to time! You make us all feel special because you make the time to communicate with us and that is everything! Thank you Jim ⭐️❤️⭐️

Keep up the writing Jim. I enjoy your thoughts, wherever you go to. Sometimes when I feel lost, a post of yours can give clarity and purpose, knowing that we all benefit from sharing experiences and knowledge.

Love reading the posts in simple minds official great to hear all news and your personal wee stories are a great insight to a humble guy see yous soon 👍

At the risk of paying "lip service' I love your posts & those of other band members. It keeps the momentum going & we can relate to you all. Dont ever stop. Praying hard for a gig soon. ❤

Thank you so much for your postings - Simply put - Joy is my strength and your posts bring me Joy and we all need strength to move forward with our day, so on that note 🎤Here’s to you my little love, with Blessings from above - 🎤Let the Day Begin🎤🙌🙌. Thanks again for The Joy 😍

It's these personal touches that create the sense of family that we experience. Your openness brings the same back in return and we learn how little there is that separates us regardless of which side of the stage we are on.

I'll never get tired of your posts, and that is for sure. They entertain me, make me smile, make me fthink... just like SM music, that I cherish. Have a nice day. Big love, from France.

Great posts and just stayed at your beautiful hotel in Sicily you have amazing staff

I love reading these diary entries, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they write, seeing things written down in black and white is always much more impactful. I feel I have gotten an insight into the band and the people who are involved in making that happen, I cried a bit with you when the news came through about your mum, and laughed at some of the antics written down for all to read, it’s partly why I am still a fan quite a few years later. Keep writing Mr Kerr, I am patiently waiting for the next Simple Minds gig 😀

Often enough I think about leaving Facebook because it can be such an evil way to communicate. But then again I decide to stay because posts of friends or family members are nice, funny and they cheer me up. Your posts are good and they never bring me down. So, yes, of course I am a huge fan of SM but that's not the only reason. Your posts make sense. Thank you for that. Thank you SM for being there and Thank you for the music. (I stole that line from ABBA😉)

I just to say that I love Simple Minds, my best wishes from Asuncion Paraguay 🇵🇾

You are a great writer and I love reading these posts. Yes,it pulls back the curtain and shows that you have the same emotions as all of us!

I enjoy reading the posts on Simple Minds Official, Jim, the things that have influenced you, Charlie and Simple Minds along your musical journey are great to read. Please keep the memories, stories and humour coming. ☺

Love your FB posts Jim, keep them coming. They are an insight into your mind and life, often funny, always interesting and sometimes a little sad. Love the old stories. More recently on social media I’ve really enjoyed Cherisse’ tour diaries.

Oh Jim id love to ask a couple of Questions i wish you had your own page. These are things from people who claim to know you . Im not sure if what im told is the truth or made up. Just some clarity would be nice Ally Scott what do you think?

Love your posts Jim and love that you do acknowledge the comments. Such a great community here. And I'm sure none of us expect you to post anything too personal.

Don’t stop JK! It gives me great pleasure following these texts, as I’m getting closer to you wherever you are. Longing for new live shows and music from SM! Carry on 🙏🏻

Thankfully Jim, social media allows us the opportunity to get an insight into your thoughts and ideas, as a long time Simple Minds fan it great to be able to see that.

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