posted on November 3, 2009 at 8:22 am

summer lays down 100 degree grand slam in spades
perishing my rubber
making me play a dummy hand
i stand in the orange room with jb and mk
i write 11 new songs in 2 days….because i can
(2 of em arent much good)
i sing n write n sweat n sing some more
always australia everywhere
the heat i groan to love
like on new years long ago eve sitting with my family
out on the lawn
dad in his ever present white singlet drinking his one beer
mum coming out with mince pies or whatever
the neighbours pop by as they go in and out
they smell of cigarettes n aftershave n beer always beer
i have always been surrounded by beer
the stuff scares me i never understand the appeal
but i have lived amongst its smell n customs all my life
the senseless roar n din of the australian pub
as a thousand sloshed diggers promise each other the fucken moon
pissing in each others pockets slapping each other on the back
this is as truly bullshit as the stoned giggles or the junkies whine
i sometimes stood outside of pubs with their sporting pictures
from the fifties
my dads old bosses tom phillips and charlie roberts
slaves to the booze
red faced and merry 24 hours a day
my dad is never drunk
my dad is never out of control
my dad never cries or complains
he sits on his deckchair in the front garden on new years eve
drinking his one beer
‘ow ya going, mr kilbey…asks john from next door
his mum n dad n brother n sister are olive skinned black haired
but john is a pale redhead like archie in the comics
he drinks a bit
he gets married n divorced
he drives a restored old holden
he drives me to the swimming pool one day
i float around in the back seat
my dad doesnt like american or australian cars
he doesnt like european cars neither
he likes english cars like morrises and wolseleys and stuff
he only likes certain brands of petrol too
he doesnt like shell
he likes bp better than the others
he spends a lotta time polishing his car n tinkering in the engine
im just advancing the blah blah he says n gets me to rev it
now im just retarding it a bit he says
new years eve up the top of lyneham in 1968 is not a big deal
no fireworks no champagne or much of that
some of the rellies drop in and i very reluctantly kiss some of my aunts
their lipstick n mustaches scared me
their sour breath n harsh words did not make me want to kiss them
there were girls at school i wanted to kiss and actresses on tv
but i did not want to kiss some of my aunts
i played records in my room
yes i liked simon n garfucknuckle …what of it…?
next year i’d be fifteen
i was torn between the adult life which beckoned on the horizon
and my child-life i hadda leave behind
yeah i told you bout the playboys under my bed
i had a hankering for the erotic
but nothing much would happen to me for a while
i got my hands on some classic dirty books
and my head was filled with perverse ideas from henry miller
and the story of o
and lady chatterlys lover
(now on sale at the post office…then a banned book…)
anyway australian summer was all around
always there
as i gawked at the women on the pages
as i thumbed through the early 20th century erotica
as i got ready for school
listening to the radio
listening to the bee gees and neil diamond and cat stevens
n one hit wonders (like me)
who came n went like ripples in a pool
the black clear hot summer nights of canberra
the swampy damp humidity of sydney
where everyones on permanent holiday
and the weeds push rudely through the cracks
sydney the wild bohemian to canberras “straight”
people at my school married other people from my school
n settled down near that old school
i mean wtf
didnt they wanna see more of the world than that…?
i had to go to london n stockholm n hungary n atlanta
i had to meet all those wonderful characters that burnt through my life
i had to bestride the stages in a million clubs n bars
i had to look in a million backstage mirrors
watching myself get older n older
as the music morphed outwards
n i shed my seven skins
to reveal the current me
as revealed to you here on these very pages
as i allow you to see me
in all my pseudo-honesty
still type type typing away
despite my 11 songs
despite my 2 yoga sessions n my 16 laps
the kids shine on
the moon is white like a white hole
a big horserace finds women with stupid hats at one end
n stupid shoes at the other
a bunch of horses get flogged round a track
more beer
more beer
more beer
who won?
who cares
they all get pissed n flood into bondi
i come home n my wife smiles at me
with the look of love
i’ll have my own celebration
on this hot hot night

40 Responses to “after the heat”

  1. avatar
    heatherdaydream | 3 November 2009 at 9:30 am #


  2. avatar
    princey | 3 November 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Thanx for writing after all that hot n sweaty stuff going on. Noice childhood memories once again:)

  3. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 3 November 2009 at 9:54 am #

    oh god i just about choked when i read about aunties with lippy and facial hair…….who doesn't have them??

    celebrate long and hard, mate 😉

    love always…..

  4. avatar
    BigJuicedBrown | 3 November 2009 at 10:25 am #

    I worked a season at the track. Learned a few things about horse racing. It's cruel. If they fall they're dead. They're pushed to the limit with steroids.

  5. avatar
    fantasticandy | 3 November 2009 at 11:13 am #

    yer back with a bang killer!

  6. avatar
    Freddie | 3 November 2009 at 11:21 am #

    Well…ironically I think it is your bouts of self absorption
    which make you blog close, personal and quite frankly interesting!
    Thanks for putting down another fascinating read! 🙂

  7. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 3 November 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Not much of a beer drinker myself (despite my picture). I prefer Jim Beam. In fact, I don't just prefer it – I love it. Love how it tastes and how it makes me feel.

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    Tell me about the ghosts in your old studio.

    Tell me about the bloke next door whose funeral inspired Field of Mars.


  9. avatar
    matthew | 3 November 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    Your 60s-70s Canberra reminiscences always ring perfectly true with mine, same atmosphere/ambience…

    When I was still in grade 3 at Turner Primary, my family and I escaped for about 8 lovely golden years to sub-tropical Brisbane when Dad suddenly got a hot new job as a professor @ QLD University.

    Unfortunately the untimely unexpected death of my mother required relocation back to the shores of Burley Griffin in 1982… and so the circle, et cetera, et cetera.

  10. avatar
    bc | 3 November 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    shine on shine on…&
    all the best out west.

  11. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 3 November 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    Beer is a waste. If you like demon alcohol go for the 80 proof stuff. It's hard to accept the fact that the brilliant "Ripple" never became an international hit. If it would have appeared on "Gold Afternoon Fix" it would have been an international hit.

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    lovely words today sk
    i've missed visiting
    the time being

    love from boulder,

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    What can possibly be wrong with a few beers here and there ? Come on.

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 7:07 pm #

    love your blog but you shouldn't sneer so much at aspects of the culture you don't enjoy. all part of life's rich pageant dontcha know.

  15. avatar
    davem | 3 November 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Another cracker today.
    Andy and myself have been known to share an ale or two….and enjoy it.
    (Reminds me Andy – Only Ones at Leamington on 11 Dec – myself and a few chaps are attending and stopping over after.) Wish it was The Church.
    Sadly SK we don't have any English cars now…..

  16. avatar
    cazziem | 3 November 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    The last four lines explain it all! What more could you wish for than a smile to greet you on your return home, that you know is full of love? I envy you having a special someone to come home to. Take care of each other, and be happy. xx

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    Congrats (I guess) Steve on the big Lincoln Merc TV ad in US w/ your little song that could. Sort of a smooth jazz, R&B version. Hope they paid you some decent royalties!

  18. avatar
    EDD | 3 November 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    Aren't we supposed to be interested in the "secret" lives of those we idolize? I think that it's cool to see the real life and thoughts of a real, successful musician. You been there, Steve. How many of us reach for that success on any level and wonder what it's like? One-hit wonder? I'd take it. The sort of success you have may not be financial but I'd say the fact that you get to and do create music so prolifically has got to be a reward. Painting, too. Poetry, too. Makes me want to do that. If for no one but myself. Just to create.

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Beery weary blecch !AND it's isnt vegan! Contains fish scales and egg's!Jesus wept- so does the olde cake winey! Say's so on the bottom "Contains egg's and fish".
    Through yer infleuncey stevey became vegan, though last night i dreamt of going into Hobart and buying Kentucky Fried Chicken, i woke up and had to shower- i felt so dirty…..


  20. avatar
    Good For The Soul | 3 November 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    that's some heavy duty song writing, beer makes you fat, get rowdy, gets you arrested, in trouble, good for police fines and jails, stay sober, drink green tea, get into jazz and write a bunch songs I say!

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Interesting conjecture from Brien, which I don't personally agree with. For me GAF was a kinda cold experience. I enjoyed 'Metropolis' but I feel that Grind, for example, was better on the acoustic album from a few years back.

    Tellingly, I've never actually bought GAF on CD (or Remote Luxury for that matter, though there's a few good songs there).

    Heyday, however, was perhaps the beginning of the big upsurge. I remember when I first heard it and the whole first side (vinyl) was a corker. Ace start to side to with 'Tantalized', then it went a bit off-kilter (for me).

    Strangely, in the UK 'Disenchanted' was a single (marketing men seeking a Smiths connection?) where 'Trance Endings' was, for me, a far superior track.

    As far as 'Priest=Aura' goes, the title track has some classic elements in its mix despite/because of imbibionous (?) habitos.

    Could go on a while, but won't, no tonight anyway…

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 November 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    where have all the pubes gone?
    razors are expensive.


    thanks for the gormenghast hint.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 November 2009 at 3:31 am #

    Home brew and home grown, guitars, songs, good friends…..ahhh that's the life for me.


  24. avatar
    vortex | 4 November 2009 at 3:42 am #

    nice and racey…what was it that Freud always said about horses and sex…

    on another note, they played the shiot out of Metropolis back in 90 here in Virginia.

    someone in your management team really outta push Unguarded to the nimwits down in Cupertino as their new iTunes catch song…all the punkettas would luv that tune and probably boost itouch sales just from that song o yours alone! haha

  25. avatar
    loolaabillions | 4 November 2009 at 5:42 am #


    as i have mentioned
    what a wonderful
    time to grow up in

    as for horse racing
    well my dad was a
    he won a
    golden slipper
    in 65'
    on a filly
    called 'reisling'
    so my childhood
    always revolved
    around racing…..xx

  26. avatar
    Leelinau | 4 November 2009 at 6:07 am #

    ! such a shock hearing UTMW done by cat power on that damn cadillac commercial.

  27. avatar
    linjo | 4 November 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Your Dad sounds like he was a really peace loving man Steve. It must have been great for you boys to grow up with him. Linda

  28. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 4 November 2009 at 10:03 am #

    mate, tell ya what, it was a bitchingly hot day here and there's something about a cooool beer on a day like this that's just right…..
    nothing wrong with a lovely cold dry white, either…..


  29. avatar
    matt davison | 4 November 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Cheers……. "clink"!! twaz a nice 70 degrees in Auckland today!

  30. avatar
    Richard | 4 November 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    I might have expressed it less anxiously

    but anon at 507 AM does have a point!

  31. avatar
    heatherdaydream | 4 November 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    hums "…I held the needle that captured the signal to the radio….."

  32. avatar
    WantonMyth | 4 November 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    A balmy, pathos-laden trip into the pensieve, Steve.

  33. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 November 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    aussie beer tastes like stale, carbonated, dirty water. you must try some of our superior german brews, then perhaps the magic of hops and malt would appeal to you too!

  34. avatar
    veleska1970 | 4 November 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    11 songs in 2 days???!?!! wow. nobody can ever accuse you of not being prolific, that's fo sho.

    and oh~~i love these self-absorbed blogs. keep writing!!!

    lotza love….

  35. avatar
    princey | 4 November 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Hope all goes well in Perth with your buddy Ricky! See ya when you get back:)
    Love Amanda

  36. avatar
    michael | 5 November 2009 at 12:24 am #

    just saw this new Lincoln car commercial here in the states. It features some girl artist name Sia singing UTMW. Not sure how I feel about it? It should have been Killer singing it

  37. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 November 2009 at 12:50 am #

    Please play Space Saviour in Perth on Saturday!

  38. avatar
    I SATELLITE | 5 November 2009 at 1:18 am #

    Awesome! 🙂

  39. avatar
    jaime r... | 5 November 2009 at 3:05 am #

    Good to hear you got some songs a brewin..
    I really dig alot of the snippets yu put up here.. you got it goin on SK..
    So cheers to that..
    Ah.. Beer has its place.. white man's poison Ive heard from my Anglo fiends.. its gotta nice taste if yu like the heavy stouts and ales.. Im good for one or two but never acting a fool.. yeah its rituals can be downright cheesy.. Ive commiserated with those that need a 30 pack to get a buzz or fall off the hill which is the effect they try to replicate.. its also nice to stay away and not feel the alcohol in ur brain.. cuz it will hound yu like a bad monkey.. buddies that need a beer to go to sleep.. that shit make me sad and more aware.. Glad it doesnt have its claws in me.. it does for some.. and when I get cozy with it.. I sure know that it would love to put me to sleep forever.. we stay afloat.. wine is a much better go..
    I gotta say…

  40. avatar
    cazziem | 5 November 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Just thought I'd give ya a bit of useless info!

    At the time of writing it's 5th November here in England and today is Mr Garfucknuckle's 68th Birthday, which still puts you you in the 'young' category SK!!!!

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