Brian first met Jim Kerr in the playground of
Holyrood Catholic school. Brian had a copy of Ziggy Stardust and a
home-made Wizzard keyring. Jim asked if
Brian would make him a Bowie one. “And he did and he didn't
skin me for it. He gave it to me for nothing.”
The owner of a drumkit, he became the drummer in the school band,
Biba-Rom!. His parents also owned a pub, which
gave the fledgling musicians a place to rehearse.
He became the drummer in Johnny And The Self Abuers after
a recommendation from Jim.
The group’s prankster, he also suffered from a short temper, throwing a wellington boot through the front window of
John Milarky’s house. He was also the only member of the group who
could drive, and ended up being their tour driver.
After the split of Johnny And The Self Abusers, he continued with
In May 1978, he was asked to transfer to The Subs as a replacement for
Ali MacKenzie, but he didn't have to make a decision as The Subs
soon completely fragmented.
He drummed on four albums but was never comfortable with touring. In the end, unhappy being away from home for increasingly long
periods, and having just married, he left the band after recording Sons And Fascination.
In later interviews, he admitted that he totally regretted his decision shortly after making it.
After a stint working in his parents pub, he rejoined the music industry and is best known for his drumming in
Endgames and Propaganda.
"Felt both saddened and touched by the tragic report of indie band Viola Beach
who died in a car crash in Stockholm a few days ago. I did not know the band or their music, but I could relate
through vividly recalling our own early years travelling through all of Europe in our band's van - and the obvious
danger involved in doing so. Not for the first time do I feel a real gratitude in particular to Simple Minds'
original drummer, Brian McGee."
"Not only did Brian play every gig with full commitment, but he did so usually after driving in
all kinds of weather - for hours before and sometimes after - playing his heart out. Being the only one who had a driving
license, he just took it on himself to perform what must have been an incredibly stressful task, particularly as those
were the days before satnav, mobile phones, etc."
"The most Brian (and Eddie - after Brian)
would have had to help navigate endless miles was probably some scrunched up road maps as we went from gig to gig by ways of
countless tiny BnB's that in themselves were always a nightmare to find."
"And you know what? Ashamedly I am not sure anyone ever really said thanks? If so, I am doing it now. Thanks
Brian, Eddie, and
Lenny. Our lives were definitely in your hands throughout those
insane road trips, I realise that more than ever now. Meanwhile - my thoughts go out to the friends and family of Viola Beach." - Jim, 15th February 2016
discography: mainstream singles
discography: mainstream albums
Johnny And The Self Abusers
Simple Minds #1
Simple Minds #2
Simple Minds #3
Simple Minds #4
Simple Minds #5
Simple Minds #6
Simple Minds #7
Simple Minds #8
Johnny And The Self Abusers 1977
Life In A Day Tour 1979
Real To Real Cacophony Tour 1979
Empires And Dance Tour 1980
Empires And Dance Tour 1980