posted on August 28, 2008 at 8:54 pm

meanwhile back in canberra act
i have finally learned to play the bass
i steal my mothers triumph herald and go off driving
i pick up some girls and give them a lift
we go round their house where their mummy is out
and i’m kissing them both
the year is 1973
i’m a lanky skinny devil with freckles
and long bloody hair
i already wrote bel air the other night
and i travelled in the astral above this town
peering and leering down at all the carryings on
i walk thru walls
i appear in the hall
i take long lonely drives into canberras ample hinterland
and i walk beneath the pines on mt stromlo
i sold my violin bass
and now i have a burns baldwin
a big hollow bodied stupid thing
i play with a schlocky cabaret band
and i earn good money
we drive down the coast and play at some places down there
during the drive
the rain is so furious
and the ford anglia we are driving in
has non functioni windscreen wipers
so hugh jumps out
with a potato cut in half
and rubs it all over the windscreen
the stuff in the potato is supposed to repel the water
this might be a good trick in old blightys drizzle
but up the top of the clyde mountain
in a summertime gale
visibility remains close to zero
we stay in some dreary motel
we play at night in the clubs n bars
cranking out the same old tripe
listening to the singer cracking the same old gags
we had the music all written out in chords
and we’d just play along
the singers voice was quite pleasant
and we got paid well
i got time
to think about the music i was playing
why it worked
why it didnt
during the long grey days
i wandered the coast
stopping in to tiny towns and having a milkshake
or drifting on lonely rivers at dusk
everything was overloaded with significance
then as now as always as usual
each twig on every tree
each stick of grass
each shadow of a nest
each empty bottle on the side of the road
each sunset in pinkish clouds
each sickle moon cleaving through the oceanic fogs
each person i see
i imagine/intuit/daydream their story
its all falling in on me at once
i talk too much so i spend most time alone
girls are attracted by my looks
but my chattering reveals me as an idiot
strangely enough
i cant play the guitar at all
only the bass
i sometimes find myself somewhere
round a campfire
or at a party
someone thrusts their nylon string yamaha geetar in my hands
and says
oh kilbo can play
hes in a band you know…
but ha ha
im left holding the baby
when i can do nothing at all
i have strange genuine psychic adventures
for example
once an entire room full of people froze
but only i could see it
for a few split seconds
and then…
but only me
only i saw it
the guy playing the organ in the group
is what was called in those days a sex maniac
it was all he ever talked of
or made jokes about
he was only 23
he seemed a hundred to me
such was the gulf that separated me from the others
he also knew obscene phrases
in other languages
which we would liberally sprinkle the show with
gee i’m sure it was really funny too
i drink scotch n coke sometimes and smoke cigs
i play poker machines
and buy magazines with pictures of naked women
i drink vanilla milkshakes and i eat 50 cents worth of chips
i listen to the radio
i watch english comedy shows on a tv with 2 bnw channels
i tend to my 3 pimples
i spend much time looking at myself in the mirror
i can already see the wrinkles and bags forming on my face
my teeth are already an off-white
my hair not as thick n lustrous as i hoped
i want to be someone else
some composite palooka
carrying my fucking great big amp up some stairs
getting told to always turn down
standing in the background
plunking away on
a stupid song
boom boom boom

29 Responses to “stay put”

  1. avatar
    Fireseed | 28 August 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    mmm…know that campfire feeling so well – never having a party peace ready to reel off…

    the worst time was in nz when a fellow traveller asked me to play something and then said ‘have you really been playing guitar for 10 years?’

    i’m not a bassist so i have no excuses but maybe it’s better that way – who wants a party peace anyway? (almost as bad as a hair peace)

  2. avatar
    knot | 28 August 2008 at 11:32 pm #

    I remember you

  3. avatar
    princey | 28 August 2008 at 11:43 pm #

    Did you really write Bel Air way back in 1973??? I love that song and video clip, you all look so fresh and youthful…and there’s no sign of “wrinkles and bags forming on my face” there my friend, just pure gorgeousness!
    I’m loving these memories of yours sk. Have a good weekend.
    Love Amanda
    P.S. Fireseed, that “compliment” made me laugh..people can be so unkind 🙂

  4. avatar
    knot | 28 August 2008 at 11:44 pm #

    Hey Cee
    "Blogger Cee said…

    Hey Knot I could hear Radio Cabeza and Tomas Petty from Casa Balboa! I didn't go – $85?? I'm saving for my island holiday…anyway…I'm sorry to have missed Los Amigos Invisibles, they certainly are great fun. Esteban in San Francisco is a mellow vibe that has happened and will repeat. Maybe Maymi can convince Esteban to come with him upon the return to SF"

    Let us burn incense upon the altars of ancient gods…and not spend 85$ when we can get comped…
    you must have been fairly close to my house if you could hear the music. I live in the "west of the west" and people were parking & meeting on my street to walk in.

    PS-Did you or Paola ever live in the North Bay? I think I may have met you when I was working fairs reading tarot.

  5. avatar
    damien | 29 August 2008 at 12:26 am #

    Ah, yes. The soul-destroying nature of playing in the cover band! I’ve been there!

  6. avatar
    andmoreagain | 29 August 2008 at 12:26 am #

    Great early years of Kilbey yarns. Yer completely blowing your image, man. I just finished Poet in Exile by Ray Manzarek, a fictional novel presupposing that Jim Morrison is alive. It’s more Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance than No One Here Gets Out Alive but weirdly interesting and has a good positive message about yoga and world peace. His memoir about the Doors kind of blows Jim’s image as well which is why I’m mentioning these books in the first place.

  7. avatar
    andmoreagain | 29 August 2008 at 12:29 am #

    P.S. Bel Air was the song that got me into you guys in the first place. I loved that video too.

  8. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 29 August 2008 at 1:41 am #

    …ah, don’t you love that horrible awkward stage when you’re extremely uncomfortable in you own skin…and then one day you wake up and say ‘stuff it’, mind you some people never get to that point, they remain at odds with themselves…
    oh, god, what kinds of songs did you guys do covers of, steve, i shudder to think…
    love always…

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 August 2008 at 5:39 am #

    BOOM BOOM…….

  10. avatar
    davem | 29 August 2008 at 6:10 am #

    Lovely stuff.
    I let my hofner violin bass go too, a few years ago. It’s a source of regret, aesthetically not musically.
    I adore Bel Air too.

  11. avatar
    fantasticandy | 29 August 2008 at 6:46 am #

    so much ground covered in one entry!
    how about re-visiting bel-air sometime?
    live or studio……….

    i guessed you had sme psi ability.
    have a cracking weekend all!
    andy L.

  12. avatar
    golden thorn in my paw | 29 August 2008 at 6:55 am #

    thanks for allowing my mind to drift.

  13. avatar
    The Kipper | 29 August 2008 at 9:05 am #

    I’m really enjoying these Tales from the Old Daze, Mr. K.

    Didn’t everyone get rid of their Hofners at some point? Are there any left in the world? Where do they go when they’re banished from the strap?

    As far as OS&H goes, I’ve always considered the bass parts to be one of the strongest aspects of the album. I respect that ’80s vibe to the album (and songs like “She Never Said” have the obvious musical seeds that were to later blossom); but, it’s also great to just put the CD in, kick back, and listen to those wonderful bass lines…the subwoofer/5.1 setup is surely one the greatest gifts that the Gods of Home Entertainment ever passed down to us mortals. “Ah, that’s how it was meant to sound!”

  14. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 29 August 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    Of Skins And Heart. Never got into that album. Steve sounds too much like Robert Smith on several songs – at least, to me he does. And as a band, they’re just not quite there yet. Not the Church that I love so much. However, She Never Said is WONDERFUL, one of my very favourite songs, when it comes to early Church.

  15. avatar
    cita | 29 August 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    I want to be someone else. So much truth for all of us in that line. Always enjoy reading your reminiscences. We search for the self in the other.

  16. avatar
    cita | 29 August 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Bel-Air is still one of favourites too. Nice sweet simplicity in that song the videoclip is the same… rare to find it in both forms.

  17. avatar
    what ELSE could it have meant ?! | 29 August 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    At least you never made a video where you walked past Pete, stopped, turned to give him a long, lingering ‘ive got the lube’ look and then the pair of you walked off together…oh, actually…

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 August 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    Steve, remember when you said that it was only whilst you were songing Bel Air on stage in 1988 that you realised what it was about? Just for once, man, what WAS it about?!

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 August 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    some of us havent let the world,brick our spirits in,n thats the difference.ya couldnt brick SKs spirit.:)x

  20. avatar
    polanski | 29 August 2008 at 2:47 pm #

    It was about Sharon Tate waking up the next morning and not realising at first that she’d been murdered by Atkins and Tex, wasn’t it?

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 August 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    Bass is life.
    Plain and simple.

    Tampa, Fl

  22. avatar
    davem | 29 August 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    This morning I ordered the Painkiller t-shirt/cd thingy.
    I’m sooooooooooooo excited!!!

  23. avatar
    peter hook | 29 August 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    Ronnie Dio started out as a singing bassplayer too.

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 August 2008 at 5:56 pm #

    you’re number 39 on the blogge charts. congratulations.

    btw, sk’s a wonderful in my book, today……


  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 29 August 2008 at 8:46 pm # going to wait for something good to happen,before i say good

  26. avatar
    tnt | 29 August 2008 at 9:28 pm #

    You are a good bass player SK.
    The intro to ‘You Took’ on Blurred Crusade is exceptional, the real strength of that song, for example.
    The sustain of the guitars is kept in order by the bass; you did well doing that in those early days.

  27. avatar
    ross b | 30 August 2008 at 12:03 pm #

    “everything was overloaded with significance..”

    I like that line, and those that follow, I believe that’s a truly fine way to live one’s life.

    Bel Air? i recall you guys giving that one a good run at a couple of different gigs up to recent times, late 90’s anyway. One of my early favourites too!

    So this was 72 or 73 eh, as liza minelli sang back then life is a cabaret ol’ chum!! 😉

    All the best to you, r.

  28. avatar
    lily was here | 30 August 2008 at 1:27 pm #

    Hot lips is kissing 2 girls at once and you all wanna talk about his bass playing?! 🙂

    x x x

    ps ok, you’ve made me want to lay OSAH on the cd player now ..and Im wondering if there was a certain bass player who you aspired to back then? JPJ, Macca? maybe Jack Bruce from Cream?

  29. avatar
    lily was here | 30 August 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    aww Fireseed 🙂

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.