posted on September 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

afternoon of a fauna

here i really am

its 4 57 on monday afternoon sept 13

the birds singing and chirping

tyrannosaurus rex on my i-box

40 years ago since my dad bought me my first bass

80 bucks it cost a lot in 1970

56 you cant say thats not old

56 you cant say that isnt getting on a bit

a proper venerable old geeza

old moondoggy

i cast my eye back over my lifes work

it bores me

it takes much work to focus in on what i did

its done its over

most of its pretty good

thats why you love me

thats why you bother really

those songs

all those songs

oh my lord

500 or 600 hundred out there?

mostly good too

not that much dross

you see i aint no first tier genius

i am a guy who analyses the top tier geniuses

and i reassemble in my own image

so deftly have i blended them that it indeed appears to be me

and maybe it fucking is

and maybe i’m amazed by how much i really need you

ever since i was very little i was obsessed by special songs

special to me that is

songs that had some inexplicable power

songs that cast some unearthly spell

i was searching for these songs

and when once apprehended

i tried to crack the songs open

to see how it all worked

this is a kind of genius of course

a kind of mechanical genius

to be able to parse songs

to be able to figure out how that spell was created

naturally when it came time to do my own thing

this is would be my specialty

and songs are on the way all the time

a barrage of songs until the day i go down singing

thats a given

i guess the church is starting up soon

some recordings to be made etc

music everywhere

i dont want to stop

my daughters ring from stockholm to wish me a brief hbd

the doodles are at art class

scarlet with her mother

voices arguing in a room across the road

a big fat guy on his balcony in a white singlet smoking

an apricot coloured sun through incredibly subtle blue-greys

music music music

40 years since i first started bass

every now n then you make a great leap forward

it all becomes suddenly clearer

what youre doing and why youre doing it

the twin pursuits of money and excellence

to make a living by making the best of all possible musics

you got the church dedicated to that for 30 years

so i did ten years on my own

in saga

in precious little

in baby grande

then 4 years groupless

then 1980 the church

i never totally planned the church to be the way it is

i got lucky knowing pk n mwp

then of course ploogy who for a while was an amazing drummer

a real star a boy wonder

for these guys to play i came up with some special songs

special for me maybe special for you

i guided by my analytical mind

which dissects songs it loves

and puts them back together new

almost as good as knew

i keep on writing em with others or on my own

its what i do

yeah i should be good by 56

i expect to be good by now

its a given

why do so many others lose their edge?

blunted by fame and dough i suppose

not problems for your humble hero

just hanging in there

but my songs are still reliably nifty creations

i surprise myself with the many tiny allusions within illusions

well thats it folks

thanks to my well wishers

56 not out

74 Responses to “56”

  1. avatar
    Ryan McKay | 14 September 2010 at 12:25 am #

    as it’s now 12:11a.m. wishing you a belated happy birthday
    maybe sometimes hard to reconcile that in th’ same way t.rex, chilton et all inspired you to dissect th’ art of songcraft
    you inspire others of my gen, what a state of grace. dig on it brother, pass the torch..& yea, lucky doesn’t come close to describing the gift of P.K. in our lives

  2. avatar
    Betty | 14 September 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Hope you’re having a wonderful birthday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. avatar
    Betty | 14 September 2010 at 12:27 am #

    …sorry if that’s late, it’s still the 13th here!

  4. avatar
    evilren | 14 September 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve, I still find myself singing Church songs from 20 years
    back. By the way, nice picture, not bad for 56. Enjoy your day.

  5. avatar
    Ryan | 14 September 2010 at 12:44 am #

    A very happy birthday SK – and many many more.



  6. avatar
    verdelay | 14 September 2010 at 12:58 am #

    I’m here in Budapest. The parade in your honour (Hold Fesztivรกl) has just packed up and thousands of revellers are trailing off into the sidestreets and back alleys. There were elephants and orchestras; troupes of juggling baboons; 56 Lady Gaga impersonators on a ribbon bedecked float miming along to You’re Still Beautiful; there was a fly-past featuring Joan Jett, and dozens of platinum-plated zeppelins filled with nitrous oxide hanging over Gellert Hill and Buda castle. The whole city ground to a halt as the citizens put a halt to the grind and partied like it was 1899. Man, we had a blast. You shoulda been here, man…

  7. avatar
    MaxVoltage | 14 September 2010 at 1:21 am #

    Happy 56th Sk!

  8. avatar
    Tendraftsdeep | 14 September 2010 at 2:01 am #

    All these years Steve, and I never realized you and I had the same birthday until today! amazing. Have a great one!

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 14 September 2010 at 2:05 am #

    happy birthday!

  10. avatar
    Freddie | 14 September 2010 at 2:15 am #

    “here i really am”
    Yep, that kinda looks like sk but better give yerself a lil’ pinch just to make sure. ;^) Keep writing the good songs and I’ll be here too.

  11. avatar
    jcole | 14 September 2010 at 2:40 am #

    The blog link 404 issue has been resolved. Commenting now works. Sorry for any inconvenience. As always, please send site related technical issues to the webmaster on the contact form.

  12. avatar
    jcole | 14 September 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Oh yeah, great blog today Steve! Happy birthday!

  13. avatar
    bc | 14 September 2010 at 3:06 am #

    happy bday sk…
    & many more lucky 13’s!!!

  14. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 14 September 2010 at 3:14 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve !!!! Enjoy your day and stay healthy, happy and well !!!!

    ************* 56 !!!!!! ******************** (…man thats old,,,LOL)
    Like a perfect wine…only better with time (…but 56 years…wow !!! so friggin old…ooppssss he may actually read this ,,, LOL)

    As always,
    Darrin K.

  15. avatar
    Ellen | 14 September 2010 at 3:21 am #

    You are definitely NOT out at age 56! I admire your adherence to the pursuit of good health – giving up drugs, drink, taking up yoga, veganism, etc. Good for you!

    May you have many, mnay more years filled with love, music, art and excellent health, SK!

  16. avatar
    Cecilia | 14 September 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Fifty six, cincuenta y seis and you’re still full of grace.

  17. avatar
    cazziem | 14 September 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Lovely blog from the birthday boy, and yes I do me ‘boy’ as music and specifically YOUR music has no age. It’s young and modern whilst at the same time also timeless and melodious enough to enthral us older REAL music lovers. I am convince that you could take any one of your songs and provide variations to suit all tastes a bit like you do with your many man suits.

    Hope you had a fantastic birthday Mr K; you certainly deserve it for all you’ve given us. xx

  18. avatar
    lloyd | 14 September 2010 at 4:29 am #

    have a killa birthday Steve!

  19. avatar
    reid | 14 September 2010 at 4:50 am #

    hiya steven, and another happy birthday your way.

    here’s to many more years of songs
    you’ve made a difference in more lives than you’ll ever really know
    including my own
    its just music n words
    while also being so much more
    hope this next year finds personal peace
    i’ll see ya on the road


  20. avatar
    Jonny Hollywood | 14 September 2010 at 5:11 am #

    cool beans error 404 has been fixed, HAPPY 56TH!!!

  21. avatar
    Tanya | 14 September 2010 at 5:11 am #

    Nice retrospective. It is very much about those songs – those mystifying, captivating, mesmerizing, thought provoking songs.

    Bonne Anniversaire to the nifty creationist!

  22. avatar
    patrick b | 14 September 2010 at 5:14 am #

    happy b-day, steve. the church has always been my favorite musical entity. not as original or brilliant as the beatles…but preferred. that’s saying a lot, no? thanks for the effort.

  23. avatar
    davem | 14 September 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Bombed in from work to wish you a Happy Birthday. Thanks for all the magic.
    There’ll never be another quite like you…………really. My life without your music would be so, so, so much poorer.
    Indebted to you. Your music has been and remains very special indeed.
    Love always.


  24. avatar
    koala_sprint | 14 September 2010 at 5:25 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve.
    Your post got me wondering. Of the 500-600 songs, you mention that there are a few you’re none too proud of. It you were to pick 10 of those songs, and we (your humble devotees) were to compile them into an album, would we enjoy the album? I’m sure it would stand up against most hot 100 or whatever they call the charts nowadays.
    I’d be interested in hearing what songs of yours that you don’t rate. Or would it be like choosing which daughter you liked the least? Impossible job?

    Anyway, here’s to another 56.

  25. avatar
    Aperus | 14 September 2010 at 5:48 am #

    Happy birthday Steve! Thank you for the music and art you’ve created – so much of it has been a treasure in my life and a refuge from the mundane.

    For some reason, I think how Harold Budd was in his 50’s when his first album came out. And you’re still doing excellent work. Somehow I think the latter stuff is better than the earlier…

    Best Wishes,


  26. avatar
    cracka | 14 September 2010 at 6:04 am #

    a very happy birthday to u, mr. K.

  27. avatar
    Andreas | 14 September 2010 at 6:09 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve !!!
    And thanks for sharing your art for all this time. The Church is recording new music soon? Well that’s great news !!!
    Will you be touring Europe again soon ??? don’t want to wait till you’re 60… :-))

  28. avatar
    Mary Finn | 14 September 2010 at 6:12 am #

    You are an amazing person Steve! and yes your music is wonderful and very special to me, more than you will ever know :)Have a great Birthday and a special time with your family.

    Love ya always
    Mary Finn

  29. avatar
    eekie | 14 September 2010 at 6:49 am #

    “56 you cant say thats not old
    56 you cant say that isnt getting on a bit”
    The older I get the younger this looks. Maybe it’s just that my vision is getting worse….
    I remember a time when 40 seemed old to me. But then I blew by that milestone and suddenly it didn’t look so old anymore. I mean, really, me old??? Never!!
    I do think it’s hard to accurately assess your own work or at least the effect your work has on others. For instance you’ve written here about several of the songs and albums that blew you away when you heard them. Many of those have never done all that much for me…but much of your work does. You can say what you do is mostly just assemblage, but you have to have added something to make the songs you create much more than just the sum of their parts. Whatever it is, it’s special, and much appreciated — at least by me.
    “i surprise myself with the many tiny allusions within illusions”
    I adore those bits. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy Birthday!

  30. avatar
    Denise | 14 September 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Happy Birthday Steven! Thank you for all the many wondrous gifts you’ve given me over the years – you’ve made my life better and richer by your mere existence. True you’re not 35 anymore but who is? LOL! 56 ain’t that old today. Both my grandmothers lived into their mid 90’s. You could have 40 more years rockin’ on this planet. You never know. The beauty of life…you never know.
    Love and miss you,
    Denise xxoo

  31. avatar
    Lisa | 14 September 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Wishing you a happy 56th Steve! You are a true inspiration to us all. Hope your year is filled with blessings, health and happiness… XO

  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 14 September 2010 at 7:24 am #

    Happy 56th, Steve! I guess that IS starting to get up there. On the other hand, when I saw you perform in Atlanta, you looked like you had the body and energy of a 30-something guy. So it’s just a number. And you DO still have your creative edge, which I really admire you for. Here’s to many more years and many more wonderful, magical songs.

  33. avatar
    Steven Krut | 14 September 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Happy 56th, Steve! I guess that IS starting to get up there. On the other hand, when I saw you perform in Atlanta, you looked like you had the body and energy of a 30-something guy. So it’s just a number. And you DO still have your creative edge, which I really admire you for. Here’s to many more years and many more wonderful, magical songs.

  34. avatar
    Dutchpierre | 14 September 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Happy Birthday for yesterday Steve – good to have you around!

  35. avatar
    Richard | 14 September 2010 at 8:12 am #

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about 404 messages
    they remind me of my favourite car (peugeot 404 – I’ve had three)
    hope your birthday reminded you of yours

  36. avatar
    T-REX | 14 September 2010 at 9:07 am #

    Ahhhmmm ROAR “ploogy who for a while was an amazing drummer”……Rather Ploogy IS a good Drummer, he just quit while he was ahead : )

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 14 September 2010 at 11:19 pm #

      Agreed…and no mention of Jay’s work on P=A. There are moments in “Chaos” and the rest of that brilliant album that easily make u forget any one of the church’s drummers past and present- actually , any drummer at all !!!! That rhythm pounding is mesmerizing…hell its FRIGGIN CHAOTIC !!!!

      Darrin K.

  37. avatar
    Brian Turner | 14 September 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve! Thanks for years of magical music. Many of your songs have become a soundtrack to my life. “You never should have used magic..”, but I am glad that you did…

    Brian Turner
    Atlanta, Ga…

  38. avatar
    Matt Davison | 14 September 2010 at 9:26 am #

    All the best SK…… you know I think ya pretty good!! I’d still carry yr guitar & paint ya mugg!! But mostly I just wanted to say have an amazing year ahead. Still should do arty gig thing in Nue Zlund. all the best mate MD

  39. avatar
    T-REX | 14 September 2010 at 9:28 am #

    AhhMmmm ” ploogy who for a while was an amazing drummer “, rather Ploogy IS an amazing drummer, naturally so and forever more>>> ROAR!!!!!!

  40. avatar
    captain mission | 14 September 2010 at 9:33 am #

    happy birthday steve.
    yes those spells you wrote all those years ago just kinda drifted across the water and lodged in my heart somewhere, still feel them strong as ever. and all the songs i hear you play now seem ever potent and powerful, richer and deeper, closer to something true in a world of deceptions.

  41. avatar
    DavidR | 14 September 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Hope you enjoyed your Bday !

    FYI – you are a first string genious in my opinion


  42. avatar
    David | 14 September 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Happy Birthday, Steve…may you be blessed with many more years and thanks for all the great music (you are truly an inspiration…and yeah, I play bass too). God bless you, SK…rock on…and on…

  43. avatar
    Mary Finn | 14 September 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Wonder why happy bday msg didn’t work ๐Ÿ™

  44. avatar
    melquiades | 14 September 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve. You’re a lighthouse of strength.

  45. avatar
    Triantelope | 14 September 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Hey Steve – The day you got your first bass is the day that I was born.

  46. avatar
    Phish Boy | 14 September 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Happy B Day Steve, so happy to have stumbled upon your music, thank you.

  47. avatar
    Jasperina | 14 September 2010 at 11:03 am #

    …and maybe I’m amazed at the way you make me feel. Saw a doco on Paul M recently. Where he said something about how all that he wanted to do by making music was to be free…We can all tap into that kind of magic. Simple, pure and free. I liked your very apt description of Ploogy as the boy wonder! Can easily picture you trying to blow out 56 candles with one deep yogic breath

  48. avatar
    JigSaw | 14 September 2010 at 11:13 am #

    happy birthday my man…

  49. avatar
    kell | 14 September 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Yes, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR KILBEY!!! If only i could’ve written something last night, but alas, the universe kept saying ‘no’!!! Oh well, the energy yesterday was ‘the lunar tone of challenge’ merged with ‘endlessness’. HA!!!(And this occurs as a computer glitch on the website…)

    Did visit a new rainforest & felt very intune with both Kilbey & Stephen Cummings ~ what wonderful people you both are! What beautiful song creations, & poetry. Thankyou Steve for all, may 56 be an amazing year of light bursting through your soul into & onto this planet. EVEN MORE SO!!!
    Lots of love, K.

  50. avatar
    DavidP | 14 September 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    ‘appy burph dae Steve, 56 years young, hope your 57th year is your best yet.

  51. avatar
    mark griffith | 14 September 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    happy birthday steve…love ya man!

  52. avatar
    Dannis K. | 14 September 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    11:49 p.m. in Toronto…happy birthday Steve!
    love and best wishes Steve…

  53. avatar
    david | 14 September 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    “some kind of innocence is measured out in years”

    happy bday doctor kilbopolis!

  54. avatar
    jaime r.. | 14 September 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    You’re a star… and we love ya.. keep on keeping on.. just thought of how fortunate it is for the whole lot that the church is alive and well.. blessings old beane.. aho. :)aime.

  55. avatar
    Beltway Greg | 14 September 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Happy birthday Steve. Much respect from Washington, DC. We’re all under the Milky Way tonight and every night.

  56. avatar
    Trevor D | 14 September 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Yeah, Steve, you may not be a genius. But luckily most of us don’t need genius to touch us, to affect us, to bring pleasure and reflection and sadness and joy.
    You did that the first time I saw Unguarded Moment on Old Grey whistle Test in when was it? Maybe 30 years ago.
    Getting on for 50 myself, too old to be starstruck. But your work still moves me and takes me places.
    Your work affects lives, and for the good.
    Genius? Who cares.
    Happy birthday mate

  57. avatar
    Scot McPhie | 14 September 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Steve you’ll never lose the magic mate – it’s part of what you are

  58. avatar
    esne snoner | 14 September 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    sk – belated birthday wishes to you – been thinking about the first/second tier thing – at the risk of sounding very sycophantic i have always thought the church are as first tier as it can get post beatles – who let’s face it had zilch in the way of contemporaries and/or competition and a very blank pallet on which to cast their very many soundscapes – as for the church – as a comparison it’s a very noisy world this band has to work in – yet still manages to deliver unique and visionary music

    examples – sunken sun – stop the world I wanna get off – 2 places at once – read it and weep – tantalised – let’s get pasted to that wall at the back of the room – happy hunting ground – you want strings with that? – aura – the history of the world in 2 and a half verses – just for you – now that’s what i call a love song – and that’s just getting started

    many happy returns to you sir – love your work – long may it last

  59. avatar
    hellbound heart | 14 September 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    ….is your blog going to let me comment now???

  60. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 14 September 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    SK10: you’ve survived Elvis by 14 years. But Dylan still has you by 13 years. You’re doing good, man. Carry on and live long. The world benefits from the right half of your swell (swollen?) brain. happy birthday, man. Wilfred P

  61. avatar
    Glen Sherman | 14 September 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Steve, I have been following you and The Church since 1988. Iam quite sure that you are one of the most talented and articulate artists in all of Art’s history. My SK paintings are a treasure to me; right up there with my most precious family heirlooms. I am delighted to hear you tell us that you are still enthusiastic about creating music. In a brief conversation on a Kansas City sidewalk, you asked me (in 2004) if “we (The Church) should keep going until we are into our nineties”. I couldn’t speak a word of sense at the time, being dazzled by the blinding light and radiance, but I can tell you now that you will always have at least one fan (more likely, a multitude of fans) hungry to hear the latest creations from one of the great musical geniuses of all time. In truth, you are a great treasure. You are one the the earth’s rare yields. It’s unfortunate that your timing is just a bit out of synch, but if that has kept you humble and, more importantly, kept you from losing your edge, then it has been a matter of bad timing that the world delights in. Eventually, the lustre of your inner pearl will be seen by all. It is too beautiful to be kept hidden forever. I am very grateful to the creator of the universe for bringing you along. You have added so much savor to my life. Without you and the boys in the band, I would have absolutely nothing to look forward to today as far as new music is concerned. You are the progressive rock Magellan. No one has pushed the boundaries of modern music in so many different directions. What’s profoundly amazing about your progressive expansion efforts is that you have always created worthy new achievements. You are iridium. You are the rarest of the rare. We, your devoted following, adore you with all sincerity. Happy birthday and may long life and creative bounty be with you throughout.

    • avatar
      Cocoamo | 22 September 2010 at 11:24 am #

      Yeah, what he said, in spades.

      Your Friend in Pennsylvania (now in Cocoa Beach)

  62. avatar
    Ansible Jon | 14 September 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    It’s not the number of years, but the experiences within them. It’s what you do with them. I’ve known folks a hundred years old who were younger than me. I’ve known teenagers who were ancient. Guess only you know exactly how old you are. That or the stars are tallying it all up for us.
    Be well, Being.

  63. avatar
    Paula | 15 September 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve

  64. avatar
    keith | 15 September 2010 at 1:29 am #

    Happy birthday old man. Rylan turns 5 today. When he woke up this morning, he reminded me “dad, its steve kilbeys bday too!”

    have a great day!

  65. avatar
    matthew | 15 September 2010 at 1:52 am #

    been away from the computer and missed the event! Blessings on you SK. Rock on, transcendently.

  66. avatar
    23flies | 15 September 2010 at 2:54 am #

    happy belated
    to one of my
    biggest inspirations

  67. avatar
    Tricia | 15 September 2010 at 6:55 am #

    Happy BBD, Steve… seems like a good time to say thanks for all the songs over all the years — don’t evah stop! You’re the best, in my book.

  68. avatar
    robertmadore | 15 September 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Belated HBD to you virgo brother! I’ll be exactly ten years behind you in a few hours.

  69. avatar
    Jeff L | 15 September 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve. It boggles my mind when I think of how you and the Church are still doing IT. How lucky are the true fans of your band? Thank you for the dedication to your craft. There are so many things left to discover in the music that I have already heard you create. Its eerie/ironic that the music that all four of you are making now is definitely the best you have ever made. Again, thanks.

  70. avatar
    Bob + Maria | 15 September 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Steve- if you’re still doing this when we’re all eighty(and I hope you and the gang are)- we’ll be there. Happy belated birthday. Bob + Maria.

  71. avatar
    Sally | 16 September 2010 at 12:02 am #

    I also am creeping towards a certain age, the imaginary measurements tell us.
    Life is full of unanswered questions and the critic, no always a friend.

    I agree w/Bob & Maria, hope you’ll still be doing this when you’re 80, and we’ll be at the shows, as always.

    Happy Birthday Mr. Kilbey!!

  72. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 September 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Happy Belated B-Day. I do sincerely hope you keep on writing, playing, singing and blogging until you leave this realm. You are so good at all!

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