posted on February 16, 2011 at 2:43 am


in about 1972 i met him

he was a year older than me about 19

we met up in the david jones record bar in canberra

i was asking for some records and paul was in there

and he starting making some interesting comments on the records i wanted

we started talking and immediately became fast friends

paul was the only person i had ever met who loved marc bolan like me

he understood! he fucking understood….!

this alone was enough to guarantee ya lifelong friendship in my world

he was a good looking dude with his beard n everything

(i got quite a shock seeing him the first time he shaved it off!)

paul was such an incredibly knowledgeable character

he kept all his pop magazines neatly filed and sorted

his records were all in plastic bags n in mint condition

and he had everything…all the singles , e.p.s whatever

and a hilarious line in gossip on all the comings n goings

in the rock world

paul was interested in production too

and already had a tape recorder he was experimenting with

paul turned me onto bowie who i was kinda resisting “for marcs sake”

but paul n i were honest with each other about bolan

even if it hurt

paul said after we bought tanx “how disappointing!”

it was

we knew bowie was the future

paul n i formed a band

he was the singer i was the bass player

theres a little bit about him in my biography “no certainty attached”

he was the singer who wouldnt go on stage because of the bullies

as a  consequence of paul pulling out of singing that night

i became a singer myself because otherwise i was gonna be a bass player

a word about these bullies

i knew em

i saw who was there that night

a bunch of teenage thugs who’d given paul grief

at the catholic boys high school he attended not that far from my lyneham high

these guys were onto anyone like artistic or intelligent or slightly feminine

wow you had pauly there in spades cos he was all 3

he looked round the curtain n saw simmo n robbo n jonesy or whoever

n he couldnt handle it….singing in front of these guys who one year ago

were probably smacking him around a bit at school

so he just said

i aint doing it!

and fuck he left us in the lurch but i understood why he didnt

it was our first ever gig

it was 1973 at the o’donnell youth club in braddon

i drove past there the other day with sam n pointed it out to her

it sure looked insignificant in the daylight so many years later

but that night it was full of bullies n from my school too

but my sense of destiny always burnt within me so hard

i just get up n play n i dont care

let em thump me afterwards i gotta play my songs

(incidentally no one thumped me or even said anything except for one

long drawn out sneer of KILBEY!!!!???? when i hit the stage)

paul n i kinda remained friends after that but things were a little weird

paul n i both loved bowie and paul was really getting into all the bi-sexuality hoopla

well i very faintheartedly tried to embrace the idea

but the truth was i liked girls n i didnt like blokes not one tiny bit

paul called me as butch as a meat pie

i mean i still liked to dye me hair n put makeup on

but i just didnt dig blokes

paul never suggested anything inappropriate to me either

we verily loved each other like brothers

i dunno how paul felt about me but to me

he was the voice of all good taste in things to do with music

paul loved the beatles the who n todd rundgren too

and he filled me in on everything

half the stuff i know about anything to do with rock probably was from paul

he like me was a man out of time n place

if he’d been in london or somewhere he woulda been engineering n producing

im convinced of that

he really understood pop music in a way that few people ever grasp

he would have made an amazing producer  he had a great “ear”

eventually i guess my butchness n i guess sometimes harsh words

woulda broke up our friendship

but not before we travelled up to sydney together n saw trex

(they were absolutely awful!!!!!)

paul n i drifted apart tho we caught up a few times

once he completely blanked me when he was working in a newsagents in civic

i invited him round to my place but he didnt wanna know me

well i held a grudge and i held it good

when the church got wellknown i met up again with paul in 1981

he was working in the public service

i couldnt work out if he was straight or gay or bi or whatever

whatever it was he seemed confused by it and

i wasnt so friendly

paying him back for the newsagents incident

but just lately we have met up twice in canberra when the church played

paul had really changed

but he was still funny witty gossipy and bloody lovely to hang out with

we talked about all the stuff only WE knew about

paul was meeting a woman from sydney that night

in some bizarre twist she worked at the bondi post office

and we had already spoken about paul

paul told me that night

youd be proud of me i’m gonna date a woman!

it seemed things were looking up

paul wrote me a lovely letter about the churches performance

he hit every nail on the head in his critique of us

he asked me where i got my new choppers

paul had somehow lost some front teeth n he was reticent to smile

it seemed the new romance might have a chance

i kept saying come up to sydney paul

he kept saying he would but he never did

this guy was a huge influence on my nascent musical direction

he was a brilliant brilliant man and as i said

in some other time n place he would have been feted as quite a somebody

i knew his brother phil at school too

he was a diamond geezer a really nice cat

i remember his whole family as being gracious and hospitable

i dont think anybody quite knew what to make of paul though

i dont think he did himself

as far as i go

he was an indispensable part of my story

we studied bolan n bowie like other people study mathematics

we debated we laughed we argued we rhapsodised on em

i unreservedly tell the world paul culnane was a big influence on me

he had an idea for something called the amnesia operetta

i finally stole his idea last year for a church song called operetta

i told paul n he was chuffed

oh i’d forgotten all about that he said…..

an adorable man

a sad day for me

paul if you see marc up there……ah…you’ll know what to say…..

i’m gonna miss you man

sk philadelphia on tour

feb 2011


92 Responses to “paul culnane RIP”

  1. avatar
    Ryan | 16 February 2011 at 3:23 am #

    I’m very sorry for your loss Steve. Paul sounds like an incredibly cool guy.

    >we studied bolan n bowie like other people study mathematics

    yeah, i can relate to that. i did the same w/ your lyrics and writing when i was starting out.

    you’re paying back paul’s influence every time you do music month on time being, and share so many cool albums and stories and sounds with the folks on here. i go and look that stuff up, and i know lots of others do too. that’s a pretty cool legacy i guess. cause it’s ripples spread outwards to touch lives you never imagined.

  2. avatar
    Elaine | 16 February 2011 at 3:32 am #

    I am so sorry for your loss Steve. He sounds like a beautiful man – and friendships like that are so rare. May your memories of the good times out weigh the sadness of your loss. Much love.

  3. avatar
    eekie | 16 February 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Oh Steve, I’m so sorry.

    This is such a beautiful remembrance of your friend. I’m glad he was a part of your life.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2011 at 3:56 am #

    Steven, I am so sorry about the death of your friend Paul. I drove from Indiana to see you play in Chicago on my birthday and please know that Paul is so proud of you! You have reached an apex in your performing live as you are a true original yet I also saw Bowie, magicians , even rock Sinatra in your singing w/o bass. Your annunciation and projection was amazing. Steven, your lyrics are really fascinating and certainly contain elements of prophesy as our world evolves. Thank you for playing music and staying true to yourself. You are one of my favorite people as well and Pauls’ memory was filled w/ the knowledgs that he helped shape this caring and intelligent human being into a great singer songwriter musician. Love, Evan

  5. avatar
    Matt | 16 February 2011 at 3:57 am #

    Hi Steve. It was great to meet you in Seattle and hear your insights about yoga. I hope you like the book. I grew up in Canberra myself and attended an all boys school. I can certainly relate to Paul’s feeling oppressed by that culture.

    The Seattle show was remarkable Steve and I do hope you make it to Vancouver next time around.


    PS. Here is a link to my Australian/Canadian music show –

  6. avatar
    Martha | 16 February 2011 at 4:06 am #

    My sympathies on the loss of your friend. Your words memorialize him well – good of you to let others “know” him.

  7. avatar
    Lynette Komidar | 16 February 2011 at 4:08 am #

    that was quite an interesting tribute Steve .. very frank and I am sorry for your loss .. Lynne (Taylor Square in the 60s)

  8. avatar
    Steven Krut | 16 February 2011 at 4:33 am #

    My sympathies for the loss of your friend, Steve. Your words paint a wonderful, loving portrait of him and honor him. I’m so sorry.

  9. avatar
    Brian | 16 February 2011 at 4:53 am #

    I am very sorry for the loss of your friend, Steve.

    Brian in Austin

  10. avatar
    Zuma | 16 February 2011 at 5:06 am #

    Steve, sorry for your loss, a beautiful story, bummer, no man is an island.

  11. avatar
    Steve Devine | 16 February 2011 at 5:18 am #

    A sad day. I knew Paul since 1959. We went through school together.

  12. avatar
    Steve | 16 February 2011 at 5:30 am #

    Sorry to hear about your friend Steve. A lovely tribute. Cheers

  13. avatar
    Will Baucom | 16 February 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Nice tribute, reminds me of a few people I need to reconnect with. I feel for your loss, and I thank Paul for his influence on you. Gonna listen to Operetta a little closer now. Great show in Friday night by the way.

  14. avatar
    Freddie | 16 February 2011 at 6:05 am #

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of such a good friend. Let yourself cry, each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens. (hugs)

  15. avatar
    Matthew | 16 February 2011 at 6:07 am #

    I knew Paul for a good four years or so, and he was always a quirky delight. We met through Marc Bolan as well, as he heard some of my Marc covers. We swapped stories and music recommendations frequently, and I got into a great deal of music because of him – I’ll always think of him when I play any Donovan or Ambrosia, for example.

    He was such a lovely guy, and a true friend, and I will miss him greatly!

    You can see just how many people he touched by the amount of comments on his facebook today. Love you always Paul! Always!

  16. avatar
    cazziem | 16 February 2011 at 6:50 am #

    My heartfelt condolences SK to you and your friend’s nearest and dearest. Obviously fate played a hand in sorting out your distance with Paul and bringing you back together before his time on this plain was over. That said, it’s only the shell that transported this special person around; the memories, then fun, the love and the laughter will live on in each and everyone’s life who were part of his. God bless xx

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2011 at 6:58 am #

    I’m sorry for your loss… Godspeed to your friend.

  18. avatar
    Jason (jmb066) | 16 February 2011 at 7:13 am #


    So sorry for your loss, your eulogy brought all of us closer to your friend. It so sad when people depart from this earth and no one takes the time to remember them or take the time to say goodbye. Everytime you hear Bolan or Bowie think of your friend Paul and he will be with you always.


  19. avatar
    Peter Fitzpatrick | 16 February 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Steve, I got to know Paul through the XTC ‘Chalkhills’ mailing list back in the 1990s. I setup an interview with Andy P and managed to get some nice signed CDs to Paul who very kindly got Terry Chambers to complete the signatures. He and I have probably the only CDs signed by all of Andy, Colin, Dave & Terry. Just the sort of stuff that a fan of music like Paul got a kick out of.

    Technology allowed us to stay in contact and I was able to reach him to send good vibes a couple of days after his dear father passed away about 5 years ago.

    He often mentioned you in emails to me and struck me as a real human being.

    Sorry for your loss Steve. I ‘knew’ him but you *knew* him.

    From Dublin, Ireland, Peter.

  20. avatar
    Lara | 16 February 2011 at 7:19 am #

    Oh, Steven. I am so, so sorry. I recently saw an old friend who is not doing well. The experience caught me off guard and threw me down, down, down. Be kind to yourself in your sadness, lovely man.

  21. avatar
    Daniel Prendiville | 16 February 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Sorry to hear the sad news. Paul and I were in contact over the last 10 years or so. We shared a love of XTC. Spoke to him a couple of times long distance, and when he was in good form he was great company. He had his issues of course, but who doesn’t? He’ll be missed…

  22. avatar
    PINK CHURCH FLOYD | 16 February 2011 at 8:39 am #

    really sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friend.
    Sounds like he really knew you
    I mean the real you.
    There’s not many people in the world who truly know the real “Us”
    Only a very special and chosen few.
    And he chose you as someone who was chose to know him.
    That’s pretty special.

    You have great memories of him which you’ll cherish.
    Things like that are irreplaceable.
    More sacred than a photo even.

    Take care Kilb’s and enjoy the rest of that Tour and remind yourself that Paul’s spirit is somewhere out there, knowing that your touring and being so happy for you and the band.
    very proud that his friend is living it
    TC budd
    Travel safe
    Ange xo

  23. avatar
    Devo | 16 February 2011 at 8:45 am #

    He had a great love for Oz music and that was what I will remember most of of Paul



  24. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 16 February 2011 at 9:29 am #

    My deepest condolences to you for your friend’s passing. Through your descriptions, Paul was an extraordinary man who left a lasting impression on your life, and many others likewise. Now, even in his afterlife, thru you…he is doing the same to complete strangers, many of us…from what you openly share with us regarding your relationship, stories and memories of Paul.

    May he have found peace…

    Darrin K.

  25. avatar
    HFR | 16 February 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Steve: I knew Paul. He often claimed to have been ‘a founding member of the Church’, but had such a gift of the gab and was prone to wild exaggeration, so you could never tell when he was serious or not. He had one of biggest vinyl record collections I’d ever seen, and played me a 70’s single with the lyrics “yeah, ‘cmon” that he had a co-writers credit on. A very personable and passionate man, but couple with a very unhappy dark side. Strangely, he will be missed by me.

    He was well known in the XTC Fan Community, and we’re trying to find out details. Was it recent? Have we missed the funeral? I’m going to check the Canberra Times for the last two weeks at the library, but any

    • avatar
      HFR | 16 February 2011 at 11:41 am #

      BTW, he made his peace with ‘Tanx’. In ’95 or so, I was confessing my desire to play Mellotron, (if I could ever afford one), so he spun ‘Tanx’ for me. We both admitted we could hear the formula was really wearing itself thin, but we enjoyed it anyway.

      I’ve still never played a mellotron, but hopefully Paul has now met Marc Bolan.

      Nice ‘tron playing on ‘Untitled #23’, btw.

  26. avatar
    Once | 16 February 2011 at 9:37 am #

    I’m sorry, Steve. Beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing.


  27. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 February 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Such a beautifully moving and eloquent tribute…i feel your sadness and offer you my heartfelt condolences. ‘Operetta’ is such a magical piece, i’m glad i know the provenance of such a masterpiece…

    Jon from Geelong.

    P.s. I remember reading books on Marc Bolan, Bowie and Brian Jones at the age of 18 when i should have been studying ‘other’ subjects…wish i’d had someone like Paul around to discuss and dissect with…

  28. avatar
    Ellen | 16 February 2011 at 10:15 am #

    So sorry about your loss, Steve. What a beautiful eulogy.

  29. avatar
    period | 16 February 2011 at 11:08 am #

    sorry to hear the bad news steve

    i know the spirits are infinite
    they speak to us through dreams, family, friends and impressions
    deja vu and promptings let us know they’re still there
    that’s what i believe, some may not, but that’s ok

    celebrate his life as much as you can

  30. avatar
    Shaman Ron | 16 February 2011 at 11:38 am #


    May the Gods be with you! Ascension is truly with your friend.

    Grand Love,
    Shaman Ron

  31. avatar
    veleska1970 | 16 February 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    oh, steve, i am so sorry. much love and hugs to you.

  32. avatar
    Duncan Kimball | 16 February 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    As a longtime fan of you and The Church and a friend of Paul’s for the last 15 years or so, I want to thank you for your eloquent, heartfelt and truthful tribute. Paul was a good friend and an amazing guy, and yes – what a shame things wern’t a bit differetn – he could and should have been someone special in music, whatever it might have been.

    I’m proud to say that Paul and I collaborated on creating the Milesago website in the late ’90s and I think I can fairly claim that we built something we could both be very proud of and which, most importantly, has given long-overdue recognition to the musicians of our youth, our homegrown musical heroes.

    Paul always spoke of you with great affection and genuine hugh regard and I know he regretted the things that put distance between you. He loved you greatly as a friend and admired you tremendously as a musician.

    My greatest sadness is that Paul’s demons managed to put a wedge between us and sundered what had been a very dear and precious freindship. He approached me a few months ago wanting to make peace. I didn’t reply. Perhaps that makes me a bad person, but things have changed a lot since I first met him and I couldn’t face dealing with the malignant forces that, so often in his last years, obscured and submerged the beautiful person he really was.

    He was a huge influence on me too, and a dear friend. I’m sorry that we weren’t able to patch it up before he passed. I know he would have been thrilled to read your tribute. My heartfelt thanks, Steve, and my sincere condolences to you and to all who knew and loved him.

  33. avatar
    lisa k | 16 February 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Oh Steve, I’m really sorry. I can hear how important he is to you and how much you love him. I just never know what to say when people lose someone dear, but please know that I’m thinking of you and sending you love. Hope you’re ok. love, lisa.

  34. avatar
    nickfiction | 16 February 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    that was hopelessly eloquent, still bummed in Cleveland, Nick Fiction

  35. avatar
    bc | 16 February 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    heavy man…sorry

  36. avatar
    Cocoamo | 16 February 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    What a lovely story.

    Sometimes, in legalese, there is a little clause that goes something like:

    “For purposes of this contract, the male shall include the female, the female the male, the plural the singular and the single the plural”. It reminds me of this situation.

    As does the movie, The Crying Game, one of my favorites – not that your situation was anywhere near that level. Still.

    Just one of my favorite dreams and fantasies, that real Platonic love – the kind that we hope can survive us – can transcend the physical.

    Once again, we marvel at your depth and trust you have in us, opening your heart and allowing us to share in your life. Thank you.

    Your Friend in Pennsylvania
    (Now in Cocoa Beach)

  37. avatar
    Brendan O'Leary | 16 February 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Oh, what a shock as Paul and I were close school mates at Daramalan College in the late ’60’s in 3rd and 4th years but lost touch once we left school and went our seperate ways.

  38. avatar
    Brazen Bunny | 16 February 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Sorry for your loss..we all have people who influenced us in our formative years. My “musical” influential mate moved to Qld and I only get to see him once or twice a year…prior to that we would go to gigs in early days 6 nights a week…and later prior to Qld move at least fortnightly. Ironically he has had an eneurism and I am hoping he will be o.k..back at work but chronic headaches etc.

    He got me into Beatles (I was more a Dylan and Stones guy), and in 82 the Church. (just before the 2nd album hit..Blurred Crusade still my fav).

    Steve, a great tribute to Paul…you paint a positive picture and was great that when you last saw each other there were no grudges.

  39. avatar
    M | 16 February 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    I am just home from the Troc show in Philly. If your friend Paul was in your thoughts this evening (and I am certain he was) please know that you paid him the finest tribute possible. Your performance was possibly the finest I’ve experienced in 25 years.

  40. avatar
    david | 16 February 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    TROQ YEAH! Thank you so much!

  41. avatar
    david | 16 February 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    stevn im a dork ,…i love you …no words church…as much as i love marty ,,.. i love peter … i love tim powels …i told the time bandit that he saved the church …he shrugged and smiled/… then i knew i was right ……tim …me and lindsay love you .. peter we love you ,,… marty we love you .. steve ..i love you .. im fucked cause i love you … i ….. we lindsay …never been fucked soooooo good.. fuk i love you …

  42. avatar
    david | 16 February 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    time bandit we love you!

  43. avatar
    david | 16 February 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    im extatic that the time bandits on the tour shirtr i lov em

  44. avatar
    david | 16 February 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    your an….unexpected wonder ….in a universe of pain .. i cant believe weve met you …the pain remains……

  45. avatar
    david | 16 February 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    we all heard you tonight paul…fuk..

  46. avatar
    andy | 16 February 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    yer a lovely, lovely manne killer.
    that was straight from the heart.
    good that you and paul patched things up eventually.
    a sad day for you is a sad day for me too.
    moving stuff steve,
    your chum in blighty,
    ‘the white watusi’

  47. avatar
    davem | 16 February 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    So young too.
    RIP Paul.
    Take care SK.

  48. avatar
    Karen | 16 February 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    That was so heartfelt I had tears in my eyes
    he lived were I live might have walked past him for all I know canberra is a small place.
    dont know you only snippets and didnt know him but he sounded like a cool guy
    im sorry

  49. avatar
    Glenda | 16 February 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Paul was an online friend.My but he was an interesting and very witty man.I shall miss his endlessly amusing repartee!I know how happy he was to catch up with you just before Christmas!RIP Paul.

  50. avatar
    Shelley | 16 February 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Can’t believe Paul (PC) won’t be constantly feeding us his fave clips and strident opinions any more. Many here in Canberra will miss him too, Steve. Some a little, some a lot. Thanks for sharing your warmly affectionate memories with us. Hugs.

    PS David Jones record bar…wow…that takes me WAY back… : )

  51. avatar
    hellbound heart | 16 February 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    oh man i’m so sad for you…..he sounds like a wonderful individual to have known…..
    love always…..

  52. avatar
    Narelle | 16 February 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Hello Steve
    Very sad to hear about your friend Paul. I do remember the name but not sure if I ever met Paul…memories of friends and music/culture…loads of fun…the times certainly were a changin’. I also knew a few from the catholic school and they were great guys…also, nothing oppressing about the culture at Canberra High…
    take care

  53. avatar
    DavidP | 16 February 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    dear Steve, I’m really sorry to hear about this and to see the pain in your eyes there. I know what it is like to lose a very close friend like that. It is great that you recently got to be on good terms again with Paul before he left.
    Best wishes,

  54. Kraig
    Kraig | 17 February 2011 at 12:59 am #

    I’m very sorry for your loss Steve, and for his family’s loss too! May God Bless you and also his family in this time of sorrow and need.

    I wrote something up like this when my Dad passed away and wanted to read it at his funeral but chickened out. I guess my Dad at least heard it…just like Paul is feeling and hearing what your saying about him right now to us, the masses.

    You and your friend Paul were both blessed for meeting each other and effecting each others lives in your OWN way. I have many family and friends like that. Like a long lost brother who you hardly see, right. Great write-up about your friend Paul! He was, and still “is”, very blessed to have met you; a person who found friendship with each other, companionship, compassion and a love interest for the same things in this World.

    Many Blessings,

  55. avatar
    Jonathan Andrews | 17 February 2011 at 1:07 am #

    That was a moving tribute, Steve. It helped me reflect on an instance of bullying that is going on in one of my wife’s students life. A teenage girl is being bullied and it has to do with her sensitivity and love of the arts.
    I am sorry for your loss. love, Jonathan

  56. avatar
    JW | 17 February 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Very sorry for your loss. Your friend left behind a great website:

  57. avatar
    Christina | 17 February 2011 at 9:14 am #

    An honest and lovely tribute to your friend, Steve.
    He sounds like a real free spirit, sadly dragged down from truly soaring by that old black dog of depression and despair.

    Used to love Marc Bolan – think my favourite song of his would have to be Cosmic Dancer..

  58. avatar
    jerryj | 17 February 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I was drawn into this poignant story, SK. So sorry to hear. Strange that half a world away, I was the same age in those years, forlorn and lost in my own high school hell, with music being about the only thing that truly inspired or excited me.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you and the band once again in Atlanta. Much anticipation. Safe travels.


  59. avatar
    caitbrid | 17 February 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Lovely tribute. I lost a dear friend over Xmas and it sucks. I’m sorry. You have someone else waitng for you in heaven now.

    Thank you for the Philadelphia show last night; I’m sure Paul would have loved it!


  60. avatar
    Melissa | 17 February 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear that you have lost a wonderful friend 🙁

    my sincere condolences Steve xxxx

  61. avatar
    Donna | 17 February 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I feel very sad for your friend. I get the impression that life was hard on him because he marched to a different drummer. I’ll bet he was really special. Moving tribute.

  62. avatar
    stealth blue | 17 February 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    Oh Steve,
    I’m so very sorry to hear about your huge loss. I know you will always hold each other in the highest regard…no matter what. Just be thankful for the time and friendship you shared over the years. He sounds like a good guy, and no doubt he loved you to the end of his days on Earth, and the “Great Mysterious Beyond”. He’s in your heart and musical soul.

    Much peace and love to you, man. Take care of yourself…always.

    Very Sincerely your friend and student,


  63. avatar
    stealth blue | 17 February 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    seeing this picture of you in this deep sadness was just like an arrow through my heart (all of ours I’m sure). We hate to see those we love (especially our SK) in pain, no matter what the cause. This photo of you with tears in your eyes just speaks volumes…
    Play well, live your life and rest well when you can, brother…

  64. avatar
    Ron Bonham | 17 February 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Thanks so much for tonite SK, just an amazing show! Don’t know how you geezers are doing it, I didn’t get a seat and shadow danced the whole set. *cuking hell, I feel beyond beat. Nice one all the way around, even with that one gaff on A New Season! Shake it off, like I yelled out it happens to the best of them, and you Sir are one of the best! See you tomorrow…!

  65. avatar
    vicki smith | 17 February 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    A lovely tribute to a lovely man

  66. avatar
    captain mission | 18 February 2011 at 7:55 am #

    that was a lovely tribute, really sad to read but lovely sentiment.

  67. avatar
    JW | 18 February 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Just had to say that I reread this & I hope someone can write something as well as this for me when the day comes. Well done! and it is a wonderful tribute to your friend. After reading it a few times and visiting his website I think I really have a feel for the kind of guy he was.

  68. avatar
    John F | 18 February 2011 at 10:47 am #

    The Church – Winter 2011. What can I say about these shows? First of all the announcement that they were playing the states the next year after the U#23 was big enough news. To hear they were playing three of their finest albums was incredible. My friend and I booked our two nights in Seattle right after they went on sale. Our drummer who had not seen them in twenty years is still talking about the shows a week later. This band isn’t dwindling in their fan base, they are only growing. Isn’t it ironic that moodier bands like the Arcade Fire are winning Grammy’s? Hmmm. maybe the plastic is breaking slowly and the real stuff is starting to come back through (it all goes round and round and comes right back to start right?). Anyhow….Untitled started with Cobalt Blue and the song is such a slow burning monolith of a song. Marty pulled a guitar maestro move and threw off the Ric for his Jazzmaster for the lead on this one. I really liked hearing this album front to back because it’s the only album Tim Poweles actually played on. He has a drumming style way different than Jay Dee (Priest) and Ploog. His drumming style might be closer to Richard Ploog but better but doesn’t play from the wrist as much as Jay D. However Tim brought a new flavor to Priest with his playing. Tim’s back up vox add a lot of depth to the album. Pangea of course is a masterpiece of a song. That and Operetta are probably what caught many people on U#23.
    The whole band was in top form on this album…stoic and deep. It seemed the enjoyment from playing this album was immediate and not nostalgic but there was a lot of reserve (much like the album itself). Space Savior is perhaps the song that “climaxes” but yet still never lets you hear that four time beat you are expecting. It leaves you wanting wanting wanting but satisfy’s the whole way through. It was not a warm up by any means. Beautifully played.

    Then came Priest. To see Steve strap on that six string Fender was like blasting back twenty years. Aura was lush and inescapable. Close your eyes and you were on a desert plame in a dust storm of guitars and unexplainable warmth. Fucking georgeous. MWP slayed the ending of this. MWP+Jazzmaster=Bliss. This is a hypnotic album but the sleep you go into isn’t the REM type, it’s the lucid type. This place (Triple Door) was a sit down venue with food being served. I don’t think anyone was even thinking about their fucking dumplings during this captivating set. Swan Lake was beautiful and gave me a newfound respect for the song hearing it live as did Dome. Steve simply said “This is about some people that live in a dome”. The Disillusionist was on par with seeing Bowie do something live with two Mick Ronson’s behind him. Guitar bliss with Steve stepping not only into the spot light but also into the role…maybe a bit of yourself in their eh Steve? “Old Flame” was a beautiful black and white portrait of lost love that exploded into “Chaos”. Although The Church may carry the brightest torch in psychedelic mood rock, even Sonic Youth has nothing on the swampy feedback laden end to this song. Fucking awesome.

    Then came Starfish and with it came the emotions. The album I and I surmise many in the crowd grew up on and turned them onto The Church. I met an old cat outside the bathroom who has been playing in a band since 75 and said they were heavily influenced by The Church. He said the show was like a dream come true. This wasn’t just a concert…to speak in deadhead terms, it was an experience. Their multi instrumentalist Craig (sp) really added a lot to this whole show and he opened “Destination”. As soon as the lyrics “our instruments have no way…”. The memories came back. I remember seeing this tour at the starplex in Dallas Texas when The Church opened for Peter Murphy and really, after the show you almost forgot who Peter Murphy even was. Spark was inspired. Marty, Peter, and Tim provided fantastic back up vox the whole night. A New Season was when the flood gates opened. I know a lot of tears were dropped hearing this. That could be the saddest mood on the whole album. By the time “North, South, East and West” came I simply closed my eyes and thought about shagging that girl in high school who I thought would someday be my wife but like many things, life is uncertain. I was thankful I still had a plane ticket and door ticket to the Chicago show to see this amazing three album concert show again. I could go on but I won’t about these shows. It reminded me how relevant this band still is, it turned back the clock, and as usual they left me wanting more. The best band in the world? Without a fucking doubt.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 21 February 2011 at 8:37 am #

      I was at the Chicago show, the sound at the Park West is excellent. This is the best concert review of this tour that I have read. Great Job John !!!

      Darrin K.

  69. avatar
    Across the Water | 18 February 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    Terribly sorry for your loss Steve. Made me reflect on my youth and the joys of hanging out with my friend listening to LPs, reading album liner notes and conjuring up images of what our rock gods might be like on stage. Unlike your T-Rex experience, my favourite band has never disappointed. From the first time I saw the church live in 98 to this month’s shows at the Triple Door, you guys have always been divine!
    Be well,

  70. avatar
    littlehappynever | 19 February 2011 at 7:28 am #

    sorry man. my condoleances. glad you met up in time. i had a friend like that; don’t know if he’s still here.
    i’ve just now decided to go and find him out. you made me realize i miss him and have so,
    badly, for more than 15 years.
    thank you,

    • avatar
      mime | 24 February 2011 at 9:25 am #

      Are you still there with my umbrella?

  71. avatar
    Crasher | 19 February 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Heartfelt tribute man

  72. avatar
    MIke | 19 February 2011 at 8:57 am #

    HI, just stumbled on your site while googling Paul. I read about his passing in today’s Canberra Times. I used to work closely with Paul at DCITA the public service.

    We used to talk about music although he was much more into it that I am.

    The fact that I’d met a few people of interest to him in the music world gave us a friendship of sorts and we always got on quite well.

    He was a top bloke and I will continue to remember him fondly.

    Take care.

  73. avatar
    esne snoner | 19 February 2011 at 11:03 am #

    lovely words sk – and in complete agreement with across-the-water – a reminder of how much it means to me that the band i discovered in 1982 and have held in the same reverance as you and t-rex, is still together and keeps reaching for and attaining new plateaus in recording and performing – long may it last

  74. avatar
    a different man | 19 February 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    how could he not be chuffed at being an important part of such a special song as operetta
    it can continue as a living tribute to him

  75. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 February 2011 at 6:11 am #

    My very best frien died in 2000. Nobody has replaced him (besides my cat).

  76. avatar
    BigSmilesKate | 20 February 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Hey SK

    Been away a while, some time out with Craig for ourselves. Sad to hear about Paul. It is fitting that you pay your respects to him here and share your history with us. Not everyone becomes a steadfast, constant friend for all your life. Some characters drop in and out with greater or lesser impact. It’s great you knew him while you did and shared those dreams and tried it out. For this I honour Paul’s memory as a positive influence in your life. I hope all is good with S as all is good with me.

    Big Smiles

  77. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 21 February 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Steve – bring your electrics to Greenville – crowd won’t be disappointed, and will chip in an extra 10, if need be. enjoy, enjoy. Wilfred Paradise

  78. avatar
    bionicanna | 21 February 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    touching tribute for your friend

  79. avatar
    Lisa | 21 February 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Steve, my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your good friend Paul. What you wrote was a beautiful testament to how he influenced and affected your life and I’m sure visa versa. Thanks for sharing and letting us know Paul just a little. Best wishes for the remainder of the tour!

  80. avatar
    sarah | 21 February 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    beautiful memories. thank-you for sharing some of his story. I’ve lost alot of friends. its one thing that doesn’t get any easier the more you go through it. kisses on your heart. ritual helps.

  81. avatar
    VotSS | 21 February 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    paint his visions of music into a portrait tribute. Many thought with you tonight. a forgotten memory of an amnesia operetta…

  82. avatar
    Ingrid | 22 February 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    I am really sorry to hear about your friend. You have my heartfelt condolences. Operetta is such a beautiful song and he must have felt pleased about that.

    Take care.


  83. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 February 2011 at 2:29 am #

    and from you yet another gift for him to come… when you are at the Sidney Opera House, you will perform as for an angel(s)… the song he gave you — and he will be hanging out with Marc to listen (they can you know; energy is forever) — and there will be two more smiles given down to all of us from up above… and that will be magic.

  84. avatar
    Lyn | 25 February 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Hi Steve,

    We don’t know each other…but we both knew Paul. I’m struggling to write a final tribute (afraid it won’t do justice) and, flicking through fb, thought I would read yours. He was a man who touched people. I was very fond of him. I loved what you wrote. I hate crap that ignores the reality of people when they are no longer around to stick up for themselves! He was a man who fought demons…but never let them win! He was special and intelligent and oh so witty!…and…dear! I’m in Canberra so will be attending the celebration of his life today. Thanks for sharing from your heart. Lyn. xxx

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 25 February 2011 at 4:11 pm #

      i was unable to attend pauls funeral lyn
      i just flew in today
      he was “a diamond geezer!”

  85. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 March 2011 at 1:47 am #

    I love the tribute to your friend. THIS is the book that you should write -the relationship between two friends, one who has dreams that are actualized or realzed the other who does not. …and it should be fictionalized. Think about it…you are a good, entertaining writer. Use your “other” talent for writing this book! Peace to you!

  86. avatar
    ab | 17 January 2014 at 12:02 am #

    Wow, only just read this now…
    A lifelong friend of mine (uncle’s best friend) used to share a house with Paul. My uncle and his buddies had talked about it him but this was the first and only time we met.We went to his place once in about ’91 while I was studying in Canberra.

    We sat around all night and Paul just played music as we talked… as we talked about a band he would play a song of them, or somebody who influenced them, or something related somehow….. it was look a 4 hour train of though DJ set. He was so knowledgeable on any music we talked about. A night I will never forget. And his walls of albums!
    Very sad to hear he passed. My condolences.

  87. avatar
    Tim Fleming | 3 March 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    I only heard this news as well, via Val Starr. I was quite good friends with Paul in the second have of the 70’s when he was with Pete Moloney in Melbourne (although I also knew him in Canberra). I always remember his horrible really shiney blue (I think it was, with some kind of pattern) jacket he insisted on wearing 🙂 A lovely guy with an amazing musical knowledge, and probably the most comprehensive Beatles collection I have seen. And he was a hoot to be with… will never forget many drunken Saturday afternoons and evenings at the Station Hotel in Prahran… vale Paul (albeit a little late).

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