posted on September 19, 2008 at 9:02 pm

i am saddened by rick wrights passing
i love the early floyd
their impact on rock is hard to over-estimate
i remember a time
when they were obscure
in 1970
i stood in a record shop in the monaro mall
upstairs it was
it had listening booths and everything
it had lots of weird records
records i never heard of
there was one called juicy lucy
it featured this blowsy but still erotic woman
naked n covered in fruit
the record itself was a stinker
but jesus…that cover….oh how modern it seemed
the also had the blind faith one
the one with the topless teenage girl….
not the cover that was in the decent shops
i found beard of stars in that shop
oh blessed day
i didnt even know there was a beard of stars
in those days
it was hard to glean information
i loved the t rex “t rex” album
but i knew nothing of what came before
so imagine my delight
when i came upon the delightful blacknwhite shot
of marc
looking like shelley or something
and mickey
looking like the handsomest side man in the whole world
i didnt need the listening booth that day
i wanted to enjoy this on my own
and oh what a strange and lovely record it was
as if it fell from another age
a sexy chivalrous fey rococo electric erotic narnian place
where verily childe
i doth must needs go
anyhow i also bought argents first record there
and the vertigo trip
a double sampler of new vertigo bands
(a label)
who’d just signed about 50 new acts
among them
magna carta
clear blue sky
and of course
black sabbaff
anyway i also bought the moody blues up there
jesus those records aint travelled that well
the occasional song…..but talk about pompous overblown bilge
jesus every ray thomas song makes me want to cringe inside out
but i had em all nonetheless
gee i do still love nights in white satin
cmon scream me down as a soft headed ninny
but wow it still gives me a nice jolt of pleasure
it was spectacular when it first came out….
anyway i’d wag school
(why go to learn the words of fools)
it would be autumn or something poignant
i get on the bus into town
i ride up northbourne ave
tingling in anticipation
you never knew what youd find
how could you know…?
my very generous old daddy
had given me 10 bucks to buy a record
i think a vinyl lp was $5 .95 in those days
i remember the double albums always had stickers saying $8.95
it was important to make the right choice
my dad might buy me a new record every month
my you gotta be choosy
it was a leap into the unknown
i hadnt started reading reviews yet
i allowed my gut instinct to guide me
i went off the album cover or the titles
or what i’d heard someone say once somewhere
i didnt like totally crazy stuff
like zappa
i hated zappa
i didnt like jokey jazzy fiddly stuff much
i hated bluesy foghat savoy brown humble pie etc
i was looking for that weird music that opened up that door
each of my favourite records took me to different worlds
you go home
close yer bedroom door
stick on “the autumn stone” by the small faces
baby you were there
close yer eyes
hey steve kilbey youre a mod in 1968
taking acid with stevie and ronnie
and the world is all wavery
and everythings going whooosh!
or i chucked on yes the yes album
it had all these climactic moments
the bass was extraordinary
the lyrics were nicely non sequitur
or whatever
some records only half worked for me
jethro tull…couldnt really love em
purple sabbath zep…i had em but i didnae love em
only tiny bits in each one
didnt like the singing or the words
abraxas by santana was one of my favourite records
and what a cover….one of the best ever
(more naked women collaged together in some
crazy tex mex wilderness of congas and mad screaming women
and these cool latino players and carlos guitar wriggling like an eel)
the 1st track…its launched me on a thousand attempts at imitation
sighing winds, crying beasts
oh go and listen to that now my children
if you have it
a forlorn piano has its guts stroked in a dali desert reverb
the cymbals exhale like a mirage of distant surf
the guitar feeds back like an overload in the sun
then the most simple sublime bass pulse starts
and the electic piano caresses us
now relaxed
in some cool chlorinated oasis motel pool
we take peyote and zoom out over south america
the spaniards and the portugese
the incans and the mayans
the bongos and congas propel us onwards
into south americas mysterious heart
the magic realism
if you been there
you’ll know what i mean
you see south america is slightly half in
another universe altogether
its like the west but its not the west
its charged with possibilities
like africa i guess altho i aint been there
and have no desire to
africa would nullify me
it does not call me
nor does it want me
but imagine if painkiller became big in south america
then we could play in montevideo
and send some great postcards home
maybe go looking for lemuria or some clue
digging in some jungle ruins
a bearded professor finding my old life in the excavations
a fragment here
a fragment there
brushing the dust from my old mirror
mescaline flares up again inside my fevered mind
i drink the vine
i walk with my spirit guide the black jaguar
i talk to snakes
i emerge from the jungles shadows
in an english pastoral
cirrus minor by pink floyd
on a trip to cirrus minor saw a crater in the sunlight
a thousand miles of moonlight later
and then at the end
ricks organ lingers
it hovers there in the waning light of the song
mysterious droning modulating
the astral path
the shining strange link
ricks lovely sad organ
just hanging there
so solemnly
so regally
so cool

28 Responses to “raving and drooling”

  1. avatar
    the dean | 19 September 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    Some beautiful stuff there, rick with his quiet effusive keys, yes living sargent peppers dream, carlos and his wild rhythms.
    Tip: Not a good idea to play Abraxas at meal time if you have young children. Food everywhere.

    Got the australian newspaper and not one pic or quote from sk – ferking hopeless jornos even when the people tell what they want.

  2. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 19 September 2008 at 11:10 pm #

    Nights In White Satin – one of the greatest songs ever recorded.

    Meddle was always my Pink Floyd album. Don’t really care that much for their output after that.

    I really like the first four Led Zeppelin albums, though Robert Plants vocals tend to be too over the top for me.

  3. avatar
    davem | 19 September 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    Much like you ol' Rick preferred a smoke to a drink. I idolised Syd even before The Chrunch arrived but then…there could be only one & it was you, SK. I sometimes wonder if you knew how much you carried the hopes of folk like me….just how important each release by you was. My God, you NEVER let us down. I thank-you. I'm sooooo lucky to have stumbled across you 26+ years ago.
    I can list my real heroes: Barrett, Morrison, Lennon, Bowie, Gabriel, Perrett, Kilbeeeeeey. But compared to what you've produced? What a legacy you've granted us! I must spend 2 hours every day on something SK related!!
    BTW didn't Chris Squires turn up at one of your recent blighty gigs? Borderline…the 2 show night???

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 September 2008 at 12:09 am #

    Hey! The Moodies weren’t that bad! Hayward’s songs were always good.

    RIP Rick Wright, the most talented member of the Floyd.

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 September 2008 at 12:33 am #

    What about me Davem??

    Iva Davies

  6. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 20 September 2008 at 1:01 am #

    Pink Floyd “Relics” has ample Richard Wright input. Roger Waters treated Wright like trash and he dislikes Gilmour. I saw him solo a few years ago and the concert was horrible. Gilmour is great in concert. When England banned fox-hunting Waters sided with the Countryside Alliance a British Pro-hunting lobby. I do have “Amused To Death” because it features dynamic Jeff Beck. In closing, I have to concede that Waters is a profound lyricist.

  7. avatar
    the dean | 20 September 2008 at 1:10 am #

    Oops..actually there’s a picture and quotes on page 2…apologies

  8. avatar
    tim | 20 September 2008 at 1:46 am #

    splendid mister kilbey, just splendid!

  9. avatar
    ross b | 20 September 2008 at 1:59 am #

    i love your description of ‘abraxas’! Will have to investigate. I love the early-Floyd, and Syd solo actually. ‘The Madcap Laughs’ i love to bits, continues to resonate with my headspace.

  10. avatar
    Thomas Irvin | 20 September 2008 at 5:29 am #

    Ah, your tales of deciding what to buy at the ol’ record store… how well I recall that feeling.

    I recall one time at Pickle’s Records in Lincoln, Nebraska, seeing an album featuring these four guys with long hair wearing paisley shirts. They looked like they existed in a parallel universe where everything was much cooler than my world. I figured that any band that looked like that had to be at least pretty good.

    Took it home, put it on, and as the opening arpeggio of “Myrrh” came over the speakers, I knew I had bought something great. By the time I had heard side one three or four times (I was actually scared to play side two, for fear it wouldn’t match side one) I knew I had bought a life-changing album.

  11. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 20 September 2008 at 5:39 am #

    …remember my older brother had the abraxas album, remember being absolutely fascinated by my older brother’s rather chunky record collection when i was a wee thing…used to spend hours looking at the album covers…what was the rolling stones album where the woman’s face was covered by that gauzy fabric, i found that particularly fetching, as well as ‘sirens’ by roxy music and god, paranoia by black sabbath, must have heard that 12000 times by the time i was 10 or so…
    tell ya what, guys, album cover art really lost something with the advent of cd’s….have the blurred crusade and heyday and a coupla other church/steve kilbey albums on vinyl and the cover art has a far greater impact…
    love always…

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 20 September 2008 at 7:47 am #

    that womans face was sir mick if memory serves hellboy

  13. avatar
    princey | 20 September 2008 at 8:13 am #

    I just watched your video interview about UTMW…..”nobody does it betterrrrr”
    Well done and said sk!
    Have a nice nite.
    Love Amanda
    P.S. Sue/Lily Yes! you have to come to Melby for the xmas Painkiller gig, the more fiends the better!!

  14. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 September 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Thanks, Davem – it’s nice of you to say, my fiend.

  15. avatar
    fantasticandy | 20 September 2008 at 9:14 am #

    how odd that you didn’t like zappa….
    ‘seance’ actually goes out sounding very zappaesque!
    the church have become a sort of ‘filter’ over the years…..
    prog without the bilge….
    pop without the crassness….
    the best elements from many musical genres….seamlessly integrated into a treasure trove of highly original art.
    ‘that’ single is a good example…
    dreamy yet focused vox, teriffic hook…pure ‘pop’……’s not.
    lyricaly and musicaly…subversive as hell!
    plus…..WTF….an e-bow solo in an 80’s chart song?
    you can ALL be proud of this ‘un.

    and yes dave….mr. squire did attend the borderline show, and what a corker it was!

    thomas….your’e right ‘meddle’ signaled the end of
    their ‘underground’ phase, ‘one of these days’ used to make the hairs on the back of my neck stick up!
    so…yeah….i’m with you…it was their zenith.

    ruddy fine blog today slim!
    best on’t net……..
    andy L.

  16. avatar
    heather | 20 September 2008 at 9:36 am #

    for our international ttb comrades


    Front page of “The Australian” newspaper,,24373840-16947,

    over to the right you’ll find the video of nevets talking about UTMW being voted best song of the last twenty years by Aussies

    Shame the photo isn’t on there —
    it’s Killer on the sand of Bondi Beach..great shot!


  17. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 September 2008 at 9:59 am #

    Album cover art lost way too much. I really enjoy buying vinyl again, listening to it and admiring the beautuful covers. The majority of new releases are released on vinyl, so I hope Steve Kilbey and his compadres will follow suit.

  18. avatar
    markobears | 20 September 2008 at 10:11 am #

    Just read your today interview. Steve you have to be your own worst song critic. Thomas the sexy dude! lol! I had an exchange student from Denmark via Luxemburg, That was the best looking family I’ve ever seen.

  19. avatar
    lily was here | 20 September 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    An eloquent description of cirrus!
    Us and Them is the treasure in my pink floyd trove, and Syd, and I just realised my old Relics vinyl with the antique face is a USA version, not australian? Bitches Brew’s another magnificent cover of Klarweins, never bought that one, but amazing artwork. Grain of Sand’s captivating. The Moody Blues Question of Balance has a striking cover. Hunting and coveting precious vinyl was such a buzz! That ecstasy of finding something really special (that often no-one else had) … things seemed to have more value. I can’t fathom not ever holding packaged music in my hands.

    South America for me too. If you ever wanna pillion, give me a tingle. I’ll be Ernesto and you can be Alberto lol

    Amanda, melb will be hard but Im gonna try. What a xmas present!
    lilysue xxx

  20. avatar
    veleska1970 | 20 September 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    “dark side of the moon” is one of my all-time fave albums. a masterpiece of genius.

    R.I.P. rick.

  21. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 20 September 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m a sexy dude!

  22. avatar
    kat | 20 September 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    hey everybody. i like relics the most of any pink floyd record. as for the moody blues, to our childrens childrens childrens etc. higher & higher. hot damn! nights in white satin is (a bit) overblown in my opinion. i'll take watching & waiting over that any day.

    happy weekend fiends

  23. avatar
    captain mission | 20 September 2008 at 5:03 pm #

    atom heart, meddle and obscured by clouds for me dark side is an icon.
    Rip Rick

  24. avatar
    restaurant mark | 20 September 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    very nice today…meddle, dark side of the moon, wish you were here, etc…just great stuff. appreciate your words and time sk…

    take care everyone

  25. avatar
    davem | 20 September 2008 at 9:10 pm #

    Thomas…now you know what it feels like to be MWP!!
    When the eff is Painkiller going to be delivered??
    Love to all. Especially ole slim.

  26. avatar
    Polydora | 21 September 2008 at 12:54 am #

    I was obscure in 1970 (being in the womb ‘n’ all), as well as raving and drooling (shortly after birth… drool, drool). Just sayin’….

    Oh, and I agree with Daven re: Thomas being a sexy dude. Damn, you do sizzle. Don’t think anyone is near as sexy as the TB though; Marty who?

  27. avatar
    John | 22 September 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Being on paternity leave put me behind on things. I learned of Rick Wright’s death from TIME magazine. Pathetic!

    John Garratt

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 24 September 2008 at 11:15 pm #

    Hi SK
    Your words on the late Rick Wright were beautiful in that it was an appreciation of RW’s oeuvre by another musician.

    RW’s work is much like your’s and The Church’s – greatly unheralded yet loved by those in the know.

    Love your blog.

    Your words are an inspiration.


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