Afternoon Snack: Simple Minds, “Waterfront”

Simple Minds are a band I discovered via word of mouth. I had never heard anything of theirs for some reason (this was some time before Don’t You Forget About Me was a hit) so I bought the album, Sparkles in the Rain which is competent enough, however, this song, Waterfront, just cranks.

I remember when I was first learning to play guitar, and my friend Alan Freedman (a tremendous musician and bass player) asked me to pick out some stuff I wanted to play in a small band setting, and Waterfront was one of my requests.

Alan listened to it once, said it was a great song, and then said I would never be able to play it.

I now understand he did not mean ever, but surely vamping on a D sus4 as an A barre chord for five minutes was much too abstract for my simple band of beginners to even try to approach.

In fact, now I actually can play the guitar and bass parts (well, that is not saying much, though the time of the bass player is dead on throughout and since he plays the same riff for five minutes, that is no simple task from Simple Minds) and could probably hold my own, but I completely understand how Alan meant that it takes some musical sophistication to play something so simple effectively.

This is the Minds a year ago, and they blast it out pretty well 25-years after the release of the album.

Speaking of which, lead singer, Jim Kerr, was married to Pretenders head Chrissie Hynde, and her song, 2000 Miles features the line “sparkles, in the rain” so I always wondered who lifted the line from whom, or it was just fortuitous?

Irrespective, we need to give Ms. Hynde some virtual ink here, but for now, here are the Minds. Tell me if this song does not rock the shit out of your speakers?

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