By Jim Kerr, Simple Minds
In the pic a young fan gets to meet the Beatles at the ABC cinema in Edinburgh, 1964. Similarly, at 7 years old I got to shake the hand of ‘James Bond.’
Truly! Can you imagine how that felt for a kid to meet Double Agent 007? (Sean Connery)
It was the stuff of dreams and naturally I was in a daze for weeks after, or at least until I then met my footballer hero, Joe McBride.
Record breaking goalscorer, McBride was ten times the hero to me than Bond could ever be. So besotted, in my nightly prayers I’d ask Jesus to look after Joe. Unfortunately those prayers went unanswered as Joe was badly injured during a match soon after and from then on his athleticism was never the same. To this day I still hold a place in my heart for the memory of ‘Super Joe.’
At this time of writing my hometown of Glasgow is seemingly besieged by crews filming both the new Indiana Jones and the latest Batman movie. Glasgow has already doubled for Gotham City previously in a superhero movie, including a scene where Batman goes zooming through parts of the city’s Necropolis graveyard. With an ambience so spooky that on the surface it resembles the historic cemeteries of New Orleans, our first ever recording has a sleeve image photo of us as 17 year olds, taken in the same place that Batman now goes about his ‘superhero business.’ That I find amusing!
Reaching my teen years I no longer had the same use for the ‘hero myth’ in the way that I once had. Infatuated more by those who were making my favourite kinds of music, hero – worship had become a thing of the past.
More than mythical heroes, by then I needed real life mentors to help me write songs and become a performer. ‘Musical mentors’ however were very thin on the ground in my neck of the woods, leaving little option but to attempt to create my own ‘hero myths’ by fronting a gang of ex school friends whose music has from time to time been described by some as sounding heroic.
Not that I am entirely immune to feeling awe. Last time was while sitting a few feet from Eva Mozes Kor and listening to the details of her experience as a survivor at Auschwitz. The effect was both humbling and horrific. Looking into the eyes of Eva, by then a very old lady, I sensed a genuine hero. Likewise in a week that commemorates the events of 9/11, I find it easy to recall the tales of heroism that emerged in the hours and days that followed.
Is there a truth then to that old adage about how you should never meet your heroes?
The writer, Todd Brison reckons “Most people fear meeting their heroes because they are afraid that they will let you down .”
Not for me.
I regard meeting all kinds of people as one of life’s greatest pleasures.
How about you? Ever meet your heroes?