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Bruce Findlay & Graeme Thomson on White Hot Day: Simple Minds Fan Convention

Ahead of WHITE HOT DAY the Simple Minds Fan Convention, on October 15th at the Classic Grand in Glasgow, we spoke to guest speakers, Bruce Findlay and Graeme Thomson who will be In Conversation at the event. Bruce managed the band from 1978 to 1990 and Graeme is the author of the brilliant Themes for Great Cities: A New History of Simple Minds , it’ll be a fascinating chat. The event also features an online charity auction with unique items including signed guitars, artwork from the band, an ultra-rare gold disc and Jim Kerr’s backstage pass from Live Aid. An amazing collection of memorabilia has been donated by all current and some ex-band members as well as fans. Get your tickets while you can…

BRUCE FINDLAY:  “’Having thoroughly enjoyed my In Conversation ‘chat’ with Graeme at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I am so looking forward to joining him again at White Hot Day …the Simple Minds international fan convention.

I enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Simple Minds fans during my 12 years managing the band (1978 to 1990). The early years in particular was when the band built up a huge and loyal following throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia where they also enjoyed considerable chart success and long before their American chart breakthrough. That came with ‘Don’t You ( Forget About Me)’. But even before The Breakfast Club the band had a strong following on the college/ underground circuit in the States.

After ‘Don’t You’ the band acquired millions of new followers throughout the world, who were unaware of Simple Minds early LPs….and how inspirational the band was to a whole generation of new bands emerging in the late 70s early 80s.

I had the joy of seeing Simple Minds in their current form, at this year’s Edinburgh Festival….and was hugely impressed. No doubt we’ll (Graeme and I) talk about Simple Minds early years and Graeme’s wonderful book Themes For Great Cities that describes those times with a poetic and vivid beauty. The Simple Minds story is still truly ‘Alive and Kicking’ and I’m sure we’ll have lots more to talk about at White Hot Day. See you in October!”

GRAEME THOMSON: Simple Minds were the first band I loved. Like all first loves, the thrill of accessing a precious new feeling for the first time never quite leaves you. As I write in Themes For Great Cities, my history of the band and its early years in particular, ‘Simple Minds were everything you could want a band to be: experimental, eccentric, evolving, curious, mysterious – and fast.’

Trying to capture the excitement of their music – the hot prowl of ‘Premonition’, the modernist primitivism of ‘This Fear Of Gods’, the otherworldly pulse of ‘In Trance As Mission’ – was one of the many joys involved in writing the book. Speaking at length to the artists who made this music was another. Interviewing Jim, Charlie, Derek, Mick and Brian, as well as the many amazing producers they worked with, I become aware of how special this music is to everyone involved in its creation. The generosity and honesty they showed liberated me to try as hard as I could to somehow articulate how I (and hopefully others) have always felt about Simple Minds’ music.

As a biographer, I like to maintain some objective distance from the subject. But there’s no doubt that writing Themes For Great Cities has brought me closer to the remarkable spirit and community that surrounds Simple Minds. Since the book’s publication it has been a huge pleasure to be able to share musical enthusiasms with so many people, online and in person, in the UK and further afield, for whom the music of the band resonates still. There has been a genuine outpouring of love that has been wonderful to witness.

For Gordon and George to invite me along to White Hot Day feels like a particular privilege, because these guys are in so many ways the beating heart of the band’s fan base. And to have the chance to continue a very enjoyable ongoing conversation with Bruce Findlay is a real honour. Bruce is a pillar of our creative community, a brilliant and insightful conversationalist, and an enthusiastic keeper of the Minds’ flame. I’m looking forward to being on stage with him as part of a really impressive line-up.

Simple Minds (and me) have gone thought many changes since those days of first love, but it feels as though this band is riding another wave right now. White Hot Day is a chance to celebrate it all: past, present and future.

Read more about WHITE HOT DAY:

Read more from Graeme Thomson: