posted on November 29, 2006 at 9:17 pm

they say everyones in showbiz…
if yer in the kilbey family
it could be true…
my dad as you know
was a wonderful boogie woogie pianist
(interestingly he always pronounced the g in
boogie woogie as a soft g like a j)
he entertained his mates all over europe
back in the forties
when he was away from his other job
killing the enemy…
you could whistle a song to my dad
or he could hear a new beatles song
and he could sit right down n play it
chords n bass n all
it always sounded a bit “daddish” to me
it wasnt quite right…
these days i realise dad had a couple of standard progressions
and hed bend any song you gave him to fit into them
like a backdrop hed previously prepared
dad loved his 7th chords n his flourishes
it was always the same couple of flourishes too
it lent all his renditions a slightly comical air
but it was very much him
instantly recognizable after a few bars
its an accomplishment in itself, fiendss
to stamp your own sound on an instrument
have ya ever sat down n banged around on a piano?
can you imagine how much time n love
one has to invest to have yer own style n sound
that people can pick instantly?
the day i met tom verlaine in 1988
he walked in my room
picked up an acoustic guitar
played 2 notes
n i could hear it was him immediately
his relationship with the guitar
was totally unlike anybody else i’d ever seen
and i seen a few…
well in his own way my dad was kinda like that
my mother
on the other hand
has just written a book…
yes thats right
and it aint no joke
it will be for sale soon too
so watch out!
no i aint read it…!
ive complained n complained
to olde juicy joycie but i aint been allowed to read it
could it be she wants it safely in print
before i spot the errors anachronisms n bloopers?
anyway guess what?
thats my chrismas present this year
the book
its called
the tale of the old iron pot
is this same oblique nod to marijuana?
(joyce :NO!)
who is the old iron pot? auntie lu-lu?
surely not you mother dear?
tho sometimes i thought you were made of iron…
my mum kinda kept me on a short leash
both literally n figuratively
i found out just recently
she used to take me out with reins on
a child harness
you dont see them too much these days
but imagine
my mum walking the infant steven
thru the supermarket
and im chomping at the bit
and straining at the leash…
it was the leasht i could do
down boy she says
im always leaning forward
trying to get away
trying to chat up all the girl babies
and “bop” all the boys
bopping was what i called hitting
another baby paul: mum, steven keeps bopping me!
i was a big little bastard n i liked to throw my weight around
so my mums just lived thru all that bombing
and she comes from a family of 8
who were workingmans working class
so she aint full of no hi-falutin’ dr spock
namby pamby pscychological bullshit
she yer olde fashioned mum
the true weilder of the power
if my mum said jump
i jumped
i did
partly cos i loved ‘er
partly cos i was afraid of ‘er
and partly cos it was the 1950s
and some assumptions had not yet been questioned
eg you did what yer mum n dad said!
despite being a precocious n cheeky rude sod
i always did what they said
my trespass was verbal
hardly ever physical
occaisionally my mum gave me a “flippin’ backhander”
but it was never undeserved
if my mother said go to bed
i went to fucking bed
not like the doodles
standing around arguing the toss
and all their delaying tactics
sometimes i feel like ive gotten a double whammy
i mean
when i grew up
ya did as ya were told
ok i thought back then
if thats the system
i’ll benefit when i get kids o’ my own
but hey
the system went n changed sometime
just when i was getting ready to have my turn
kids had to go n get emancipated
hey joycie
id like to see ya under todays conditions…
when evies having a meltdown in the soopa markit
or elli n minna are clobberin’ each other!
or auroras chucked everything she owns everywhere
and is now sobbing
cos youve gently “suggested” she might like to pick it up
or when baby bumpers crawling all over ya
in the middle of the night…
yeah so you can kinda see
how i got it at both ends
childhood and parenthood
nevermind all that
the book only goes up to the year my father died
so no cherch
my mother will brook no favouritism
so i am not apparently
a major player in this book
its not about me!
i just happen to be a son in it!
maybe best supporting role
i must say im looking forward to reading it
i hope it doesnt end up in court though joyce
i mean neither of us could afford lawyers for a start
and itd be pandemonium in the courtroom
if you start mispronouncing words and getting mixed up
and you may force me to call up surprise witnesses
like that spy (!??)….
(you know who i mean!)
so i better come off good or else
well well well
i have another day of work (WORK!) ahead of me
singing writing mixing
goofing off at the patisserie round the corner
(amazing veggie pie n soy chai tea)
so im gonna split this scene
take my bat n ball
n piss off

50 Responses to “mother? yes,son? i want to…………”

  1. avatar
    davem | 29 November 2006 at 9:23 pm #

    Good morning SK.

  2. avatar
    the dean | 29 November 2006 at 9:43 pm #

    The truth at last.

  3. avatar
    Glen Sherman | 29 November 2006 at 9:43 pm #

    Shame your dad left so long ago. Reading the book will be a time travel initiator for the Time Being, no doubt. Could be a very emotional event.

    I saw my dad this holiday after 5 years. Not because of a rift – not at all! Because we live far apart. Was nice to see him and mom. They love me a lot. My world will be colder when they are no longer around.

    Here’s to your dad, Steve. We’re glad to receive his legacy!

    Admirer, Glen

  4. avatar
    John Garratt | 29 November 2006 at 9:44 pm #

    My dad had his own piano style…without knowing a thing about music.


  5. avatar
    isolde | 29 November 2006 at 9:49 pm #

    Tonight on JJJ

    Live from the Tivoli in Brisbane, an all star Australian cast plays tribute to the music of Grant McLennan and Robert Forster – The Go-Betweens. Featuring a house band of Dave McCormack, Dylan McCormack and Adele and Glenn from the Go-Betweens. Plus guest singers: Sarah Blasko, Dan Kelly, Toby from Youth Group, Glen from Augie March, Darren Hanlon and Bob Evans. And some extra guitar prowess from Ian Haug of Powderfinger.

    ps… the tivoli have put your magnetic strip poster up in the downstairs bar near the go-betweens poster

  6. avatar
    Renee | 29 November 2006 at 9:55 pm #

    my mother used to come after us with whatever she could find in the kitchen drawer
    …a wooden spoon
    …a metal spatula
    and she’d crack us on the butts!!

    my father even went so far as to make his own wooden paddle
    he painted it black and drilled little holes in it so there was no wind resistance!!
    Boy, we were dreadin it when that thing came out!
    fortunately it broke one day while my dad was warmin his swing up,
    he hit the reclining chair and it broke into two pieces!
    we rejoiced that day!!

    parents didn’t play around back then!
    are you one of those parents that refuses to spank their kids?
    I don’t know, but it sure did straighten me up…that is, until I reached my teen years πŸ™‚

  7. avatar
    flowerpower | 29 November 2006 at 10:09 pm #

    obeying parents orders – well i sort of did and didn’t I Grew up in the 1970’s old and new systems intertwining. I got the wooden spoon across the cheeks (bottom ones) but by the mid 80’s the wooden spoon was only a threat, never used.

  8. avatar
    leelinau | 29 November 2006 at 10:18 pm #

    pfft..detachment. I’m so bloody attached to this blog you should be ashamed of yourself!

    >.< ^_^

  9. avatar
    the woods | 29 November 2006 at 10:42 pm #

    Just remember Steve that over the fence is 6 and out.


  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 November 2006 at 10:54 pm #

    I just use the “1…2…3” method. Kids would never let it get to three. Firmness and consistency are the secrets to parenting nowadays. Just my two cents…

    ed in fl

  11. avatar
    damien | 29 November 2006 at 11:14 pm #

    Congratulations to your mum on the publication of her book, Steve.

  12. avatar
    ambnt1 | 29 November 2006 at 11:15 pm #


    The “child leash” explains a lot now. All that pent up n’ restrained energy later exploding in an assault of rock n’roll hedonism and extreme Bohemianism. Makes perfect sense…


    n.p. Lowlife, “San Antorium” (a record so good it hurts)

  13. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 29 November 2006 at 11:17 pm #

    My mom was the fastest chancla thrower in the county!
    She denies everything.

  14. avatar
    Daberhasher | 30 November 2006 at 12:23 am #

    hey, it’s C.S. Lewis’ birthday yesterday!
    that’s great news ’bout your Mum…
    your Dad loved the 7th chords,
    imagine that…

    boogee woogee

  15. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 30 November 2006 at 12:28 am #

    you can slap me up with a vegan pie…

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 12:49 am #

    “Night after night
    who treats you right baby
    it’s the guitar man
    something keeps him drifting
    miles and miles away
    searching for the songs to play….”

    Love t

    p.s. Scarlet has good taste already “Moon River” is one of my all time fav songs.

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 12:55 am #


    I empathise with you about the falcon (it is a bird of prey after all).

    My car hates hot days too and threatens to expire at every red light. Hot weather, heavy traffic and red lights make me sweat. I plead and pray like you.

    Lady Di

  18. avatar
    Melquiades | 30 November 2006 at 1:11 am #

    My father was a musician (guitarist/singer). Quite a character. I was always envious of his presence in life and on stage. somewhat demystified later in life, but he also has an unmistakable sound when he’d pick that six string, playing bass and lead at the same time. no mistaking.

    I remember when I was young, I’d asked him to teach me guitar. He wasn’t a very good teacher though, because he only knew how to just play full-on and not break down his methods. maybe that was his reason, he didn’t want to give away his methods? Besides, I’d start watching his strumming/picking hand, then look at his fingers finger away and get completely overloaded. Anyway, I had to teach myself. Not a bad thing though.

    In fact, i had flirted around with guitar until my early 20’s and when I saw you and MWP play in DC at Franklin Square Park on the Sometime Anywhere tour in ’95, I got quite a bit more determined.

    The first song I taught myself was UTMW by ear. I think thats something from my Dad too. He has a great ear.

  19. avatar
    Melquiades | 30 November 2006 at 1:14 am #

    also, once I learned quitar piano was more understandable to me *both strings, you know. major, minor……1,3,5…

    the piano is a evocative instrument. one could get lost on it. willingly, of course.

  20. avatar
    veleska1970 | 30 November 2006 at 1:41 am #

    i love the piano. i began playing when i was 12. haven’t played in some time, though. i’d bring the term “rusty” to a whole new meaning!! while reading, i was thinking of the passage on the inside sleeve of “starfish”. it must be your dad’s playing that you are referring to.

    yeah, kids are quite a challenge. i wasn’t so scared of my mom, but my dad~~all it took was the sound of his bellowing voice and i was a saint.

    the book sounds interesting. when will it be available?

  21. avatar
    (('{~_~}')) | 30 November 2006 at 1:54 am #

    Joycie has written a book! Her first? Good on her. Congratulations Joycie!

    Steve, I got it at both ends also. How did this happen? I always listened to my parents. It’s just what you did. As for my children . . . well?

  22. avatar
    Chump | 30 November 2006 at 1:56 am #

    I was first exposed to Tom Verlaine in 1988 at club called Mississippi Nights in St. Louis when he opened for a band named “The Church”. Ever heard of them? I know what you meant about his relationship to his instrument.


  23. avatar
    mattdavison | 30 November 2006 at 3:01 am #

    Talking about Dad’s I am very pround of mine..He tried to get out of it when I was a little Bumper..caus he was a sort’a rockstar as well in NZ.. But he never really got the break. He’s a good guy just a little unlucky. Please you all have a look at his art work and music.. He paints the lovely windy city of Wellington.
    and is unbelievable in his talents.
    GO 2
    ‘yr dad &Joycey are why you make an exceptional daddio Killer.

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 3:25 am #

    when did it change? i try the olde ways on the kiddies and they just don’t react at all. what gives?


  25. avatar
    mike a | 30 November 2006 at 3:30 am #

    I hope your mom’s book is a bestseller!!

  26. avatar
    indigoruby | 30 November 2006 at 3:58 am #

    Sounds like your mother has written some kind of autobiography – what prompted her to do that?? Give me a hoy if she needs a ghost writer – I have been ghost writing a book for a psychologist this year on surrogate sex therapy (I kid you not).

    Wish my dad was a great musician like everybody else’s seems to be…he was obsessed with classical music, playing it very loud, and you would get in trouble if you interrupted. He wouldn’t even let my mum touch the record player (to be fair, electronic equipment of all persuasions does curl up its toes when it sees her coming). He was a brit and mega anglophile, hating anything non-classical and even refusing to attend a single concert of live music in this here land downunder in case there was a note out of tune!! I don’t know if that makes him musical…

    My mother is very musical though. (In fact, Peter Allen was her second cousin!) She and I sing together in a French choir called La La La, which actually rehearses in Northcote, a stone’s throw away from your gig in a couple of weeks…we do drinking songs, folk songs, choral pieces etc. and a horrible version of Edith Piaff’s Je ne regrette rien. I learnt to harmonise from listening to the Indigo Girls a lot.

  27. avatar
    Juicy | 30 November 2006 at 3:59 am #

    Tell thetruth, son, I need to sell copies of my book so I can replenish all the wooden spoons I broke beating you!!! luv, mum

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 4:07 am #

    how about those 9th chords?

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 4:08 am #

    or how about a heavy diminished, with a hint of augment?

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 4:26 am #

    i want to kill you

    Beautiful friend

  31. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 5:18 am #

    Kids will never let you get to three?! I’m already at spelling out T – H – R – E – E ! (And they wait until the second last letter!

  32. avatar
    captainmission | 30 November 2006 at 5:34 am #

    er no musicians in my family but i know six chords now (Am still being my fave) and write a song or two.

    congratulations steve’s mum, its a huge achievement having a book published, i’m sure its a great story.

    i been playing a lot of hawkwind lately, especially ‘amazing sounds amazing music’ thats one of my fave’s and there’s a song on there called ‘the aurbergene (eggplant) that ate the rangoon), great title even if ya don’t like shiney food πŸ™‚

  33. avatar
    Bell Phranc | 30 November 2006 at 7:25 am #

    Lovely personal Blog today Killa.
    Grotesque quote from old Mojo Risin Lizard king tho. You cut that just in time.
    Hope all is well.
    Belfy – up too late as usual

  34. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 7:32 am #

    My Grandfather could play most tunes by ear, but could not read music.
    Where ever you are Dah, I hope you’re having fun – I miss you.

  35. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 7:37 am #

    Joycie selling the book via webby w/ paypal?

  36. avatar
    jack of clubs | 30 November 2006 at 9:22 am #

    Hello Steve

    It’s cool having folks who are musicians or at least a bit musically minded and do something with it. My mum who is 67 is a radio announcer at a community station based in Queanbeyan. She puts in about 25 hours a week between researching material and being on air, not a bad retirement really. My Dad played music regularly around Canberra and Queanbeyan from the late 40’s to the mid 90’s, initially lap steel and then pedal steel. I know what you mean about the daddish style on things but have you ever heard Under My Thumb played solo on pedal steel? or another ‘country’ classic like I wanna love ya by Bob Marley on an Emmons 10 string – innovative? anyway, he recently won a song writing contest at some country festival, not bad.
    I know what you mean about kids these days as well, totally different game plan. We don’t have a TV so at least there’s no “can I just watch one more bit of…” kinda crap. But ‘delaying tactics’ as you put it – whoa yeah! And as far as any kind of olde fashioned retribution goes, no way man.
    Anyway, thanks for continuing to publish your lovely blog. It was my Birthday back on the 23rd and it was very nice to see another fine time being up there on the internet. I’ll be channelling some finance your way when I go to the Northcote Social Club in a few weeks to see yourself and MWP.

    Thanks Again
    Jack of Clubs

  37. avatar
    don joe | 30 November 2006 at 10:46 am #

    child harness = bad memories.

    glad they’re memories.


    don joe

  38. avatar
    don joe | 30 November 2006 at 10:51 am #


    Yeah, do well in the stoodeeoh too. and relish your family Steve.

    ML again:)

    don joe

  39. avatar
    fergal | 30 November 2006 at 12:47 pm #

    sk i will be forever grateful if u put ‘alreay yesterday’ on an acoustic release.


  40. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 1:25 pm #

    Your mam never whipped you for not being asleep at 9 p.m. in the middle of summer when it was still broad daylight, then?
    Never tried to hit you over the back of the head with a fire-poker?
    Never hit you over the kneecaps with a vacuum cleaner?
    Your dad never dragged you out of bed by the hair, threw you face-first into a wall and kicked you down the stairs, huh? Where your mam stood over you taking the piss out cos you were crying?
    Your dad never beat the shit out of you cos you’d fallen asleep on the sofa after your first week at work, when you’d put in 43 hours of labouring on a construction site aged 16 and were totally knackered?
    Just me then…

  41. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 1:32 pm #

    I will never have children.
    Said this when I was 9 and meant it.
    44 now and still ain’t inflicted life on any poor unsuspecting kid.
    My family genes die with me – fuck the lot of em.
    Plus, I wouldn’t wish me as a father on anyone – believe me, my unborn children would thank me…

  42. avatar
    syrinx | 30 November 2006 at 4:28 pm #

    The Cannery, Knoxville Tennessee, 1988. You guys and Tom Verlaine. I didn’t know he was gonna be there. (AGH! Tom Verlaine is coming out!)

    Almost eighteen years after you asked the crowd the question, which no one who went to school there was sober enough to answer, and a fact that no one who wasn’t *from* there would know – they processed flour at The Cannery. Later on, ground coffee.

    I remember that show vividly. Baby Scarlet got that sparkle thing from daddy.

  43. avatar
    Renee | 30 November 2006 at 9:01 pm #

    Did your mum say she broke wooden spoons on your bum too!!

    i really love the part about the harness,
    i can just picture you as a kid in that thing
    that is sooo funny πŸ™‚

    anon 12:25’s posting is really sad, sounds like they had a tough
    sorry to hear it πŸ™

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 9:07 pm #

    good blog mr k – i hope your mum don’t read the title though – pip

  45. avatar
    Anonymous | 30 November 2006 at 10:16 pm #

    anonymous 12:25

    about nine or so, my dad used to grab me by my long hair and lift me up off my toes to yell at me when he was drunk. i finally got the courage to tell my mom and her solution was to take me to get a pixie haircut.

    i’ll think about you, man. i chose my parents to teach me who i didn’t want to ever be.

  46. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 December 2006 at 1:51 pm #

    Anonymous 9:16 AM
    thanks, mate.
    You’ve got it exactly right too – I’ve basically used my parents’ behaviour as a template for how NOT to live!

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