10 Cool Things About Simple Minds That Aren't "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
On Thursday night, Scotland's Simple Minds -- which was born the same year as Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Van Der Beek and Jon "Napoleon Dynamite" Heder (1977) -- wrap up its first U.S. tour in over a decade at Roseland Ballroom.
For a lot of people, the band's usefulness begins and ends with their 1985 megahit "Don't You (Forget About Me)," and fair enough, it's one of the best and most memorable tunes of the '80s and is still a lot of fun to sing along to in the car. Still, there are many, many interesting things about Simple Minds that aren't "Don't You (Forget About Me)." Here are 10:
10. The band got its name from a lyric from David Bowie's "The Jean Genie," the fourth-best track on Aladdin Sane and a song that's about Iggy Pop: "He's so simple-minded he can't drive his module/ He bites on the neon and sleeps in a capsule."
9. Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr owns and operates one of the best hotels in the world, the Villa Angela, in one of the most beautiful places in the world -- the Sicilian coastal town of Taormina, which sits on the Ionian sea, offers spectacular views of Mount Etna volcano, and has lots of very fragrant olive and lemon trees, we hear. We don't speak Italian, but this sounds like a pretty good review of the joint: "Struttura ben manutenuta, ottima posizione facilmente raggiungibile, vista da incanto e poi... per i fan dei Simple Minds... imperdibile!!!" The Villa Angela also provides a nifty rejoinder to any U.S. journalist who rings Kerr up and asks him what it feels like to be a one-hit wonder in America: "I'm sorry, I'm sitting by the pool at my remarkable hotel in one of the most gorgeous places on the entire planet and the reception's not that great here on top of this stunning hillside, can you repeat the question?"
8. There are several excellent anagrams for "Simple Minds" (each of which might make for a stellar band name in its own right): Mindless Imp, Slimmed Nips, I Mends Limps, Mild Men Piss and Mind Me Lisps.
7. This is a better song than "Don't You (Forget About Me)."
6. The fact that Robin Clark -- the incredible vocalist who has sung with Dylan, Bowie, Springsteen, Vandross and a million others, and was featured in the recent doc 20 Feet from Stardom -- was basically Simple Minds' co-lead singer on the band's best-selling album, Once Upon a Time.