A longtime fixture in the Twin Cities music scene as the host of KFAI’s “True Brit” and keyboardist for Katy Vernon, Kiki Lane and others, Simon Husbands was a pop star for about 13 weeks in 1991. That’s how long he and his mates in the British band Blue Train spent on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their song “All I Need Is You.”
“They used it in ‘Baywatch,’” Husbands noted with a proverbial nod and wink.
While he has no delusions of enjoying David Hasselhoff-level grandeur again, the expat from Nottingham, England, is at least hoping that music fans in his adopted hometown take note of his first-ever solo album.
Simply titled “Pop” and evocative of other Thatcher-era U.K. pop/rock acts — from Simple Minds and XTC — the record hit digital platforms last week and is the culmination of decades of songwriting.
Husbands said it was KFAI's “Crap From the Past” host and "Pop" drummer Ron Gerber who pushed him to finally make an album.
“He kept badgering me and eventually, about a year or so ago, I said yes,” Husbands explained. “I went to my backlog of songs, and selected a couple that I thought might work, and I liked the results. So I realized that maybe now is the time.”
With guitarist Tim Walterson also pitching in, Husbands finished of 10 songs total for “Pop,” from the tense, world-weary opener “Fighting the Man” to the sweet album-closing ode to his side profession, “AM/FM.” They made a performance video for one of the catchiest tracks, “Red Sky,” but obviously they won’t get the chance to promote the album with a live show anytime soon.
Rock ’n’ roll gigging is how Husbands wound up living in the Twin Cities.
He met his wife Janet in Fargo in 1991 when he played there with Blue Train as the keyboardist and co-writer in the band. Not long thereafter, he left both the group and England behind. Thus, he remains forever grateful for that little bit of stardom that came from “All I Need Is You.”
“It wasn’t a huge hit, but was enough to allow us to travel around the country promoting it,” Husbands said.
“Without that song, I would never have gone to Fargo, and I would never have met my future wife, and I would never be living here now. Songs change lives!”