Jim Kerr is the one you see on the cover of music papers and fanzines all the time. As singer, lyricist and fulcrum
of Simple Minds, Jim carries a lot of weight on his slender shoulders. It's not a burden though,
more of a mission - which isn't to imply huge solemnity or impenetrable self-obsession. Ever hear the one
about him pissing on a passing shark in an aquarium in Australia?
Of course, Jim (or 'Kid Baudelaire') has to assume a serious air from time to time, not an easy task when faced
with the obscene wisecracks of Dan Forbes, the outrageous behaviour of his manager and the infuriating non-sequiturs of
a tired and emotional Charlie 'Piranha' Burchill. No, at times like these a young visionary must assuming a fitting
air of gravity, and Jim is helped incalculably in this task by the immense wisdom of his guru and road manager
Leonard Love. But more of that another time.
Kerr has always had a fierce pride in Simple Minds and an incandescent belief in the band's
potential for scaling the highest peaks. Having suffered pangs of self-doubt early in the group's career because he was the
only member who didn't play an instrument, Jim has steadily grown into the role of spokesman and catalyst.
He's a complex character, sometimes withdrawn, occassionally tetchy, often wired up with a kinetic sense of the absurd. He
possesses iron determination, an intimidating objectivity and an intuitive intelligence which can be either telepathically
accurate or hopelessly wrong.
As Simple Minds grow from strength to strength, what's most striking is how Kerr's lyrics
have first prophesied and then documented the band's expanding scope and multiplying possibilities. His imagery of travel and
quest, the thrill of discovery and the urgency of unfailing effort, have been dismissed as pretentious and insipid. In truth,
he meant every word and he won't stop until he's proved it.
Does this make him a poet or a prophet? He'd tell you no, but maybe he's not the best judge.
New Gold Tour Programme
Jim Kerr (born 9/7/59). Singer, lyricist, "catalyst", enigma. The light may well pour out of him. Does most of the group's
collective worrying. Often, when the rest of the group are out eating, partying or drinking, Kerr will lock himself away in
a room to read, write or simply think.
Question: Jim, are you an artist?
Kerr:: "It depends on what you think an artist is. I agree with what's been said about an artist being just some kind of
medium who a lot of feelings go through. If that's the case, then I am. But 'artist' is a kind of weird word, isn't it? You still tend to think
of people with easels cutting their ears off and things."
Tour Du Monde Tour Programme