posted on October 15, 2008 at 11:41 pm

a long time ago in the mid seventies
when there wasnt much good going on
i bought patti smith groups horses n i loved it
i loved its wild amateurish experimental punky poetic blah blah
patti looked great on the cover
i listened to it a lot
as her following albums came out
although i bought em
i was liking em less n less
but i still liked em
and each one had some great moments
but i guess i stopped listening after wave
tho i couldnt tell you why
in 1988 we met up with tom verlaine
who used to heartily recommend jay dee as a drummer
when ploogy went
jay was our first choice
he was a great player n a cool cat
we made the excellent priest =aura record
and he was an invaluable member
when we parted company later on
it was amicable and weve all always remained friends
jay always pops up in new york when we play there
so i was excited to get invited by him to the opera house
i ‘d never seen patti play live and i was curious
i’m looking for role models who are still rockin’
in their twilight years n she fits the bill
a handful of olde rockers you can vaguely still admire
keith, marianne faithful, dylan, cohen, young
( n killer)
(ha ha)
but i gotta say patti was looking great
pretty much like she always did
on stage at any rate
i had one of them side box seats
so i saw it all in profile
gone was a lot of excess i’d heard about
with patti playing the clarinet and feedback guitar for hours
tonites show was the creme de la creme
but still that dichotomy of the new /old material remains
for her
for me
for anyone
tonites show was mainly oldies
songs going back 30 odd years now
they sounded just dandy
just like the records in fact
the band played great
surprised to see the guitarist with the hat was pattis son jackson
lenny kaye looked great :skinny and a great mop of straight grey hair
jay hadnt changed much …dapper in a white suit behind a big kit
patti dressed in jeans biker boots t shirt n jacket
jumping around like ive seen on her videos n youtube
it was all you coulda asked for
maybe it was my sidelong position
wish i’d been out the front
but i just never got carried away
but everyone else did
inc. hoodoo gurus sitting directly in front of me
who were going wild…
this however is not the bands fault but mine
still brooding on the horrible night before
and fearing it all again on saturday
i was envious of my olde compadre jay playin’ at the house
and how i wished i was up there strutting the boards
and my envy rather ruined it for me
if only i hadnt done the nite before it wouldnt have been like that
at least i’m honest….
afterwards i met the drones who played a great opening spot
the drones are a band to watch they are intensely intense!
gareth very very kindly took me backstage where i met jay
hes wearing a hearing aid now
he was the first guy i knew with really bad tinitus
and wherever he is now
i will be where i am in a couple of years
jay dee is the nicest kindest humblest guy you ever met
a true gent n scholar
i am genuinely happy for him to be doing well
after some lean years when patti stopped touring…
and he was very fit n healthy
i briefly shook hands with la smith herself
but she was tired (i guess) and not that loquacious
i walked away from the opera house
into the lonely night
full of so many conflicting emotions
i had bad dreams all night n got very little sleep
confused dreams of searching for jay n patti in the
complicated rabbit warren of rooms n corridors backstage
in the fucking sydney opera house
8th wonder of the modern world
but a little tame as far as a rocknroll gig
patti smith is a wonder still looking n sounding fantastic at 61
i realise how much i like jay
n how much i miss his amiable brooklyn humour
and i’m glad i got to see this band
you never know when it could be the last time
i’m playing with an ad hoc band on friday night
for sculptures by the sea party
then sat nite at manly
i beseech thee to come
mission if you aint there im gonna weep…!
then sunday from 10 till 2 playing at tamarama beach for sculptures/sea
the ad hoc band of which i am a part not the front man
features reg n pete o’doherty the artists ex mentals
johnny z n hamish who ive played with before
and brendan g n bernie h guitarists n singers
so interesting to see how i fit in with that lot
we did providence last year n it was a rambling delight
uh huh
but i’m still feeling really weird…..


33 Responses to “ask the angels”

  1. avatar
    Andromeda7 | 16 October 2008 at 12:39 am #

    Sounds like a swell party. Wish I could swish for fish there SK. Have added you to my blog Flaming Hoop link. Am posting with new name here because I was leaving a trail through Google I’d rather keep at TTB.

  2. avatar
    princey | 16 October 2008 at 12:50 am #

    So you get the backstage jitters too sk, I never would have thought!

    Have a great time at the seaside gigs this weekend sk, and all you lucky Sydney fiends going. Melby’s obviously NOT the place to be at the moment.
    love Amanda

  3. avatar
    matt davison | 16 October 2008 at 1:08 am #

    Dunno What to say Killer.. Just that you know how much we love the church and your place in that band, we love the solo/Cain, Kennedy, Maymi,Triffids stuff. We love the insight, the blogs, the music…..Dude; Know the feelings you are getting at mom-

    Just Chill…

    Yr famous and just getting better.

    Just get a good manager and all wil fall into place..I am up for it.

    Great you saw Jay

    glad you enjoyed



  4. avatar
    kat | 16 October 2008 at 1:25 am #

    i’m wearing my painkiller t-shirt, sk, and i am wearing it out tonite. and i feel pretty damn important with it on!


  5. avatar
    melissa | 16 October 2008 at 5:18 am #

    thanks for the review SK 🙂 .. I still feel over the moon about having the chance to finally see Patti Smith last weekend. Found the shows amazingly inspiring and musically powerful. (much like a Church gig really:)) I hope that I look that good at 61, too! 🙂 It was fantastic also to see (and hear!) JD playing in person 😀

    The Sculpture by the Sea gigs sound great … I really do hope they go well for you 🙂 Would be lovely to be there!

    All the best to youx

  6. avatar
    Cita | 16 October 2008 at 6:41 am #

    Love Patti Smith and her connection with Mapplethorpe the photographer. Don’t doubt your longevity. What you do is age defying…Just keep a it..keep playing.Being envious can be a scourge…That is something to work on in your yoga practise. Excited to hear about your sbts gig…its gotta be the best art show goin down…all in your backyard.

  7. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 16 October 2008 at 7:03 am #

    I appreciate your amazing honesty in regards to your emotions on this blog SK – granted, I suppose it must be a tad bit easier to be totally honest with people you can’t see and who can’t see you…but is never easy, even to admit to one’s self that we are envious of anything or anyone right? Yet it happens to all of us and anyone who says it’s never happened to them is probably lying.

    I sometimes envy people who do not have to live with chronic pain and unending fatigue…I think oh why me, what must it be like to have great energy – and then I think oh some great nasty Fate will hear me and give me a worse condition to deal with so never mind! I can bear it! It’s like I’m waiting for some Greek tragedy to occur – or an episode of The Twilight Zone – look – she got what she wished for – and it was worse! Haha. Me, cynical? Nah.

    Sorry you were still ruminating over your bad gig. Wish I had the words to make you really understand the depth and breadth (sp?) of your influence, talent, and overall loveliness. I suppose many of us don’t live up to our great expectations…it’s funny though – you may feel you have fallen short in some area while I look at you and think “Look at all he’s done with his life! Traveled the world, met so many fascinating people (and no doubt a few irritating ones too), created endlessly beautiful music and art and writing, makes so many people feel good, happy, sad, feel anything at all! – has 5 beautiful girls and is one of the most humane people I’ve ever met with regards to our fellow four legged (some two legged, some finned, haha) creatures…plus a voice to die for, and good looks to boot! And he also has discipline – something I struggle to have in any endeavor. 😉

    We can not see what others see. I’d be at your gigs if I could. But you know that.

    p.s. just saw an ad for the movie ‘australia’ w/your dear friends nic and hugh. i saw hugh once in a musical in new york. he’s frighteningly talented and quite short and small too. 🙂

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 October 2008 at 7:15 am #

    I live alone in a rainy city and the winters are very long. I’ve listened to Priest=Aura so many times and each time when the album finishes I swear feel and hear a presence in this house. Something stirs from beyond when this album plays. Paradox is the opening of sorts in a closing chapter in my life. JD’s tight drumming bring the atmosphere of the Church together as close as anything that you have done with the great TP. That album will haunt, taunt, beguile and stay with me til the day I take my last breath. It is a fucking master work of art….no matter how sudden the creation may have been.

  9. avatar
    verdelay | 16 October 2008 at 8:15 am #

    Nights of contrast, then. The lines and the notes you read between the lines.

    If an angel sings alone in a pub in western sydney, does anybody hear?

    If the devil himself coughs and barks the night away on an international simulcast satelite extravaganza, with a live audience of thousands egging the auld beastie on, does that make it a quality offering? Is it good because we are ALL watching?

    I’m sure you take my point, so I won’t labour it.

    Some patterns in life run broader than the eyes of man can see. A run of duff gigs, a poignant contrast and some ruff/neg feedback can make you feel like the ups and downs are over and it’s all downs from here on in; experience tells you otherwise (does it not?).

    If it’s all just a big pile of shite, remember this: once you’re around the U-bend, you have the open ocean outfall to look forward to…

    Eloquent, no?

  10. avatar
    fantasticandy | 16 October 2008 at 9:27 am #

    If it’s all just a big pile of shite, remember this: once you’re around the U-bend, you have the open ocean outfall to look forward to…

    Eloquent, no?


    most of that stuff goes straight into the sewer!

    steve you have totally ‘demystified’ yourself over the last couple of years, stripping away every last vestage of supposed ‘rock-star cool’.

    yet shedding this aura has revealed a far more agreeable, likeable chap than any of that hokey ‘rock ‘n roller’ shite.
    andy L.

  11. avatar
    princey | 16 October 2008 at 10:12 am #

    Aww Denise that last paragraph was so sweet, yeah HE is to die for! (and I hope Painkiller has eased your pain).

    Sk/Melissa, did Patt do “Because The Night”? I love the beginning with the piano…and I imagine you were waving that lighter in the air singing along sk

  12. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 16 October 2008 at 10:17 am #

    FUCK IT i’m selling the house, leaving my other half and quitting my job so i can move down to sydney and attend all of your gigs down there….come up to byron bay and perform!!!!!! please please please??????
    i know of a few other people who would absolutely have orgasms if you came up our way….
    as for your patti smith concert, was sad for you that you couldn’t enjoy it as much as you might have….
    love always…

  13. avatar
    Cita | 16 October 2008 at 11:27 am #

    Your honesty has to be your best quality. Truth is real. You inspire us all with your words of truth. Don’t lose heart.

  14. avatar
    melissa | 16 October 2008 at 11:39 am #

    Amanda ~ yep, ‘Because the Night’ was included in both Patti Smith shows in Melbourne. 🙂 Really loved hearing ‘Dancing Barefoot’ esp 🙂

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 October 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Oh well, seeing as you’re risking the anons again, here’s my 2penneth: it’s a shame U2 covered Dancing Barefoot and so put you off recording it for BOB, because the version you played in Manchester in 1990 is the best cover I’ve ever heard of that song. So much better than the one on the US radio gig that everyone knows about.
    Steve, it must have been really fucking hard for you being in the Opera House, knowing your ex-drummer pulled strings, etc, especially after the disappointment of your own gig the night before. You, me and everone on here know that you should be playing there to capacity crowds. I wish there was some way for you to receive financial rewards to match your seemingly boundless creativity. If only you had the money to ward off the stresses and disappointments. I’m sorry things are the way they are, Steve.

  16. avatar
    Melby Symon | 16 October 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Noooooooooooooooo Princey…

    Melby IS THE place to be ! We gotta keep reminding SK just how good Melby is and how much he is appreciated down here.

    SK….Melby town will turn out in droves for you. The Toff Gig was awesome…maybe you need another one of those to relight the fire.

    Hope the Manly gig goes off for you…wish I could be there but Sydney is a little too far at the mo. No doubt those silvertails will be catatonic from finally beating Melby Storm in a NRL GF.

    Slap a few Manly supporters for me if you see any…thanks in advance.

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 October 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    Steve, could you put this 18-year-old rumour out of it’s misery?
    Did the Church record an Australian 7″ of Dancing Barefoot with Damien Lovelock on vocals?

  18. avatar
    persephone2u | 16 October 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    You’re still feeling really weird because you are really weird, ha! *ducks head* =P

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 October 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    I hope you know what you’re doing letting these anons back in here.

  20. avatar
    davem | 16 October 2008 at 4:00 pm #

    It’s YOU we love.
    I went to see Spiritualized last night. Excellent but nowhere near as good as you.

  21. avatar
    fantasticandy | 16 October 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    i went off ’em a while back….
    jason just keeps on doing the same old thing…..
    unlike our mutual chum the killer.
    who just put out an audacious track that ends with 18 mins of rain and whale-song?
    the real mr. spaceman, that’s who!

  22. avatar
    davem | 16 October 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    Yep, nobody can live with the killer.
    Agree with you on jp…I just love the same ol’ thing he does though….especially live.
    Love to all.

  23. avatar
    CSTCoach | 16 October 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    cool review killa, thanks. i’ve got horses and really like it. the cool rimbeau’esque cover, and lines like “jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” – how can you go wrong?

    i’ve never checked out her other stuff. any recommendations?

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 October 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    Lacking nice packaging or not, please get Painkiller on iTunes ASAP please!

  25. avatar
    sergezéni | 16 October 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Hi everyone! It’s been a while and, well, my aunt is really sick and asks for assistance, so… Andy! Still haven’t resolved the thing about long MP3 tracks/bitrates and all that. But I will in order to put some of them onto the Blog. Anyone interested in very rare Procol Harum stuff — 1967/1977? I have great things in the vaults. Just tell me.
    “Not What You Say” is my fave song/epic at the moment.
    Steve — I hope you’re well.

    Peace to you all,
    PS: I never heard about The Church recording “Dancing Barefoot” on a single…! On live bootlegs, more probably.

  26. avatar
    steve kilbey | 16 October 2008 at 8:14 pm #

    church never recorded dancing barefoot folks

  27. avatar
    heather | 16 October 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    damn; I’m sick of living in bogan ville…Patti Smith, Paul Weller, You..
    I’m missing out bigtime.

    I saw PS at a big day out in the nineties and she blew the young bands off the stage…very impressive.

    But hey, I read somewhere that she had lean and sad times for ahwile there and Stipey helped her out…it’s all part of the flow aint it

    Can’t imagine nevets “going wild” like those gurus…not your style eh?

    This is the downside of living in Australia…if you lived in London or New York or Georgia you’d be better off professionaly, probably.

    Ps I enjoyed the KK off sue cee’s link…when can we buy?


  28. avatar
    matt davison | 16 October 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    Dancing barefoot is on a bootleg album from a tour that seemed to be at the Palais in Melb. The bootleg is called “POSTCARD FROM DOWN UNDER” i have it and it’s ok….

  29. avatar
    CSTCoach | 17 October 2008 at 12:41 am #

    Dancing Barefoot is also on the bootleg Alive Under The Milky Way (recorded Chicago I think?) and it rocks.

  30. avatar
    lily was here | 17 October 2008 at 8:52 am #

    Johnette Napolitano did a kickass cover of Dancing Barefoot too on Spirit of 73. Im envious. I think I’ll join HH in Sydney 🙂 Im tired of missing all these gigs.

    My last Patti album was GONE AGAIN … i recommend it.

    A friends review: “Patti redefined the term “rock chick” last night. Her setlist was a dream … Opening with Redondo Beach, Ghost Dance, Birdland, Free Money, Beneath The Southern Cross, Dancing Barefoot (which she left the stage during and danced all around the audience from 1 end of the Opera House to the other), People Have The Power (which followed her rave on why Obama must be the next US president), a cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit (with support band the Drones all invited on to the stage to join in), Because The Night, an amazing epic crowd singalong version of Gloria similar to the opening of her Horses album, a heartfelt version of Neil Young’s Helpless (dedicated to her late husband Fred Sonic Smith) to begin her encore with, followed by the pure punk of Rock n Roll Nigger in which she alone managed to transform the Sydney Opera House into CBGBs … there was 1 or 2 more !”


  31. avatar
    melissa | 17 October 2008 at 10:33 am #



  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 October 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    Thank you Sue Cee!


  33. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 October 2008 at 8:54 am #

    G sus woz here

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