posted on October 12, 2009 at 7:09 am

i thank the lord humbly
for laying rocknroll on this world
to have lived in this day of rocknroll
to have been a childe in its golden age
oh how blessed i am
and god this olde earth doth feel so lonely
without george and john
none of you have any idea how groundbreaking this was
every idea by every other rock band you ever heard of
came from the beatles
and yet
strangely while acknowledging their supremacy
i do not love them the most
even though they and only they made all of this possible
course over in america you got your bob d
hes a different thing
but boy harness those 2 things those 2 elements
yer beatles and yer bob
and truly thou shalt be called a true rocker
course the old rolling stones had to add sex n violence
and brian wilson added wonderful sweet musicality
and mr jimi added fucking fire and animal and brute virtuosity
and then cream invented supergroups
and jack bruce played lead bass
and ginger baker played lead drums
and then came prog
and lo, that was ok for a while
not much sex n violence but lots of musical virtuosity
(but not much of it sweet)
oh im forgetting the byrds
the byrds showed us how rock could glide
(a lesson not lost on me, fiendss)
and then mark feld who called himself bolan
and david jones who called himself bowie
c,mon these guys made it interesting again for me
what a pair of twentieth century characters
what the hell was it i loved about em so much
i dunno
maybe why i always go back for more
can you believe that in 1973
i turned up at work looking like
a freckly aladin sane
at the public service in canberra
this guy said to me
youd kiss david bowies arse!
and he wanted to punch me in the halls of primary industry
right then n right there
especially when i said ….yeah…
(no fiendss, i was just incensing this ninny)
instead he just sadly shook his head n walked away
i was surprised he even knew who my haircut was sposed to be
then i was happy that it did suggest bowie
cos i cut it myself
(my david cassidy do hit the bathroom floor)
and then i dyed it with some dye my mum bought for me
my fuckin hair went bright SCARLET
my dad came home
he was in disbelief
like those indians seeing columbus’ ships coming over the sea
he was so shocked n miffed
he just said to no one in particular
‘as ‘e dyed ‘is bloody ‘air or what?
and that was the end of it
he just couldnt comprehend why a bloke would wanna do that
funny my dad had this do
a bit of an old bodgies thing
combed back with brylcreem or something
with a little wave he used to pat up
that was ok
but my vermillion spiky mess was just too much
anyway a few days later
a few guys from school drove past me
when they saw my hair
they were all laughing
and one of em held up a copy of pin ups
(they just happened to have)
and pointed at me and they all laughed
i was deliriously happy of course
and my hair do n i frequented a night clubs called jack stones
where they played the sweet n suzi q n stuff
when the the thin white drake came on we all were mesmerized
for he n bolan truly were such a notch above the other glammers
my good friend michael farrant who runs a church fanzine in england
the maven
he gave me a marvellous gift
a double glam rock cd
and its got all the classics on there
all on one double record they still sound good
by the way im continuing enjoying bab zoo on youtube
a good example of glam
my my
i digress
but ive lost track now
n too lazy to scroll back
and see what i was rabbitting on about before
and make no mistake
bowie idolized bolan
if you dont believe that then listen to black country rock
off the man who sold the world
you see they were like freud n jung
one makes the other possible i guess
sometimes the pupil goes on to better the master
bowies sphere of influence much greater
bolan was a fleeting minor star in the states
he made 3 or 4 great records and he implodes
but bowie is watching bolan from the wings
and what he unleashes eclipses bolan in many ways
i should write a book on this
i cant see anyone else who could do it better than me
such was i saturated in their music n myth
a giant poster of marc bolan..just slightly pre glam
adorned my bedroom wall
i listened to virtually nothing but bolan bowie
i mean where do you go after that?
funnily enough
back into the rolling stonies and lou reed
thats where you go
and bands like silverhead and aerosmith
i reckon theres a few great aerosmith songs btw
i sat on a plane with steve tyler once
and such was his charisma that i couldnt
figure out how it was done….!!??
anyway it also brought me into contact with mott the hoople
3 sensationally good records
all the young dudes has gotta be
one of the best songs ever written in rock
can you believe bowie…?
producing transformer and doing raw power
and tossing off this song all the young druids n producing the lp
for a couple of years everything he touched turned to gold
except lulu doing man who sold the world…that didnt…
people back then didnt understand diamond dogs or lous berlin
how can you not understand berlin??
it had it all but the idiots back then dismissed it
can you imagine dismissing an album like berlin
because it wasnt the vu all over again?
no wonder lou went off the rails
mind you rocknroll animal is an essential

look i wont have any body criticize this record
the guitars are perfection
entwining and interlacing and rocking n rolling
i hate all that virtuoso lead stuff
but this was different
this was scintillating stuff
dick wagner n steve hunter
fuck those cats can rock
rocknroll animal
oh ho
boy that record hit me square between the eyes when it came out
still the best live record ever sayeth me who must surely be an expert
after all
i went out and tried to live in these guys shadows
a confused apostle spreading some word…what word was that…?
anyway that is enough
see ya down jack stones ha

36 Responses to “hail hail rocknroll”

  1. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 12 October 2009 at 9:32 am #

    Power Pop-rocker Matthew Sweet just released what I consider to be the best cover version of All The Young Dudes, unless you count Mott The Hoople (out of the ones I've heard, anyway). Cover versions can be ever so depressing, but when they really work, they can be quite exciting and exhilerating, for instance: Ray LaMontagne's cover of Gnarls Barkely's Crazy, and The Church's cover of Cortez The Killer.

  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 9:54 am #

    I can dig it.


  3. avatar
    Jasperina | 12 October 2009 at 10:41 am #

    How cool would that be you writing a book about Bowie…

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 10:53 am #

    no relevance at all but watching good news week that bloke from grinspoon just did UMTW.
    Its gone viral !

  5. avatar
    linjo | 12 October 2009 at 11:47 am #

    Wonderful thoughts Steve. I wonder what would have evolved if John and Paul had never met. I love George Harrison's music, I was so sad when he died. 'My sweet lord' is one of my fav songs, so incredibly emotive, even for a non believer! I had 'Sticky Fingers' on vinyl which I was going to send to you until i found a crack in it. Fuck I love that album. Times a change, now here I am at 44 and totally intoxicated by everything Radiohead (well almost). Thank god for music, what would we do without those who create. xxx

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 12:20 pm #


    Bob D's Christmas album to be released tomorrow in the States.

    Gonna turn the music world upside down once again.

    He will dare everyone to criticize it, and they will, but the album will be there forever, but the critics won't.

    The 68 year old to croon your Christmas songs every year into the next eternity. Will blow Perry Como away.

    The record will be in the (cheapie) Christmas music bins in the drug stores for ever and ever.

    Long live the freak.

    Check out Boblinks website, check his tour dates, he played Greek Theatre this weekend, and on into late November, with 4 show finale in New York City.

    And your tired at age 55? Get on w/ the yoga/ yoda and get yer perspective back. Yer just getting started, so is the Church. Don't waste your foundation – it's all just warm up for what's to come.

    And everything in this life gets you ready for the next.

    My little 2 year old – he wears the t-shirt that says "I'M BACK", but nobody understands. Nobody gets it. Nobody even laughs.

    Read your Edgar Cayce, "Many Mansions". Know yer well read, but have you read that one? It was the bible for Neal and Carolyn Cassady, and those guys actually had some sense. And ya know, Carolyn is still with us, going strong in Europe at age 87. Drop me a line and I'll tell ya how to get in touch, because ya should.

    Wilfred Paradise
    North Carolina, USA

  7. avatar
    belfrank | 12 October 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Wow Killer! I watched Lou's Berlin Live in NYC with Steve Hunter yesterday – an essential dvd and Live album. Even tho it's craggy old Lou now – the years fall off and the record comes alive!!
    Then I played Rock n Roll Animal on the car on the way to and from yoga class.
    Synergy my friend?

  8. avatar
    matthew | 12 October 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    So the lad from Grinspoon was on "Spicks And Specks", ABCtv tonite doing UTMW… not too passably, in my book… I'm sure he wasn't getting all the chords. Sigh.

  9. avatar
    matthew | 12 October 2009 at 12:41 pm #

    Oh yeah – and I love the B Zoo stuff, but I noticed he actually sings "Tryannosaurus" at the start of that song… deliberate? dyslexic? satirical comment? Maybe the dinosaur was a tryhard… ah, what would I know…

  10. avatar
    bullshit detector | 12 October 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    No, Steve, you shouldn't write a book on it. For you have it arse about tit. Tony Visconti (who DOES know) has said that:
    1. Black Country Rock was done as a deliberate JOKE.

    2. Bowie invented glam rock with the Hype gigs in 1970 and Bolan COPIED him – Bolan attended the gigs & only afterwards started glamming up.

    3. Bolan claimed in 1974 that he and Bowie would write a musical together and tour it through America. Visconti said it would never have happended as Bowie 'just didn't have any respect for Marc.'

    Perceptions are one thing, Steve – but Visconti was there and knows the reality.

  11. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    did u see the tv spot in usa for lincoln car with a girl singing utmw? r you and the crunch getting any paychex of relief from that or r the suits taking it all. u should get a free lincoln…sincerely yours, patrick miller

  12. avatar
    Rubikon | 12 October 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    I preferred the Rutles – they had Barry Wong (a legend) on Drums after all!!!!

  13. avatar
    cazziem | 12 October 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    What a very passionate blog today!!!

    When Bolan died I had just hit my teens and was studying classical piano at the time, so my mother wasn't very impressed when I got bored with Bach and played along to One Inch Rock instead. Own of my favourite albums is Acoustic Warrior which wasn't even released until 22 years after he died! I guess I like most of the tracks on here, but especially The Slider and Main Man, and on The Beginning of Doves Album I love Eastern Spell. What a shame we lost this talent eh? God he was gorgeous, no wonder he was a model in his teens.

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    Best live album is Ziggy at Santa Monica 1972.
    Rock n Roll Animal is v.poor, sub-metal boredom. So is Lou Reed Live which is the 2nd half of the same concert.
    No-one dismissed Berlin cos it wasn't like the Velvets – only 4 people in UK had even heard of the Velvets in 1973.
    People dismissed Berlin cos it wasn't like Transformer.
    All true.

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    u want to know why i'm still here?
    cos u always respond when i goad u.
    so i stick around for the fun of provoking a response.
    if ud ignored me i'd've got bored & gone away years ago.
    thought ud've sussed b4 now.
    but then, u like babylon zoo so ur obviously not as sussed as u think u r.

  16. avatar
    ET | 12 October 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    I had to cue Eric Burdon's ditty "Monterey" after reading your post:

    The Byrds and the Airplane did fly
    Ravi Shankar's music made me cry
    The Who exploded into fire and light
    Hugh Masakela's music was black as night
    The Grateful Dead blew everybody's mind
    Jimi Hendrix baby, believe me, set the world on fire
    His Majesty, Prince Jones, smiled as he moved among the crowd
    Ten thousand electric guitars were grooving real loud

  17. avatar
    dick wagner | 12 October 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    An interesting and entertaining trip through the eyes of a dedicated rock + roll animal.
    Happy to be part of your journey.

    Dick Wagner

  18. avatar
    Saint Louie | 12 October 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Steve…I love The Church's cover of "All The Young Dudes" and onve of my favorite cuts…heard the tune when i was 25, etc…what a coincindence is that and it stuck with me fur sure. I always threw it on at the Lava Lounge place in KC when i got the chance every night i went there to drink with friends.

    Lou Reed…Berlin, oh yes! Kick Ass album, Coney Island Baby is another good one too…plus, many more…his newest album isn't so good…you hear it yet? The Raven think…I couldn't get into it too much…but Transformer belched it out too! I also like "Egg Cream" from Twilight Reeling…good cut and CD too.

    Man, one band and artist you forgot from this list and blog today…The Church ROCK IT with "Song In Space" and one of my favorite albums "Forget Yourself"…hell yea!

    Talking about Columbus, it's Columbus Day here in the USofA…

    Don't know whether to say Happy Columbus day or not to thos of you who are part Indian or what? Of course many of us would not be here if it wasn't for Columbus either. Hmmmm….

    Rock On Bro!

  19. avatar
    Saint Louie | 12 October 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    P.S. Forgot to suggest or ask…please keep October Music Month goin'…love the Freaky Videos and Tunes 🙂

  20. avatar
    ed in fl | 12 October 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    You are absolutely right on best live album ever – I wore that record out when it was released. Great blog – enjoy your takes on music.

    Ed in fl

  21. avatar
    John Garratt | 12 October 2009 at 5:40 pm #

    I'd like to see a blog discuss "Zinc Alloy, et al." at length.

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    Funny, as much I like and truly appreciate Church and S.K., still Hawkwind, Gong, Arthur Brown, Porcupine Tree is my thing.But still I listen mostly to Churchmusic, Lost and Antenna being huge favourites! Those songs (and quite a few others of course, but I don`t want to bother you with details) are pure magic, pure rock. Talking about spacerock (or maybe you didn`t but have done so in the past), go back to Spaceritual and be blown away (after 40 odd years!!). Saw Hawkwind in London just a few weeks ago and they STILL blow you away! God! Spectacular lightshow, incredible powerful music. Made me want to drop those acidtabs again under a big, endless starry sky, reunite with my divine being and surrender to the cosmic essence, ha! That`s what music can do to you!

  23. avatar
    davem | 12 October 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    every idea by every other rock band you ever heard of
    came from the beatles
    and yet
    strangely while acknowledging their supremacy
    i do not love them the most

    I wonder how many of us feel exactly the same. Whilst they were my first love and I still adore Rubber Soul/Revolver et al I rarely listen to them now. I've been tempted to buy one of the new re-mastered cd's and may see if Santa can bring me one in his sack….Mr Humphries.

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 October 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    rocknroll animal good, berlin bad

  25. avatar
    seoigh | 12 October 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    Whenever you write about your influences, I am made aware of why I am more of a Church fan than a Steven Kilbey fan.


    I don't need the Stones to have happened at all. Ditto Lou Reed. I don't mind that either happened — they simply don't interest me. I'd rather listen to the bands the Stones stole from.

    Aerosmith? Tyler may be personally charasmatic. I've never met the man. I hate their music and their right wing politics. That's enough about them.

    Bolan and Bowie. Hmm. I'm lukewarm. I think there is more light than heat to both. I think if you subtract Syd Barret from Bolan and Bowie, you are left with very little of interest.

    But hey. These are not things which one can perform algebra upon. People are different and they like different things.

    I'm back, by the way. Didja miss me?

  26. avatar
    fantasticandy | 12 October 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    saw hunter/wagner having a guitar duel at wembley stadium '75!
    quite something…….

  27. avatar
    fantasticandy | 12 October 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    dickie peterson of blue cheer R.I.P.
    another one bites the dust.

  28. avatar
    steve kilbey | 12 October 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    ok 1st things 1st

    is that really dick wagner …the dick wagner reading my humble blog? wow

    2nd if bowie did not love bolan howcome the prettiest star and lady stardust? …cos there about boley

    3rd tony visconti has always dissed marc in a lot of interviews.
    i dont necessarily believe everything someone says
    about things that happened a long time ago …read my book(nca) and some of the sage pronouncements in there about me by my colleagues are pure bullshit…the nice ones and the bad ones…

    4 you english are so fucking ego centric
    in america the critics did not want another transformer
    they wanted more VU (read lester bangs)
    not everything happens in england from an english perspective
    i grew up devouring the english AND american press…i have a fairly transatlantic overview….

    5 how can the words heavy metal and rocknroll animal inhabit the same space?
    there is not one shred of heavy metal on rnr animal
    what there is is some brilliant rearrangements of those classic VU songs by some cats who could really play
    the intro to sweet jane is one of the most sublime pieces for 2 electric guitars ever written…


  29. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 12 October 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    i watched a clip on you tube last night with bowie and trent reznor…..i love bowie's vintage stuff but i also love the edgy and more abrasive music that he can come up with nowadays as well…..

    love always…..

  30. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 12 October 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    All Bowie has left is his enormous vocal range. That man can hit so many octives. Lamentably, his music has been paltry for the past two decades.

  31. avatar
    Jasperina | 12 October 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    I don't want reality. Perception and imagination counts more in my book.

  32. avatar
    fantasticandy | 12 October 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    steve…… anything by 'the frost'?
    got some if you want!

  33. avatar
    Todayis_DAY | 13 October 2009 at 12:50 am #

  34. avatar
    the dean | 13 October 2009 at 2:16 am #

    For my 2 bobs worth Yessongs is the best live album ever and the drum solo is mercifully short!

  35. avatar
    Tz | 13 October 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    Great post Killer, but what about Roxy Music???? No love for Ferry/Eno & Co.?

  36. avatar
    lily was here | 14 October 2009 at 5:24 am #

    "the intro to sweet jane is one of the most sublime pieces for 2 electric guitars ever written…"



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