posted on March 2, 2009 at 8:25 pm

i hadda really good dad once
yeah sure i know you know
gee i was really lucky
cos i seen some other dads in action
violent little twerps
distant aloof patriachs
drunken stupid brutes
my dad was none of these
my dad was like realer than fucking real
when i cut my eye open
and the quack was stitching my head back up
when my dad arrived
and took my hand
it was suddenly alright
d’ya know what i mean
my dad walked in and it was ok
in his always slightly ill fitting clothes
and his cheerful cockerney accent
my dad was larger than life and everybody loved ‘im
he shoulda had his own tv show
he had everyone laughing all the time
god i know i told you that
but its his birthday
and i aint seen him for 33 years now
and i wish he could put in an appearance
for a bit of guidance or whatever
he was always right
” watch those geezers…theyre gonna cheat ya!” (they did)
“dont drive like’ll crash!” (i did)
” if ya ever need something…i’m yer man!” (he was)
he was pretty cheerful
and he rarely succumbed to the blues
he made do with what he had
and he didnt lust after fame or wealth or position
he was content with his lot and he worked six days a week
he did lots of stupid dopey things
especially when it came to anything to do with painting
eg housepainting or respraying yer car
my dad had a morris major which he re did in every colour
if a fly or spider was on the wall or car
they were permanently a part of it
my dad was a bit impatient
he didnt like instructions
he didnt like waiting for paint to dry
he didnt like my long hair or my noisy guitars
he did like ginger bakers drum solo on blind faith however
my dad loved piano drums n trumpets..just like the old days
my dad liked boogie woogie piano
my dad loved driving n driving
my dad didnt like exercise at all
my dad was hooked on cigs since he was a kid
he smoked benson n hedges n 20 rothmans please
my dad didnt like brown clothes
he liked white socks not black ones
my dad did not like healthy food
my dad liked to give gifts but not receive em
my dad loved christmas day
my dad always had a fresh woody old spicey smell
my dad only donged me a cuppla times..n i really deserved it
my dad tried to make people feel at home
my dad loved world championship wrestling
my dad didnt like yoko ono or germaine greer
my dad didnt like cowboy movies or john wayne
my dad liked german guys
n scottish guys whom he always called jock
he called welsh blokes taffy
n irish guys paddy
i wonder how they felt about that…or is it a war thing?
my dad fought in ww2
he didnt talk about it much
except that he played piano in the mess hall n at parties
i can fucking see ‘im now
his marine cap on at a jaunty angle
the ever present fag dangling out his gob
a crooked grin
bad teeth
banging out something in f # my dads favourite n only key
a bit of a ladies man
a bit of a jack the lad
a bit of a bodgie
a bit of a softie
how lucky was i to have an old man like that?
one of the good guys
he could speak a bit of french
he was good with a camera n dark rooms
he could draw n paint n he loved music
“son…marry anyone…AS LONG AS SHE LOVES MUSIC!”
yeah my dad was a diamond geezer before they invented em
a good samaritan
a nice neighbour
a generous bloke
jesus he made me feel safe
nothing bad was gonna happen
cos my olde dad was here
yeah he drove us through bushfires in the fifties n sixties
fucking great trees flaming n crashing around us
but i lay in the back of our morris minor (before the major)
and felt that he must somehow know what he was doing
he just “flattened the bastard” “pedalling like the clappers”
and we zigzagged down those burning highways
cos we were english in a strange land
and dad wanted to get to bloody melbourne for christmas
dad didnt like snootiness or snobbishness
he ridiculed our rellies graces n airs
he kept you level headed
he was no social climber
he didnt give a toss about the classes
either you were a good bloke or you werent
he hated blokes who were “slow to get their bleedin’ wallets out”
and he paid up for most people most times
jesus i guess hed be like 86 or 87 today
i dunno
i dont think he woulda liked old age that much
especially as he didnt keep fit
i often envy him
in a way
his sudden exit
no hospitals
no quacks
no dementia or cancer
he just checked out quick
no regrets for him i guess
the good die young
what wozzie…52.. 53?
thats enuff
everyone should worship their dad the way i worship mine
if theyre good fathers then youre set for life
its a huge gig
n most fall short of the mark
old les kilbey tho
he was one good daddy!

53 Responses to “my fathers birthday march 3”

  1. avatar
    veleska1970 | 2 March 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    happy birthday, mr. kilbey.

    mine’s been gone for 7 years and i miss him like the world. i wish i could bring him back.

    what a loving tribute to your dad today. very sweet.

    lotza love….

  2. avatar
    esne snoner | 2 March 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    nice one sk – lucky me still has my dad in my life and he’s a good bloke too – a lot like yours in many ways – thanks for the reminder to keep appreciating him while i can though that seems to get easier as the years roll on

  3. avatar
    Freddie | 2 March 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    Aye, Dads are special people.
    I still have mine, but I don’t get to see him very often these days.
    Some of my fondest memories are of climbing up onto his lap
    when he played harmonica just before bedtime.

  4. avatar
    Jasperina | 2 March 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    Made me both laugh and cry. That was so beautifully written.

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 March 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    excellent, lovely blogge sk. i still have a great one. very lucky’s something to live up to, isn’t it?


  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 March 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    dude…great blog…everyone can relate cos one thing is for sure, we all have dads somewhere…

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 March 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    nice Steve –thats much more positive than your booze rant the other day–wondrin if les enjoyed a tipple or didnt mind socialiszing with others who had a drink

  8. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 2 March 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    “…but its his birthday
    and i aint seen him for 33 years now…”

    Very sweet.
    I still have my dad. I love him very much. He just retired.

  9. avatar
    stealthblue | 2 March 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Happy Birthday to yer old man…sounds like a hell of a bloke. This got me a bit choked up. I can just picture him.

    I love my daddy too. He's a saintly gem, and just a good, smart, honest, funny, strong man. Your relationship to dad sounds a lot like mine. He's one of my best buddies, ya know? We're lucky he is still here. I wish we could see him more. That's partly my fault for moving away, but that's life I suppose. Thank the Universe for "modern technology." It makes life a little easier…sometimes!

    Seriously, it's nice that you still honor your dad, and even tell "us" about him from time to time. Thanks for sharing. Hey, here's to ALL of our dads…CHEERS!

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 12:16 am #

    yea, thanks sk. every once in a while we take for granted what we have and look to getting/having what we don’t. i’m one of the lucky ones that is fortunate enough to have a great father. we are different in so many ways and we don’t always understand each other philosophically but he’s always there. a great model to follow. i try very hard to follow the example that he set while raising my two daughters.

    nice blog, sk. appreciate you bringing it back around to whats really important in life. think i might give the old man a call tonight.


  11. avatar
    the dean | 3 March 2009 at 12:42 am #

    my old man’s a top bloke too.

  12. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 3 March 2009 at 1:07 am #

    Great blog Sk. I had a great father two. Very patient and generous. He fought in the pacific in World War Two. Was a famous judge for 16 years. He tolerated me and understood me better than any of my family members. He stayed fit but the fix was in for him to perish at age 86. I’m glad he’s liberated from this fallen world. He was too good for it !

    All US U2 Fans can see them every night on Letterman tonight. I won’t be tuning in. Boner I mean Bono makes me limp.

  13. avatar
    TT | 3 March 2009 at 1:11 am #

    Loved this blog about your Dad. I wasn’t so lucky but my Dad is still around and I love him anyway. TT

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Lovely, just lovely…very touching. I think i'll write down a list of things i remember about my dad too.
    Unfortunately i struggle to remember much about him as he died when i was 13 playing footy at 44 years of age(i know you're not a footy fan, but it was one of his great loves (he also loved music!) – and he played for the Cats too!!). I'll be turning 40 this time next week, so that makes it 27 years since i last saw him. Yes, i worship him and think about him nearly every day still… 🙁

    He was great, as you would say, one of the 'good guys'…

    On a brighter note, looking fwd to seeing you & the crunch this fri at Barwon Heads…can't wait!


    Jon from Geelong

    P.s. My kids school motto is "Persistence achieves Greatness", how true, i reckon that applies to you and the band too!

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 1:24 am #

    Just lovely. I lost my 83 year old Dad last year and it still hurts. He was a musician, a wise man, a funny guy, and the world was right with Dad in it. Glad you had one like mine!

  16. avatar
    Damien | 3 March 2009 at 1:55 am #

    My own father fell short of expectations.

    I enjoyed reading about yours, Steve.

    Sounds like he was a fine man.

  17. avatar
    Also Ran | 3 March 2009 at 2:19 am #

    Good to read about a nice Dad.

    Waiting for Saturday @ East Brunswick club. As it should be, it’s sold out. Got my ticket weeks ago. tee hee.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 2:26 am #

    Dear SK

    It is my Dads B-day as well. I creid when I read you blog. I realize that I am the luckiest man on earth to have him here.

    love RAN

  19. avatar
    JJ | 3 March 2009 at 3:21 am #

    Birthday Wishes to yer Pop, TTB. He obviously held you in orbit. Lost mine suddenly about 14 months ago, he was 77 but healthy and enjoyed life. I was shocked profoundly when he checked out, and I miss his steady presence now.

    Similar growing-up experiences for us both, though half a world away (I was born in ’54). He cast a protective umbrella, but would let us find the perimeter on our own without any tight leash, you know?

    I miss my Pop too.


  20. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 3 March 2009 at 6:57 am #

    no comment on dads for me, Happy Birthday Grandpa Kilbey!!!

  21. avatar
    logiclust | 3 March 2009 at 7:30 am #

    22 years ago my dad died at 51, bang – over. i’m happy you had the chance to know him that well. what a gift you’ve just given him.

  22. avatar
    ross b | 3 March 2009 at 7:37 am #

    Lovely stuff man – your dad sounds like such a great character. My dad was a 20-per-day smoker, and did the quick(ish) exit too. Ended up packing out mary immaculate church, bowling club in tow, army of mates etc. I was proud of that.

    He had better hair than me…!

    All the best Steve, rb.

  23. avatar
    captain mission | 3 March 2009 at 8:51 am #

    that’s beautiful man, your dad sounds like a diamond geezer, and i know he’d think the same of you
    my old man is a gentle eccentric chap who swears he comes from atlantis originally, i dunno, always thought he was from whitechapel but these days i have my doubts.

  24. avatar
    Paul Lightfoot | 3 March 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Yeah my old man was called Jock. Och aye he was a good lad.

  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Steve

    Boydie here. My dear old dad died suddenly and unexpectedly last week aged 72 yrs – his funeral is tomorrow. He was my best mate.


  26. avatar
    princey | 3 March 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Nice words n memories about your dad sk, and happy birthday to all the beautiful people born on this special day:)
    Love Amanda

  27. avatar
    Shirley Sally | 3 March 2009 at 10:03 am #

    One of the best blogs you have ever written – I hate anyone calling Scottish people Jock but your Dad sounds such a great person he would have been allowed.

  28. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 3 March 2009 at 10:09 am #

    …my condolences boydie on the loss of your dad….

    guess one of the horrible things about getting older is that the mortality of seemingly immortal people like your mum and dad suddenly stares you in the face….

    happy birthday, les….

    one of the fondest memories that i have of my dad when i was little was of sitting on his lap and watching him while he drew me pictures of boats and birds….also taking our collection of refundable glass bottles down to the local corner shop and buying a shitload of lollies with the money that we got….bless him, he’s still alive so i can still tell him tht i love him (which i do all the time)…
    love always…..

  29. avatar
    verdelay | 3 March 2009 at 11:15 am #

    I buried my grandfather yesterday.

    He was no diamond geezer, but jack the lad in spades. My own father is far away over the sea and could be there to put his old man in the ground, so the task fell to me.

    He was born in 1917. He was 92 when he died. He fought in the North Atlantic. Once, his ship was miraculously veiled in mist and saved from the Nazis. The vicar spoke of his “abiding interest in horse racing”…that’s putting it mildly. He was a roustabout, no doubt about it. He lived hard and long and smiled the whole way through.

    Blessed be, Donnie boy, blessed be.


  30. avatar
    catchow | 3 March 2009 at 11:57 am #

    i wish your Dad could read your so nice dedication to him!…what a lovely gift !
    but i’m sad about you and your family to see he’s left this world so early…i do enjoyed reading theses little stories about the
    and happy birthday to you,Mr
    Kilbey Senior,wherever you are
    nice and moving blogs ,just now…

  31. avatar
    lily was here | 3 March 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    I do know what you mean, how everything'd be alright once dad was there. I cant imagine how hard it was for you all to lose him. How lucky and privileged are we to smile when we're thinking of our dads and cry tears of love?! He looks so dapper in his photos. I reckon there's a hell of a lot of your dad in you. Happy birthday Mr Kilbey snr, I bet you're roaring around heaven on that BSA.

    My dad turned 69 in feb, similar in many ways except his piano's a guitar and he loves cowboy movies, Ducati's, Fenders, Jags & the Rolling Stones. I love him to bits.

    Boydie & Verdelay, Im so sorry to hear of your losses. Condolences to you both.


  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 1:04 pm #


  33. avatar
    fantasticandy | 3 March 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    thirty-two years since i last saw my dad too steve.
    i loved him every bit as much as you loved yours…….
    god bless em both,
    and ALL cool dads everyware.
    great heartfelt blog,
    i bet he’d be damned proud of ya slim!

  34. avatar
    nickp | 3 March 2009 at 1:44 pm #


    Think my dad and your dad would have been a very similar age (mine was born March 10 1923). He died nearly five years ago now and I miss him all the time. We didn’t always get along well, everybody said we were too similar and we’d often fight. He’d grown up in north eastern Poland without a dad and was interned in a work camp when the soviets invaded. Came over to England in 1940 and joined the air force. He loved music, used to play the clarinet in his youth but I always remember him with guitar and harmonica, he didn’t have the best voice but he used to love to sing with friends and family and he’d sing me to sleep as a child. I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately with his birthday coming up and as the wife and I are moving to Australia in a few weeks I made a trip back to my old home town to visit his grave.

    Last weekend we went down to Cornwall and visited one of the old RAF bases where he was stationed in the war. Not much of it left to see now, but the local church has a lot of RAF gravestones from WWII, most of the dead were only 19 or 20 years old – sobering stuff. Made me realise how lucky I was to have him at all.

  35. avatar
    John Garratt | 3 March 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    “distant aloof patriachs”

    That was mine.

    Gone, summer of 2002.

  36. avatar
    matthew | 3 March 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Thanks for this blog SK. Lost my mother @ 14yo; Dad lives on re-married (the aloof kind, I say with slight sorrow…) Yours has always surfaced so happily on this blog bringing reassurance and familiarity… and that’s what I try to champion now as a (single) Dad… that… and being unafraid to feel, and to show vulnerability and humanity. Anyway… happy birthday to Les K I propose!

  37. avatar
    matthew | 3 March 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    PS… recently I can't stop playing the Chruhc's version of 'The Porpoise Song' …talk about bleedin superceding the original! Ok over & out.

  38. avatar
    matthew | 3 March 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Hey nickp… thanks for that too… very moving.

  39. avatar
    matthew | 3 March 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    er… over and REALLY out…

  40. avatar
    CSTCoach | 3 March 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    thanks for sharing your memories, esskay. my dad’s been gone 4 yrs this April. Really wished he coulda been around long enough to see me finally begin to succeed. So I could repay his always being in my corner, sticking up for me when i was in trouble, supporting my dumb trips to crazy places or all those years of training. He still pops into my dreams most nights. I kinda wondered if that’d get any less raw. I guess, from the fact that you’re still writing about your dad all these years later, it never does.

  41. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    How many threes, son of Kilbey. 3/3, 33 years. My beloved dad was born from a 3 too, but 3 months ahead, in June. He from the sign of 2 just like me. 2 many 3s make wonderful pairs. Then your father was a Pisces, seeming to float over reality in his dreamy state, seeming to be larger than life (too many incarnations) and just not that interested in worldly vulgar material matters. Yet he fought in the WW2, must have been the hardest task of his life, no wonder he didn’t talk about it.
    In November 2009 I will anti-celebrate having spent as many years without my beloved as with him. 15/15 making 30. I can already feel the increasing burden but he’s been closer to me now that I’m older, I can feel his presence almost everyday. They know our deepest issues and when their ultimate help is required. I’m sure your handsome Les is going to give you the advice you need if you concentrate in that astral travel. Be prepared for unexpected approachings too/three as our methods dramatically differ from theirs. And I thank Les for having helped to shape you in this magnificent form of just a man in this current reality.
    Happy birthday, March 3rd 13:33 another world.

  42. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Very nice tribute to your Dad today Steve.
    My Dad has been gone for 8 years now and I miss his guidance and friendship every single day.
    Unlike your Dad, I watched mine deteriorate gradually.
    I truly don’t have answer which is worse.
    We are the legacy our Dads left behind Steve.
    The best tribute I can pay to him is to try to be just as good of a father as he was.
    And I do my very best every single day of my life.
    Hopefully, he approves.
    Very nice one today.

    Tampa, Fl

  43. avatar
    stealthblue | 3 March 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Boydie and Verdelay,
    My condolences to you both on your very recent losses.

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    Hi Steve, your dad and I have the same b-day and I think I was born the same year yours passed on. Best wishes, my dad’s aloof and not so supportive of my creativity but means well, even if it delayed selfhood. Greatly enjoying Painkiller ATM…


  45. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 3 March 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Wow, coming in late on this one I guess…what a beautiful tribute to your dad, Steven.

    He’d be so proud of you – for all your talent, kindness, your family, friends, all the love you’ve given the world through your work.

    Happy Birthday to Mr. Kilbey.
    You never stop missing ’em, do you? My dad has been gone 13 years and I still dream about him. I wish he’d drop by to say hello or something.

    Thank you for this. It is truly beautiful.

  46. avatar
    davem | 3 March 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    Warm, sad and moving today. My old man is still around…fought off the big c 12 years ago. Wish my Mum was.
    Love to all.
    Sorry to hear your news Trevor and Verdelay.

  47. avatar
    steve kilbey | 3 March 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    trevor n verdelay
    deepest sympathy guys
    be nice to yer dad!

  48. avatar
    eek | 3 March 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    That was beautiful. My dad wasn’t the best (by any stretch), but I always knew he loved me which was good enough. Both parents gone now — dad 14 years and mum almost five. I miss them both.

    Boydie and Verdelay — my condolences.

  49. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 March 2009 at 11:19 pm #

    For Sale:

    1998- N.W.O. WCW plaque/sculpture- Illusive Concepts

  50. avatar
    jeffrey cain | 5 March 2009 at 7:22 am #

    that’s beautiful.
    jeffrey cain

  51. avatar
    haaz | 6 March 2009 at 12:01 am #

    beautiful piece, mr. sk…. thank you.

    here’s to ya, les!

    looking forward to the new discs, too, sk. i hear they’re good!

    jason de milwaukee

  52. avatar
    Berni | 18 March 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Damn, ya almost made me cry–stop that! I lost my dad two years ago but it feels like yesterday.

    My heart flower in my avatar is somethin’ I’d doodle whilst thinkin’ of him and doin’ the necessary paperwork when someone permanently leaves this place. [-.-]

  53. avatar
    Saint Louie | 5 March 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    "everyone should worship their dad the way i worship mine
    if theyre good fathers then youre set for life
    its a huge gig
    n most fall short of the mark.."

    I DO worship him the SAME EXACT WAY you do!

    I couldn't agree more! I lost my Dad last month and I agree with everything you said here Steve!


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