posted on May 9, 2008 at 9:45 pm

blessed be the holy land of usa
for verily my childe
this is the source of rock
the blackmans blues
the whiteys folk
it suddenly mutates
johnny winston oboogie in old albion he catches on
micknkeef in dartford prick up its ears
jimbo in florida ….uh huh something going on
tom verlaine in del-a-where
little stevie k in a car park in canberra
waiting for his daddy
when daddy comes back he dont know his lil slim is changed
daddy i heard the who
daddy i heard a new take
daddy not morose like blues
daddy not preachy like fucking folk
daddy not complicated like jazz
daddy not limp like schmaltz
daddy this is raw and real
daddy im gonna be a rocker
even when i’m older than you are now, much older
i will build my church upon this rock
those guitars
they can shiver and wobble and vibrate and scream
and the drums like a jungle in a auto-plant
and the bass guitar …will ya listen to that….
son can you make a living plucking that 4 string behemoth
yes father
it was ever my destiny
on my 16th birthday
my first bass comes to me
and i set to
figuring out how i will say
whatever it is i will be saying
i look in the mirror
can a rock star be covered in freckles
i strum my tennis raquet
i put pictures of blue cheer and quicksilver on my wall
leon russell in his top hat leering off my wardrobe
in the darkness of those years
me n fernando drive round canberra trying to crash parties
we buy galaxy cigarettes and jam in peoples garages
5 guitarists all plugged into one amp
the drummer called mark
hes got a pretty sister who goes out with tony haze
whos in a real band
i feel important just standing in their backyard
out the back of the garage is a little room put on
we lounge around in there smoking cigs n reading magazines
i just found beard of stars in a record shop
and in one of marks sisters old teen magazine
is a story on bolan
hes sitting in some english garden on a summer day
far from wintery canberra n my thick jammin’ pals
who love the blues but not the rock like me
they aspire to denim n beards n long solos
but now ive found marc bolan i’m beginning to see the light
i gobble up the article
i read n re read it
he looks like a homo says fernando
my mother would hate it if i looked like that
said my half spanish half irish friend
but i didnt care
we went back in the garage
and tried to play some dismal savoy brown blues
shes got a ring on her finger n a ring thru her nose
sang the boys
but they had already started to lose me
i went home and i listened to bolan
his effeminate warble did not seem to disturb me
he was like a faun come to this dull world
and he sang of marvellous things
but he was starting to fuse it to this chuck berry simplicity
ah here were the twelve bars that fernando n angelo n mark loved
but not as some moaning boring old whinge going on n on
but as sprightly ramped up n declarations of intent
not the old i woke up this smornin’ n baby was gone stuff
see marc didnt see the contradiction between myth n modern
he just put it all in there
but you knew in yer heart
that in the dark
marc bolan could please the ladies
more than some old grunter singin’ the interminable blues
bolan wasnt all caught up in no paying yer dues bullshit either
he fused narnia n rock n corinth n berry n dandy n delicate
he finished songs on strange ominous chords
he had a song called the wizard
and at the end
he was screaming
and his guitar was distorting
and this little orchestra arranged by t visconti
is jamming along
and it was like being at a dionysian rite
(if you were 16 n lived in canberra)
a little later that year
i was sitting in a chair at a party
when some incredible song came on
it was the first time i had ever heard” get it on”
wherein the imagery n berry n sleekness
all came together
in the most perfect song ever
no one had reassembled rocks ingredients like this before
childe, bolan had a number one hit mentioning
the teeth of the hydra…
can you believe the significance of that to me…?
at the same time as i was hearing this new rock amalgam
a girl i’d never met before sat in my lap n began kissing me
this must have imprinted something on me i guess
rock became my mainstay n everything else seemed a waste of time
why did i need to mow the lawn or go to school
when there was rock…?
and all i had to do
was spin the record
and there was marc bolan
ready to take you off to some super eleusinian woodland scene
full of elvish babes and silver plated electric boogie on
and everyone there spoke in mystic poetic jive lingo
and everyone was high on love n magic
and the guitar was king
but always a little strange
like a grimms fairy tale all gone wrong
and bolan drove round in a roller
and he was a millionaire
and mickey finn was the first guy
i ever saw wearing that t shirt that said cocaine
instead of coca cola
and i didnt know what cocaine was of course
but it had to be better than getting bullied at the lyneham shops
by some teen neanderthal in a flannel shirt n his jeering flunkies
i knew in bolans world i would cut a cool figure
but out here in can-fucking-berra
things were bleak n dead for a cat like me
people in canberra in 1971 could not grok a proto-genius like me
it was a crucible to forge my identity in
in london or l.a.
i woulda been a dime a dozen
but here in the a.c.t 2602
i was at the centaur of my own uni-verse
i sat at home
i deconstructed bolans every last whisper
every last bubble of phased distortion
his pronunciation
his choice of instruments
i figured him out
and i figured myself out
and i figured out
that i WAS right
and all them planks in canberra in 1971
were wrong
and i would
aided n abetted by rocknroll
escape canberras tedious monotony
and escape the sludgy seventies
and in 1982
i materialized on a stage in london
at a 2000 people sold out gig
and i actualized my understanding
from the humble beginnings in a garage in dickson
i had sussed out a masters style
and just as he did
i was reapplying it for my own schtick…
in 1982 i visited the tree adorned with flowers
where he died in 77
all that to end up here….?!
bang a gong

13 Responses to “divination”

  1. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 10 May 2008 at 12:33 am #

    I totally understand SK’s reverence for Bolan and Bowie. However, for selfish reasons I love the realty that vintage Church music is more similar to The Byrds, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Too many bands try to emulate Bowie. Especially, Brett Anderson of the “London Suede”. He’s pretty good at it I must admit (some times).

  2. avatar
    captain mission | 10 May 2008 at 1:59 am #

    i was watching a fantastic clip on you tube yesterday you may enjoy…

    watch the whole thing, it’s really great.

  3. avatar
    davem | 10 May 2008 at 6:17 am #

    I can so relate to that.
    Reading and re-reading the words of Steve Sutherland in Melody Maker about this new australian band…..staring endlessly at the rear cover of the blighty version of OSAH….the words…the pearls are real, have one for free..they’re washed up by the foam waved sea….everyone here talking about this same band….the new only ones, but better….The Venue!
    Thanks for the journey SK. Thanks for following your dream. It remains amazing to be allowed into your world.
    Very early Saturday morning here. Quiet. Mimesis on – I’ve found it works in the stillness of the morning too. Haunting.
    Much love to all.

  4. avatar
    the dean | 10 May 2008 at 6:31 am #

    Imagine if they’d built Canberrs on the coast instead of the half baked half frozen nowhere.

    For those who don’t know Canberra on a good day it’s Starfleet Headquarters, on a bad it’s the arsehole of the universe.

    SK had a miraculous escape from the straightest Straightsville in all of ol Ausrali.

  5. avatar
    fantasticandy | 10 May 2008 at 7:04 am #

    ‘get it on’ is one of the greatest singles ever…i saw ’em perform it live the day it hit no.1 in blighty!
    a most memorable gig.
    the girls were fainting all over the place…it was the new street odeon birmingham.
    i think a lot of the seats needed sanitizing after the show!
    bolan did his best chuck berry ‘duck-walk’ during hot love and kicked up a storm with elemental child….

    meanwhile i’m still dreamin’…..

  6. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 10 May 2008 at 7:56 am #

    for esskay it was bolan, for me it was esskay, 1982’s The Blurred Crusade…

  7. avatar
    lily was here | 10 May 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Can a rockstar have freckles? You make your own rules in rock’n’roll

    The Bolan song that got me was Metal Guru ๐Ÿ™‚ – for some reason i just loved that line “just like a silver-studded sabre-tooth dream” ha ha. Not many, could get away with that Now I’ve gotta go listen to it.


    ps Im so envious Andy!

  8. avatar
    princey | 10 May 2008 at 10:43 am #

    I bet you were a real “spunk” back in the 70’s, long hair, blue eyes & freckles, tight jeans….yummm ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 10 May 2008 at 10:48 am #

    the Byrds
    (late period) Beatles
    (early period) Pink Floyd
    (mid period) Beach Boys
    (70ยดs) David Bowie
    elvis Presley
    frank sinatra
    Neil Young
    Ryan Adams

    To me, if it’s the real thing, it’s great music regardless of genre or demographic.
    Music is love. Music is life.

  10. avatar
    tim | 10 May 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    At age 10…it was the riff in Barracuda by Heart that hit me…followed by My Sharona by The Knack

    thank god 10 years later i would discover two bands that spoke to me in very different ways. One was a Canadian group called the Grapes of Wrath…the disc Treehouse spoke to my alienation and “piece of mind” resonated with a young man from a broken home. While somewhat derivitive in nature (it seemed everyone was trying to sound like either REM or U2)they would soon fade into obscurity. the second piece of music that would move me beyond discription was this otherworldly sound …the bass line to Destination, the drums and guitar …the space in that intro was as haunting as the notes…that break in the song where drums start pounding and vocals appear to be chanting sent a shiver up my spine and I was hooked. The rest is history. My name is tim..and I am a Church-a-holic…please provide painkiller…

  11. avatar
    davem | 10 May 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    Princey…have you seen the baby grande pics????
    Corkingly hot here in blighty….sat outside with the famb….we’ve trifled with some Television and some Electric Prunes but in comparsion to Isidore, Seance and ULTC??…well…. consider us conquered.
    Much love to you Steve. Love you more, always.

  12. avatar
    stealthblue | 10 May 2008 at 9:25 pm #

    Hello All,
    As always, good to know there are others still. SK, I hear ya loud and clear. Your Canberra experience is so very similar to my Southern Arizona “trip.” Although born in Tucson (the closest thing to a big city in the 70s and 80s), my good old dad thought it would be a good idea to yank us out of “the big city” and bivouac us in the middle of nowhere (on some of the most beautiful scenery in AZ) while we built a house, etc. Good times for the most part, but for me, there was always something missing, not to mentione ALWAYS being challenged by some of the many ignorants. Aside from loving the wilderness, and all that, mostly I was quite the alien among that region’s inhabitants…”rednecks and super-straights” Many had good hearts, but music was most definitely NOT where we met eye to eye. Although I can appreciate most forms of music including (old)Country, even with the radio out there I never truly found MY music yet. Fortunately, I discovered bands like The Cars, and of course The Church while spending time in California…Thank God for those family/friends and…91X!!! Needless to say…I was saved and a whole new world that I KNEW existed had opened up to me. The journey started when I was born I’d say, but it was those pivotal moments of discovery that made me who I am and I thank GOD!! I’ll never forget the first time I heard “Bel-air”,”Unguarded…” or “Moving in Stereo”, “All Mixed Up” Those (of course the oldies too like the Beatles/Who/Doors, etc) were answered prayers, yeah…but it was definitely that whole late 70s/early 80s thing that set my rocket off.

    So, THANKS AGAIN, Steve-o. On that note, I too am in need of a new drug…got any “Pain Killer?” (Can’t wait) Good for you, man for keeping it going…and keeping us enlightened. Seriously, it is always a true pleasure reading what’s on your mind. Mostly I can relate and I do learn a lot. So, Thank you, Thank you , Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

    On a different note, gonna see MWP on Tuesday…very excited! I’m looking forward to hear the new stuff and with the Mood Maidens!

    Other than that, it is great to see all the “old” familiar names on the comments section. I also see a lot of newer ones, some way cool, and some real tools too. But that is the way of the world I guess. Good to “see” most of you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh hey, Tim, I know the band “Grapes of Wrath” too… LOVE ’em…discovered them in B.C. (Whistler) MANY years ago (over 10+ probably) They were playing and outdoor show…freezing their asses off) but they rocked. I dug them straight away. Kevin Kane is a very talented songsmith. (check out the new stuff on his Myspace page) Glad to know they are appreciated.

    Anyway, cheers to you all…

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 May 2008 at 9:54 am #

    thank you,anonymous.:) x

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