posted on December 2, 2009 at 6:28 am

a lot of things i remember never happened to me
none of my songs are true
i never rode on a comet
or plucked my harpoon from the thousand eyed phoenix
i never visited timbuctu or conquered parts of gaul
i never really knew hannibal that well
but you know
he and i looked alike
hannibal barca that is of course
well i remember a million summers in spades
yeah the yellow burning sun
the dunes
the nights
the castles the kings the banquets
the loneliness
alone on a summers eve
the gentle hum of the city around you
alone in this midnight blue
in an ultra modern apt
in a beach shack
in a tent or caravan
on the shore
in the back of a car
walking along alone by the side of a river
the quiet country around me
suddenly one summer
on a warm canberra night
i walk thru her streets
i walk thru the warm dry gloom
i walk thru the sprinklers and hoses
magic out there in the night
like the end of the rainbow i can never quite find it
hop on a bus
i can almost feel the bus ticket
i can smell the people smoking up the back
yeah you could smoke up the back on the bus
oh some friends on the bus from school
waldo n mick
come to a party they say
come to a party in some new suburb out west
we catch a few different buses
travelling and travelling never arriving
we come to a stop
we all jump off
we trudge thru the quiet suburban streets
mick is a surfer
hes got blonde hair like cotton wool
hes permanently tanned
surfing is everything to him
waldo is an athletic type a footy star
we go to this party in this blonde brick house
inside theres a loada kids from different schools
loud music plays
led zepplin 3
we open up our tins of booze
scotch and coke i always choose
the party is intimidating
a lot of handsome girls n pretty blokes
the pace picks up
immediately some girls coming on to ya
some guy is grabbing your shirt
mick n waldo calm everyone down a bit
out the back
some kids are having a joint around the pool
its an above the ground pool with a deck
we have a smoke
i lay back n look at the stars
i feel like im falling backwards
the stars seem to lose their moorings n drift
i get up n strip down to my undies n dive in the pool
i stay under so long in the liquid blue black darkness
the water is deliciously warm
it takes you in almost silently
down under the water
you turn over n see the lights above
refracted thru the surface
yeah they sparkle n glitter outside there
you hear led zep thru the water
the hammer of the gods drives our ships to new lands
you feel like you dont need to breathe
you feel like youve never breathed
and you remember the aeons where you didnt breathe one breath
when you were potential
between your lives
you might say
between the living n the dead
you wonder what waldo n mick will say
when you finally come up
up from what you think somewhat dreamily
and in your daydream under the water
namor the submariner
with the fins at his heels
where hermes had wings
and the submariner breathes the ocean fresh
through his lovely complicated gills
and it seems the most natural thing to do
to breathe in that blue water
so you take some in
next thing
you know
i’m climbing out of a pool
coughing n spluttering
and a bunch of guys
why i realize at once
its my band
the other guys in my band
the guys sit around drinking smoking n laughing
i take the lift back to my room
i take a hot shower despite the heat outside
we’re playing on the silver coast strip tonight
at the coconut club on the main drag
i feel vaguely confused
the beach boys comes on again
the lush strings
the distant beating tympani
the percussion sounding like hoofs n woodpeckers
my tight black pants
my black boots
my transcendental op shop shirt
its a hot saturday night on the silver coast
everyones jammed in there on their holidays
no parking spots
we circle the club
i jump out of the car
n leave the others to park it
i feel numb as i see the crowd lined up to see us
suntanned blond headed holiday crowd in thongs n sunburn
i feel suddenly tired as i push my way backstage
out the back of backstage
theres a set of stairs leading into a sandy garden
beyond the garden is a fence n then the ocean
all white n black from where i stood
on one side this scene of utter tranquility
on the otherside of the stage door
stood 800 noisy drinking festive people
waiting for the band to go on
i hang suspended between the 2 worlds
the loveliness of nature in summer
the writhing churning yelling crowd
our intro music comes on
we hit the stage
fuck we make a lot of noise
i play so disconnected from it all
so far away the words i sing seem to come from another world
i see the mob sway n pulse
i see them push n shove n dance violently
couples kissing savagely
fights break out
my fingers are permanently sore
my nose is sunburnt from yesterday
and the yesterday before that
the coconut club drinks champagne and cheers and claps
bouncers wade in n remove nuisances
and more punches are swung
the bouncers jump in n kick some guy
whod been flailing around hitting people
in some stupid dance obliviously
and now the bouncers were softening him up
cos he had resisted ejection
i see it all from a distance
i see it all from my safe n hollow haze
the violence takes the breath away in the pit of my stomach
i play n sing on mechanically
blokes and girls push their way backstage
in a cloud of cigarette smoke n perfume
i hear all the specious talk going on around me
i sit there lonely in the crowd in the room
blah blah blah they scream over the disco now raging out there
i see the sunburn up close its red and surely sore
i see the ocean bleached hair and the stoned red eyes
i smell the beer on their breath
i stand on the steps
i walk down into the garden
over the fence
across the silver sand of the silver coast
the silver coast with free colour tv air cond pool
with its pinball and its amusement places
and the palm trees from somewhere
was it florida or mexico….
and i see the ocean
i just wanna cool off
i just wanna wash it all off
the beach boys twinkle on even out here
those are my windchimes they sing sadly
and i walk across the silver sands
the wind really is in my hair
and i think of the summers of my dad
and the summers of my mum
and the endless happy endings that always come to an end
because as you enjoy this lovely night
someone out there is being born
n another is out there dying
while you stand there
in your sweaty shirt and sweaty jeans
you take it all off
you are in darkness now upon this prehistoric beach
deep in the shadow of the deluxe locations just near completion
and you feel the foam surge around your ankles
and its so soothing n cool
just like in that song you wrote
all your songs set in some summer night
just like now
just like tonight
this oh so lovely evening
you plunge under a wave
you open your eyes
and you can see absolutely nothing

25 Responses to “nostalgic drivers use the memory lane”

  1. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 2 December 2009 at 10:00 am #

    memory is such a traitor… wish that you could preserve moments as you do books…..but eventually they fray and fall apart…..only earth-shakingly tragic or wonderful happenings seem have a chance of living on and then these are affected by perspective and the myriad things that happen betwen then and now…..

    i love sinking to the bottom of the pool and looking up through the blurry lens of the water….

    love always…..

  2. avatar
    linjo | 2 December 2009 at 10:00 am #

    I really enjoyed reading that Steve, very emotional. When you were in the pool it reminded me of one of my favourite movie scenes which was from 'Immortal Beloved', the story of Beethoven starring Gary Oldman. Towards the end of his life and deaf, he stands on a stage surrounded by hundreds of people reciting 'Ode to joy' in his mind and recalling a time when he was about 13 and his drunken father comes home. To escape another savage beating he climbs out of his bedroom window and runs, runs through the dark forest in his nightdress as the music gathers until he comes to a lake, strips off and lies in the water to the beautiful crescendo, totally disconnected from the trauma of his life and at one with the beauty of the night sky. Hmm yes that was unforgettable. Linda x

  3. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 2 December 2009 at 10:05 am #

    i don't know if my last comment made it through 'cos my computer's had a seizure….

    i love sinking to the bottom of the pool and looking up through the blurry lens of the water….

    love always…..

  4. avatar
    princey | 2 December 2009 at 11:16 am #

    Oh so nice:)))

  5. avatar
    melissa | 2 December 2009 at 11:50 am #

    wow, .. i feel like having a cry after that, so beautiful ..

    thanks SK


  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 December 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    lovely and grotesque at the same time. the future looming……….

  7. avatar
    Paul Lightfoot | 2 December 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    "My Black Boots" … Your new brown Boat Shoes – with surround genuine leather lace you mean LOL!

  8. avatar
    matthew | 2 December 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    to risk another adjective: that was brilliant. "deluxe locations near completion"? Yes! I remember them… from some foolish long-evaporated youth… they injected vigour and awe and complete sense yet non-sense. Accordingly, we raise our traffic flares to him…..

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 December 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Utterly beautiful. Thank you.

  10. avatar
    CSTCoach | 2 December 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    beautiful! that party and the underwater pool scene, fucking beautiful.

    it brought back so many memories of summer as a teenager. i used to love swimming in the rain, sinking backwards into the depths of the pool and looking up to watch the drops pockmark the surface of the water in silence, breaking the outer world into soft patterns of light.

    loved the ending too. the feeling of sea breeze, of firm wet sand and feet lapped by warm tongue waves. that's miles from here, but it brought back memories of a small island off the coast of nicaragua.

    its one of the coolest things about your writing, how it can be so personal but at the same time universal in how it calls up the deeply personal from within. It's very musical in that sense – the way music bridges gaps that words can't, acting like a tuning fork to transmit the essence of a feeling from one interior to another.

    beautiful writing today druid.

    (though i do question your judgement sometimes – scotch and coke? good god man!)

  11. avatar
    Ellen | 2 December 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    I practically grew up in swimming pools, living in So. Cal. Love that feeling of plunging in and going to the bottom, looking up through the water at the sunlight. It's another world…

    Speaking of sun, and forgive me for sounding like your mother, but wear sunscreen! Thank God my mom made me wear the stuff from day one. As a freckled, red-head from Rhode Island, she knew first-hand the dangers of being fair-skinned. And raising three white-skinned girls in a sun-soaked state like California, she made sure we ALWAYS wore sunscreen, whether it was at poolside or oceanside.

    And speaking of the ocean, there is absolutely nothing that compares with that salty, swirling cool water, especially after a long run.

    Rock on!

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 December 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    Wonderful sublime writing Sir!
    And no exclamation marks at all.
    When will you write a novel?
    A strange surealist classic Im sure.

  13. avatar
    Paradise Slice | 2 December 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    Something happens when you write like that.
    I feel the spell of it at work in my cerebral cortex.
    Like the untouchable truths glimpsed in a powerful hit of weed
    or a beautiful dream that you desperately don't wish to wake from.

  14. avatar
    cazziem | 2 December 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    What a beautiful vision you have yet again created for your dedicated followers. It seems though that with so many of us really enjoying the serenity of the beach you draw us to, that it would have turned into one hell of a beach party had we all been there!

    One of my own favourite memories was sitting alone on a beach in the dead of night, when the revellers had had their fill and were oblivious to natural beauty of watching the tide slowly recede like a beckoning finger saying, ‘come with me’, or the moon as it ended its shift reflecting on the waves casting what appeared like numerous smiles and then watching the sun rise in the distance as though literally born from the sea. Yes, definitely one of my favourite memories.

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 December 2009 at 10:20 pm #


  16. avatar
    Freddie | 2 December 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    Beautiful and touched with sadness but that’s part of its beauty.
    Well writ m’Lord Kilbey.

  17. avatar
    melissa | 3 December 2009 at 12:41 am #

    I've always wanted to watch the film 'Immortal Beloved', so I'll REALLY have to now, thanks Linda! 🙂

    Hey! Just read that the Corner Hotel concert on Saturday night is sold out now – YAY!! Only two sleeps to go now 😀


  18. avatar
    Jasperina | 3 December 2009 at 1:41 am #

    my transcendental op shop shirt…that leaves me with all kinds of images swirling through my head.

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 December 2009 at 3:46 am #

    You took me with you.

    Lady Di

  20. avatar
    lily was here | 3 December 2009 at 7:00 am #

    There's something about touring that brings out such sublime writing in you. Maybe its partly the loss and feel of being away from home, your keen senses on alert taking in your surroundings even more than usual. Once again i state our luckiness
    Ps can u ask marty to ring me asap re his solo gig in perth

    love xoxo

    ps Im still on a high, cant believe i was on my way north already a week ago

  21. avatar
    fantasticandy | 3 December 2009 at 7:45 am #

    yer certainly not 'disconnected' from beauty killer.

  22. avatar
    Gavgams | 3 December 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    On ya, Killer.. and long live the transcental op shop shirt
    circa.. Heyday…
    … come down… hey man

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 December 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    double album in your future . . . write the right songs . . . write 30 . . . pick the best 20 . . . at least one catchy one . . . and explode back onto the American charts . . . and go from the 200 diehard fans in the clubs . . . and the gray vans driving all night to the next town 500 miles away . . . .


    the tour bus . . . the majestic halls . . . and everyone will discover (or rediscover) the back catalog . . . . some good stuff.

    and you're only 55.

    you should be at the top of your game.

    55 . . . if you're not getting older and better, then something is wrong, and that's not the case.

    ah, ah.

    Wilfred Paradise

  24. avatar
    chrisnroses | 4 December 2009 at 3:33 am #

    Classic…Beach Boys classic…SMILE classic…TELEPATH…classic,new,future,memories release…

  25. avatar
    Nick | 4 December 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    damn that was beautiful!

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