TONY DONALD - AN ORIGINAL MIND
"Where the hell did you get that?"
My only possible response as he stood there awaiting a reaction - a proud look written all over him - and
a brand new bass guitar hanging around his neck.
We had walked to school every day in each other's company. I had sat next to him in class year after year. We'd gone to the
youth club together most evenings, listening in awe to T Rex, Bowie and Alice Cooper among others.
And yet, not once did 'Skinny,' (even my mother referred to him by that nickname) mention that he wanted to play bass guitar?
Then again, Tony Donald was always different. Others would show off brilliantly. But he liked being low-key. Sometimes
Many have played a part in Simple Minds' story. That is for sure. Some may have contributed smaller amount than others,
but all deserve recognition for the part they played. Equally sure is that the deeper roots of Simple Minds formed when a
group of teens from Holyrood School in Glasgow, started tuning out from learning Latin and mathematics, and instead
focused our attention more on bashing out covers of rock n' roll songs.
'Skin' was at the very centre of all of that. In some ways, given his better knowledge of music, (his Dad was a musician, at a
very young age Tony also played drums with the St Francis Pipe band)
it is possible to say that he was the engine that enabled the rest of us to kick start our dream.
Less than a handful of years later those dreams were becoming reality, as were Simple Minds.
I can never find an answer whenever I am asked the question: "What were the best days of your life?"
Had so many great days, it's way too difficult for me to decide.
But I know for certain that Antony Donald was with me when many of those days were happening.
I also know that one of the saddest occurred last week, with the news of Tony's passing.
A childhood friend, an 'Original Mind.' Charlie and I are still hurting.
2nd January 2020