By now you probably know that, in America, Simple Minds broke from performing the hit “Don’t You Forget About Me” in the soundtrack rolling under the end credits of the John Hughes Brat Pack movie The Breakfast Club in early 1985. But that’s just the beginning of the story, and on the 35th anniversary of Simple Minds breakthrough album Once Upon a Time we have lead singer/ lyricist Jim Kerr to really explore the mixed blessing of that hit which Simple Minds did not write.The dawn of the 1980s revealed some seismic changes to the popular music landscape, and it was in the breach where we first discovered Simple Minds. The Beatles by then were ten years gone; Led Zeppelin was halted abruptly by tragedy; the Rolling Stones were sounding stale in the studio and soon to go on hiatus; and the The Who announced their final tour in 1982 (the first of many, but that’s another story). The Punk Rock pimple on rock’s face had popped rather messily by then, never intending to be a way forward but rather a musical meteor crashing into the rock world, killing off rock dinosaurs in order to let new forms of music survive.
A flurry of fresh-faced bands with exciting new approaches flooded through the breach with names like The Police, The Clash, U2, R.E.M., and The Cure, yet precious few of those bands or their peers exist today simply because navigating the shoals of pop music fad, fashion, and finance are…well…not simple. It’s quite complex, and to endure over the decades takes a single-minded focus, a yeoman’s stamina, a hunter’s resolve, and a wee bit of luck. Simple Minds co-founder/singer/songwriter Jim Kerr is my guest for this classic rock interview in part one of two which features “Promised You a Miracle”,”Waterfront”, and the US #1 “Don’t You Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club 35 years ago.
Then there is Once Upon Time from Fall 1985, already Simple Minds’ seventh album, produced by Jimmy Iovine ( Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, U2) with the drums upfront mix and a spotlight on Charlie Burchill‘s simple, chiming guitar more than ever before on “Alive and Kicking”,”Sanctify Yourself”, and “All the Things She Said”, as well as later efforts “She’s a River”,”Belfast Child”,”Real Life”, and “See the Lights”. –Redbeard