posted on January 20, 2016 at 4:01 pm
chance to die and turn to mould

chance to die and turn to mould

i gotta letter from a very nice man

his sister in law was dying

she was a massive church fan along with her sister

was there any chance i could maybe visit her?

well i asked my dad who lives on in my heart and i come to him with moral dilemmas

immediately he says go there slim…right now!

i get my 12 string guild and i jump on the train

to me there is no question of saying no to this gig

it is quite clearly the right thing to do

tricky though because you dont wanna feel too proud of yerself either

sit down and shut up kilbeys ego!

this is not about you

after an hour on yon train

i am met at the station by brother in law and husband of ill lady

they are lovely guys altho the husband is sad and i immediately start to feel sad too

i soak up peoples emotions nowadays and i have no shield

we go up to the room

Shes in there with her sister and her two early teenage sons

all of them are incredibly nice and incredibly sad too

Jenine is sitting there in bed dosed up on morphine

she had had some hope but a few days before those hopes were dashed

the cancer was in other organs

it was a matter of days now before she would succumb

Jenine was warm friendly shy brave and considering the circumstances quite cute

she was only 49

my dad takes over and i manage to say a few jokey things and we all laugh

all my arguments dilemmas and problems are forgotten

Jenines grace under pressure is inspirational

i sing her a few songs which i forget the words for

this is my toughest and most important gig

somehow my ramshackle singing n playing bring a warmth

if i had been perfect it would have been inappropriate

we talk we laugh a bit and i left

Jenine and i tell each other “i love you”

and i had never meant it as much as then

i said maybe i’ll see you soon

and at that we both teared up a little

then i got dropped off at russell kilbeys place

and he and i and sis in law amy and nephew logan

had a  bushwalk and a swim in secret spot only russell used to know about

(it recently featured in a magazine much to his chagrin)

Jenine and i stayed in touch on the phone from there on in

we texted a few times every day

i thought about her an awful lot

i went on holiday with the fambley after that

a very kind man who does not want to be named lent us his holiday flat

i woke up from a nap on the second day

Natalie is sitting there crying

Bowie is dead she said

my phone had at least 25 messages confirming this

i cannot begin to tell you how that made me feel

i havent come to grips with that yet

bowie was the nazz with god given ass…after all

he made half a dozen of the best records ever at least if not more

he made some mediocre records too

and he made some records i could respect but i could not, for the life of me, like

i never met him or even came close to him

i saw him once in 1988 glass spider tour in LA

i was totally underwhelmed believe it or not

i was totally underwhelmed by T Rex as well… so what?

Bolan and Bowie and Beatles…thats pretty much 95% of kilbey right there

then comes outpouring of grief

a lot of revisionism here

main stream rags hailing him who would have been disgusted by ziggy in 1972

stupid tributes from irrelevant idiots who knew very fucking little about him

one silly woman spends a whole page saying how she bumped into him

and secured and interview and its all about HER

eventually she says something like

oh yeah we talked about his music his bisexuality and his fans…

and thats it?

well what the fuck did Bowie say about all of that?

we will never know


Some newspapers asked me my opinion but it was too late i was offline

i missed my chance to chime in

i watched the video for lazarus and i found it to be morbid and nihilistic

once again i admire it to the nth degree but wish i had not watched it

soon people began to write to me demanding i comment on it

others implored me not to die and to be careful

after the short but relaxing holiday

i returned to sydney

Jenine was still around but now she was at a hospice

i was thinking of getting my arse on the train

when brother in law texted

going to visit Jenine do ya wanna come?

go to hospice

in one week Jenines health has deteriorated noticeably

shes on oxygen and the morphine is flowing

i am in pain and so tired steve…she had texted me

still she sat up a little

she was starting to get a bit drifty like she would close her eyes and she’d be off

still she brightened up a little and i delved into the les kilbey joke book

oh youre so tanned from your holiday..! she says

nah thats just dirt because i never shower… i say

etc etc

we talk

we hold her hands a little

her husband is there watching his beloved wife slip away

i hope my husband isnt jealous says Jenine and we all laugh

shes done some drawings of her sons she wants to show me

a friend who was her bridesmaid and childhood friend says goodbye

it is the most heartrending thing to see them say goodbye forever

after about 40 minutes Jenine asks to have a sleep

i love you she says

i love you i say

again this is the truth

and that was it

today they texted me she went last night at 11

thank you for doing that they said again

no no no this was a beautiful thing

Jenine has inspired me

She will stay with me

but really Jenine gave much more than she took

she was courageous and as cheerful as its humanly possible to be

at least when i was there…

she had a sense of humour

she was cool

my suspicions that this life really is just a fucking dream are more justified than ever

death remains a mystery

we all must die and that day will come when it wants to  not when you decide

now with the all other rockers all suddenly dying

more people asking me to do em a favour and not die

man i aint intending on it

i gotta lotta good music in the pipeline

and i got 5 fine daughters who are all the nicest people you could think of

i got a bunch of good friends and i dont hate myself so much any more

i got a few squeaks and scratches still to be sorted and my teeth my hearing n my eyesight are not good

im trying to hang in there

but i tell ya this

when i do go i hope i can do it with as much bravery as Jenine

i said to her you better be waiting there for me when i get there

she said

I will!







55 Responses to “knowledge comes with deaths release”

  1. etta
    etta | 20 January 2016 at 5:39 pm #

    On the whole, strangely glad to hear :'(

  2. avatar
    Cath | 20 January 2016 at 5:58 pm #

    That’s really beautiful Steve, god bless you for being there and embodying love like that , very special

    May we all shine on, like the moon like the stars like the sun
    Looking forward to many more years of minstrelry from you 🙂

  3. avatar
    Rik Rehab | 20 January 2016 at 6:10 pm #

    Beautiful Steve…

  4. avatar
    jiffylubelive | 20 January 2016 at 6:21 pm #

    Being brave taking everything’s on the next level. Death is just a word that either to worry or to feel free!

  5. avatar
    Dubman | 20 January 2016 at 7:41 pm #

    Inspiring, both Jenine and you. Strangely when I heard of Bowie’s death one of my first thoughts was of Mr Kilby. Stay in good health. Love to all.

  6. avatar
    Michel | 20 January 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    Remember your words, Steve
    “I am a doctor, I am a singer”
    Yes, you are a good doctor too
    Death is nothing if people you love are near you to let you go
    Yesterday I went to an old lady’s house
    The lady had just died and I was called to do the death certificate
    She was not my patient but I had known the lady for a long time
    She had a quiet face, almost a smiling one
    Entering the bedroom I heard a familiar voice
    Aretha Franklin was singing “(you make me feel) like a natural woman”.
    The lady’s son told me ” I think she would have loved it”.
    That was strange but so beautiful…

    Hold on, Steve, I hope lots lots lots of Kilbey music will flow in 2016 !

  7. avatar
    Chris | 20 January 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    a sacred and pure act of love steve…you are the man…I have found that to be with the dying is a privilege…both harrowing and beautiful…as this life leaves them one is given an exquisite sense of the preciousness of one’s own…

  8. Richard
    Richard | 20 January 2016 at 8:40 pm #

    My folks seem to be attending a funeral a week these days. They have a very circumspect attitude. I hope I’ll share it when I’m 80 something.
    Glad you visited her. I’m 49. Not connected but it does seem to make it closer to home. Fragility.
    All you can do is love as much as possible, do some good deeds and be happy. Glad you are still doing that.
    In other news I’m off to see the handsome brute Dulli in Manchester soon. When’s that (recorded) collaboration coming.

  9. Pictish
    Pictish | 20 January 2016 at 9:57 pm #

    That was a very kind thing to so, SK. I liked that you asked yourself what to do first.

    Bowie’s back catalog has a lot of different styles for sure. Not every song is for me either, but I’ve never left the building entirely. His death for some reason is hard to believe and accept. Lazarus is just a beautiful dirge. The video aside, I envision a funeral march in New Orleans or some twilight place when I hear it. Totally get why Natalie was crying. Peace to everyone.

  10. avatar
    simoneradulovitch | 20 January 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    So terribly sorry for your loss. Take comfort in the fact that you made Jenine smile in her final days.

  11. Jmb066
    Jmb066 | 20 January 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    You truly are a beautiful man, the journey through life is generally sad and you show there are bright spots even in death. Your songs have touched so many in so many different ways yet as a person who shares his insight and life’s lessons with a bunch of close strangers is amazing. Up until Reading this post 2016 has been all about death of people almost on a daily basis. Your post like your music shows the beauty in life. Thank you, yet again Jason Burkett.

  12. avatar
    Deborah | 20 January 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    I was touched so by this story…and I so dug your person inside who asked his dad, who surely lives so deep as part of you, yet seems you were always gonna jump on that train. Like a series of events were unfolding and it seems as though you taking that trip had to be part of it all..? maybe I have that wrong…but the story you have shared of unknown grief and love and sad happiness leading into unknown happenings feels like a path you surely were gonna take…so many people in their lives would not..speaks volumes of who you be..and you gained the promise of that unknown love reserved for I’ll see you there when I get there…this is one of most beautiful stories I have read…I am sorry to have rambled on so, I was touched by this. I did already write a comment, somewhat similar, but it disappeared before I could post it, so I really hope they don’t both appear on here. Thatd be too much. Thanks Steve for the wonderful post.

  13. avatar
    Thrash | 20 January 2016 at 11:28 pm #

    You are an awesome person for doing that.

  14. avatar
    hologramofbob | 21 January 2016 at 12:22 am #

    You’re a good man, Steve.
    Keep your father close at all times.
    When you’re gone your five girls will do the same.
    Keep on loving yourself, too.

  15. avatar
    jeremy_earl | 21 January 2016 at 12:40 am #

    I was shattered by Bowie’s death, for all kinds of reasons, some of which I realized were selfish – what about all the music he wouldn’t write! But mainly because he somehow managed to talk of universal themes and make them personal – he wrote a lot about death, but mostly how it made life so profound. People die every day and Bowie wasn’t special in that regard, but he special in a way that showed people that you’d better make the most of it! With this encounter you’ve just related and the music you make Steve, I think get that as well.

  16. avatar
    tabatha333 | 21 January 2016 at 4:55 am #

    It’s hard to express these feelings but I had tears in my eyes while reading this. Too close to home but a beautiful story. It was very nice of you to connect to her before she left this world. Glad to hear you don’t plan on dying soon!

  17. avatar
    ven | 21 January 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Your blog brought me to tears! I grew up with Jenine and knew how much she idolized you. Your music was her life and played a big part of who she was. How interesting that in her hours of death, she inspired you. Just a stranger to you, yet she has left her mark.
    She has inspired me too. He courage, humour and ability to be so pleasant was astounding.
    No matter how spiritual and aware we all feel as we grow older with wisdom, interesting how people can come into our lives with messages that takes us to a higher level. I’ve thanked you before and I’ll thank you again for your kindnes. Your blog has helped me in my grieving for an old friend who really was a beautiful soul. Well written and truthful. Death is a also a gift to us to remind us to enjoy our lives, the people in it, planet earth and be kind to ourselves.

  18. kevinbreton
    kevinbreton | 21 January 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    There can never be an ending
    We are endless like the sky

  19. avatar
    Steven Krut | 21 January 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    That was a very compassionate thing you did for Jenine, Steve. Thanks for sharing the story. She must have been absolutely thrilled that you came to see her. You did a good thing. May god rest her soul. And my condolences to those who knew and loved her.

    So much death everywhere. I’m heartbroken about Bowie. It’s so weird and dispiriting that he’s gone. I think his new album is fairly brilliant, but it’s hard for me to listen to it because it makes me sad. Speaking of revisionism, Bowie is now going to be mythologized to the extreme. I think he will be even bigger in death.

    Of all the Bowie tribute covers this past week, I find this one by Grace Potter to be the most beautiful and I’d like to share it here. Grace finds an emotional depth to this song that I didn’t realize was there:

  20. avatar
    Wayno | 21 January 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    Nice one. I had just listened to Bowie’s new album for the first time while driving south for a family holiday. Next day the friend we were staying with tells us he’s died. Listening to the album again it’s heartbreaking to hear that plaintive “I Can’t Give Everything Away” at the end, but at the same time its emotion and double meaning is a perfect sign off.

  21. avatar | 23 January 2016 at 4:38 am #

    i said to her you better be waiting there for me when i get there
    she said
    I will!

    Le dije que mas le valía esperarme ahí cuando llegara
    Ella dijo
    Lo haré

    Muchos besos to everyone who has loved and lost

  22. avatar
    jacqui68uk | 23 January 2016 at 9:22 am #

    Wow,, as a church fan for over 35 years ,, what a beautiful thing to do .. Complete respect for you ..

  23. avatar
    matthew | 23 January 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    Steve, thank you for sharing this. That was a powerful thing you did. Sometimes loss makes life more real and vivid, at least for me it does. At the risk of perhaps sounding a little silly – I’m really proud of you for taking on that gig. Vale Jenine. And Vale David! I’m still processing that one myself. Bless you SK.

  24. avatar
    Lady Di | 23 January 2016 at 3:01 pm #

    Love on you SK

  25. avatar
    Therese | 23 January 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    Your Dad would be so proud of u for doing what u did.
    You were an angel of hope and comfort.

    Very sad about Bowie and even sader for me Glenn Frey.
    The Eagles was one of the best concerts I saw last year
    (besides The Church of course) and was lucky to see Glenn
    do a solo show at the Opera House. Also, Stevie Wright
    though not as big a shock as the others. Rock & Roll heaven
    is getting too full lately.

    Hope there will be a Church gig during this year and a solo
    show, fingers crossed.

    Peace & love

  26. avatar
    Sue | 24 January 2016 at 2:24 am #

    You stepped cautiously onto a train you knew was going to crash. Not many choose to take that journey (even for those they know well and have loved well). It is paradoxically gut wrenching and heart warming. In essence, it’s this paradox that explains to us the confusion of life – all that feels good and all that feels bad – a narrow spotlight pinned acutely to final moments. You would know these moments are long – they feel like hours and they stay with you forever (the spotlight moves to your heart where you’ve embraced them as rare treasure because they are rare). These moments are richer than your favourite ice cream and more delicate than the soft breath the dying take.

    I’ve jumped on this train. Before I took that step, doubts and fears almost crippled me. Not afraid of death but afraid of my worth. Why should I be the one that holds the hand of death and of the one that lay dying? Why was I the one she chose to be with on this fucking train? She was only 41. She was my sister. I hated that train. I was scared of what I could give, what I couldn’t and where I would be when the train was gone.

    But…it was only one cautious step. After the first, my feet were firmly placed where they needed to be. I stopped to ponder it. I simply felt it. I promised her a good death. I gave it to her. What I got back was more than anyone has given me before or since. She wanted a safe journey out (it only crashed for the living) and she wanted permission to die – I don’t know why it was me she chose. But I will forever be grateful that we looked deeply into each other’s eyes when I told her she was free to go. She gave a soft nod and then took her last breath in my arms, safe and happy. I dare say she enjoyed the moment. It was rich and it was long. It was wide and deep. She gave me more understanding of life and love and courage and beauty than I had ever had – all in moments.

    What you did was remarkable. What you did was brave. The last sense we lose is the sense of hearing…your lovely friend sang her way off the train before it crashed and you were so important in giving her a good death. in return, treasure is found in places we least expect. Hold onto that treasure please and remind yourself that you did something most people cannot do.

    And I know…she took with her your music and gave you strength in return. Not macho strength but the strength found in the understanding that we must be as weak as the dying breath before compassion and empathy hold us up to stand taller and stronger.

    Human beings are remarkable when we just “be”.

  27. avatar
    TJS | 24 January 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    A sad, inspiring but also bizarrely beautiful story! It is funny that giving something small of ourselves can be considered so important and wonderful to others. With so many terrible things in the news, and our media saturated with negativity – events like this reminds me of the goodness in people. My experience is that 90% of the people in the world are good! Most are are loving, caring and thoughtful if given the chance to show their true colours. We sometimes need the motivation and/or confidence to step out of our comfort zones and our everyday domestic dramas to focus on what is really important.

    Congrats for making a difference.

    God bless Jenine and her family.

  28. avatar
    Richard | 25 January 2016 at 3:55 am #

    Sorry to have taken so long to comment on this post – thankfully a lot of others have not held back and have commented on the aspects of your actions beyond the obvious. Your compassion as a human being continues to explore greater (Further / Deeper) dimension. Spiritually, your ship is sailing on majestically. And, yes, Your Dear Ol’ Dad will be thinking that his boy may not get it right all/every time but, like a good many of us, you’re agreeable “Work In Progress”. In a biblical sense – You’re A Good Man Steven Kilbey – and that knocks into a cocked hat any transitory media plaudits of being “Great” – It is to be hoped that upon leaving this existence we can carry all our treasured memories and that Jenine’s will have your words and voice locked in hers. Well Played Sir, Well Played !

  29. avatar
    andy | 25 January 2016 at 9:52 am #

    I fuckin’ love you steve, even though were continents apart. No more dudes/nepenthine as carl has ms and can’t walk,play,sing any more. Didn’t know how or when to tell you. Know you actually care though. God bless ya you sterling geezer……smashing story, you are a man who really knows his place in the grand scheme of things. more sublime music for us soon please……..a sad Watusi.

  30. avatar
    1379kzin | 25 January 2016 at 9:52 am #

    Well I commented on the mobile mode, so again: David’s death is surreal, my subconscious is still blocking it, what his music meant to you mirrors my feelings as well. Listening to “Painkiller,” alot lately, and its helping(damn Steve, for me its your best Solo work).
    Peace…David Brown writing from Texas

  31. avatar
    1379kzin | 26 January 2016 at 2:06 am #

    If I may, add more one thought.As others here have mentioned, you reached and touched another heart, those moments between her and you will be a good haunting.And this: I also was underwelmed by the Glass Spider show, T-Rex ( sigh, and I was an usher for that show), Davids “Berlin Triolgy”- really only a handful of songs that I truly enjoyed, the electronic ones were cold and distanced( for me.)The Bewley Brothers ( that’s the song that will haunt me from his passing), his output from the 70s and Diamond Dogs.His death hasn’t registered ( and may never to be honest.)This one, oh yea This One, this is going to hurt…Peace from Texas, we love you Brother Steve, David Brown

    • avatar
      Deborah | 26 January 2016 at 3:46 pm #

      Yeah….The Bewley Brothers is “that” one for me too…course there are few more lingering about but that song !!!! sorry jumping in on ur comment, just felt same

      • avatar
        1379kzin | 28 January 2016 at 9:09 am #

        No infringement at all, thank you for the reply. Last night/ morning I ran across Rick Wakeman on BBC4 on YouTube and he played ” Life on Mars”.I left a comment, stating my belief that Ricks playing was the most touching and moving of all tributes.I can’t pull up the link here, but search Rick Wakeman / David Bowie, when found be prepared : you will tear up, David Brown…. Peace

  32. avatar
    Ingrid | 1 February 2016 at 11:09 am #

    I know this is a late reply (catching up cos I haven’t regular internet at home). This deeply touched me and when I finished reading it I was crying. Your decency and kindness inspires hope in a world which seems to lack these things. Thank you for sharing this. You continue to inspire us all! xxx

  33. avatar
    bendonne | 13 February 2016 at 8:38 am #

    hey steve, great piece, geez, i remember a party years ago at dennis coogans house playing scary monsters loud

  34. ANUBIS4311
    ANUBIS4311 | 20 February 2016 at 10:14 pm #


    anubis4311 (Christian Martin)

    • ANUBIS4311
      ANUBIS4311 | 20 February 2016 at 10:18 pm #




Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.