posted on June 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

the light still pours out of me

the need to experience everything

the most sacred place the most dirty place

the place that is no place at all

the emptiest place where the soul stripped bare of skins

and  hardly recognisable  to that naked  i

they have sold you a lie brothers and sisters

and the rock and the roll is a path to that lies heart

ladies and gentlemen is it not best that we rock and rock on?

i strap on my plank with wires but its a stradivarius of a plank

boom boom boom my amplified notes that have busted my ears

i am an old soldier still fighting in his legion

my sword is my music

my arrows are my words

my integrity is my shield

my failures and mistakes scar me but i fight on

such a grandiose metaphor  such is rocknroll

you can be high n mighty

you can be down and low

you can be gay or junkie or christian or  fool

you can be lovely or ugly or rich or poor

self taught or conservatory it doesnt matter

rock put the power back in all our hands

now we the people can select our heroes

and we choose em from rocknroll because its all we got

you cant trust actors n politicians speaking someone elses lines

you cant trust rocknroll singers either …what the hell do we know?

but rock aint asking for your trust

rock aint asking for your vote

but it is asking for your money

and in return it gives you something

so sublime there is no word to describe it

some revelation some bliss some divine insight

some release of the feeling of love

some excitement some hope some pride some joy

only a few can ever invoke such things and that music we treasure

it brings the holy to even the most heathen of hearts

it sets the scene for an epiphany

it guides you towards a splendid feeling of being in the know

it creates a world for you

each record by the beatles built on and expanded from the last world

the initial solid modern construction would begin to sprout strange new wings

consider “the end” by the doors

who has ever conjured this mood before except maybe arthur rimbaud?

a journey within decadence and failure and random images of dissolution

when its all over you feel like you experienced something, eh?

oh that jimbo quite a poet and those lovely instruments

hear them embellishing and weaving the threads of the story

hear that voice leading you all over the place

through time and nightmare

its a play its a poem its a story its a vision

in this we somehow get glimpses of  the supernatural world

the world inhabited by spirit by the dead by the drugged by the insane

a wild world oh baby baby

there is magic in this world and 3 short cuts

are sex drugs and rocknroll

all three together taken in regular large doses will open up your chakras

or something

the profound shift in any direction away from this dismal reality of here

when i was 16 i worked on a building site as a labourer

for 6 weeks of school holiday one year

at work it was brutal and hard and so male it was disgusting to me

everything was coarse and vulgar and loud and brutal

i got home and my antidote was to enter the world of “a beard of stars”

yeah marc bolan was the opposite of the guys on the site

here was romance and tragedy and strange strange magic

a middle earth set to some mixture of the weirdest rock

these songs seemed dragged from another continuum

where eric claptonesque forms are laid over baroque tapestries

where fey means faery and miracles are materialising

and the love oh my goodness

the love the love the love

bolan is in love with his babe

he is donovan playing romeo playing legolas playing caspian

away from the concrete dust and the muddy carpark and blokes

bolans world opened upon the first note of the record

it was not a world like a book to be explored once maybe twice

it was a world expanding open in breathtaking jumps

the more you listened the more you heard and ditto in reverse

this was not the hamfisted thump of your zeps and purples

nor the grammar school feel of yer yesses n genesises

nor the rebellious strut of the stones

not even the beatles

in all their trailblazing wanderings had hit upon this world

not even druggy not even deliberately weird

bolan had taken rocknroll instruments and techniques

and used them to outpour babylon and greece and narnia and druid

like half remembered books from childhood

with the witches and black cats and its elders and m m m magical moons

and against this backdrop bolan invokes youth and love and an ideal idyll

fuck its not everyones cup of tea

but the marvel is nonetheless that he pulled it off

and it gave me a chance to see the possibility

of reconciling all my favourite things into song

and somehow locking them there to be taken out when needed

i take bolans blueprint and i sometimes reassemble it in my own materials

thats alright thats what its all about

thats the business thats the way it s’posed to be

you take the best stuff and recombine it

thats what we do

thats what you like





48 Responses to “rocknroll gave god to you”

  1. avatar
    meg manestar | 17 June 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    Stellar stuff…Bolan is an alicorn.

  2. avatar
    MichaelfmArt | 17 June 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    I first heard A Beard Of Stars when released as a ‘Double Back LP’ with Unicorn in 1973 both are albums I still listen to all the time.

  3. avatar
    Roshni | 17 June 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    you take the best stuff and recombine it
    I like that

  4. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 17 June 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    I beg to differ on one of your insights. That Genesis was ‘grammar’. Yes, maybe post gabriel. But the Lamb, the Lamb was all that anyone could conjure and than…a million miles further. It can still stand proud today. It was years before its time, its probably so many, oh so so many just didn’t quite understand the force of a brilliant Ll. That’s how I owned mine, and even in this digital age (I have a cd quality version), but its unique press in the glory that is vinyl. They pioneered something before the critics had an explanation. So, I differ on your assessment of ‘grammar’ …to me it was one of the masters, a legion – unmatched and still so complete that if you spun it right now and clicked on the ‘repeat’ function. It could easily be the backdrop of forever. That’s what P=A does for do many of us. It can be left on to continue. There would be no end in sight or sound. Time itself takes on a new meaning. So again, ‘grammar’ – no. Masterwork – indeed. I would really like your insight on Floyd and The Who since your telling tales and metaphoracal comparisons of time long past. And how do you consider the church fits into the fray. I would explain you as the ‘ ones who got away, once at our doorsteps, than we were tricked by men behind the curtain, that your moment of shine outlasted its time. Now…we…are left to convince all we encounter that your still here/there/everywhere yet no one wants us to stand the ground. They’ve been trying to bury you since 1988, but we will never let them find the shovel. You belong with us, against all description, till you decide- your terms that your history will be written. And fuck, not anytime soon. Because if you can paint U23, than many more genius works of art still exist. Please let it be known that the follow-up is just a mere moment away. We’ve been here this long. We will be here tomorrow because there is no end in sight.

    Darrin K.

    • avatar
      david | 18 June 2011 at 7:48 pm #

      ….post gabriel my eye…there was such beautiful music written post gabriel ..such an overblown assumption and how vague ..trick of the tail and wind and wuthering were both “post gabriel”and both are gorgeous…and what about gabriel “post Genesis” shock the monkey.? really …big time ….really ..sakes alive man …

    • avatar
      david | 18 June 2011 at 7:49 pm #

      …grain of salt ….

    • avatar
      david | 18 June 2011 at 7:53 pm #

      …and they met in grammar school…

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 19 June 2011 at 12:33 am #

        The band was formed in 1967 when Gabriel and Rutherford were 17 years of age. That would make them in High School -not grammar school-, probably their senior year (both were born in 1950). Again, this is my opinion. I do not rant onto other peoples opinions, so please do not on mine. I do agree that there were some excellent work by Genesis when Gabriel left. But it was not the same in MY opinion. Gabriel’s solo career has been fantastic. You make fun of one of his songs from 1982 (The album that the song is on) went Gold in different countries and even Platinum in the great white north. Yeah , we can continue to argue this point but why??? I , like you, am entitled to an opinion and if everything you or I write will be scrutinized in the future…what is the point. Do you want to have at it on every topic that comes across this site? I have read all your comments, some I agree with, some I don’t. But I keep that to myself. Arguing music is like arguing sports. Everyone has their favorite this or that and no one can tell them otherwise. You stated that MY opinion is an ‘overblown assumption and vague’. I didn’t pick this indifference…you did.

        Darrin K.

        • avatar
          david | 19 June 2011 at 8:24 pm #

          ….he thought he recognized him by the way he walked , and by the way he …stood up and vanished into the air…pure gold {in at least three countries) anyway everyone knows.. never mess with a Genesis fan from Philly..we wont hear it ..NaCl

  5. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 17 June 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    SK – get out on the road, man. just check out Bob’s summer dates – he is seventy, but his karma is young – he will incarnate again and again and again – push it forward, and bring it back to the states – we want to hear it live – a fan, wilfred paradise

  6. avatar
    herman the German | 17 June 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Yeah, Bolan and Morrison, two cats who combined music, poetry, theater and the otherworld(s)…I guess one criterion for truly great music/musicians is that no-one ever managed to emulate them, there’s never been a band since that sounded anything like the Doors or the earlier Bolan, these cats came fron outta nowhere, lit up the skies and then disappeared from view forever…Any old fool can copy the Madonnas and the Robbie Williams’, but they ain’t never gonna grow a beard of stars!

  7. avatar
    Freddie | 17 June 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    “rocknroll gave god to you”
    blasphemous lil’ bastard 🙂
    The rest? Yeah, that’s what we like!

  8. avatar
    kell | 17 June 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    It’s good 2 attribute your influences, past loves, but what you & other brilliant ‘uns come out with is completely unique & different…no-one else can really take credit for that, your own particular contribution/combination. That’s what I love. Bolan doesn’t have Your soul memories, or Your emotional make-up around these. You know?
    Anyway, rock ‘n roll does help give me another experience of ‘God’, thanks 4 that.
    As 4 the sex & drugs excess…..I dunno. Maybe those things erode the very beauty & truth that gave rise to the magickal rock ‘n roll in the 1st place. There’s so many ways to ‘open the chakras’. Better ways, dare i say. You seem to experiment with all of the ways! It’s interesting 2 see ~ alot of us care about you & don’t want u to fall from beauty & truth, ever. “Some things bring u closer to inner truth, harmony, enlightenment, while other things simply don’t”. And it can be real subtle, as u well know.
    So be careful. There’s still more learning, more growth, more ways 4 you to ‘get it’. More light, more love….yes, even more love. And not in the ‘disillusionist, below the belt’ kind of sense…if u get my drift(!!!) But yes, the light does indeed still pour out of you, for you are who you are, ever since you were born you have been this ‘one’. Your name even means ‘crowned one’…
    Now for some ‘rock ‘n roll’ questions, which i’ve been burning to ask for at least a year…
    1. What green, lush valley is in the video to “It’s No Reason”? (I wonder?)
    2. Where was the church, the spire of which is in the video to “Tear It All Away”? (‘Cause it looks exactly like the one about a block from where i lived in St Kilda)
    Apols 4 asking these here ~ might be quicker than wading through one of the fan sites?

  9. avatar
    Jim Conrad | 18 June 2011 at 12:22 am #

    One cannot have vision before having seen the visionary process of another.

  10. avatar
    captain mission | 18 June 2011 at 12:24 am #

    yes, you nailed it. it’s funny as i thought of you today, i was recording a song and thinking how much i love this process, it’s something i just love doing, being in a studio and being creative expressing myself and i found my thoughts wandering all over the shop and then i thought how much you respect and love bolan, thinking it’s the way i feel about your music and words, and how weird that must seem to you who looks up to bolan possibly not realising you are kinda that to others. i don’t really know what i’m trying to say actually, when i started writing i knew what i wanted to say but i have a wandering mind. it’s something to do with what drove bob dylan to seek out woody guthrie, or something along those lines i think. in the days before social networks, he hitched and jumped trains and crossed states, to see woody because he had to some how connect with his inspiration, anyway’s yeah, i think you really nailed it sir.

  11. avatar
    Cocoamo | 18 June 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Yes, we like. More please.

    But, we must comment on a delicious irony. Perhaps most of you are unaware, but back in the days – the 50’s, 60’s, when rock first really raged, there was a backlash from the McCarthy idiots.

    While we agree with the lofty effects of good rock, the opening of chi meridians, reforming of neuron connections, and making of the deep surface of the forehead all nice and mellow – some saw it quite differently.

    Our father was a U.S. Army colonel – in Germany during WWII. Smoking camels and drinking hard whiskey and vodka (which indeed eventually killed him), he and his cohorts believed the following:

    Rock’N’Roll was a Communist plot. Teenagers would get all hopped up listening to it, rub bear grease on their naked bodies, dance around a fire, and then axe and club their parents to death. I shit you not–these were the EXACT words.

    We were not allowed to listen to Rock’N’Roll in our house, and felt our mortal souls were endangered when we heard it on the outside. Sigh.

    We should note that same father also played a saxaphone in a jazz band later on. Rock No, jazz Si?

    There’s got to be some kind of lesson on how opposite the perceptions of the same thing can be, and with such deep feeling on both ends of the spectrum.

    Your Friend in Pennsylvania

    • avatar
      david | 18 June 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      …didnt they tear down the spectrum

  12. avatar
    blue sidhe | 18 June 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Babe I’m just a jeepster for your love…I’m just a vampire for your love…I’m gonna suck you…
    Smile, Steve. I know you are.

  13. avatar
    mattyc | 18 June 2011 at 12:58 am #

    rock can be as ubiquitous as the sun or as intimate as a heartbeat.
    as you so eloquently share, “it sets the scene for an epiphany”
    for me, it was genesis and, in particluar, supper’s ready. every day after school or work I’d immerse myself in the 20 some-odd minutes and muse over the jumbled biblical imagery… and when gabriel cried for the new jerusalem, i believed it… and now, 40 years later, I still do.

    • avatar
      BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 20 June 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      1972- what an incredible song on a brilliant masterpiece ‘Foxtrot’ , to think that those gents were in there early 20’s and created that along with ‘lamb…’ just 2 years later is astonishing. I play those early tracks for my 20 year old and he sits in awe. Great choice of music my friend, I always spin the Lamb when I want to be transported away. I saw the last Genesis tour here in the states and I walked away confused. I know many bands try to relive and retell the past but without Peter, it didn’t work for me.

      Darrin K.

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 18 June 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Natural born poet, your just outta sight

  15. avatar
    Boriah | 18 June 2011 at 3:57 am #

    Steve, I think you should make a song and/or write a blog about the synaesthesia.

  16. avatar
    andy | 18 June 2011 at 3:59 am #

    yeah….i loved that early stuff too.
    shame he went over to the darkside so quickly.
    ‘get it on’ is one of the greatest singles ever.

  17. avatar
    Cecilia | 18 June 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Meet me at the back of the blue bus.

    with the witches and black cats and its elders and m m m magical moons
    con las brujas y los gatos negros y los ancianos y las lunas m m m magicas

  18. avatar
    Steven Krut | 18 June 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Rock to me has always meant freedom and inclusion. People went crazy for the Beatles, I think, because they held the keys to their prison. Bolan didn’t have much of an impact in Baltimore in the 70’s when I was first into music, but I also loved music that transported me to wonderful and magical places. I liked Yes and Genesis and Bowie. And, of course, now I like your music for pretty much the same reasons.

  19. avatar
    aida morgan | 18 June 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Rock n roll is the one thing I can’t do without, and you’ve just beautifully illustrated why. More than anything else, music has been a constant consolation & companion, no matter what I’ve been through. Thanks SK. Lovely piece. And what a wonderful title.

  20. avatar
    scott | 18 June 2011 at 8:31 am #

    everyday, i pass by you on your ivy wrapped veranda….fast asleep amongst the gardenias n jasmines….remember the confederate jasmine sent to you by lady di after you rescued her bathing- top free floating at the bergs. beautiful place it is

  21. avatar
    Lara | 18 June 2011 at 9:51 am #

    You know, I think Christopher Marlowe rather than Dante. Just as brilliant but more fun. Better looking too.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 18 June 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      why thank you thats a compliment from the prettiest professor extant…hmmm marlowe…the alchemist…yes …well maybe i was dante then marlowe then me
      (with maybe i dunno thoreau or someone in between….(of course i am joking))

  22. avatar
    Kristina | 18 June 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Marc was so pretty with his dark corkscrew curls and mysterious eyes.
    The singer from the Fratellis reminds me a bit of him.
    Cosmic Dancer has to be one of his best:

    I was dancing when I was eight
    Is it strange to dance so late
    I danced myself into the tomb
    Is it strange to dance so soon
    I danced myself into the tomb

  23. avatar
    Lady Di | 18 June 2011 at 11:28 am #

    That’s what you do and you do it so well
    and yes, we love it.

    Your songs are like friends.

    Love Di

  24. avatar
    Donna | 18 June 2011 at 11:46 am #

    It’s easy to see why musicians are worshiped: They sing to us of the most intimate things and they seem to know what’s in our hearts. Their voices become as familiar to us as our own husbands’ or wives’. They express what we had no ability to express, going beyond words. They rescue us from our misery, like knights in shining armor, and we are forever in their debt. Musicians offer a gift which has the power to heal us, motivate us, encourage us, and totally take us out of our repressed selves. It has the ability to connect us to people that we would otherwise never feel connected to, or it can make our connections to others stronger. Few things are as spiritual.

    I think I exaggerate here, but not really. Anyway, rock n’ roll is a gift from above.

    Loved your blog today, Steve. Liked the part about using a blueprint to write songs. Kind of like writing advice. Hope you’re having a great day!! Donna

  25. avatar
    Ess | 18 June 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    it has to be about the music and words
    yesterday i went to get some ink for my printer, just some ink
    but there were all those signs again, the same as on most days now
    as i waited at the lights i looked to the right and the billboard said
    ‘church has changed’
    god give me a break, just for one day, this cosmic joke isn’t funny anymore
    i turned to the other side and there was an answer
    ‘re- creation’ staring back at me
    ok, i’m recreating myself but your signs are making me tired
    on the way back i stopped to buy some rice, just some rice
    and as i parked my car, there in front of me was ‘harry’s on church’
    and it was only this morning that i realised as i pulled up again,
    in the same space that opens up each time,
    that my food for the next two months will be bought on church street
    and as i walked around the supermarket it came all in rush
    in all this synchronicity, so intense but in a dream
    i remembered these transformative times
    that come around so rarely when the planets align
    and everything is a coincidence and everything burns with meaning
    and the world has turned into an altered state of symbols
    but if you went out looking for a sign you’d never find a one
    i could feel the tears coming with the epiphany,
    not a great look at the checkout in coles…
    and when i walked back down church street and got back into my car
    what are the chances
    i turned on the radio and david bowie came on singing
    ‘time may change me but i can’t trace time’…
    this year is thirty years since my mother died
    and it was the music of that time (and books) that saved me, as it had before, from all that was rotten and sad in that rotten old family
    the first church album would have come out around the same time
    and there is something entwined about that that i don’t really understand
    music was the safest drug i ingested as a teenager and i guess it was my mother, my father, my lover, and my god
    and in these last few months the music is again filling my mind
    and breaking my heart and unfreezing my yearnings
    and it’s the music and words that are waking me again
    and it’s the music and words now taking the best stuff in me and recombining it, rewiring it, trying to work with the worst in me, creating my next future
    and it’s all a bit of a revelation right now and i’m just going to let the tears come

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 18 June 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      then we shall continue to await the outcome of all this with fascination

      • avatar
        Ess | 18 June 2011 at 7:30 pm #

        growing up in Canberra my mother’s life was destroyed by the other kind of church, maybe I will be resurrected by a more poetic and melodious church now…
        But I’m not yet brave enough to go down that Kilby Road in Kew when I pass it by sometimes…I’ll have to work up to that one.

        • avatar
          Cocoamo | 18 June 2011 at 9:18 pm #

          Your comment touched an emotional chord with me. I do try to be respectful of others’ religious beliefs, but somehow religion does seem to be deeply destructive, doesn’t it? Based on the assumption that we are guilty until proven innocent, and that will never happen.

          Your Friend in Pennsylvania

          • avatar
            . | 18 June 2011 at 10:51 pm #

            i concur.

          • avatar
            Ess | 20 June 2011 at 8:58 am #

            the Catholic church in particular has a lot to answer for… all that guilt and more guilt and shame… And I think some of it has passed through to me…

        • avatar
          kell | 18 June 2011 at 10:53 pm #

          Aw, there’s nothin’ to be scared about with Kilby Rd…my school bus used to go past it…it’s pretty, there’s paddocks down the end somewhere. And no, I didn’t especially ‘search it out’ (unlike Starling St ~ towards the end of it’s heyday ~ all i saw were some towering red poppies & thought “this must be the place!”, then quickly disappeared from there 4 fear of being found out!!!)
          Don’t worry, Steve, I don’t wish to ever stalk you again!!! Promise.

          • avatar
            Ess | 20 June 2011 at 9:00 am #

            ok I’ll trust you stranger. But it better be all pretty paradiso paddocks down there without the infernos

    • avatar
      . | 18 June 2011 at 10:00 pm #

      there’s a perfect solution in all things; we just can’t see the entire equation with these mortal eyes. i enjoy your words.

  26. avatar
    idledaylight | 18 June 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Hello, love. I am new to your site, but I find inspiration in your words and your music. Thank you for that.

    “rock put the power back in all our hands
    now we the people can select our heroes”

    Much love.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 18 June 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      i like yer stuff on yer blogge
      i tried to leave a comment but it didnt like my credentials

  27. avatar
    Bernadette Keys | 18 June 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    It has been said that we cannot reach the full capacity of our intellectual powers until at least mid-life. This entry and the one a couple of days ago certainly are achieving that. Katabasis without the crisis. And even further confirmation you are absolutely perfect for the role. Exciting stuff.


  28. avatar
    redgrevillea | 22 June 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    “some revelation some bliss some divine insight
    some release of the feeling of love
    some excitement some hope some pride some joy”

    Much Church music does this for me (and us all), thank you for the miraculous music, all those great albums.

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