posted on February 16, 2008 at 2:09 am

my paintings have gone missing in the fed ex
my intuition said oh sk watch out for yonder slacker
who doth handle your paintings too casually
and behold! the knucklehead has verily gone and
stuck em in a tube which came undone
somewhere south of antartica
please dont let em be lost
oh please dont let em be lost
including the family portrait which i slaved over
and all the rest
keep yer fingers and toes crossed fiendss
not justa the money
(fed ex no re-fundy on original paintings)
but the love n work
oh no dont let it all just disappear
like the “good” version of ripple
erased by a knucklehead in 1991
or my book of poems chucked out
when i went on holidays from public service once
by the way a book of my lyrics n things is on ebay
please spend confidently as some of the proceeds may come to me
theres some unused unseen stuff in there too i guess
i dunno i couldnt afford to buy it thats for sure
but someone said theyd buy and give it back to me
but i dont want it
what use is it to me?
i chuck all my olde schlock out
moving around the world has necessitated this
i was shocked to find the amount of stuff
i had accumulated in my house in rozelle
particularly in the basement
spare renault engines from when i had that stupid floride convertible
sewing machines from russells old girlfriends
silk screening paint long congealed in the buckets
screens of all descriptions
boxes of mouldy cassettes
contents ?
video cassettes
things people had left
meaning to come and get
but never did
books and magazines
cardboard boxes of church fanmail slowing yellowing
and becoming damp
old shower curtains
old sea grass matting
old bits of rolled up carpet
old pots and pans
dead plants
suitcases full of damp mouldy weird clothes
old pairs of shoes and boots
boxes full of photos all fading away
bits of timber packets of nails
horrible old paintings all mould encrusted
boxes of old music rags full of nasty things
cans of fixative and engine degreaser and whatnot
i first moved to rozelle from canberra in 1979
my house underwent many changes
from dark intense acid den
thru to a light n bright house for very early twillies
with a little deck out the back
and a little house for em to play in
and a modern gas heater
and lovely floorboards
people moved through that house
like fish drifting through coral
russells mates and girlfriends
plus his girlfriends girlfriends
a bunch of whom went to an art college
on our street
which meant the place was always full of
noisy young women smoking bongs and cigs
drinkin coffee
and plotting their rise to the top of the fashion heap
there were always stencils and pencils and cans of paint
developing fluid blueprints patterns scissors full ashtrays
and a general squawking giggling carryon that i fucking abhored
once i came back from a tour
and the girlfriend and her girlfriends had given my clothes away
she was actually wearing one of my shirts
that she’d cut up and sewed stuff onto
she was nonchalant when confronted
i was enraged
she spilt some kinda gluey muck all over my red carpet
meaning a plantpot forever had to stand on that spot
russell n his friends were a lot more casual about the place
than i was
but i always felt like an old dictator at the time
russell and i had lots of silly stoned adventures
involving losing keys and money and locked out broken down
paranoid frightened laughing hysterics
we tried to make opium out of lettuce leaves
we read books from the esoteric book shop
we tried to become magicians or whatever we thought it was
we quoted crowley and regardie and buddha and nick kent
we listened to mighty wah! and freur and deux filles and big star
we saw films at the valhalla
that were mainly about sex or drugs or world war three
or all of the above
we went to lismore and swam in waterfalls
we went to the national park with ploogy or evo
smoked joints sitting on the edge of huge cliffs
we mucked around in the bedroom studio
trying out pieces of new equipment
we had begged borrowed or sold
we made friends with next door neighbours
who were raving pot-heads too
we knocked down the fences between
so we could get into their kitchen easier
where one of the sisters was usually passing around her bong
the 2 houses were an epicentre for hippies
crystal healers
fashion students
their friends
and their friends
there were lots of impromptu parties
lots of dope smoking and munchies
ie me and russell watching telly at 3 in the morning
walking backwards n forwards to kitchen
for an endless supply of toast and cornflakes
as we smoked on in lounge room
marijuana was endemic to life in those days
it was not questioned
guys in record co
everyone smoked dope
it was almost a given
in sydney at least
it was not an exotic illegal thing
it was a “normal” part of life
everybody smoked day and night
of course i was a pot apostle
i turned everyone on
and ranted at the ones who didnt wanna do it
i took incredible stupid risks (in legal terms)
i ate hash and went blind for 3 or 4 hours once
i came home from tour and always someone
at my house
some party some gathering
some couple of layabouts crashing on the couch
calling overseas n using all the hotwater
ploogy hung around
smoking bongs and getting slowly but surely
more wound up
he was always up to some prank
he was an amazing energetic blur in those days
81 82
everybody liked him
everybody didnt like me
i was the old gloomy one
the famous one
but seemingly pissed off
about something all the time
the layabouts thought
i’d be happy if i was him
i suddenly earned some good money too
in comparison to all the other types around but
i felt unhappy and isolated
russell seemed so much more bohemian
and in the thick of things
i didnt like his friends and they didnt like me
but which had come about first ?
everyone shoulda loved me i thought
cos i was a star
but it had the opposite effect
i was embarrassed to play the church at home
or even mention them that much
i should have been enjoying myself but
the other guys in the church started to avoid me
as i was assuming my nasty dictator character
it wasnt really that
it was just that i wanted things done my way
as revealed to me through creative insights
and they wanted to rebel to see what would happen
although i am obviously an ideas man
i also have a nasty antisocial streak
that seems to negate my insights
i am often ignored
there was no right or wrong
everyone was kinda against everyone in a way
yet we were united against the world
go figure

39 Responses to “hazard”

  1. avatar
    Robert | 16 February 2008 at 3:44 am #

    My fingers are crossed and I hope your precious paintings are found. Hopeful that a little tracking number can find it and get back on its way. Very excited about the Church working in the studio.
    I looked on ebay and saw Unique Steve Kilbey Lyric Book from El Momento & ULTC going for $451.70. Was that a lost book or did you give it to someone? Hate to see someone profit off of you and no lover for the author of those amazing songs. All the best to you & yours.

    Robert E Lewis

  2. avatar
    The Good Ripple | 16 February 2008 at 4:00 am #

    Interesting stories about the early daze. Sounds familiar to me somehow…

  3. avatar
    linjo | 16 February 2008 at 4:19 am #

    Yeah it was a great area to live then. So much music.
    I used to live at 212 Darling St, Balmain in 1982 when i was 17. There was a pub on the road at Rozelle going down to Iron Cove Bridge, cant remember what it was called but had great bands, remember spy v spy as one. I was a wild little thing in those days.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2008 at 4:58 am #

    i love looking back at the person i was. i wasn’t always strong or righteous, and neither were my fellow travellers but we got along and had some laughs along the way ya know?

  5. avatar
    MEM | 16 February 2008 at 5:20 am #

    mem has
    his first
    taste of


    am i stond?
    am i drunk?

    ami all three?

    tell me more

    havr i






    vry goood..
    carry on

    mr kilbot..


  6. avatar
    Sunshine | 16 February 2008 at 6:11 am #

    Msr Kilbey, the closest I’ve come to living in the manner you described was during college. It always seemed there were people flowing in and out of certain friends’ apartments (me being one of those people). Lots of parties, some substances (liquid and otherwise).

    I don’t know that I could keep my cool were I living with someone now who insisted on living in that way, so I can imagine your ire at the misuse of your personal belongings and such. What a massive pain in the rear it all must have been at times.

    I’m looking forward to your future audio projects. I need to procure one of those DVDs. I just don’t think I’ll be able to hop the pond for a personal appearance in conjunction with my DVD procurement. It would be pure heaven if I could.

    Love to you and your fiends-a-plenty,


  7. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 16 February 2008 at 6:18 am #

    What a transition. Yesterdays blog was immersed in the ethereal and today’s was very mundane in the real world. Sk merits good karma in all the universal realms. Great vocalist, lyricist, musician, writer, poet and prose phenom. I luv it when he’s peaceful like a Buddha.

  8. avatar
    ...some lost sheep sailing past the deep | 16 February 2008 at 6:51 am #

    like there was
    things said
    are the things
    i can say no
    you who knows
    we are
    the time we
    all congeal
    it was
    or will

    or simple
    simplicity in
    all our
    words are

    here for
    the taking
    the raping
    of the mind

    a single flower
    not in time
    but in your

    these things
    all things
    are yours
    are mine

  9. avatar
    melissa | 16 February 2008 at 7:07 am #

    I was just thinking the same thing as Brien C, about today’s and yesterdays blog! Very interesting read .. gosh, even had a few flashbacks myself, of living with my sis back in the day 😉

    ‘we tried to make opium out of lettuce leaves’

    that was pretty funny 🙂

    On a more serious note … I really, REALLY hope that your paintings turn up safe & sound. Keeping everything crossed & hope for the best!


  10. avatar
    Peter Podcast | 16 February 2008 at 7:23 am #

    Great times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Wish i was a lazy layabout now.
    Laziness is something you really have to work at.

  11. avatar
    davem | 16 February 2008 at 8:26 am #

    What a brilliant insight.
    Strange to think through the early 80’s I’d have been a young man with my Brian Jones bowl and chelsea boots listening to OSAH and The Blurred Crusade over and over and over….Working out the bass parts, trying to make sense of & get inside your words (not much has changed except for the hair).
    You were and remain the backdrop to my life. Thanks for sharing. I so hope the paintings turn-up.
    I’m afraid I won’t be bidding for the lyrics..$450 and still going?? It’d take me 6 months to raise that much!!!

  12. avatar
    namaste | 16 February 2008 at 9:01 am #

    hi sk, long time no comment.. todays post left me feeling nostalgic and sadly compassionate about my uncomfortable years trying to make sense of it all…lived in four different abodes in rozelle from 84-95, round the corner from the art school when the ratcat lads were making noise there…the pictures you painted with your words about life then resonate strongly…all a bit messy for me but thanks anyway.
    dinner tonight – tempeh, brown rice and salad, good simple fare for my poor interferon-ravaged body.
    peace and love

  13. avatar
    fantasticandy | 16 February 2008 at 9:48 am #


    a shared path.

    bummer about the artwork,
    it still may turn up..fingers crossed.

    jim, carl, steve and i all say ‘thanks’.
    i just wish to add ‘i fuckin’ love ya killer!’
    (but i think i’d best keep it platonic…at least for now!)
    andy L.

  14. avatar
    Ethereal Butterfly | 16 February 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    Am praying that your paintings are returned to you……………


  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2008 at 2:44 pm #

    Here’s to your paintings arriving safe and sound

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    Your paintings have a “return”? I hope…maybe their wanting a world tour too :)…Dig the insight on the contents of your past …I hope we are……building treasure in heaven and knot in basements….., by treating people fair and feeding the starving childeren…surely we can spare a “buck” a day …the past is gone ,tomorrow isnt here…so give today too ensure it comes..longevity can be bought w/ our useless money (give=live) ? leave it to the wolves they’ll consume everything…yeah the bongs cool in the balance of sobriety and wastedness..having more isnt the goal unless one knows what to do w/ it.peace, Chris Woods

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    yer paintings will show up. and if they don’t, you’ll make new ones. nice blog today.

    Scott N.

  18. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 16 February 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    I entreat and invoke Martin De Porres to bless SK as a means for him to sustain all the talents he has been bestowed with. His resplendent vocabulary is virtually boundless.

    My ears are basking in glory as I listen to “Ater Everything Now This” in the aftermath of listening to “Hologram of Baal.” The latter are tantamount to “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” in sheer musical and vocal quality.

  19. avatar
    Issakimani | 16 February 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    How upsetting, I am so sorry. I too will pray that your paintings are found.

    I don’t think you acted like an old dictator, wanting people to be respectful of your house. You just had a lot of rude people around you. People can get high, trip and still be respectful.

    One Love,

  20. avatar
    CSTCoach | 16 February 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    sorry to hear about the paintings! hope they turn up!

    enjoyed that glimpse into the early days, analysis with the benefit of Hindsight, the way that a distance was maintained even then. i understand and identify with the antisocial streak even as you seek to produce work that unifies, that draws people together and prompts them to seek ever upwards. i think its always that way. that urge for solitude is always present. he who points the way to the promised land can never actually enter it. Ole Mose found that out…

  21. avatar
    tim | 16 February 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    not my paisley shirts!

    hope the paintings turn up…

    nothing wrong with a little bong!

    brien…never gave h of b much of a chance until i heard you sing its praises…since then have listened to it frequently…start to finish a masterpiece is too weak a word.


  22. avatar
    veleska1970 | 16 February 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    oh no!! that’s terrible about your paintings. i hope they resurface soon.

    isn’t it amazing how much junk we accumulate, especially when we stay in one place for an extended period of time. after a while, the place seems to morph into a museum of sorts. and it sounds like you had an interesting one, what with the fanmail and pix and clothes and assorted this and that. (too bad you still don’t have all that~~you could charge admission!!)

    “everyone was kinda against everyone in a way
    yet we were united against the world
    go figure”
    yeah, that is interesting, isn’t it. 🙂

    lotza love…..

  23. avatar
    The Good Ripple | 16 February 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Brien and Tim, Hologram of Baal reignited my faith totally after Magician (which took me forever to find) and their last major label opus. But let’s face it, Priest cast such a long shadow. After everything I found a bit dry but Numbers and a few other things are indeed brilliant.

  24. avatar
    davem | 16 February 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    P=A is indeed a work of wonder but the man consistently weaves such magic.
    There’s creative brilliance in ANY Church album to shame the output of any artists bar very, very few.
    HOB, AENT, FY, ULTC…all very different, each superb.
    The killer is undiminished…… certainly Australia’s most significant export and unmatched outside of Lennon, Macca, Morrison and Gabriel. But above all others The Church remain relevant. No, not just relevant…vital!!

  25. avatar
    loiterer | 16 February 2008 at 8:09 pm #

    Liked this. Evocative.

  26. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 16 February 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    So sorry to hear about the paintings. I won’t even call them lost – just misplaced in the great hope that they find their way to where they are supposed to be.

    What an amazing blog. I also laughed at the ‘lettuce/opium’ comment. Just how high were you?? Kidding. I feel such a Dickens moment coming on “They were the best of times…they were the worst of times…”

    Your memories made me feel happy and sad…how strange is that. They weren’t my memories. But nostalgia for lives never lived seeps through my bones. Very odd.

    I find as I get older I want less and less stuff. Perhaps when I am old and grey I will come full circle and leave the planet with nothing, just as I came into it.
    Thanks again for a beautiful blog.

  27. avatar
    Ansible Jon | 16 February 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    I am just imagining the painting being mis-delivered to some elderly lady in a nursing home who opens it up and says “Eh?”.
    If you never see or hear from that painting again, i am confident that your karma will have found it a home where it will be cherished.
    perhaps it will be one of those paintings people find a hundred years from now. fed-ex may just have immortalized you to future ages, olde been!

    and of those items in the basement, if you are in the habit of chucking out old stuff, my guess is that you could earn a fair amount of chump-change selling off old items on these very pages.
    sk’s virtual cyber-yardsale, anyone? count me in!

  28. avatar
    freddy mercurial | 16 February 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    That was a great post. Very interesting to hear about your days in your old house etc…

    I’m hoping the fed x folks come through for ya.


  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2008 at 10:44 pm #

    great blog – hope the pictures turn up

  30. avatar
    eek | 16 February 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    I dreamed about those paintings last night. In my dream FedEx allowed me to come search for the package myself. So I get there and they take me to this giant warehouse which is filled with nothing but plain white shipping tubes. aahhhhh!!!!!!

  31. avatar
    Richard | 17 February 2008 at 12:20 am #

    had a look at th lyric book on ebay

    the small bits of cardboard torn off the front are just about worth the price of admission!

  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 February 2008 at 12:54 am #

    Hope there is good news soon about the paintings, keeping fingers crossed.

    Last nite watched the NZ dvd, you did shine, good to see you so happy and in comedic form, always make me laugh. Glad “Wolfe” was included, that song grows on you the more you hear it, though liked it the first time I heard it.

    Hope the Church recording is going well, with lots of positive vibes, no argy bargy. Would be good to see Ploogy as a surprise guest at a gig. Eagerly awaiting news of Church shows, will be there cheering loudly, bring them on soon.

    Peace & love,

  33. avatar
    princey | 17 February 2008 at 2:06 am #

    Oh no sk, I hope your paintings aren’t damaged and somehow find their way back to you in one piece!.
    I’ve been out of touch here having to visit a very, very sick relative in hospital, so I’m trying to catch up on goss here at the moment. (I’m just praying she holds on until after next Sunday, otherwise I miss out on your gig..hope that didn’t sound mean).
    Have a nice Sunday whatever you get up to.
    Love Amanda

  34. avatar
    lily was here | 17 February 2008 at 2:16 am #

    United in youth and recklessness. Great memories. I can relate to that feeling of living in central station. One of my siblings sold off most of my vinyl singles while i was away from home once. Very enterprising she was! Or broke. Lucky i took most of la church with me! Can you imagine that now, carting vinyl around with you?

    If you can get people to see your vision then you have a good chance of not having to go all Hitler on them. The trouble i guess is when they only want tp see their own?


    ps Dead Mans Dreams on the band’s myspace — that song makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

  35. avatar
    lily was here | 17 February 2008 at 5:08 am #

    Oh by the way, you’ll never be ignored. Sorry to tell you. Just not possible. No sympathy there

  36. avatar
    Todd Goninon | 17 February 2008 at 5:27 am #

    Interesting insights into the Rozelle years.

  37. avatar
    Emily Teechen | 17 February 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Valeska VERY cool self portrait

  38. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 February 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    I used to read that little book that came with Earthed all the time. Liked the map of the fictional city. Used to wonder where Rozelle was. I still have that hefty double CD package, and no one can buy it off me!

  39. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 February 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    This doesn’t relate at all to the topic for this particular day and for that I apologize.
    It didn’t escape my notice that today…I believe…is the twentieth anniversary of the release of Starfish.
    For those of us who discovered your great band via that album…it is a wonderful memory.
    I remember twenty years ago I was working for one of the popular record stores here in Tampa Bay.
    I was 23 years old at the time and this particular day I remember coming to work with a hangover you could’ve sold tickets to.
    Now in the cassette rack of the in store sound system contained all the crap which was polluting the airwaves at the time.
    And if I had to hear New Jersey by Bon Jovi or Hysteria by Def Leppard one more !#$%&* time, I was going to vomit.
    Well..truth is I was actually going to vomit for real on this particular day.
    But for a very different reason.
    As I was wallowing in my misery, the most exquisite sounding music that I have ever heard came floating through the store and I was absolutely mesmerized.
    I turned to my manager and asked who in God’s name this was.
    He actually had to look at the cassette…and he said “this is a new release that just came out the other day by a band called The Church.”
    Quite literally…every customer who walked into the store asked with wide eyed wonder who was responsible for this beautiful music.
    It was then that I went and discovered what an amazing catalog of music this band had.
    It is twenty years later and I still have that very same Starfish cassette that was playing in the store that day.
    It is displayed proudly among my most treaured rock momentos.
    Steve..I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my life for the last twenty years.
    How absolutely !#$%& proud I am that you and The Church are still going strong to this day.
    Some things are indeed built to last.

    With tremendous admiration,

    Tampa, Fl

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