HOW happy do these young Simple Minds fans look?

It was June, 1987, and more than 400 fans of the legendary Glasgow rock band had turned up to see their heroes in the flesh.

Lead singer Jim Kerr, guitarist Charlie Burchill and keyboard player Mick MacNeil were mobbed at the Virgin Megastore in the city’s Union Street, unsurprisingly – at this stage in their career, Simple Minds was one of the biggest bands in the world.

Glasgow Times: Fans arrive for the Simple Minds concert in 1987

They had played Live Aid in 1985 and their albums, including New Good Dream, Sparkle in the Rain and Once Upon a Time, had been huge hits.

From a little-known act with a dedicated but small fan following in Glasgow, Simple Minds was now the hottest ticket in town. They remain one of the planet’s biggest acts, having sold 60 million records, with six number one albums in the UK under their belts, and hitting the top spot in countless other territories including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Glasgow Times: SIMPLE MINDS IN GLASGOW December 1987

“One of the things I’m most proud of is that people say to me what Simple Minds are you talking about?” says Jim Kerr on the band’s website. “The avant-garde, the art-rock, the pop, the ambient, the instrumental group, the political, the folk, the stadium band?

“We’ve been on one hell of a journey. To play all those different styles but at the same time be quintessentially Simple Minds is an amazing thing.”

Glasgow Times: SIMPLE MINDS

Simple Minds was formed in 1977, from the ashes of Glasgow punk outfit Johnny and the Self-Abusers, who had released one single, Saints And Sinners, and split up the same day. Two weeks later, Kerr and Burchill started Simple Minds, taking their name from a line in David Bowie’s hit The Jean Genie.

Hits included I Promised You a Miracle, Waterfront and Don’t You Forget About Me, epic theme of 80s Brat Pack movie The Breakfast Club.

Glasgow Times: Jim Kerr of Simple Minds at SECC
February 1986

In June 1987 they were in town to sign copies of their latest album, Live In The City Of Light, all of the tracks on which (apart from one) had been recorded at a concert in Paris the previous August. “It’s great to be here,” Kerr told our newspaper in between signing sessions.

“As they say, home is where the heart is - and Glasgow is still home for me."

Glasgow Times: Simple Minds

Some of the fans had been queueing since the early hours of the morning – one gentleman had arrived at 6am, straight from working the nightshift at a nearby casino.

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A 16-year-old woman from Hamilton brought with her a photo of Jim Kerr. “Jim wanted to know where I got the picture,” she told our reporter. A second teenage female fan said: “Charlie Burchill wrote something on my hand because I didn’t have an album.”

In 2016, when Simple Minds picked up an Ivor Novello award for their catalogue of hits, Kerr told the audience that Glasgow was an “artistic desert” when they started their career in 1977.

Collecting the Outstanding Song Collection award at the ceremony, he said: “The idea of fame and riches never came into it, we just wanted to be in a great band and take it round the world.”

Did you see Simple Minds in Glasgow?

What is the best gig you have ever been to in the city?

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