posted on July 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm

aw why dontcha just cheer up...?!



what a beautiful place

oh god how i miss sweden

my two eldest twin daughters

identical n graceful creatures

half me half strangers

i sit here as the winter sun dies

i think of sweden

i had a lovely little apartment on bastugatan (sauna street)

huge windows

i saw the silent soft snow

i saw the endless twilight hang in that northern sky

i wandered thru stockholms streets n gardens

i caught trains that took me here and there

i watched the news in swedish n understood almost every word

i bought n took drugs

i got sick and tired

i got ripped off and i got wasted

i wasted my time

i wasted my precious time

i ate toasted sandwiches in kungstradgarden

i went swimming with martin krall out at the salt sea baths

i bought risi-fruttis at the sodermalm 7-11

i went to n.a. meetings in a school building

i smoked prince cigarettes and took grov snus

when me n krall were broke we lived on semolina pudding

we met new dealers in new places

we shared what we had which sometimes wasnt much

the twillies would stay over at my place sometimes

everymorning theyd have an argument on how we were going to get to school

elli always said train minna always said walk

they liked the spice girls n hanson

they liked a group called aqua

all this seems so long ago

stockholm such a delicate little city compared to sydney

so petite so civilized

its natives are so statuesque

their broad cheekbones their blue eyes

their archaic language like some weird old english

their seeming cold and distant

my bed was a loft bed above my front door

my kitchen was tiled blue

i sat n ate my semolina pudding n krall n i would figure out how to get money

every now n then some royalties’d come thru n i’d live like a king for a week

i’d go shopping at soderhallen n eat at the veggie restaurant

i’d go out to carina n jannes n buy up big n maybe drink pear cider with em

i’d get my guitars back out of hock from pantbanken

which was next door to bjorn borgs underwear palace

you could buy blocks of hash from the rastas in the parks

we’d get loaded n listen to ambient music and underground lovers ways t’burn

i got arrested for riding a train without a ticket

i spent a lot of time waiting here n there for people to show up

a lot of waiting around

i became a fixture on the scene

people called me “englishman”

hey englishman …you want some dynamite stuff

a lot of those people are dead now

enrico ruiz revilla


guld leffe

that italian guy i cant remember his name

tomas the school teacher

leffe the cab driver n his young wife

so many gone

so many unremembered

so many disappeared

just as i talk about this very thing

margot smith rings me up

shes in a bad way n not long to go she says

what a waste of an incredible talent

what a voice what a writer

yeah this life can break your heart

it will break your heart before its over

or you havent lived

people will exit yer life

people will get sick n old n theyll exit

only one way in

but so many ways out

the needle

the bottle


car crash

heart attack


all the rest

snakebite beesting lightning strike jealous husbands

execution hep c pianos falling on top of ya

still i sit here in this house type type type

the kids are out with their uncle at a film

i am stone cold sober

55 looking back over my chaotic life n the people ive known

all the backstage bullshit and carryon

tv studios recording studios planes n helicopters

record shops n music shops n grocery shops

women come n go thru my life

women with their beauty n softness

women with their soothing hands and sweet words

women with their moods n demands

women wrapping me round their fingers

women who i always remember

women who i hope to always forget

women from all over the world pass thru my life

yeah at one stage i had a girl in almost every port





south america north america east n west america

what was i thinking?

what was i doing?

desire was whipping me along

later to be replaced by smack

at least smack killed off all that rampant desire

and it became the question n the answer in every situation

i guess before that i was quite a playboy ha ha

using n being used in turn

loves subtle n brutal games

my black book bulged with exotic names

later to be replaced by dealers phone numbers

a girl in every port became a dealer in every port

fly in to such n such n get on that phone

keep those plates spinning boy

might actually fit in a concert too

but music often came way down on the agenda

too much other stuff

a lot of attractions n distractions

music…..? nah…dont have much time for that mate…gotta lot else on

fuck i had some ups n downs tho

fuck i copped some highs n some lows

now i just want some peace n quiet i say

but what do i really want?

what do i really feel?

always one more layer of me to peel back to find out the truth

the elusive frickin’ truth which everyone pursues in vain

thrills n spills n hotels n gigs

arguing with the fucking boys

always the eternal arguing

the grudges the complaints the bitching the moaning the backstabbing bastards

greed naivete stupidity ignorance vanity revenge

the endless mind games

trying to resist the idiot zeitgeist that makes ya into a fool

everyone had an opinion on what i should do

everybody could see how i coulda done it better

everyone was a genius in fucking hindsight

theres a million tongues whispering in my ear tonight….


now i’m like this proper old hemingway geeza (minus the talent)

sitting here on a bleak lonely sat’day nite

on my bloody own n i dont mind it for a bit

im totally changed from that old pre-smack smart alec

im pushing bloody sixty ….aint it the troof…?

funny thing is i really dont mind

death dont daunt me that much

it looms tantalizingly somewhere ahead like a well earned rest

as long as its vaguely somewhere ahead not this year not next year

not the year after that

its funny because out of that immature sapling

the time being sprung n i know a lotta ya will be sad when n if i do

shuck off this mortal coil

it’ll be like the end of something in yer life for you as well

the geeza who wrote those songs you listened to all those years ago

oh no

the end of an error


never mind all that

i feel ok for my advanced years

i can kick on for a while yet i guess

i can hear the kids at the door

i gotta get em in n get some dinner down their mouths

i gotta put on my daddy hat n be some bloody use

instead of this endless introspection

aurora minus her tonsils n ads

eve looking tall n grown up…always cheerful n buoyant

scarlet a bit of a chip off the olde block

ok thats it then

thanks for frequenting my new fab site

i love ya n then some


52 Responses to “random voices come on n go off”

  1. avatar
    Jasperina | 31 July 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    A melancholic read today of your Swedish memories. Had missed the familiar avatars.

  2. avatar
    Altres | 31 July 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    Steve, although every day you write the book, maybe it’s time to actually start the autobiography. I’d buy it, and I’m 100% sure it would become a literary success. A nice little autograph/lecture/reading tour could be organised to support it. A couple of acoustic songs in beautiful and exotic bookshops and university lecure rooms. No massive overheads of a full tour; just you, your words, an acoustic and your engaging personality. That’s all that would be required. London, Edinburgh, Paris, Stockholm, Prague etc

    Nick Cave did one in Dundee recently. People flew in from the entire planet. By all acounts he was slightly better than boring but not by much.


  3. avatar
    DavidP | 31 July 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    yeah, you been through some changes haventcha
    its a life
    n life speeds up
    n time is short
    n there is no time to waste
    if we want a permanent peace n quiet within
    cos they say we critically have no idea
    of that which is outside of time
    they say we can bring forth that which is outside of time
    into the being which is in time
    the time Being
    the Being in time

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 July 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Shall I pop round and sooth your troubled brow.
    You were so in love and so sure this time.Now you are looking back.
    I wonder if you will ever look far enough to glimpse me with my lovely profile.
    Still collecting masks…

  5. avatar
    Glen | 31 July 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Great blog today, Steve. I feel every word.


  6. avatar
    hellbound heart | 31 July 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    DAMN…been having problems for the past little while making a comment…$#@%$#%$#^R%#!!!!!! will it do it now??? let’s see….

  7. avatar
    hellbound heart | 31 July 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    woo-hoo! now, as i was saying for the past half-an-hour, Somebody must be watching over you, same as Somebody must be watching over my dearest brother who’s spent a large part of his 53 years injesting lethal quantities of everything….so why do i still insist on dipping my toes into the waters of lethe? mystery……

    love always……

  8. avatar
    Richard | 31 July 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    ‘the geeza who wrote those songs you listened to all those years ago’

    well, THERE’S a relief

    doesn’t sound like you’re going to be shucking off any time soon

  9. avatar
    Freddie | 31 July 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Wow, you’ve had a long crazy life, huh. :^\
    I think you’re gonna be kicking around for a long time yet.
    You’re far too sexy for yer shirt.
    Heck, you’re far too sexy for yer self!
    You tweeted something recently about Jeff Buckley’s song with the lyric
    “sometimes a man must awake to find that he really has no one”.
    Well I think that sometimes a man must awake to find that he really has everyone”.
    I think yer gonna be okay. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say “we love you”.
    You are a thinker, a contemplator and you put our thoughts into words when we can’t.
    Most of us just can’t do that but you do it
    and you make it beautiful.
    It’s not an easy burden I reckon but we do love you for it. ♥

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 1 August 2010 at 3:01 pm #

      thanks for that
      believe me i appreciate yer kind words
      and i love you too!

  10. avatar
    Jason (jmb066) | 31 July 2010 at 9:55 pm #


    Sounds like a trip to Sweden is in order, I know it is easier said than done but The Church need to tour Europe, set it up so you can hoilday for a week there. Set it up with your daughters and spend some time with them or have them go on tour with you, have you ever had any of your family tour with you? After that, then please come back to the states so we can see you. I know we have been spoiled the last few years with the 30th tour and the So Love May Find Us tour but we need another one. Your post today also prompts another idea, you need to write your story. The No Certainty book was ok, however the version we want to hear/read is yours. Use that books sales as a guide, I would think a book from the man himself would sell even better.

    Anyway we love you and then some, so take care of yourself.

  11. avatar
    Justin Frew | 31 July 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Ah, Killerbee. The gods know you cant be a proper virgo without the occasional introspective peek at the beast that lurks inside. After all, they do need a little slap on the back every now and again in aknowledgement of their contribution to who we have become. I just polished off Mr Lurie’s little tome. I’m surprised we didn’t cross paths in Slurry Hills back in the distant 90’s. I’m sure we probably had a few dealers in common. Ooh there were fun times for us naughty boys who could play a bit of rock’n’roll. But the H got the better of a lot of good souls. Like you I cleaned up in 2000. I got kids now too. And I’m just about to turn 40. It seems a little internal audit is just about due at this time of year for us old virgins.

    Enjoying your meanderings. If you get a chance or find yourselvises inclined, check out my tunes on myspace. Stay well(ish). Just stay.

    P.S. when are you coming back for a gig in Wollongong? I know you miss it!!

  12. avatar
    Karen | 31 July 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    women with their moods n demands ..hmm

    Anyway moving on I have only been checking out this site fora few weeks from face book and now here .. saw the church once back when I was 19 in 1983 loved their music so thought Id havea squizz in here the art ……but thats a million miles away from reading a band members feelings on a blog nearly thirty years later its weird actually..but not that weird my ex was a heroin addict my mum was schizophrenic Ive see a lot and heard a lot not much the wiser…

    I like it though sensitive observant spewing out your thoughts though not all so it seems… good read still ..I wish I could express myself so eloquently

  13. avatar
    colin | 31 July 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    nailed it i love the stolkholm stories. imagine if you didn’t take any “wrong turns” you would not have learned a thing. love to you and yours.

  14. avatar
    Melissa | 31 July 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    boy, did this bring on the tears .. just breaks my heart (some parts). Things that happen years ago are still fresh emotionally I guess.

    thanks for writing, so powerful .. big love and good wishes to you sk


  15. avatar
    Ryan McKay | 31 July 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    Hey Steven,
    Peter told me ’bout the time being & to check it out & what do i find?
    One who inspired me when i was only 11 years old (& onward)
    You now 55, taking stock, sober (as i am now also),
    only one suburb away thinking similar thoughts.
    Time spent, wasted, a fragile mind, an emotional artist, a longing for spiritual
    solidity & maybe a beautician among the carrots…..When free of drugs, your senses kick into a higher gear than
    you can perceive possible.the colors in the sky, the smell of the grass (no pun!), the emotional bonds that you previously ignored as priorities took over.
    How ironic that one goes hell for leather with only one thing in mind, & now free, mortality comes to the forefront of ones mind.
    I relate to that post toxic oblivion & can only (selfishly?) say put it into a song, & put that song on an album, & release that album as so others can relate!
    & yes, Margot is something else & deserves the world & then some, a beautiful soul.
    Sound as ever,

  16. avatar
    Peter podcast | 1 August 2010 at 12:14 am #

    Hope it’s a long way off old boy.
    Got a few larks and hi-jinks up your sleeve no doubt.

  17. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 1 August 2010 at 12:24 am #


    Yeah, the Buddha was a crazy man. I can’t buy into his assertion that everything isn’t real. Kind of believe in angels sometimes.

    But, think the crazy man was onto something when said we must detach ourselves from all desire.

    Can find it under the boddhi tree, in your head.

    Wake up, ain’t time to go to bed just yet. Double albums to write and record.

    wilfred p

  18. avatar
    f1girl | 1 August 2010 at 1:19 am #

    these vignettes you paint for us…open, honest and true.
    thanks, sk…love you, too.

  19. avatar
    nylon burning | 1 August 2010 at 1:21 am #

    good evenin steven …i like yer black mood.half the equation

  20. avatar
    nylon burning | 1 August 2010 at 1:39 am #

    ahhh there we are …

  21. avatar
    pennybridge | 1 August 2010 at 1:58 am #

    I know a nice little “torp”
    in the middle of nowhere
    No drugs xept from what you find in the forest
    (like “toppslätskivling” – avoid!)
    Would be perfect for a Hemingway geezer
    WITH talent.
    Kärlek & respekt

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 August 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Just watched a Rush dvd. Don’t particularly like their music but picked Neil Peart as a Virgo straight away. Don’t tell me astrology is bullshit. Virgos are always Virgos. Steve Kilbey. Morten Harket. Hugh Grant. Richard Ashcroft. Liam Gallagher. Jarvis Cocker. Keanu Reeves. Richard Gere. Jack Black??? (ok, not so obvious) Moby.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 August 2010 at 2:01 am #


  24. avatar
    Name | 1 August 2010 at 2:28 am #


  25. avatar
    adam stielstra | 1 August 2010 at 2:33 am #


    I truly enjoy your honesty, particularly about addiction and relations. I can very much relate to some of those demons. I admire your dedication to your children as well. I am a father and these days it seems all my existence is hinged on the daily magic of watching my son grow. grow up, older, older than me, then replacing me. And I too feel at peace with that. But only that.


  26. avatar
    robertmadore | 1 August 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Remember when we realized the past is simply meaningless? There is never anything but NOW anyway. But the memories echo through the incessant mind.
    Like the time we knew the snow was on it’s way. The wind direction had changed subtly. The clouds looked different…higher with billowy gradations. Yes it smelled like the first storm of the season. The sun’s position brought a golden quality to the late afternoon landscape. We shaman’s had spoken to our small group. We must go towards the sea, guided by distant peaks, the stars and astral projection. A beautiful summer had ended in the Caucasus range and our winter home awaited us. There will be fish and fowl and wood and stone for our shelter. There were no iPhones and no computers…we were much smarter then.

  27. avatar
    Luke | 1 August 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Just want to say that I caught The Church’s tour last year at the East Brunswick Club in Melbourne, and I saw you before the show but I didn’t come over because you were with people and I didn’t want to interrupt (also because I was possibly the youngest person there, except for the opening band Astreetlightsong, I felt awkward haha).
    I just want to say now, even though you most likely won’t read this as I’m sure you get numerous amounts of comments from fans, that your music, your art, and your writing are an inspiration, I love it all, and it makes it all worth while when I can lock myself in a glass box and put on a church record, escape to my own little world, and just observe and not let anyone in. Thankyou! And keep it up!


  28. avatar
    Henrik | 1 August 2010 at 4:23 am #

    That was lovely.
    Something about your thoughts and writing always resonate with me.

    Thank You for that.

    I was sitting in my garden yesterday, enjoying the short danish summer and drinking absinth and listening to the Starfish album, reading the “poem” on the sleeve and thinking about my childhood, the sound of my dads car in the driveway, his passing last spring and the toys my mother told me she had found burried in the garden before she moved to a more manageable sized abode.
    Now that part of my life, my childhoods garden is gone for me, someone else lives there.

    My Mother said to me, when she moved: I hope the new folks are going to be happy in “our” house.
    Yeah, me too.

    Thanx again from copenhagen

  29. avatar
    Ron Bonham | 1 August 2010 at 4:25 am #

    I’ve recently rediscovered Harry Nilsson, what a talented poor sad soul he was; all those songs take me right back to my early chilhood. An instant link to sepia tainted memories….heartbreaking.

  30. avatar
    Laurie Garrison | 1 August 2010 at 6:43 am #

    are you reading the trilogy “Her Dragon Tatoo”? It’s the latest ‘must read’ set in Sweden.

    • avatar
      Jady | 7 July 2011 at 4:59 am #

      Now I’m like, well duh! Truly tkhnaful for your help.

  31. avatar
    Laurie Garrison | 1 August 2010 at 6:49 am #

    correction, before anyone gets down on me, the name of the trilogy is “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    You’ve probably already read it, and I’m so off in the art world, that I just now noticed the story is a sensation, so is the swedish movie.

  32. avatar
    thedean | 1 August 2010 at 8:03 am #

    your words are sad. reflective of the distance between loved ones.
    you should have gone to the movies too (forgive the advice)

  33. avatar
    lily was here | 1 August 2010 at 9:47 am #

    margot- hug her gently for me when you see her xo
    Sweden seems such stark contrast to Bondi – cool, calm, serene. No wonder you’re missing it.
    Blue tiles, that made me smile. I demolished the old blue tiles in my kitchen just yesterday, weird. Goodbye past, hello future

  34. avatar
    Todd | 1 August 2010 at 9:57 am #

    Thanks for sharing, Steve. As entertaining as always!

  35. avatar
    txrok | 1 August 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    well this one brought tears to my eyes … but I am quite sad tonite anyway. I’m glad and happy for your and your fam that you got away from all the bad stuff. And you aren’t ‘pushing’ 60 yet — soon to be 56 is not rly bad unless ya make it bad …. I am a thirteener too. We are different I think. I heard it is a lucky number because Jesus was the 13th one at the Lord’s Supper. I believe it to be true. I’m also glad that I wasn’t one of those wimmin in the port 2 B left with a broken heart, but glad I found your music and blog. Really I think you are kind of a sweet person, or at least trying to be … sometimes. I think this new website has improved your disposition somewhat. peace out. W`

  36. avatar
    Donna | 1 August 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Hi Steve…It seems like you are carrying quite a burden – past sins, regrets, mistakes. Why don’t you lay it down? I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to find some way to unload that huge weight of regret that you’ve been carrying. For me, it means going to confession.

    As for the Twillies (I love that!) you will always be their dad. Always reach out to them. Make your girls – all of them!- your top priority. You’ll never regret it. And then you’ll have so many good years to look back on.

    Well, I’m enjoying your new fab site! Lotsa love back to you! And hey, I love your discription of Sweden…almost makes me want to go there.

  37. avatar
    Lisa | 1 August 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Oh Steve – so solemn, so stark, so… dare I say… sad. You always create such moving and vivid imagery. Sweden sounds divine. Thanks for sharing that part of you with us. A man who is truly blessed with beautiful daughters, loved ones, and supportive friends/fans, yet seems so restless and unsatisfied somehow. I hope you can find what you are seeking Mr. Kilbey… great site btw!
    Much love x

  38. avatar
    ASSMIDGET | 1 August 2010 at 3:32 pm #

  39. avatar
    edd | 1 August 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Do you like to see your readers/patrons/fans?

  40. avatar
    Mary | 1 August 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi Steve, I think being sober is great!! Im so proud of you 🙂 keep up the good work, and I agree with Altress, if u wrote a book about u, id buy it too!!
    Love on ya sweets!!

  41. avatar
    Andreas | 1 August 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Steve, this is a great post and a difficult one to respond to with something sensible for me. Ah, the language barrier… may I reply in Italian? Well it is clear you have lived at least four lives more than me. I’ve been sitting doing the straight stuff, studied, went to university, graduated, made a career, married, had a daughter, etc. So who am I to comment? I seem to sit now here as I type and realize that I have done plenty of things and I still have to start living. At least while I’m here, reading your words, I realize there’s another dimension, more than one dimension really, and I can peep through the veil and see a glimpse thanks to your perceptions. There’d be so many stories I could tell, like walking in the outcrops in the Faroe Islands and imagining each stone is a troll… so many small glimpses of perception right out of the corner of my eye, which I may have perceived but was unable to grasp. There’s more in your words than I can tell, there’s a vision that you let me have. And of course, you must have suffered a lot for letting me have this. How can I express myself sensibly? Ah, the distance and the language barrier…

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 1 August 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      seems you speak pretty good to my heart
      very moved by this comment

  42. avatar
    hippy | 1 August 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Great blog today, Steve. I like the introspective blogs the most and always look forward to them. I never would have guessed you were living like that during those lean, “opiated” years in Sweden. What a “Nightmare”! But it appears you are coming out of the “Fog”. Congrats on being stone cold sober. Sounds like it’s all coming together for you in many ways. I can envision a great film being made based on your life–the young pre-rockstar bullied @ “X-high school,” teaching himself to play, record, and rock; getting record deals; surviving the fickle 80’s music scene and idiot record execs.; “making it” w/hit single; the post making it “Comedown”; criminal tour managers; drug descent into seedy underworld; and finally emerging as enlightened “(time)being” with all creative juices endlessly flowing into infinity…I’m thinking of a film along the lines of “Chaplin.” Who would play you, you might ask? I just hope it’s not Justin Bieber!

  43. avatar
    Martha | 1 August 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Oh, things just keep hitting home: I took a much unwanted trip back to NY to say farewell to my brother this week. Special person gone too soon, too quickly (for me). The phone call with him this past spring – his voice will never leave my head now, and I don’t want it to. All the thoughts about what was and what wasn’t, what won’t be again and what never will be…the triggers seem to be everywhere. Ah, the sighing melancholy.
    Even your description of Sweden makes me long for the time and financial ability to make it back overseas to see my Aunts and Uncles (meine Tanten und Onkeln) before it’s too late. Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock.
    And I’m glad you’re staying sober and feeling healthy enough to “kick on” as you say. Love what you’ve done w/the place here.
    Keep doing what you’re doing and take good care.

  44. avatar
    isolde | 1 August 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    your words are fire and breath and water to me

  45. avatar
    veleska1970 | 2 August 2010 at 1:15 am #

    enjoying your new website. it is splendid.

    very riveting blog today. i fee every word.

  46. avatar
    cazziem | 2 August 2010 at 2:33 am #

    Well as we more ‘mature’ people know only too well – life gives no dress rehearsal! We only get one shot at it. But life, just like fashion, tends to go round in cycles. So OK some of us screw things up the first time, and sometimes repeat the same mistakes, but as we get older (though not always wiser), we tend to mellow to the rubbish it throws at us and find that the things we thought were so fantastic in our youth we sure as hell wouldn’t’ want our own kids doing!
    Personally when I read blogs like this I get a feeling that you are still growing SK, and still learning about yourself. I guess that’s because I feel that way about my life now too. I truly believe that everyone goes through some deep pain, some of us more than others and we all cope in different ways, but you are lucky that your creativity allows you to release some of your deepest feelings and thoughts, and like a whirl-pool you cannot escape the pressure it puts on you until you’ve reached the very bottom. So remember what a good swimmer you are and each time you find yourself spiralling down, just hold your breath, cos the exhilaration you feel when you re-emerge from the fast following water sometimes makes the journey well worth it.

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