Easter Monday – The Very First Time!

Easter Monday – The Very First Time!

Easter means different things to different people. There is the religious foremost. Then of course there is the sweet tooth aspect that made the holiday so memorable to me as a kid. Many also see Easter mainly as the true start of spring, the first holiday of the new year, time to put winter coats back in the wardrobe and look forward optimistically to the upcoming summer months. Or maybe not so quickly as London was pretty chilly when I was in the park this morning.

Looking back personally, I recall some of my best ever Easter experiences being spent among the almond blossom on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, or alternately among the cherry blossom in Japan. Both blissful, but not for me this year as we have so much on with writing and recording. Easter Monday´s however will always mean something very special to me, let me explain why.

It was on that evening some 35 years ago, during April ´7, that we, as then members of the infamous Johnny And The Self Abusers, (Founded on the South Side of Glasgow in 1977) started out as professional artists. I am of course referring to J+TSA´s very first gig, which was also the first time that both Charlie Burchill and myself set foot on a stage, it was on a night that will always be impossible for us to forget, and on a night that paved the way for so many unbelievable things that have since come our way and indeed continue to do so.

Without exaggeration, had we never been invited by John Milarky to join forces with JATSA for what we assumed was most probably a one off gig in the Doune Castle pub on Easter Monday, in Shawlands, Glasgow. I remain completely convinced that Simple Minds would more than probably have never come into being – as we eventually did some seven months later.

Reason being is that it was John´s then infectious self – belief that as much as anything planted the seed of belief within us also. His lack of doubt or any sense of inferiority was as breathtaking as it was charming. His view that we should stop talking about the punk music we loved and instead invent some of our own and go out and play it, was really all the incentive needed to stop the endless fantasizing and instead create something that would be real, and possibly lasting.

And so for that valuable kickstart, we owe our careers as much to John Milarky as anyone. I have never had the chance to thank him for this unfortunately. But on record, I do it now. I was only 18 when we met, but thanks to him I knew instantly what I wanted to do with my life. I still do, I am still doing it, and something tells me that there are a lot of good things still to come.

Thanks again John!

Jim Kerr