posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

the dissolute cavalier

i spent most of the years 1977 -1980 in a spare bedroom writing songs

i wasnt just writing them either

i was recording them at the same time

i was making the whole bloody thing up as i went along

my 4 track recorder enabled me to overdub myself onto the recordings

i learnt to become a one man band

although definitely not a real guitarist or keyboard player

i could always figure something out that was sufficient for my music

if i wanted to be i could again become self contained and never collaborate again

oh believe me it is easy to do it all yourself

i hate explaining my creative hunches

indeed they cannot bear being explained

i feel things and when i’m on my own i follow my nose

i start with just the smallest thing and i build and build

eventually i stand back and i can see what ive done

after 2 or 3 hours of sodding around with a piece of music

adding …..and subtracting as well

bit of distortion here

bit of clarity there

some reverb never goes astray (usually)

i see that i have constructed a piece of music

it needs some words doesnt it?

im a singer aint i…….i gotta have something to sing

now this is where the words and music gotta meet

any idiot can write words

but dreaming up words that suit a piece of music is harder

making those words rhyme and have a nice meter

and good lord the melody

the melody that the words will be sung to

to most people (me included) thats almost the most important bit

but with my very own music i aspire to be more than a songwriter

i aspire to create a mysterious opening within the listener

a certain combination of sounds words notes

well there is magic for you

palpable magic spun from the thin air itself

there are oh so very few incredible songwriters at any one time

no more than a couple of dozen on earth at once probably

you know…the guys who really know what theyre doing

neil finn springs to mind

he is such a fine songwriter

he is the number one in his field

everyone of his songs has a certain quality

he can do that thing the beatles could do

he can incorporate those lovely chord progressions

at once unusual and simultaneously so obviously great

why hasnt anyone ever thought of that before.?…you think to yourself

on top of that he has his mellifluous voice with a slight ache in it

and his melodies which sometimes suggest something familiar

but never ever actually steal anything

neil finns ability to write songs is somehow more refined than mine

his best songs are so fucking good

its hard to see how they unfurled out of his mind

i am not like that

i dont really know how neil finn writes songs but its i bet  not like me

i dont write my songs i assemble them

just a bit here just a bit there

jeffrey cain knows this all too well

you put a little of this guitar phrase here

then some string thing

some other interlocking part

suddenly the music is a pointillistic machine

no one can see how its done

(not that most want to see how its done….but i do….)

now consider this, neophyte types who would write great songs

steve kilbey with his latest song

he comes round your place

his guitar is outta tune maybe (no tuners back then)

he sings it in your living room competing with everything else

he gets one of the chords wrong and gets embarrassed

the song is just a shambles

OR

steve kilbey comes round a sticks in a cassette of his latest song

ooh listen his voice is double tracked and theres harmonies

theres 2 electric guitars in stereo moving against each other

a nice sexy rubbery bassline

keyboards too adding to the overall effect and colour

wow a guitar solo thingy that goes nuts in some weird echo…cool

you see

it wasnt for just writing the songs

it was for their presentation

so i could get people interested in playing them

you see back in the late seventies very very few people had sussed this

that this was the way to compose music and present your songs

it was like magic

a few studio tricks and they were all in awe of your song

meanwhile my new way of writing music was affecting my lyrics

the lyrics were losing all that awkward old feeling my lyrics used to have

things were starting to come spontaneously to me

i filled up books full of lyrics which at first i matched to the songs

this wasnt always as bad as you might think

i often quite magically found exactly what i was looking for

it might have been a lyric i had written a year ago or just yesterday

i needed to make ambiguity part of the aesthetic

my songs must never pin things down

they are like an opium dream

they pass before you

they amuse or beguile you

and then they are gone

they mean everything

the whole world

yet they are meaningless

they are impressionistic glimpses

they are fleeting hypnogogic shapes that remind you of…….what?

my songs are dreams and lies and just things that fell out of the air

the air is full of music

excuse me sir cant you see that real good song hovering above your head?

yeah you gotta have one of these antennae i suppose….

because my bandwidth is so jammed with incoming stuff

i cant get anything done

what i’m saying is i have carefully matched up the ingredients

i have so many variables to work with you know

music and words all existing on so many levels at once

the music suggests the words

the words suggest some slight connection to the listener

its slight but its there

its there and its a key

its a key to a door you’ll find in a song

you go through that door in my song

you got my ambiguity cushioning you

you got my music

it all fits together bit by bit

you listen to the right song

ive got a thousand surely one will be right for you

then you get the opening

something opens in your head and pleasure comes through

sad wise old pleasure still sweet though sweet as

what this pleasure is  i myself will never know

for it is your pleasure

my songs were designed  to feel like a custom fit

this is no lucky strike

i always knew how they were eventually supposed to be

they were meant to be intriguing

they were meant to induce reflective moods

they painstakingly evolved from my early naivete to now

this was done with much experiment and research

i discovered formulae which worked everytime

ways of recording my vocals for example

ways of sitting a softer voice just inside the harder lead vocal

believe me it wont make much sense if i just list things like that

i have only let a couple of really rotten songs sneak into my oeuvre

most of them have the integrity and twists and love in them

i have studied songwriting long and hard

like a zoologist studying animals

i have spent long long hours investigating songs and their components

i am not a divinely gifted musician or writer

i have applied intelligence and perseverance to overcome that fact

its good to be honest bout your strengths and your weaknesses

everything can happen if you just know what you got

i had endless love and enthusiasm for rock music

i had a 4 track and a few cheap guitars

i had a proto-drum machine and a mono synth

i had a shure drum mike

i had a tiny little mixing desk …so silly it looked…

anyhow by the time i surfaced

my demo tapes caught most peoples attention

i did everything from kraftwerk type electronica

to the kind of early church stuff like for a moment we’re strangers

i had to be across a lotta things

i had to figure out recording and engineering and mixing

i had to get more and more cohesive

i had to suspend disbelief in the listener

i did not want to draw attention to me being a one man band

i just wanted the songs to be heard as they should be

after a long long time

i got my methods down and i knew how to do it

give me a studio n some instruments

n i will always come up with something

i never go home empty handed

i usually catch one  song outta the thin air

by the time the church formed

my demos were a pretty good indicator of a songs potential

it all began to make sense to me

its still all coming together

its an ongoing process

the constant refinement of your craft

working on voice and music

working on words and sounds

plus luck

plus destiny

plus the genes

plus i knew my people would have need of me …..ha ha

it was necessary that i invent the songwriter i now am

got news last week i am invited to be inducted into

australian songwriters hall of fame

there you go

41 years for that pay off….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

76 Responses to “how i did it # 3”

  1. avatar
    Ingrid | 12 September 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Hypnotic, enchanting, ephemeral, spellbinding, magical, lyrical, intellectual, spiritual, phantasmogical, dreamlike, otherworldly, paradoxical, sensational, addictive, inspirational, Jack Frostical, poetical, non comparable…

    xxx

  2. avatar
    eekie | 12 September 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    “got news last week i am invited to be inducted into
    australian songwriters hall of fame”

    Congratulations!
    Well deserved!

  3. avatar
    Boriah | 12 September 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Also a blog entry about your past and present musical instruments/gear would be so appreciated.

  4. avatar
    John Garratt | 12 September 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    “any idiot can write words”

    Not true. This idiot can’t.

  5. avatar
    Cladinplaid | 12 September 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    This is spectacular. I recently read a book that suggests in order to become a master of one’s craft one must invest a minimum of 10,000 hours practising said craft…yet the honing and refinement never stops. Seems like you embody this theory. Congratulations on your pending induction; it’s well deserved.

  6. avatar
    Lara | 12 September 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Cushioned by ambiguity–that’s a great way of putting it. And yet your songs leave us open, vulnerable. That is no small achievement, since vulnerability is something we generally eschew. But without it, there is no real passion.

    Congrats on your (much deserved) induction.

  7. avatar
    Daniel Watkins | 12 September 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    I really enjoyed that, Steve! What I notice about songwriters is that there are people who are good at ART, and people who are good at CRAFT. Maybe Finn can do both, but what I notice about his songs are that they are well crafted, like a basket that’s been woven well. I admire the technique and skill. Your songs are more art, and I admire the sounds, the ideas and the feel.

    The process you described is EXACTLY how I do my songs. I write scraps of words in books which sometimes sit a few years before I cull pieces of it and use them in song. I usually hire a drummer and say ‘play for 5 minutes while I record’. Then I improvise bass, guitars, etc and start fitting words to the mood of the music. It’s just the most amazing feeling when the pieces start coming together and a song is done – like I could have never sat and written it, but it just comes all of it’s own.

    ps – an example of one I did in case you’re interested: http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_4502196

  8. avatar
    andy | 12 September 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    wow….i had no idea how hard you work to put stuff together steve,
    and you must have the most non-formulaic musical formula ever formulated!

  9. avatar
    B.Bon | 12 September 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Getting in early for tomorrow – happy birthday old china.

  10. avatar
    Kelda | 12 September 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    To listen to words, building up a library, moulding them to a beat that one appreciates and knowing the right a chord to put them together to show the applauding audience… The strings are attached. do they match? Well sometimes but not all the time. Geez when it all draws together it is in tune with rock and roll.

    to share this binary talent.x

  11. avatar
    Kimbo | 13 September 2011 at 12:16 am #

    Well deserved, my friend!

  12. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 13 September 2011 at 1:32 am #

    I loved your descriptions and the way you improvised with what you had at that moment in time, hell – now we can easily do all the arrangements right on the ole laptop. I used a Tascam 4 track recorder back in the early 80’s and it was a blast to mic and record everything myself. I used every trick known to man, or at least I thought. Problem is and always will be…can’t sing to save a sinking ship.

    No one has or every will sing and write lyrics like you !!!

    Thanks again for the ‘clarity’ of how it all began. And thanks FantasticAndy for your perfect email , that made my day.

    AsAlways,
    Darrin K.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 13 September 2011 at 1:37 am #

      And if I am unable to get on line tomorrow …..

      HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY !!!!!!!!

      BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      A true classic born into this world on 09/13/1954 !!!!!!!!

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY SK !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      With much love and respect,
      Darrin K.

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 13 September 2011 at 3:35 am #

        And almost forgot…

        Super Congrats on the Aussie Songwriter Hall Of Fame call.

        What a great accomplishment !!! You are so deserving !!!

        AsAlways,
        Darrin K.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 13 September 2011 at 1:43 am #

    congratulations on induction (greatly deserved!) and happy birthday (too).

  14. avatar
    Ryan | 13 September 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Really enjoying this series – fucking great! And congrats on the hall of fame thing man. You deserve it in spades. There’s no one better, in my not so humble opinion.

  15. avatar
    cazziem | 13 September 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Hi SK,

    Sorry I have been neglecting my TTB studies, but you have not been forgotten, so I thought I’d log on now as it’s already 13th in your part of the globe to wish you a VERY happy birthday and a peaceful, harmonious year ahead. xxx

  16. avatar
    Steven Krut | 13 September 2011 at 4:12 am #

    Congratulations on being inducted into the songwriter Hall of Fame, Steve. Gee, you’re on a roll these days. Been listening to the David Neil album a lot lately and it’s just fantastic!

  17. avatar
    davem | 13 September 2011 at 4:40 am #

    Yet another great read.
    Many congrats on the hall of fame and for completing another year!!! Many happy returns – I hope this year is a happy one for you.
    Thanks for all the magic. It really is much appreciated. I’ve been in love with almost everything you do for 30 years.
    Oh and to answer Darrin’s comment I have some Baby Grande stuff. If Steve’s ok with it being shared via TTB then I don’t mind.
    x

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 13 September 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Thanks Davem… but your good friend across the ocean helped me out. We have been exchanging emails outside of this realm for some time. Both of you share the same magic of a kind heart and a thoughtful soul. Its been a pleasure to communicate with both of you.

      Thanks again – you to Fantastic A.

      AsAlways,
      Darrin K.

  18. avatar
    Andreas | 13 September 2011 at 5:02 am #

    What you do is magic.

    Ciao
    Andreas
    Genoa/Italy

  19. avatar
    kipmcc | 13 September 2011 at 5:30 am #

    congrats!

  20. Jmb066
    Jmb066 | 13 September 2011 at 6:00 am #

    “got news last week i am invited to be inducted into
    australian songwriters hall of fame”

    Amazing Steve, it so nice to see and hear that you and the band are getting the much deserved recognition. ARIA hall of fame and now songwriters hall of fame. All of your hard work and dedication is being rewarded, plus the magic your music has on all of your fans which can never really be measured will be with us always, hundreds of years from now you will continue to live on and inspire.

    Excellent post today,

    Jason

  21. avatar
    monksphere | 13 September 2011 at 7:09 am #

    These last few blogs have yielded many surprises. Guess I had so many assumptions and preconceived notions about your approach to music…Andy’s statement above is spot on. I recall reading an interview, after Priest=Aura’s release, where you said something about how you enjoy the works of Homer and Shakespeare more because you know so little about their personal lives. Well, I may be that nosey old woman neighbor peeking through her blinds during commercial breaks between the gospels of Oprah and Dr. Phil, but this old woman enjoys and loves your music much more than she did yesterday!

    Rock on, Anthony

  22. avatar
    Sharon | 13 September 2011 at 7:26 am #

    Have often wondered how the songs came together, what an insight into the creative process. The ideas, the instincts, the music, the lyrics all merging together to create your own unique sound, whether it be The Church or another project it’s a process that can’t really follow any “formula”. Would love to know how Neil Finn goes about it, he makes it look so effortless (must be in the Finn DNA…is there such a thing as a “non musical” Finn??) Congratulations on the induction, well deserved after all this time and wishing you all the best for your birthday!

  23. avatar
    23flies... | 13 September 2011 at 8:04 am #

    mr kilbey
    you are a gem
    cheers

  24. avatar
    . | 13 September 2011 at 8:51 am #

    जन्मदिनस्य हार्दिकशुभेच्छा

    • avatar
      ASSMIDGET | 13 September 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      मैं तुमसे प्यार करता हूँ

  25. avatar
    Cocoamo | 13 September 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Dear Sir…

    This story just keeps getting better!!

    (But how does it end?)

    Thin air? This air couldn’t get much thicker.

    Case in point: Last night (which was Sunday in Pennsylvania), we were driving on a winding, dark, sloshy country road; an ethereal mist wafted about, alternately obscuring the grassy rolling fields and forests when the softest voice on the CD player sang, “Sunday disappeared into the fog…”. Hair standing up on back of neck…

    Kudos on well-deserved, overdue recognition and we hope you have a lovely B-day, well spent with loved ones!

    Your Friend in Pennsylvania

  26. avatar
    Anonymous | 13 September 2011 at 10:37 am #

    Dear SK,

    Happy Birthday to you.

    Hope u have a very happy and relaxing day (with some nice birthday cake & lots of pressies).

    Wishing u good health, wealth, happiness now and for the future.

    Peace & love
    Therese

  27. avatar
    Ingrid | 13 September 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday SK and many happy returns of the day!!!

    Congratulations too on your induction. Great news – you deserve it.

    xxx

  28. avatar
    Kristina | 13 September 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Happy Birthday, Steve.
    Great day for it – a beautiful, sunny Spring day with not a cloud in the sky and a big full moon rising early over the ocean tonight.

  29. avatar
    Kristina | 13 September 2011 at 11:10 am #

    And speaking of Neil Finn and Split Enz, Tim’s a damn fine writer as well.
    True Colours is still one of my alltime favourite albums – every song on it is amazing.
    I Hope I Never and Missing Person are masterpieces.

  30. avatar
    troy flores | 13 September 2011 at 11:25 am #

    i really love your work steve greetings from SF, CA

  31. avatar
    Mark M | 13 September 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Heya Steve
    It’s been a while since I stopped by here. I’m sure glad I did today. An inspiring read for sure. Enjoyed muchly. And a massive congrats from me for the upcoming induction. Well deserved.

  32. avatar
    Steven Krut | 13 September 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Steve.

  33. avatar
    after everything | 13 September 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    now this happens, one of my favorite SK songs, happy b day, thanks for the great read, happy for your award, coming soon Steve Kilbey Blvd

  34. avatar
    caitbrid | 13 September 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Congrats on your induction! You certainly deserve it. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you spent all that time writing and recording. I honestly can’t imagine my life without you and the Church and your stunning voice. You guys taught me how to play guitar! I used to write songs and they came really easy but it’s gotten harder and harder and more like you describe as I’ve gotten older. I read an interview a long long time ago where you said you wanted to make unbearably beautiful music. You have always done that for me. I wish you the happiest birthday SK and many many more. In Irish Gaelic: Lá Breithe shona duit!! Oh and I think Neil Finn is one of the best pop/rock singers ever.
    XO
    Kathleen in Philly

  35. avatar
    DavidP | 13 September 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    very interesting to read these how you did it blogs Steve
    thanks for sharing it all with us
    would be interested to hear a bit too how you have developed your writing skills
    congratulations on the aussie songwriter award, you have worked a lot for that
    and happy birthday kilbo!
    take care
    dp

  36. avatar
    kevinN | 13 September 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Happy Birthday Steve! You are simply the best at what you do. KevinN

  37. avatar
    andy | 13 September 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    bestest of b’days to ya kilbs!

  38. avatar
    Lady Di | 13 September 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Happy birthday sk. Hope you’re having a wonderful day.
    Wishing you as much joy as you bring to others.

    Love Di

  39. avatar
    ASSMIDGET | 13 September 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    HBD!
    Hey it’s been a while since your “solo” projects havnt involved some sort of collaboration.
    Not that that’s bad, most are great imo. I’m certain I’m not the only fan who would enjoy hearing pure Kilbey, engineering and all.

  40. avatar
    debra | 13 September 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Steven and congrats…though you made my hall of fame many years ago!
    xo

  41. avatar
    Ryan | 13 September 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    -ps- HAPPY BIRTHDAY Killa! Hope ya have a great one.

  42. avatar
    surreal eskimo boy | 13 September 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Glad to see after all these years you’re still trying to tear it all away

  43. avatar
    Mallory Weiss | 13 September 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    not only insightful, this is also almost uncomfortably honest, sometimes even intensely private – an honor and privilege to read… we’d never had a chance like this if you didn’t open up – and this will probably make you cringe but I can’t help thinking it’s brave. Tried to figure out if you implied that your processes are calculating… surely not? how can you calculate that, touching a nerve – even if it helps to know where nerves are generally located.. The statue was always there, just remove all the extra stone around it, right? without divine gift you’d pulverize rock after rock with admirable preservation and never come up with anything worthwhile. So we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. My biggest frustration is that I cannot give back after having taken in all these riches – grateful but forever in debt.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 September 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      cliche: your pleasure is the reward
      with your kind words you replenish the well i draw from

  44. avatar
    captain mission | 13 September 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    i to have loved reading these posts, you’re in all out halls of fame sir, it is a lovely acknowledgement and a long time coming. happy birthday.

  45. avatar
    veleska1970 | 13 September 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    congratulations!!

  46. avatar
    Kelda | 13 September 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    If the time being we were at the Thornbury Theatre I would sing to you a happy birthday from the balcony and then cordially ask you for a photo;) Congratulations on recognition with respect.x

  47. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 13 September 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Willie is 78 – he says ‘the longer you sit, the harder it is to get back up again’ – as such, he prefers to stay on the road, singing his music – prob the same w/ Bob – you have a long way to go, Steve, use all that acquired skill, take it further, keep pushing.

    Please, man.

    Wilfred P

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 September 2011 at 10:20 pm #

      thanks wilf
      i intend to
      just watch me now
      oh
      new isidore is double vinyl….maybe its the “one”

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 14 September 2011 at 2:37 am #

        No Steve…you truly are the ‘one’. I hope all these well wishes and congrats bring extended warmth, not chills to your soul. You are a rich man when you embrace the love and admiration of the masses.
        And again … HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

        Darrin K.

  48. avatar
    Sunflower Sister | 13 September 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    How I wish that your voice could be heard in spoken word delivering to us all the magic of TTB! Happy Birthday to ya SK. You are the Being and the Time is now. Enjoy! xx

  49. avatar
    Lara | 13 September 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    Happy birthday, Steve. Saw my Aussie friend Tim the other day. In his opinion, you are a national treasure and should be getting a salary from the state. I have to agree.

    HoF today, maybe poet laureate next?

    Love, L

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 13 September 2011 at 10:19 pm #

      thanks lara
      a poet on a salary…..is that like a pope smokin’ dope?

      • avatar
        Lara | 14 September 2011 at 1:12 am #

        SHP = Special Holiness Primer 🙂

  50. avatar
    lisa k | 13 September 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    You’re right, Steve. Neil Finn is a wonderful songwriter and I do love his voice. Split Enz and Crowded House were always on my Walkman in the 80’s and 90’s, and many of their songs are on my ipod now. But your words and your voice are, for me, like religion. They bring me to another level and both energize and calm my soul at the same time. You have created so much beauty, and it has touched people all over the world. What an amazing artist you are. Thank you, again, for doing all that you do…and doing it all so incredibly well. Congratulations on your induction! And I wish you a very Happy Birthday.

  51. avatar
    Bill | 14 September 2011 at 12:13 am #

    Happy Birthday, Steve. And that’s great news about the forthcoming Isidore. I’ve been looking forward to it since the final notes of the first one faded away from my speakers. Bill

  52. avatar
    Anonymous | 14 September 2011 at 2:23 am #

    Happy B-day SK!

  53. avatar
    Andreas | 14 September 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Happy birthday SK!!! Thanks for everything !!!

  54. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen | 14 September 2011 at 5:12 am #

    Very interesting blog entrance.
    Congrats on the invitation!
    Can’t wait for the new Isidore (on vinyl).

  55. avatar
    verdelay | 14 September 2011 at 7:48 am #

    For all the deserved kudos of official recognition (isn’t there some kind of “National Treasure” status that comes with a free bus pass or something?), I suspect the thing you revel in the most is an appreciation of your current work (so many laurels, which to rest on today?)

    With that in mind, may I take this opportunity to doff my cap yet again on the unmitigated artistic success that is “The Wilderness Years, by David Neil”. Your collaborations have long since assumed Bowie-esque proportions and your work here with Ricky Maymi is superb. The album is a razor sharp and affectionate stylistic celebration and exploration that never once lapses into pastiche. Always more than the sum of its parts. And how is it that your voice continues to get better and more versatile with every passing year? Remarkable really. Inspirational. Well done.

    I am enjoying these little glimpses behind the magician’s curtain, by the way.

    Oh yes, and happy birthday.

    v

  56. Jmb066
    Jmb066 | 14 September 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Happy Birthday Steve!!

  57. avatar
    Fizzbart Nucleus III | 14 September 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Good read, bearded one. I’d love to hear you ellaborate on the actual recording processes (and gear) you used on those early records. On second thought,….maybe not. Perhaps some mysteries are better left unexplained. I’m sure I am not the only one you inspired to start experimenting with multitracking. Upon hearing Unearthed and Earthed for the first time I immediately went out and bought a 4-track cassette recorder, a cheap synth, a Shure SM57 mic, a Boss reverb and a few other bits of gear. You turned me into a DIY home recording enthusiast/junkie. Thanks for that, you wizardly wanker (my wallet has been “light” ever since)! Years (and lots of gear) later I STILL wonder what the hell that pulsing, warbly sound on “Famine” is….ponder what produced that whirring rotatating whistling noise on “Transference”, marvel at the fretless bass riff on “Tyrant” and the percussive urgency of “Song of Solomon” and (to this day) STILL get floored by the simple, haunting cadence of “City of Women”. I guess it doesn’t matter, really,.. but your early stuff was/is important to me and influenced me. You inspired and encouraged a creative side of myself I always knew I had,…but needed a conduit to find. Thanks for that, Mate. Cheers!

    p.s. Eagerly awaiting Earthed Part Deux.

  58. avatar
    That Girl | 14 September 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Wooh! talk about a tea & toast episode – a WONDERFUL read. Congratulations & thankyou.

  59. avatar
    Donna | 14 September 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Happy Brthday, Steve! And congrats on the Hall of Fame recognition…you deserve it!! Love, Donna

  60. avatar
    Fizzbart Nucleus III | 14 September 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Oh..and congrats on the Hall Of Fame status. Fellow magicians Houdini, Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston, Robert Houdin, Harry Blackstone Sr. and (one of my favorites) Joseph Dunninger would be proud. Cheers, Happy Birthday and please continue to “magically levitate your illuminated musical light bulbs”.

  61. avatar
    Crasher | 14 September 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Happy birthday Steve.
    Your beloved 60s just around the corner, but not over the hill.
    I enjoy all your blogs, but your recent history lessons have been
    magical.

  62. avatar
    Lioness | 15 September 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Your pic looks rather pix-elated… lol

  63. avatar
    Galamor the Wizard | 20 September 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Neil Finn still saying no to a collaboration? You’d be the John to him the Paul. Can you imagine?
    Neil: “I’ve just written this piece but need a middle 8. Steve????…..”
    Get Paul Kelly involved and there’s an Australasian Beatles/Dylan thang happ’ning!
    How could they resist????
    I know Grant and you were toying with the idea!


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