Simple Minds

Simple Minds will perform “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” nightly in memory of “The Breakfast Club” director John Hughes during the band’s upcoming European tour, frontman Jim Kerr revealed on the band’s Web site this week.

The dedication to Hughes, who died last week of a heart attack, is somewhat ironic, given the band’s well-known antipathy toward the soundtrack tune — a song Simple Minds didn’t write and didn’t want to record, yet it broke the band in America and became its biggest U.S. hit.

Kerr posted a diary entry on the band’s site thanking Hughes, somewhat backhandedly, for his part in Simple Minds’ success. (“That we were maybe destined for it in any case is neither here nor there,” Kerr noted, after complaining earlier in the entry that “our far better” subsequent single, “Alive and Kicking,” stalled at No. 2 in America.)

As for the band’s upcoming Graffiti Soul tour — currently set for November and December throughout Europe — Kerr wrote:

“When each and every night we dig into ourselves in order to pull out the greatest-ever version of ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me),’ it is John Hughes that I will be considering, and how in particular it was his enthusiasm for the sound of Simple Minds that made us go the extra mile back in December ’84, when we pulled up at a draughty and soulless Wembley recording studio, hell-bent nevertheless on making a classic piece of pop rock, and one at that which would figure perhaps among the best of a generation whenever looked back on.”

Written for Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club” by Keith Forsey (who won an Oscar for “Flashdance… What a Feeling”) and Steve Schiff, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” originally was offered to Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol. Both passed, as did Simple Minds initially. The band’s label eventually convinced Kerr and Co. to record the song, but they still refused to put it on their next album, Once Upon a Time, even after the song became a worldwide smash in early 1985.

Still, in light of Hughes’ untimely passing, Kerr did offer thanks to the director for championing his band, noting, “The fact is that John helped us kick the door down, and once there, no one could ever lock us out or tell us again what it felt like to be No. 1 in America.”

Read Jim Kerr’s full post about John Hughes after the jump…

Posted on SimpleMinds.com on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009:

The film director John Hughes died this last week and although it would be wrong for me to say that I knew him well, there is however no denying that the effect of his enthusiasm for our music resulted in our band receiving genuine worldwide recognition.

“A No. 1 tune in the American Billboard charts is a f***king No. 1 on the American Billboard charts after all!” As our then never lost for words manager Bruce Findlay liked to say at any given opportunity.

And indeed why not? A No. 1 record in Lilliput, even, is worthwhile celebrating. But when it is the biggest market in the world, and you are No. 1 (as opposed to the measly No. 2 spot which is where our far better, in my opinion, “Alive and Kicking” got derailed),  surely then one must savour the moment and indeed cherish it for the rest of your living days. That is precisely what we do as it happens!

And so it is that during the forthcoming Graffiti Soul Tour, and when each and every night we dig into ourselves in order to pull out the greatest-ever version of “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” it is John Hughes that I will be considering, and how in particular it was his enthusiasm for the sound of Simple Minds that made us go the extra mile back in December ’84, when we pulled up at a draughty and soulless Wembley recording studio, hell-bent nevertheless on making a classic piece of pop rock, and one at that which would figure perhaps among the best of a generation whenever looked back on.

John Hughes and his movie “The Breakfast Club” gave us above all the thrilling opportunity that everyone who starts a band dreams off. The opportunity that is of aggregating the kind of success that enables an act to go through the door and into what is considered to be “The Big League.”  That we were maybe destined for it in any case is neither here nor there, the fact is that John helped us kick the door down, and once there, no one could ever lock us out or tell us again what it felt like to be No. 1 in America.

Because thanks to John Hughes and his film “The Breakfast Club,” we had been there and done it for ourselves, and not so many can say that unfortunately!

Thank you John!

Jim Kerr

Video: “The Breakfast Club” tribute, featuring “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

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