posted on September 9, 2015 at 9:09 am
las vegas

las vegas dressing room time:now!

after a million miles on the bus

after the all the bumps and curves and shaking

groaning down the moonlit highway with a trailer full of gear

the music ringing on in my ears forever

i can hear virtually nothing but the ringing

day and sizzling night

my poor shot out ears

i guess its all worth it one day

i guess when i’m home again doing the washing up

i guess when my suitcase expires and all the socks escape

the tour winds around the usa

the deserts the giant redwoods the uninhabited spaces behind my eyes

the whirlwind plunges and lunges forwards

we pull up in some deserted coastal town

where the fuck was that oregon or california

a mexican restaurant and that was it

trudging through nevada 105 degree heat

boutique towns that look like movie sets

the quarries and the cornfields of the flat lands

alluvial plains and bridges and ditches and telegraph poles

the audiences cheer and clap they file in and out of the theatres and gigs

the guitars go back in the cases

the bass waits silently in the darkness

the lights are yet dimmed

the stage lays in black unrealised

the notes and words  all potential

we hit seattle and denver and somewhere else, didn’t we..?

we grab our meals

we slosh down our drinks

we light up a smoke outside in the quiet

we lose ourselves in some song

dislocated by the road

i march into your life and back out again

my voice is uncertain and frail in the small hours

and the distance is always beckoning on somewhere else

i lose contact with the world

i live within this strange waking dream

miles and miles and miles later

ordering a coffee

they ask me for a name

and i look around for what seems like hours

waiting for my name to appear on my lips

waiting for the tour to slow its way to an end

i don’t know anymore




28 Responses to “dusty trails”

  1. avatar
    Arcturus | 9 September 2015 at 9:32 am #

    Hi Steve
    Nice,the randomness of…your finally here in Vegas..Its completely Awesome..Ive missed you touring several times over the last decade or soo..but not this time,in fact..I can see the link from my’re out there somewhere..

  2. avatar
    Arcturus | 9 September 2015 at 9:34 am #

    Nice,the randomness of…your finally here in Vegas..Its completely Awesome..Ive missed you touring several times over the last decade or soo..but not this time,in fact..I can see the link from my’re out there somewhere..

  3. Jmb066
    Jmb066 | 9 September 2015 at 10:26 am #

    WOW!! When you look at the map of the US and all of the places you visited this year it had to be 4,000 plus miles. We appreciate it, I am sure you miss your family and them you. Get home safe, relax and then start that next Church album. Really anxious to get you back here to the states, we have been spoiled with this tour, future, past, perfect tour, intimate space tour and the So Love May Find Us Tour. I have seen every tour from Starfish 88 until now, some times one show, other 2-3 depending on location. Never a disappointment, always something for me to look forward to. Great to see you at the KC meet and greet, hope you continue to do that in the future. My wife was so jealous, we will see you next time.


  4. avatar
    Loren | 9 September 2015 at 11:52 am #

    We take and you give. We will take all you can give and more. But what you give….ahh…. A powerhouse performance condensed in 9 numbers. My wife who didn’t understand at first looks at me five songs in and says “this won’t be long enough…. Not even close”. So she finally knows. Finally gets it. Meeting you was a dream… You thought my choice of baal weird to work through my grief, but what magic elixir of words and tunes contained within. A salve for a torn soul. I wonder if you truly see what you bring with what you do. Thank you is meant to be so deep, but plays so pitifully shallow…

  5. avatar
    mattyc | 9 September 2015 at 11:56 am #

    A rusty irony, the artist and the pain,flooding from the Marshalls, arresting the crowd. Lonely adulation. The applause muffles and moves on, desert dust on the traveller’s dusty boots. Lines are crossed, supper served.another start, another end. But we remember. Oh yes we do. And we smile…

  6. etta
    etta | 9 September 2015 at 12:18 pm #

    Shifting again shortly myself
    Not bad here but i am minus my kids
    Who grew who knew
    Tonight is just about the last night
    I can languish on this balcony
    Watching day intensify into night
    Wondering what lie past the pylons
    They say there may be mountains
    Maybe i can take a day trip
    Must get packing
    Good riddance say some
    Others suddenly wonder must one?
    So be it
    I will drift with river
    Or rain or snow or whispers
    Or light beams gold or silver
    And other more substantial
    or insubstantial things
    Just like you all
    Maybe at different times or paces
    Pretty much all the same
    As i tried to say
    But you said it better

  7. etta
    etta | 9 September 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    I mightve said the pylons are lightened by lash like leaves n feathers… but speaking of socks, still playing musical socks. I forgot again!

  8. avatar
    ZeroKule | 9 September 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    Hi Steve… This is Tom, a new fan and Twitter follower from Chicago here (although Milky Way has always been my favorite 80’s song). It killed me missing The Church at Old Town School of Folk Music, but I had already bought Santana tickets for the family, like the day before I learned The Church was playing the same night! Agghh!!! Glad you were sold out.

    Being a former bar band musician from the 1980’s, I always thought it was genius that in Under the Milky Way, during the Am7 chord, the bass plays F# instead of G. I never would have thought of that.

    FYI – the Church website has been down for several days. Can’t track where the band is playing.

    Laurel Canyon has been in my head for 3 weeks!

    Keep the music coming man. Your voice has improved with age.

  9. avatar
    Cath | 9 September 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    poor Steve
    Visual stimuli musical stimuli …….on and on, peace to you
    Hope you get a decent rest.
    I would love to hear about your visit to some of these far distant magical lands and cultures you refer too, you should do it someday whilst you can go pilgrimage and take yer lappy, paint compose another garage of cosmic road sutras, Steve’s round the world in 80 days the many ancient wonders tour, but instead of mega busy metropolises, find havens of life too, rich acoustic forests to soothe the ears, distant cliffs over oceans, but i reckon you’d be seeing a bit of that anyway.
    You are a legend Steve for keeping giving even as it takes your ears, here is something that might help the cilia rest,good white noise, hope it’s ok to post a link,
    . Sending some absent reiki, Be well drive safe C

  10. avatar
    crimson | 9 September 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    The wind is shifting again. We’re all going thru about to start yet another round. Eclipses and what comes after, we can’t know just yet…

  11. avatar
    Steven Krut | 10 September 2015 at 4:08 am #

    You seem all toured out. It’s been an incredible 12 months, hasn’t it? Starting from the point where the future of the band was in doubt and you needed a new guitarist, through the creation and release of F/D to the touring of three continents, it’s been an impressive arc. You’ve encountered and overcome a lot of challenges. I certainly appreciate the time and effort you put into your work.

    In the future, perhaps, you will only have to do one performance when you go on tour, which will be recorded on holographic film. Then the holograph goes on tour while you relax at home doing yoga. At every stop people will say, “Wow! Steve’s voice sounds really great tonight!” The meet and greets might be a bit tricky, I admit. 🙂

    • Pictish
      Pictish | 15 September 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      I dunno. Every sci-fi movie I’ve seen that has a clone or an android likeness or someone who’s ‘brought back’ from the dead, it just goes horribly wrong in some way. So based on numerous fictional scientific outcomes, I wouldn’t recommend creating a Holo Steve. Can you imagine the havoc if he refused to play his back catalog?

  12. avatar
    Cocoamo | 13 September 2015 at 7:47 am #

    Lovely poetry, this one, if the words just weren’t so sad.
    But you know how I feel: it’s not worth it.
    Ironic, in Pittsburgh, The Church playing at a venue in a Church, “The Alter Bar”.
    Sacrificing your hearing at the Alter.
    Me, leaving my beloved Church at the Alter by the third song. I could cry. I did cry.
    If I could have stayed to hear, maybe I’d feel differently. I don’t know. I wish there was a different way than touring. Too effn brutal. If only you all could have brought your loved ones, stayed 2 days instead of 1 in each town, had a little R&R. Undoubtedly economically unfeasible, I suppose. But life is so short.

    Last Easter, my 62-year-old brother, after just passing a physical with flying colors and about to shove off for Nigeria to work on a cargo ship, ate his Easter dinner, lay down on the couch and died. Just like that. I’m just saying.

    And if the music weren’t quite so loud. Beat that poor horse into the grave. Yeah, yeah, everyone else likes it like that.

    So many questions I wanted to ask at the meet and greet, and I forgot them all.
    Did you ever see the movie Walk Hard? Does the band read your blog? Does Marty? Whatever happened to Darrell? Do Huntsman spiders appear on the wall in your new digs?

    Anyway, and this seems so frivolous–but if the band doesn’t read the blog could you explain something to Tim for me? It’s been bothering me. It’s just that, although you may not be stormed by teaming hordes of pubescent screaming meemies, at least (as you mentioned), you find your following to be populated by the likes of doctors and lawyers–discriminating sorts who can neurologically process your genius, and you can take some satisfaction from that. God, that sounded so pretentious it even made MY teeth hurt. Oh well, won’t be the first time I spouted off and immediately regretted it.

    Speaking of which, I was talking to Tim, and he surely must have thought of me a drooling dolt. I was blathering about how important the drums are to the mood, blah, blah, and tapping my finger with the beat of “This is It” and telling him it was the Endless Sea. He’s probably long forgotten, but I surely must have sounded idiotic, and of course he didn’t correct me. But, it couldn’t have been a good feeling to hear his work being so misinterpreted. Anyway, if you could please tell Tim, (whether or not he has any such memory). I was talking about “This is It”.

    “This is It”, by the way, is one of those perfect examples of how you all distill the essence of life, the universe and everything. For those of us who have ever contemplated suicide, you nailed the mood. The music, the lyrics, the drums, spot on. Enough Debbie Downer. Dark dreary day in Pittsburgh with heavy rain drenching all day. Sigh.

    Happy Trails, wherever you may be, my friend. Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the Huntsmen spiders bite.

    Your Friend in Pennsylvania

  13. avatar
    Therese | 13 September 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Happy Birthday sk,

    Wishing you a magical day full of joy.
    Take it easy and enjoy it.

    Love Therese

  14. avatar | 13 September 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    Happy Birthday Steve!

  15. avatar
    dianeandjohn | 14 September 2015 at 7:03 am #

    dear steve,
    wishing you a lovely birthday and beautiful year ahead! toasting to you tonight, sk!
    diane and john

  16. avatar
    liferemember | 15 September 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Congratulations Joyce on your Turnbull prediction of over 50 years ago!!

  17. etta
    etta | 17 September 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    Sah! Where and when is that celtic music you mentioned aeons ago? With patienz not dem ands. 🙂 Yaws.

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