The Sim­ple Minds singer and for­mer hus­band of Chrissie Hynde and Patsy Ken­sit in his Glas­gow record­ing stu­dio

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At home with the Sim­ple Minds front man in his Glas­gow stu­dio


I’ve been com­ing here to my haven a lot to work and lis­ten to mu­sic while my new Glas­gow house is be­ing re­fur­bished. But then be­ing in a rock band I’m al­ways on the move, and the one thing that goes ev­ery­where with me is this Globetrotter suit­case. I first got one in the 80s when my ex-wife, Chrissie Hynde from the Pre­tenders, told me about them. They’re tai­lor-made for tour­ing. Inside you’ll find foot­ball books, back­stage passes, pho­tos, old note­books with song ideas. Some of it must have been there years!


I was into the Den­nis The Men­ace comic strip long be­fore I got into mu­sic, and it still makes me chuckle. So when David Suther­land, the guy who’s been draw­ing him for the last 40-odd years, got word I was a big fan, he did this bright, bold, orig­i­nal draw­ing of Den­nis and his dog Gnasher run­ning down the road for me. They’ve both got that mad, de­mented look on their faces as usual, sug­gest­ing they’ve done some­thing naughty and are scarper­ing – which is the story of my life too!


I love this pho­to­graph of the iconic Forth Bridge. It’s been pho­tographed a zil­lion times but Alan Wild, the guy I com­mis­sioned to take the pic­ture, has re­ally cap­tured the essence of what makes this 19th-cen­tury can­tilever rail­way bridge so loved. I also like it be­cause my first ever flat in the mid-80s was at the foot of the Forth road bridge so I had an amaz­ing view of the rail­way bridge. What’s more, I haven’t got much of a view in my stu­dio so I make do with this one!


I got into in­cense the first time I vis­ited Ja­pan with Sim­ple Minds in the 80s, now I stock up ev­ery time I go back. There’s an oth­er­world­li­ness about th­ese lit­tle cedar wood sticks – which Sa­mu­rai war­riors used to cleanse the spirit – that just helps you ‘es­cape’. I burn a stick in the stu­dio when we’re record­ing to cre­ate an up­lift­ing at­mos­phere. I also burn one in my dress­ing room on tour be­cause it cre­ates a sense of one’s own space – and you never know what went on be­fore you were there!


I’m not a drinker but I was given this bot­tle of Strath­mill Scot­tish malt whisky in 1979 – the year we made our de­but al­bum. I’ve hung on to it ever since be­cause it’s got a cer­tain sen­ti­men­tal value. I al­ways think there’ll come a mo­ment when it’s time to crack it open – maybe in 2017, the band’s 40th an­niver­sary? I’m that rare thing – a Glaswe­gian who’s never drunk. The only time I tried al­co­hol my hang­over lasted for days, and I de­cided never again.


I al­ways keep this pic­ture of my mum and dad Irene and Jimmy on their wed­ding day in 1957 close to me. They mar­ried young – Dad was 22, Mum was 20 – and I al­ways think my mum looks in­cred­i­bly glam­orous here. We never had much money grow­ing up, but they gave us the first cou­ple of hun­dred quid to get Sim­ple Minds started – but for that the band might never have got off the ground.

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