Alive and Kicking

It’s Friday!

(And, to begin, my apologies… I planned to post much earlier in the day, then an appointment, groceries and other obligations got in the way. But here we are now. Let’s settle in and enjoy, shall we?)

Back when I was working, Friday was a day that arrived with much celebration of planning not to go into the office for two days, and just be available 24/7 by mobile phone. (Which sure beat the old, pre-mobile phone days when on-call meant staying home or, later, when pagers came out, being somewhere where I could make a payphone call if not at home, to find out what calamity or simple musing of a politico might be calling for my urgent attention instead of, you know, being with my family.) I’m being a little facetious; Fridays always seemed to hold a promise of something good, and even as a retired person, I like to honour and uphold that tradition of joy and hope.

Anyway, on to the music!

A Glasglow, Scotland-based band, Simple Minds, has been a favourite of mine since the early 1980s. The post-punk/art-rock/new wave/synthpop group, which took its name from a David Bowie lyric from the song “Jean Genie,” has released many hit singles since they started recording music more than 40 years ago. They are probably best known for their version of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from the film, The Breakfast Club (1985). Please check out my posts on “Up on the Catwalk” and “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)” for more bits from my memories and research on the band.

As I mentioned in one of those previous posts, I didn’t follow Simple Minds much after their 1985 album Once Upon a Time, from which today’s selection comes. It was the last album of theirs I bought and is joined in my long-play record collection by four others: Real to Real Cacophony (1979), Empires and Dance (1980), New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) (1982) and Sparkle in the Rain (1984, in vinyl and CD).

Reading the sleeve notes on Once Upon a Time, I saw that the band recruited extra back-up singers for the album, and they are surely present on today’s song. What I never noticed until today was that longtime David Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar was among the added vocalists.

When I was reading up on Simple Minds’ repertoire this afternoon, I saw that there wasn’t a consistent producer among their albums. That, and the band’s development, seems to me to have contributed to a long history of their music crossing genres and styles and sounds, which has added to their appeal and kept my interest and attention. If alone in the car and a Simple Minds song comes on CarPlay, I can guarantee it gets played loudly (uh, “responsible” loud, because… you know, tinnitus).

Alive and Kicking.

A fellow cyclist in my country, whom I only know online as we’ve participated together in virtual rides in a Zwift group based in England’s time zone, was suddenly absent in the spring of 2020 until now. (And I know it all must sound weird if you don’t know of Internet-connected platforms for indoor bike trainers… it still feels strange talking about it and, further, it being a significant source of socialization!)

Anyway, in his absence I had no way to connect with him directly. I found it troubling, like so much in the current world, so much beyond our control, a bit of the monkey-mind thoughts that erupt at night sometimes. But this week while on the app simultaneously, though not riding “together,” I saw a notification from him, and we ended up chatting within the app for almost an hour while riding. It was great. I had often wondered what had happened to him, as he had been very active and a powerful cyclist whose skill and personality I admired (and he was usually way ahead of me in the virtual pack). I was so happy to know he was back, and working at getting his strength back.

This is just one little story of the complications of this time in which we’re living. Sweety and I are tracking other illnesses and injuries of loved ones, sending you all love tonight.

And now, getting back to my opening greeting; yes, it’s Friday. I heard today’s track on KEXP Seattle’s The Morning Show with John Richards (famous for its “Friday Song”), and immediately knew “Alive and Kicking” would be my song of the day.

And if you’re reading this, you’re “alive and kicking.” Keep living, and kicking! We need you!!!

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the audio for the song from the Simple Minds official YouTube channel:

Unofficial lyrics are available at AZLyrics.com.

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