posted on April 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

i dream of my life
my life of dreams
my dream life
i dream my life
i dream my life up
and when its all over
when its all over
it’ll seem like it never began
i walk along
i take some money out of an atm
i glare at the passers-by
i get on the stockholm subway
and i hurtle along under the city
the swedes all looking so ordinary
the immigrants all looking so wild
i ride the train for a while
in my pocket i clutch a five hundred crown note
to score a cap of heroin
i go up to this couples flat
they let me in
ah the old familiar smell
of brown heroin cooking up with lemon juice
i hand over my dough
and he flicks me a little transparent capsule
(i think it once may have contained something for travel sickness)
now full of a brown powder
looking like quik chocolate dust
i knock about a quarter of it in my spoon
(always had yer own spoon)
i add a drop of lemon juice
(always had yer own lemon)
and a little water from yer needle
(always shoulda had yer own needle)
then begins a tricky process
cooking it up
dont burn it up
dont boil it up
it can turn into a useless black residue
no you gotta boil it in the spoon
just so
and it turns into a cognac coloured liquid
i draw it up
i find a vein
i shoot it in
oh! i jump if i miss the vein
cos the lemon juice burns
the smack smacks me round the head
in a kinda sick n giddy explosion of detachment
suddenly all my problems seem so far removed
the dingy flat i’m sitting in seems cozy
the dealers seem like such dear friends
smiling at me benevolently
as i put my little kit away
and roll down my sleeves
we sit there talking junky talk
didja hear johan got busted?
didja hear anna got more methadone?
didja hear about erik getting ripped off?
hows the dope in sydney?
how much is it?
how long you been doing it?
the same old stuff
i say goodbye to my friends
and i hit the streets
sitting on the train home
i sit looking at people
most still going to work
its only 8 in the morning
already ive scored hadda fix n on my way home
at central station a whole mixed bag of junkies climbs on
theres russian guys n slavic guys n finnish guys n black guys
theyre all arguing with each other
shouting and waving their fists
we come to another station n they jump off
taking with em their portable argument
i get out at mariatorget my station
up the escalators
i stop in the shop at the top
and buy a bag of mixed sweets
and walk outside
its snowing n dark n cold
the snowflakes settle on my face
but i feel very large and very relaxed
i stop in a supermarket n i buy some semolina
which is what i virtually lived off
make this milky pudding
throw in some brown sugar or jam
cheap n filling
at lunchtime i go to an n.a. meeting
mainly cos i’m lonely
and to see whos there
the usual bunch gathers outside the hall
champing n smoking in the cold
all addicts to some drug
people stand up n share
its mostly in swedish n i tune out
sometimes a rockstar or politician is there
sometimes someone says something un-p.c.
and the room bristles…!
a lot of people mouth the party line
and everyone approves
i’m pathetic
when someone asks me how long i been clean
i say not long
or i say about 2 hours
i often connect with other users n dealers there
and go off n score
i have even walked out of a meeting
had a fix in the bathroom
n walked back in
of course everyone knew who was using
but they remained pretty tolerant
i even turned up for sessions with my sponsor
completely on the nod and dozing out
i was a kind of functioning dad
i picked the kids up
took them to ballet or kung fu lessons or whatever
i made the simple dinners i could make
i got them into bed if they were staying with me
occasionally marty would show up n stay with me
i had an amazing apt in sodermalm
like stockholms eastern suburbs type of thing
(ie hip)
i had a little loft bed and an amazing kitchen
i had a huge living room
with big windows to watch the snow
marty would show up to visit his swedish kid
hed crash on my lounge n watch soccer all day n night
sometimes i’d borrow money off him
or sell him my equipment
(hes the owner of my fender six bass n my vocoder)
i spent the day
ringing up people round the world
trying to get them to western union me dough
somedays i couldnt raise any finances
very occasionally a dealer ‘d give ya credit
but usually not
my friends martin k n fred d helped me out often
sharing their meagre stashes with me
i often was hungry sick and lonely
i sat n wrung my hands in despair
but when the money came in
i’d buy a loada dope
n sit in my apt on bastugatan
happy n alone in my dreamy dope fuelled deleria
i needed nothing or no one
i watched days of our lives or read books in swedish
and i shot dope
when i was flush
dealers would deliver
and i became friends with a guy called kjell
a big athletic handsome red blooded swedish geezer
except he had a raging smack n rohypnol habit
and hed drop round my place
in the course of his day doing his “straight” job
and hed shoot up n smoke up the “roppes” as the swedes called em
there was something very disconcerting
at seeing this vision of viking perfection
having a fix n nodding out
but when things were good he came every day
we drank tea and ate biscuits (pepparkakor)
and discussed the events of the day
when i had money n dope life was grand
when i didnt life was a miserable dirty anxious hell
people tried to get me off but nothing worked
the pursuit of dope was my only desire
all else was some hassle
i made music with people
sam therapy n king dice have a track or two out there
but i was unreliable n either had had too little or too much
it was all or nothing at all
lost in a northern wilderness of pain
and all the junkies were insane
the stockholm underbelly
the dark secret in the heart of hyper-normality
hanging around the central station
strange hungry looking people
sleepy n demented looking people
whores n cripples n thieves n pimps
and amongst them there
look isnt that…that guy…
who sang that song….
it couldnt be him!

40 Responses to “crash course in driving”

  1. avatar
    princey | 2 April 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    Glad that hellhole of a life is out and over with for you sk.
    I cant believe it’s the same person writing this blog today. I’m so happy you’re alive and healthy and with us today Killsy 🙂
    Love Amanda

  2. avatar
    EDD | 2 April 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    Hey Steve, maybe you could get an endorsment deal from the folks at Quik chocolate mix……..

  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 April 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    Yes you were a sad bastard. We were all sad bastards. Now we get on with the program, write!

  4. avatar
    Altres | 2 April 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    That was a difficult but enlightening read, Steve. Trainspotting in Sweden. Thanks for going there.


  5. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 2 April 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    Sure sounds like very bleak times!

    Steve Kilbey watching Days Of Our Lives? Unreal.

  6. avatar
    ronbonham | 2 April 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    Sad, sad, sad. So glad that you made it back Steve.

  7. avatar
    Richard | 2 April 2009 at 11:16 pm #

    so glad you’re back

  8. avatar
    Richard | 2 April 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    Amanda (and anyone else who’s been trying at shaky mental islands)

    sorry about comment problem – now fixed I think

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 April 2009 at 11:31 pm #

    Brilliant…so sad, but oddly uplifting knowing you got through it all…a whole novel right there, Killer. The heart of darkness on the point of a pin.

  10. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 2 April 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    There seem to be similarities between heroin and alcohol. A few famous celebrities and rock stars quit heroin and supplanted it with alcohol which is legal and actually condoned in most sectors.

    Hero In=Problems Gone ! Formula for addiction to begin.

  11. avatar
    ed in fl | 3 April 2009 at 12:04 am #

    telling, sad lament of a pitiful and pathetic existence. Could you follow this up with how you finally overcame it?

    Ed in fl

  12. avatar
    loolaabillions | 3 April 2009 at 1:58 am #

    reading this blog today reminds
    me so much of some distant
    dark days (89′-94′) being a partner
    of someone
    in your same position
    and i must say it was hell
    for me…not so much
    for him (unless he was straight)
    and needless to say our
    relationship disintergrated
    to the point of mental/physical
    me being 19 and him 33
    meant he always had the upper hand.
    my current partner of 15 years
    was my ultimate saviour.
    still even now ( i hear)
    my ex is a’ functioning’ addict
    and i was always surprised
    by how many other users he associated
    with that had high end jobs…reporters,journos,
    lawyers,some docters and alot of nurses….
    even though i hated how that life long ago
    made me feel i guess it exposed me
    to a side of life that i needed to see
    anyhow i hope you always keep that dragon at bay sk

    (and for the record i never used myself
    but i did have a raging pot habit till
    i fell pregnant with my son in 2004)

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 2:07 am #

    Don’t what is the most heartbreaking.
    The junkie tales or the fact that you think the Eastern Suburbs is hip!
    Oh the humanity!

  14. avatar
    these my friends | 3 April 2009 at 2:21 am #

    these are my friends
    see how they glisten
    see this one shine
    how he smiles in the light
    my friends, my faithful friends
    speak to me friend
    whisper i’ll listen
    i know youve been locked
    out all of these years
    like me
    my friend
    home and were together
    and well do wonders
    come let me hold you
    you grow warm in my hand
    my clever friend
    rest now my friends
    soon ill unfold you
    soon youll know splendors
    you never have dreamed
    all your days
    my lucky friends
    till now your shine
    was merely silver
    friends you shall drip rubies
    youll soon drip precious

  15. avatar
    linjo | 3 April 2009 at 2:33 am #

    Thank you very much for the sharing Steve. Your book will be fascinating. A show on ABC last night about the history of surfing in Australia said alot of heroin in the 70’s came in with US sailors.
    PS “that song” featured, so beautiful

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 2:48 am #

    days of our lives!
    I watched that daily when that retarded chick with baby elvis was on there. H sounds like fun. I want to try it just once (O;

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 2:52 am #

    glad you lived.xo what else can i say,

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 2:55 am #

    You left me crying this morning Steve. Saw it all with my brother… you’re lucky you got off that train.

  19. avatar
    Heidi | 3 April 2009 at 3:28 am #

    Steve, if you don’t mind my asking, how long has it been now that you’ve been clean?

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 4:32 am #

    Reminds me of the dear Weasel and his troubles… glad you put them days behind you…

  21. avatar
    steve | 3 April 2009 at 5:00 am #

    They say its good to remember the bad times to keep from using. Glad you made it through to the other side! Eagerly awaiting the new release.

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 6:00 am #

    Sharing needles AND selling vintage guitar gear away..? That is horrible.

    In the Stockholm subway you can meet the lady of your life, in every five minutes. That’s enough of a drug.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 7:55 am #

    Thank goodness those days are long gone. Look at how your life has turned out now. So glad you had the determination to beat the habit, hate to think what could have happened. There are lots of people so very proud of you and what you have achieved in this life. Yes, you definitely are an artiste of many genres, and a very good one at that.

    Looking forward to playing the new Church cds again to see if my new fave songs are the same or wouldn't surprise me if I've changed my mind.

    Have a very happy weekend. Take care.

    Peace & love

  24. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 3 April 2009 at 8:59 am #

    …oh fuck that sounds grim, jesus, what was the catalyst for you to decide to go straight(relatively speaking) and how did you do it…..
    i’m amazed you didn’t end up as a statistic in a public toilet somewhere, the way things were going….
    brien c, believe me untitled #23 is worth the wait!!!!!
    love always….

  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Yeah, but what the fuck did you THINK would happen when you started on heroin?!
    And is is true that it was Grant who got you onto the stuff in the first place?
    Glad this ain’t you anymore, Killa.

  26. avatar
    Freddie | 3 April 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Wow, the beast that almost consumed you; you’re lucky to be alive.
    I’m certainly glad you’re still here singin’ yer songs.
    But if you had gone down, you’d probably be wildly famous today. ;->

  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    I am relieved to hear that you are well and continue on with your talents in arts and music.

    Heroin is nothing to fool around with.

    My sister, her husband, and my two neices are in jail because of it. A man is dead by thier hands because of it.

    At times I feel like they are dead and alive all at the same time. It is such a painful experience. It is very hard for me to process it all

    I have to say that if you can make it beyond its grasp you truly are your own Hero!

    Much Love to You Mr. Kilbey

  28. avatar
    lily was here | 3 April 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Its awfully hard to read these flashbacks and know what it must’ve been like to feel so utterly lost. I had to remove the chill in my bones so went and had another look at the new paintings. Obama’s sunny portrait is wonderful. Favourites are Night Has A Thousand Eyes (how amazing would that look on a wall), SK in Lemuria Pink, Elektra (stunning) and NK in Lemuria and really love Leaving Sydney. The Visitors a very cool painting, Im always drawn to the ones with the black velvety backgrounds where the colours you use sit so well. So lucky the ones who get to see them in the flesh xxx

  29. avatar
    CSTCoach | 3 April 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    jesus, what a bleak vision. glad you’re out of that killa.

    how did you end up in stockholm in the first place?

  30. avatar
    John Garratt | 3 April 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    When did all this happen? What Church albums came out of this mess?

    Because they might be ones that struck a deep chord with me.

    John Garratt

  31. avatar
    davem | 3 April 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    Thank God you pulled yourself out of that.
    Proud of you!

  32. avatar
    pennybridge | 3 April 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this.
    I didn´t think there was a way back from heroin, is there really?

    Stockholm 3 April: a lovely spring day and 15 degrees WARM. The dealers are long gone from “Plattan”. (Still a pretty ugly place though …)
    Welcome back!

  33. avatar
    CSTCoach | 3 April 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    hey fiendss,

    i just posted a review of painkiller to my blog (, basically the same review I posted here a while back. i’m not a music writer by any means, but give it a digg to drive up hits, and please feel free to post the link for that entry anywhere at all if you think it’ll help spread the word on this fucking brilliant album.

    IMO, the more vocal we are with posting stuff online, the more traffic makes its way to yonder Killa.

  34. avatar
    catchow | 3 April 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    dark and gloomy atmosphere for this part of your life…
    loneliness and sadness emerge from
    your blog…
    the most important is that you
    got out of it so well…

  35. avatar
    jaime r... | 3 April 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    thanks for sharing that.. Im glad you got off.. Ive seen some good hearts chase that dragon all the way dead.. good dudes.. gone inna flash.. I always had faith in the future and life and that people loved it just as much I did.. in spite of the spites.. But then, some can’t see outside of it.. and the pain is just too much to bear.. too much..

    Amazing… what possession these substances have over us.. such delicate operations of our minds.. small insatiable satisfactions.. so many overlooked practices.. drinking, T.V. sexual obsessions… just as dangerous to the soul.. narcotic properties..
    the grit of the cracked dawn..

    blessings killer.. glad you’re here.

  36. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 April 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    God SK, thanks for being so candid. Your blog and your life is art- so unlike the self aggrandizing BS that other blogging pop stars have out there.
    Best wishes,

  37. avatar
    eek | 3 April 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Powerful. The little things you remember elevate this to a whole other level.

  38. avatar
    veleska1970 | 3 April 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    as i’ve said before, i’m glad you are out of that hellhole. where would we be without you??

    lotza love….

  39. avatar
    davem | 3 April 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Morning SK!

  40. avatar
    captain mission | 4 April 2009 at 7:48 am #

    sadness, i’m glad you beat it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.