posted on September 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

so what

hello friend my old darkness

unable to apply myself properly

i sit here at this glass table in seaside suburbia

a full moon on the highway

listening to lisa gerrard

the closest thing we got to some ancient music i guess

sometimes she sounds like a mad prophetess from delphi

othertimes she sounds like a widow mourning her man

solemn n sombre wordless n wonderful

the light in my kitchen has blown

like my mind

outrageous fucking fortune and all that stuff

i’m a sleepwalker in a real dream

chuck me my axe chuck me my groupie

chuck me my cheque

speeding down phantom americas 13 lane highways

cruising up to a gig

its snowing its summer its sold out its empty

what does it matter

i thought you were there

yeah i’m dressed in faded black tat

my bass is all sunburst red n yellow

my skin is kinda tanned n freckly brown

my new crowns are white

my old eyes are grey

are ya nervous? you ask and i laugh

in reality i dont even know if i am or not

i am severed from my true feelings somehow

i been on tour for a million years and i love/hate it

wanna stop cant stop never stop

a plane here

a bus there

a taxi to the east village squire

a lift back to my hotel yeah thanks

amsterdam seattle tim buck two

chuck some stuff in a suitcase

message for me at front desk

god that man in the mirror looks so old

my throat is sore and my voice is hoarse

poor pity me living this stupid dream

champagne in the fridge

chocolates on the bed

drugs en route

music in my blood

i take out my book n scribble down some words

i fiddle round with my sequencer

i fuck about with the envelope of some cellos

but as i said i cant apply myself

some people turn up for a party in next doors room

noisy bastards i bang on the bleeding wall

muse : what year is this?

chick : are you nervous?

captain : the  fasten seatbelts sign is now switched off

hostess : tea or coffee

person at door : hey steve open up !

roadie : should i change your strings tonight?

manager : dont fucking keep complaining….

agent : sorry man it wasnt my fault…

bloke : would you mind signing this ….?

i toss n turn under the sheets

its freezing its boiling theres a mozzie biting me

theres a wild storm outside

im all alone i’m having an orgy

i dive into the warm blue rooftop pool

donnette sits on a deckchair

i watch her from under the water

she has on a one piece black swim suit

shes reading a newspaper n occasionally chuckling at stuff

shes drinking a beer n smoking a cloves cigarette

we’re in bangkok on holiday i guess

we got a real luxury room in some place

we go out riding around in tuk-tuks

no i must be in australie its new years eve at the surf air hotel

ploogy bashing on the kit yet to turn twenty

we share an apartment on the 23rd floor

we chuck silverware into the pool

and we stay up all night listening to pet sounds

we play these gigs to the holidaymakers

who fucking cares…..its 1981 aint it

aeons ago in some innocent past

we have a meeting and i fall asleep

yeah yeah whatever i say

do whatever you bloody like

someone gives me a book to read

its not too bad i read a bit on the plane

we hit the runway and i roll over in bed

i tune up my bass between songs

some girl in the front row is making eye contact with me n smiling

she chucks a note up on the stage

a roadie runs up n grabs it n reads it n smirks

he hands it over and the song starts up

i’m caught short and i miss the intro

the others frown at me

but the audience dont care or notice

i’m feeling wild and loose and devious and nauseous

i feel like having a fucking argument with some bastard

my dinner was a shambles

always some new tedious irksome problem

some oversight i underestimated

i juggle all my compartmentalised components

i am everything to everyone in my own stupid head

but on the outside i am a deeply floored human being

some boor cornering me as the prize gets ready to leave

the phone rings by my bed


its australia on the line

oh australia, i’d forgotten all about it

yeah i had faded into this tour

i had no future no past

i was on this plane in this hotel bed at this gig

i stand in a line at customs

outside the smoky haze of an italian sky

i got an italian girlfriend for a week

we dont really know what the other ones on about

but boy she can laugh and drink vino and smoke hashhish

she rides around on a white vespa too

me sitting on the back as we whizz round roma

i met her outside the tv station

steeeev steeeeeev she was calling to me

she said she was a student

but i couldnt understand what she was supposed to be studying

she was like a cartoon to me

someone thrown together for my dream

ok bring on the italian girl

i was staying at the fucking hilton too

the rome hilton it was 1986

the lap of luxury

anything you wanted

interviews lunches

a long afternoon sleep

some gig at night

this ones called myrrh

how can you be so invisible

gimme the nerves to see

marty whips up a storm with his e-bow

back at the hotel the italian girl does a dance for me

as we listen to a cassette of the byrds in my room

i just stretch back in my green suede boots like an emperor

the eleven year old canberra boy is gawking out

but i think i look like terence stamp in some 60s film

i’m jaded urbane and out of it

banga pearson is in the room next door our tour manager

i can hear laughter and loud voices

five minutes later he rings up

kilbey come in here we got a party  he says

i got my own party i say n hang up

the next day my head is aching

we fly somewhere bloody else

our rooms arent ready when we arrive

and i throw a wobbler cos i’m so fucking unbelievably tired

i just need to got to get some sleep

i strap on my axe backstage and drink some champers

my hair looks kinda stupid today

and i forgot to have a shave

my throat is extra sore and i cant even remember where we are

i met an airline hostess and invited her here and i wonder if she came

i’m waiting on some weed to arrive from somewhere

i just had an argument with some local tosser

my axe feels like it weighs fifty tons around my scrawny shoulders

my ears are starting to permanently ring

i didnt get any sleep cos the phone kept ringing

then they were doing construction next door

then i was too angry to sleep

the gig is a bit of a fiasco

but i can see the airline hostess smiling at me up on a balcony

i ponce about on stage a bit for her benefit

but after the gig shes disappeared

i berate banga pearson for letting her go

mate he says

i cant stop people leaving a gig…..!

i must have nodded off again

we’re driving down a street in queenslands gold coast

in a ford ltd

bangas driving

how much longer now someone asks

banga drives along smoking a spliff

another hour i reckon he says

we all groan

my throat is sore

are you at all nervous says some goodlooking woman as i go on

nope i say to myself

i’m in bed

i’m still on a plane

i got lost in the snow

i’m wasted in the heat

i sit at my glass table in bondi

are you nervous says one of the children

my throat is so sore

my fingers all callused

what? i say

and i carry on typing in the semi darkness

28 Responses to “slinger”

  1. avatar
    Karen | 22 September 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    cant see yr eyes on this one no stary scary
    you sound jaded very…even if its past tense …maybe you werent as shitty as you remember?

    eloquently expressed either or past present both all

    Im a pretty jaded 46 ..if i get to 56 I’ll be a cranky old b

  2. avatar
    Freddie | 22 September 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Where would you be without all that glamour?!! Your life as a rock star pretty much sucked, I reckon. :^/

  3. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 23 September 2010 at 1:10 am #

    Its 1987…all i am doing outside of my job at a record store is practicing, daily-hourly-sun up sun down. the band that i am currently in is confusing. interesting guys who are more interested in girls. no problem with that, i find them all to be lovely-at any time of year. but…they are at ever practice…u turn around and they are there , everywhere. drummer has a new lady each week-i can no longer keep track of all the names, bassist drinks to much-cant even breathe without knowledge of alcohol in his presence, singer/guitarist: punk metal look was what he tried to appear as, problem !!! too worried about his hair-clothes-and if his silly ass clinging girlfriend is happy-always happy. she plays the misery role so well-i see thru it all-a puppet in front with to many strings attached. she is in control-believes she controls all of us- sadly thats untrue. i am a few years older than my bandmates and they are in awe. self-taught and dedicated i have the axe(s), p.a , and neighbor is a DJ-he borrows me anything i’d like. lights, smoke machines, muti-colored strobes etc… yes we are a punk metal band-with catchy title “Snoopys Tapeworm” – funny u say, maybe charlie brown and his parents did not take care of that puppy as well as people may have thought. our banner and logo has him angry and confused- a fist with one paw and poor woodstock being chocked at the neck in the other paw. our name was catchy enough- 6 months together , i set up a few opening slots in local metal clubs opening for a tight group. i am beeming- people who arrive early to check out the usual slop that potrays themselves as rockers like to taunt the opening acts. “POSERS-LOSERS-YOU SUCK” is the shouts from the typical crowds. i spy the places weeks in advance to see what i have in stored for us because i am the self appointed writer/leader of this wasted bunch. i prepare them mentally for the challenge ahead-stay low key on booze, weed and whatever because we need to build a following to start the road to stardom , so i thought. day of the show- we load up in a borrowed van-my connections outside of this band hold true to the word and timing. we load in- its 7pm, we go on at 8 and have 45 minutes to slay these clowns who call themselves “metal heads” with their leather, denim and patches , more like meatheads with slow, low IQ’s. We open for “Chaos Abyss”, they are solid and have graciously allowed us to play around the city and burbs for 5 shows – no pay…just great exposure. Now on stage- no sound check, just a plug and go, drum kit up and solid, use the clubs PA (check check 1 , 2 ), amps heating up-tubes a glowing smoky red. I tear thru E major Pentatonic Scales from open position to XI. my warm up turns a many heads as the fans, 50+ now start moving closer and closer to the 4foot high stage, Ha-they expected another trash opening act. we pause- our intro tape is cued up and starts-a remixed distorted version of the soundtrack from the Exorcist (my DJ next door created it and its chilling , i hear a hoop and a yell from the masses- drummer counts it down 3,2,1 = we tear into our version of Destruction’s “Mad Butcher” (great cover). song goes off with out a hitch-i am pleased…feel warm and excited, now an original. bassist starts the intro-in time for a change-i shredd my chord patterns in a blaze and just as the drums are about to slam in- FUCKIN SINGER/GUITARIST falls off the stage onto the ground head first, crack goes his skull, blood starts to oozzzz- feedback fills the room. i jump down from the stage in a panic- is he ok? what the Fug happened? did some fuckknuckle drag him down? NO NO NO NO…hes laying there laughing in a pool of his own fluids and begins to vomit. The asswipe popped 3.5 hits of superman 30 minutes ago and now he thinks he sees god and angels. Shows over folks, my slowly building rep-crushed in a second as word gets around quickly as if it was my fault. i end my relationship with these alcoholic druggies the next day and go int virtual hiding for months on end. i had the plan, thought i had the band. all for naught. word to the wise, and wish i was wiser than, TRUST ONLY UR SELF AND UR INSTINCTS WHEN FAME IS WITHIN REACH !!! My problem was…i trusted to many, to often, for far to long !!!!!!

    Sorry about the rant- just rememembered that time period in my life as i was reading your blog entry. By the way the wicked little song that i wrote was called “Crucible Of Pain” and every time i just pick up my axe, even today, and tear in2 the opening, i see Denny laying there laughing and bleeding, and i hope to this day-the cracked skull still hurts like friggin hell !!!

    Darrin K.

  4. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 23 September 2010 at 1:11 am #

    well, anyways….enjoy ur day…each and every one of u.


    • avatar
      Anonymous | 23 September 2010 at 10:17 am #

      but — it’s beautiful! Thank you.

    • avatar
      Mr. Argent | 24 September 2010 at 7:05 am #

      It was expressed so well I think it qualifies as fulminating vs. ranting.

      • avatar
        BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 25 September 2010 at 8:24 am #

        Thanks Mr. Argent-
        Sometimes u start typing and typing and before u know it, you’ve expressed how u feel/felt and the flippin page is enormous and u get a sense of dread-should i really send this or do i just let it go.
        Have a great weekend and thanks for reading my comment.

        Darrin K.

  5. avatar
    Kevin Dyer | 23 September 2010 at 1:21 am #

    This is my 1st post on this site. That was good writing. Reminds me of J.G Ballard a bit. (The car in the pool bit especially). Anyways. Here is a link to my favorite translation of the Tao te Jing

  6. avatar
    cazziem | 23 September 2010 at 2:44 am #

    Sounds like we’re having a similar day SK. I’ve so many things I want to do and some that I HAVE to do, but they all seem to be tripping over each other, whilst I’m in my own little world of memories and fantasies. Ah well, I feel tomorrow will be so much better & I hope it is for you too. xx

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 23 September 2010 at 5:56 am #

    Look there! Where? In the corner glimpsing out behind the light…

  8. avatar
    davem | 23 September 2010 at 6:05 am #

    I suppose it wasn’t meant to but….it sounded fucking fantastic.
    Cast of thousands….and thousands..

  9. avatar
    andy | 23 September 2010 at 6:59 am #

    youv’e been everyware and nowhere baby…………
    that’s where your’e at.

  10. avatar
    andy | 23 September 2010 at 7:50 am #

    just finished reading reading your comments on your solo stuff….
    steve… your’e SO modest and honest.
    you really are one of my favourite people in the whole world.
    and i’m one fussy bastard…..

  11. avatar
    Taurus Pedals | 23 September 2010 at 8:07 am #

    You’ve been cranking out some phenomenal blogs as late, Steve. I don’t normally comment, but please keep em coming!

  12. avatar
    Kevin | 23 September 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    I got that wrong . Just woke up when I read that. There was no car in a swimming pool. No Ballard either. ” The Drown Giant” is a must read by JG Ballard by the way. I was listening to demos of “For a Moment wer’re Stangers” I always thought the lyrics were “I forget malraux, as I stare into your soul” Turns out it was “I forget my role, as I stare into your soul” Never read Malraux, but thought Steve Kilbey must be into some heavy french writers . Lol. Live and learn I guess.

  13. avatar
    holly | 23 September 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    There are just a few days left of the Steve Kilbey Birthday Art Sale, so make sure to check it out. Still some excellent original art available at great prices (and Aussies, your dollar is strong right now, so it’s a great time to buy!). Huge selection of prints and cards — all on sale. And the Art, Man & Technology Box Set is at it’s lowest price ever. So go check it out…you know you want to!

  14. avatar
    eekie | 23 September 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Jesus, Steve, I hope your life isn’t as empty as this makes it seem.

  15. avatar
    dwellingwell | 23 September 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Maybe it is more a comment on the empty mechanized life one is forced to live while on tour. The defunct world that most take for granted as real is what is empty . Was Kafka’s life empty because he saw the dehumanized alienation all around him ? Actually, it is quite the opposite. People that see through this emptiness and experience ennui or some sort of existential revulsion are experiencing this because they are overflowing with life force.

  16. avatar
    seattle | 23 September 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    come back to me

  17. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 23 September 2010 at 10:03 pm #


    another excellent verse.

    wilfred bloke

  18. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 23 September 2010 at 10:04 pm #



    wilfred bloke paradise

  19. avatar
    marc | 23 September 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    speaking of memories, meatloaf anyone??

  20. avatar
    Cocoamo | 24 September 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Ah so…
    Your life passes before our eyes.
    An accurate definition of life indeed…an underestimated oversight?
    Very, very lovely piece of writing.
    And, it is so cool imagining you all enthralled with Pet Sounds, a worthy inspiration. Surf’s Up is wonderful too.
    We just took the Autotrain from Lorton, Virginia to Florida–Smokey the Prius, sagging with the weight of all our stuff, securely anchored in his spot on a train car behind us. We were sitting in the lounge car with Frank Sinatra’s voice wafting through the train and of course I thought of you. Would have been the last guess I would have made for him to be your first inspiration. But you both have lovely voices, for sure.
    I love your banging on the wall, protesting the noisey neighbors, and in your earlier life, angry with the construction in the room next door. You and Larry David and me, we all want people to be civilized and responsible for the effect they have on others. Silly us. Besides, it doesn’t end well, usually, does it? But, somebody needs to speak up, yes?

    Your friend in Pennsylvania (now in Cocoa Beach)

  21. avatar
    Fan | 24 September 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Professor, I was recently on the Margaret Throsby show and included as part of my five favourite songs etc. All Is One. They gave it a spin at the end of the interview. Trying to add to your demographic. Best regards.

  22. avatar
    hellbound heart | 24 September 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    every job has its drawbacks, mine sure as hell does…..dunno if i could’ve kept up the super-frantic rock-star lifestyle, though……it’s hard enough keeping up with a class full of 6, 7 and 8 year-olds…..

    love always……

  23. avatar
    Mellissa | 24 September 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    I was a 15 year old girl, listening to every album of yours I could buy from the local secondhand shop. I memorised all your lyrics and they became one long lullaby through my teens. Now, when I listen to Skins and Heart and Blurred Crusade, I cry and the light returns.

  24. avatar
    Hesseltine | 25 September 2010 at 10:06 am #

    I’m exhausted after reading that!

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