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Ross Stapleton
press officer
associated with band: 1980 -

Ross Stapleton was the press officer for Virgin Records when he first saw Simple Minds at the Lyceum in February 1980. Convinced of their future success, he was instrumental in signing them to the label the next year.

"Been thinking of Australia a lot. Mostly that is due to having had Ross Stapleton - our dear Aussie friend and great Simple Minds ally - around on tour with us over the last weekend. Our relationship with Ross goes back to the very early '80's when he was press officer at Virgin Records. In fact it was his relentless championing of Simple Minds, that drew the company to eventually sign Simple Minds, in doing so beginning a most successful relationship. Separately from that, it was through Ross's connections in Australia that we had the opportunity to first visit Australia and New Zealand back in 1981.

"Even though we had not yet had any hits or broken through with success anywhere, Ross had unswerving belief in the power of Simple Minds live. Convincing us to accept an offer to tour with local band Icehouse, who were immensely popular in Oz at that time. And to then follow that up with our own tour of pubs and clubs, playing repeated gigs in the major Austalian cities, also getting to Auckland for our first visit.

"I cannot tell you how much fun we had during that 6 week period. Going from nobodies to overnight success due to our appearance on Countdown the national TV music show in Australia. It was of course Ross, no less, who also played a huge part in making that happen.

"I have no idea what Ross was thinking in Salford and Leeds, as he stood at the mixing desk just this last weekend? Looking on nearly 40 year later, as Simple Minds pumped out songs that he had played a big part in bringing to life. (The American, Love Song, Promised You A Miracle, Someone Somewhere In Summertime, Hunter And The Hunted.) But I know that for a few minutes on both nights, I considered how much we appreciated all that Ross did for us. Considering all that so many the world over have done for Simple Minds." - Jim, 13th August 2018