posted on March 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm
  gds gibson

gds gibson

you know

one thing i realised

is that you guys want me to write about music

more than anything else

after all thats why youre here

so i’m gonna write about music for a while

i’m gonna write about what i know about

and thats my own music

on that i am at least an expert

lemme see

i first encountered music at an early age

music seemed really important to my father

he constantly sang musics praises to me

we listened to the radio together on drives around town

and he talked to me about what he heard

and of course he could play the piano

its his birthday tomorrow

he woulda been 90 i think


it was certainly inculcated in me that music was a very good thing

i spent a bit of time thinking about music

when the beatles hit i was 9

and after that i was up and running

i wrote a couple of songs in my head at age 10 or 11

they were ok i guess i was certainly no mozart

i took piano lessons but fell out with my teacher

when she wanted me to play classical stuff only

i wanted to learn something i liked

“march militaire” was the final straw i s’pose

some stiff old boring fussy racket

i wanted to play paperback writer or paint it black


me and her parted ways regretfully

she said i had the makings of a good pianist

but my idiot/savant brain was going somewhere it didnt like

it never had, it never has , it never will (good name for a song)

so at age 16 i became obsessed with the bass guitar

(who wouldnt?)

master this plank and youre cool i thought

eventually through much trial n error i learnt to play the bastard thing

the mystery of music revealed itself little by little

how it kinda worked and all that stuff

i learned about chords and keys and riffs and basslines

i learned about amps and guitars and PAs and microphones

i learned about choruses and verses and codas and intros

i learned about timing and majors and minors and sevenths and suspended 4ths

i learned about vibrato and tremolo and muted palm ostinato

speeding up n slowing down and volume and tone and sustain

and haircut and clothes and boots and attitude

and booking gigs and moving gear and being on the road

and all that jazz my friends

in the end i got lucky i guess

at the relatively late age of 25

i formed the church

peter k would be an asset to any musical endeavour

but for the church he was essential

already at 24 a beautifully accomplished guitarist

who already was thinking outside the box

it didnt hurt at all our chances that he was tall n good looking either

i was lucky to know him

the 1st drummer i was not so lucky to know

that was a bad move to have him

marty came along and i knew he was right tho

ploogy came along and the puzzle was solved

and then tim when ploogy was tired of drumming

one would have to consider oneself lucky

to know these characters really

and this kind of luck cant be fabricated

i was furiously writing songs

just going for it!

the initial burst of success made me write even harder

a revolving cast of characters often including russell k

and members of his band were there in the room

i produced songs out of thin air for all to hear

i was lucky to have this gift

altho many watched me do it

few could reproduce it

i could spot a good thing for a song a mile off

the smallest sound sent me off

it still does

i am always on the lookout for a spark for a song

i could spot things no one else ever seemed to hear

some feeding back echo

some drum thing

some chord or some word or some name

i guess i was a born to do this

i used to think this was random

but after so long so many people have assured me of the pleasure

they enjoy upon hearing my songs

i am forced to conclude it was meant to be

ive made some people happy here in this world

just an awkward  skinny oaf from canberra ACT

i was writing stuff that made people happy

i got paid quite well too

i never made a huge fortune

but i did alright considering it was music

defying all odds and predictions

i made money out of my music

of course by the time this was happening

i was embroiled in my soap opera

LSD trips , swedish girlfriends,

getting signed and dropped and signed and dropped

imagine how it feels getting dropped by a label

pretty fucking bad i tell ya like getting sacked from a job

we spent months in studios recording

we were big in london n new york and briefly even europe

gee i lost myself somewhere in there

we had millionaire managers with rocks of coke and swimming pools

malibu here we come

the fragrant bud the burning nostril the free guitar

restaurant on cafe on snort on drink on smoke on girls

interviews and tourbuses man

famous friends and gullible geese

motels and airports and truckstops and bars

then wham

adulation comes

oh steve you are my hero oh steve you are my man

are you serious

fuck yes look they are…!

these people will do anything for you man

how will you handle that then?

will you pass the test?

probably not…i’d say….

still the music

glowing reviews awful scathing ones too

gets confusing to oscillate between best n worse

too bad theres a photo shoot and a interview

youre late for dinner now old boy

youre letting down your friends

youre too thin or putting on weight

wait youre looking old now

wait youre looking ok

wait theyre not opening the curtains for another ten minutes

wait! they need to rewind the tape

all the time producers engineers agents roadies managers girlfriends wives children breakups

steve come n meet the folks from blah blah records

steve come n meet the folks from hoo hah records

arguments by the tons

everything was arguments where we was eating or staying or playing

you can well imagine

the little blips we get on here is nothing

i am immured to it all

cock? cunt? ive been called that in about 23 languages and 7 dialects

poser wanker donkey and ass

they called me good things too

but i refused to believe any of it

i am a lucky bloke

i led a good life and i met some nice people

i played my music without fear or favour

i hardly ever compromised my music for anything

my music isnt like that

you cant really compromise it or it will die or wither or something

ha ha

so theres some insight into my music

i’m not what anybody thought i was really

neither good or bad

i was lucky and persistent

i had some good DNA from my dad in regards to music (and painting)

i knew some good people

i was in the right place right time (sydney 1980)

cos it was just blossoming into something intense

never before had so many bands jammed so many punters

into so many venues

the church were picked up and hurled along with this explosion

we have survived luckily but for how much longer?

who can tell?

theres some more insight

it isnt up to me all the time

i dont cause everything or not cause everything

still here we are 2013

i rock on regardless

i know that idyllist and skins n heart are miles apart

somehow i reckon tho the 25 year old me would have liked it

i’m still carrying the flag for whatever it is

i love music still

my obsession is tempered but my ardour is strong

the songs were all out there

i just perceived em first

love is a good thing

sk bondi march 2






28 Responses to “more than anything else”

  1. avatar
    Patrik | 2 March 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    You write the soundtrack of my life, and have done so since i was 15 years old. Its beautiful…..!
    Thanks man!
    // 12str

  2. avatar
    Fitzy | 2 March 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Yes yes yes 🙂

  3. avatar
    hellbound heart | 2 March 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Yes you were meant to do what you do…..
    bloody magic

  4. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 2 March 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    It was an amazing time in Sydney for me from about the age of 14/15 on when I first started seeing live music. I loved the Flowers, the Sports, the Triffids, saw INXS in a tiny venue with a handful of people and a couple of years later, was introduced to the Church’s music. (I know not all those bands are necessarily Sydney bands…) On my first listen to the Church: this is a different league, I remember thinking. Very special, something more. Not puppy love!Thanks for all you’ve done and still do! Privileged.

  5. avatar
    Ryan Murdock | 2 March 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I really fucking enjoyed reading that, Killa! You’ve sure had an interesting run so far. What a great description of the business and the messed up fast lane lifestyle that seems to go with it. It’s no small feat to stay true to yourself and your music when so many people (and things) are pulling you in so many directions. You’ve done a good thing. And you’ve created the soundtrack to so many lives and so many memories (mine included).

    What more can we do than try to live a life with meaning? You’ve sure done that in spades. Your work continues to inspire me, from the 15 year old kid who caught the first mysterious words of Milky Way sitting in a hot stuffy car outside the Spencerville Hotel, to this 40 year old geezer. Music is magic.

    What about now? Do you think the internet and the ability to bring music directly to those who care about it will start to change things? Cut out the middle man who steals your soul for a brick of coke, a swimming pool and a bunch of free stuff? I guess it’ll always be there to some extent, but I can’t see how it could last if they aren’t really needed anymore.

  6. avatar
    Leanne | 2 March 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Sydney 1980 was my coming of age and The Church were a huge part of it. I so love your honesty SK and thank you for sharing. Music is everything. Almost.

  7. Kraig
    Kraig | 2 March 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    A few defining words for me, ‘Destination’ to ‘Milky Way’ to ‘City’ “Monday Morning’ & ‘Buffalo to ‘Anchorage’ and too damn many more my Captain Kilbey! My most beloved Church songs forever! Blood, sweat, and tears went into some of those i’m sure. Go figure, co horsed together like a map that I make every day at work! Lovin It! Long live and Prosper my friend and enjoy every second it brings 🙂 Lookin’ forward to many more of those swings~

    • Kraig
      Kraig | 2 March 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      I mean…Lookin’ forward to many more of those things~

  8. avatar
    P Rose | 2 March 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    “the fragrant bud, burning nostril, free guitar…” Brilliant! Great blog Steve

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 March 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    you need to work on your self-esteem Killa (;P snigger)

  10. avatar
    Winger0007 | 2 March 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Thanks that was way Informative especially the part about equipment got a good laugh … Now now when Rolling Stone comes knocking you can just give’em this :-)But church music came to me in a very weird way….through a very gifted musician… 🙂

  11. avatar
    Chris Johnson | 2 March 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Kraig mentioned “Buffalo”, and refer to it as an example of the power of music all the time. I recently moved to Upstate New York, not terribly far from Buffalo, and when the bitter, snow-laden winds begin to swirl, that beautiful, winter-embracing song echoes in my head, rescuing me from what might otherwise be a season of depression and despair. Instead of a retreat and surrender, an invitation and a celebration; I’m so glad to have every note of that song with me in my head! That’s just one example, but thanks for it and all of your music, Steve.

  12. avatar
    Richard | 2 March 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Excuse the directness, but that’s some very good writing.

    Now that I know the context, I think “23 languages and 7 dialects” would also be a pretty good song title.

  13. avatar
    Jesiah6 | 3 March 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Thanks for your music. It has always succeeded in making me happy, and is some of the only music I never get tired of listening to. This IS what you were born to do.

  14. avatar
    John Garratt | 3 March 2013 at 1:31 am #

    “they called me good things too
    but i refused to believe any of it”

    This reminds me of my interview with Jon Davison where he said:

    “It was Thoreau who advised, ‘be independent of the good opinion of others,’ let alone the negative opinions. In other words, I try not to take to heart what the critics or discontented fans say, and I also refuse to allow my ego to get inflamed over the praises I receive—both reactions are not based in reality.”

  15. avatar
    pkumlady | 3 March 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Thank god you came along and were persistent; and survived. Your talent has indeed made many people very happy for what’s now turning into a very long time.
    Today I shall paint my bookcases and the first batch of disks to help me along will be The Church.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2013 at 3:18 am #

    don’t really mind what you wrote about SK, Be it Music, or the brilliant prose/poetry. It’s all amazing!

  17. avatar
    sharon daniel | 3 March 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Fantastic insight, looking forward to reading more. Keep rockin sk!

  18. avatar
    Cath | 3 March 2013 at 7:26 am #

    :)that’s all.

  19. avatar
    veleska1970 | 3 March 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Excellent, excellent post today. Thank you, sir. 😀

    Happy birthday to Mr. Kilbey.

    Lotza love……..

  20. avatar
    nick | 3 March 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks Steve

  21. avatar
    princey | 3 March 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Thanks for it all sk, the music’n’words, the live stuff, the written stuff, the painted stuff, the mugs’n’merch stuff, it’s all been a pleasure to receive for over 25 years! I thank you 🙂

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    just wandered back from buying a pencil at officeworks
    a chunky one that fills my hand
    the pinnacle moment in the day
    reworking an opinion
    unwanted, now wanted
    an analysis, knowing a partial truth
    a negation of lies that tarnish others
    i can – so i do, i have a voice, i care – so i can’t resist
    but i avoid a longer story i need to write for me
    about the past – that abstract intrusion that never leaves
    no longer meaningful, rarely welcome
    but faithful, monogamous
    useful now perhaps only in journeys of others
    but a load for me
    a reminder that life leaves its ghosts to trail forever
    to haunt in the quietest moments waking in sudden shadows
    the past is always present – no-one ever tells you that
    no-one teaches you how to deal with this multi headed monster
    so I cast back further than me for kindred spirit
    for a connection to less faulty lines
    not the bureaucrats, not the dirty rats
    fuck the small minds, the visions of fear and hatred
    i need the creative dna from an earlier time
    today i pass the drunks on the bench
    i long to sit within their choir of grandiose slurs
    rejoicing in short term memory loss
    inhaling their oblivion, the warmth of their falling grace
    i pass an empty bottle in a paper bag on a pavement corner
    the site of a Saturday night ceasefire
    i want to sit on the ground, in the dirt, ignoring shoes and grazing gazes
    in an overcoat and bare soles
    getting dirty, not caring, being a drunk in the mud
    being an outcast exposed, inappropriately behaved, bedraggled
    not knowing i will die alone

  23. avatar
    Ingrid | 3 March 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I checked out the video of you and Greg Dulli at last year’s gig (wish I had been there) very dynamic indeed!!! You are absolutely destined to do what you do and I’m sure your Dad would be proud. SK you rock xxx

  24. avatar
    Ben | 4 March 2013 at 3:45 am #

    thanks for sharing your thoughts, art and music, heaven on sunday

  25. avatar
    Chris | 4 March 2013 at 10:57 am #

    To Poetry

    When logic fails
    and emotions too strong to be contained
    pour forth from the heart’s incision
    the gentle brushstrokes of the poet’s art
    give voice to what’s within
    and mixed with music’s alchemy
    a spell more powerful than Persephone
    in month of Anthesterion
    flies out upon the wind
    and settles in the hearts of lovers
    and poets and minstrel pilgrims
    as they walk across the starlit night
    towards the dawn


  26. avatar
    Jonathan Andrews | 5 March 2013 at 4:04 am #

    The world of an artist put into such great words. This applies to many artists, mind you. The combination of insane talent, extremely hard work, and the ‘have to’ path to creating. When I was considering a path in opera/performance my first voice teacher’s words kept ringing in my ear. “Those that have to will. All others should do anything else.”

    Steve describes this predicament/gift/blessing wonderfully. Thanks for being an artist with all the ups/downs of that calling. Thanks for your candor in sharing with people. You are on the path with all of us and it is always intriguing to see it from many angles. I happen to enjoy the artistic mind-set with its openness to the light and shadows.

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