posted on May 10, 2006 at 8:48 pm

early morning to ya fiendss
ive been up an hour
chi gong
back killing me
i tried everything
evey yoga pose i know
hang from a bar says tim p.
hang out in a bar says david l
anti inflammatories
big doses of aspirin, codeine, ibroproofun
a pair of city molls
nks worked on it
the masseur at the pool worked on it
now today
i drop an a bomb on my twisted knotted back
an hour of acupuncture
if you aint had acupuncture fiendss
and ya gotta badde back
get out there
and get those needles into ya
i wassa in the sauna yessaday
discussing acu and other arcane healing arts
and this woman says
i couldnt get pregnant without acupuncture
i says (quick as a flash) (straight of the cuff)
there ya go…all you needed was a little prick
(canned laughter)
but seriously folks….
acupunture is goode for
back, neck, shoulder, or headaches
insomnia( a miracle cure)
and loads of other nasty painful things
ya see once i wassa getting off the gear
i hadnt slept for about 2 weeks at all
and i was, in its widest sense, tired and emotional
i was in la of all places
but lord vishnu must have been watching down on me that day
cos very early one morning
after trying warm baths, massages, sleeping pills
herbs, hypnotism, and simply tiring myself out
i was exasperated BEYOND BELIEF
now this is the very very nastiest thing about the gear
that the hysterical newspapers and hip smack priests
(now theres a temporary position)
dont tell ya about
when you get off a serious opiate addiction
you may not literally sleep for weeeks or even months
you are so unbelievably exhausted
your head falls back on the pillow
you close your eyes
you start to drift
then ……
this printer is out of ink
you aint got the chemicals ya need
to sleep
you CANT go to sleep
and ya see
after 2 or 3 weeks of zero sleep
i was hallucinating, hearing voices
crying at anything at all
everything broke my fucking heart fiendss
the veneer was stripped back
i had nothing between me and a resovoir of tears
id never cried when i should have
and they all wanted to be cried NOW!!!!
i see mickey and minnie mouse embrace
i bawl my eyes out
i was crying watching the commercials..
i just wanted sleep so badde

now actually once in a rehab
i prayed and the sweet lord had granted me
30 minutes of nectar-like rest
and a lucid dream in which the lord appeared
and we walked together in beautiful gardens,
and when i awoke i was refreshed and renewed
but that didnt happen this time
i couldnt pray as singlepointedly as i had the other
and i was left to my own devices…

but this time
i was back in l a
i had gotten over most of the really nasty stuff
you know like cramps sweats vomiting etc
i was battered
an endorphin-less
and seratonin-less wreck
any how
aftet another sleepless night in a hateful hotel
a nasty nylony plasticy fake type modern hotel
i stumbled into a “drugstore” or pharmacy or chemist shop
or even apotek
as the lovely swedes say
(related to our old apothecary)
im in this pill shop
looking at mountains of painkillers
not a fucking one with codeine in it
ya see fiendss
codeine is a mild narcotic
it comes from the poppy
its one of opiums many alkaloids
so if ya can get a bit of codeine in yer system
you can stave of the horrors a tiny bit better
codeine aint legal in the u.s, or sweden
without a quack givin’ ya a script
in australia they always put paracetamol or ibuprof
in there
so any jonesing junky trying to take a big codeine dose
is gonna get a nasty surprise
when his liver gives out from the other stuff in the pills
theres a bit of western logic for ya!
any how
im trying to read all the labels on the stuff in this chemists
i was quite a little pharmacological whizz by this stage
i could spot a pseudo opiate in the drug company lingo
a mile off
anything anything
if i could get 5 minutes sleep
disengage my screaming brain and nerves
the i tunes in my brain was stuck on a horror
eternal flame by the bingles
round and round
“give me your hand darlin, can you feel my heart beating
do you understand…”
oh no
sometimes i had to throw something even worse in there
like swallowing a spider to catch a fly
something really vile
like one of my own songs…
which i couldnt bear to touch
when i felt this way
im looking through the pills
when this older, kinda jewish lady
says ah whaddya lookin for, sir
i give her an impatient look
how could she understand MY pain
ah i dunno
she says
maybe i can help ya
i look at her
i say
i doubt it
she says you lookin for painkillers
i say yep
she says nothin here doin it for ya
i say nope
she says what are your symptoms
i say my backs killing me
i aint slept for 2 weeks
ya got anything for that?
she says nothing here
i say thats whatti thought
she says i think i can help ya
i say look im getting over a narcotic habit
she says yeah, i know
she says im an acupuncturist
i’ll put ya to sleep
i guarantee it
now i was very very sceptical
cos i had just come from dublin
where my dear friend frankie x
had hooked my up with the chinese woman
atta clinic
and she was acupuncture personified
chinese studied in peking
but she couldnae budge my insomnia
so i couldnt see how this small gladys kravitz
was gonna be any help
but she gave me her card
she said come and see me
and when i looked in her eye
her spirit jumped the gulf and said
i aint fooling!!!
so i go round her very hollywood little bungalow
im starting to think this wasnt a good idea
lay down on the table
she starts sticking in the pins
one in the top of my head
a network of em all over my back
she connects the one in my head
to a little generator
and gives me a few volts
to the skull
next thing i know
ive left my wartorn body
ah im out in deep space
or deep in inner space
or somewhere black and soothing
i have expanded to take up everywhere
but i also have ceased to exist
oh fiendss this is a beautiful place
and you can get there by meditation and yoga
and opiates get you there too
but what a terrible price to pay
where oblivion is beckoning
where leviathan is reckoning
you see fiendss
you gotta earn yer ticket to this place
or youll have to pay some nasty fines
anyway anyway
to cut this long story short
the lady woke me up
and said steven
honey youve been sleeping for an hour and a half
im sorry to wake ya up, my next patient is here
i paid the lady
i tipped her good
i gave her a jubilant hug
and thanked her profusely
i had underestimated someone AGAIN
because of their looks
id had some precious sleep
and shed broken my slumber-drought
so get a good acupuncturist fiendss
if ya ache or cant sleep
i guess thats the moral of todays rant

tomorrows grants funeral

26 Responses to “stupid magician, with his cloak and his wand…..”

  1. avatar
    Anonymous | 10 May 2006 at 10:29 pm #

    We’re there with you baybee, you’re not alone.
    Keep with the yoga, meditation, swimming and acu…you will feel better…energy en route.

  2. avatar
    sue cee | 10 May 2006 at 10:35 pm #

    the islanders swear by their own natural drugs and massage that will cure anything. Hope that backs feeling better real soon SK especially with tomorrow coming up.

    One thing about being on the gear, it sure didnt damage your creative mind

    love xxx

  3. avatar
    flowerpower | 10 May 2006 at 10:52 pm #

    Back pain and Grant’s passing. Any link?

    My beleaf is that the body contains memories of it’s own, totally independent of the mind.

    Arcane healing arts – thank God they are now acceptable in our culture.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 10 May 2006 at 11:01 pm #

    been busy over the weekend
    just read about Grant on Wednesday morning in your blog
    never leave your loved ones with slamming doors
    perhaps you may not meet them again
    met GW once
    at the old Knust in Hamburg
    should look for the interview tape I guess
    always LOVED JF1
    every hour, providence, even as we speak, ramble…
    had problems with JF2
    but your words explain it
    always wished that the whole thing was like empire…
    well, and grant…
    with the go-betweens gig in Lübeck in the 80s cancelled I never really could get into them
    “when word gets around”
    “comet scar”
    are the first ones that come to my mind
    all time faves
    got his solo albums here, next to my player, right now
    what a sad sad reason
    baby’s got a come scar
    it never sounded so bleak

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 10 May 2006 at 11:18 pm #

    May the force be with you

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 10 May 2006 at 11:18 pm #

    going to grant’s funeral will be good for your soul. sorry about the loss, though. losing someone is one of the hardest things a human being has to deal with, and it isn’t fair, is it?

  7. avatar
    the dean | 10 May 2006 at 11:26 pm #

    you probable aware of the alexander technique. I had long term problems with neck and shoulder pain. The whole alexander thing about keeping your spine extended is working for me, at first you feel like you’re looking down all the time. Study how you use you’re body, especially doing repetitive task, playing guitar, painting, swimming, using a computer. You know all this stuff, I sympathise with you. constant pain makes you feel old but once it’s gone you can barely recall it.

  8. avatar
    lay dee avon | 11 May 2006 at 12:20 am #

    your back aches when your heart breaks sk

    here is some of
    Revisitation by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

    …Still I must make a faithful pilgrimage
    To those particular landmarks that were yours,
    Or intimately haunted by your sight;
    Not in the hope of finding you again,
    Not in obeisance to your memory,
    Nor self indulgently in search of pain.
    No, I must go
    Back to the places
    Where you put your hand,
    To see them now without you, gutted bare,
    Swept hollow of your presence. I must stand
    Alone and in their empty faces stare,
    To find another truth I do not know;
    To balance those unequal shifted planes
    Of our existence, yours and mine; to fix
    The whirling landscapes of the heart in which
    I walk a stranger both to space and time
    I must go back;
    In each familiar corner wait until
    I witness once again the flesh turn cold,
    The spirit parting from the body’s hold
    And let it go, and love the landscape still;
    But now on only for itself alone…

    For I must meet and marry in myself
    The truth of what has ended, what is new;
    The past and future; death and life. And when
    At last the two conflicting pairs are met;
    The planes are balanced and the landscapes set;
    The strands of past and future tied in one
    Tough, weather-beaten, salted twist of hemp,
    The present – then
    I shall be able to refind myself
    And also you

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 May 2006 at 12:34 am #

    after reading your
    blogge about the
    first jf cd
    i wondered HOW
    can i not have this?
    ( i had snow job but
    had never come across
    so … i was very lucky
    because i found it
    at my local record shop
    first the owner
    said he didn’t have it
    but after talking to me
    for a minute
    he said
    i think i can help you out
    i think he decided i was
    a true fan and was
    hee hee

    and i listened to it
    this morning
    for the first time
    while on a beautiful walk
    gorgeous music
    always loved
    but so many
    other gems to
    thank you

    will be
    thinking of
    you tomorrow
    and sending
    lots of love

  10. avatar
    John Garratt | 11 May 2006 at 12:44 am #

    When I can’t sleep, I put on something boring. Like Phish’s “Billy Breathes.” Or the latest Morrissey.

  11. avatar
    mike a | 11 May 2006 at 1:26 am #

    I hope your back feels better!!

    I couldn’t imagine not sleeping for two weeks!!

    Will you go to Grant’s funeral tomorrow?

  12. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 11 May 2006 at 1:28 am #

    please lay a flower for me for grant as well, tell him me love him as well, one day he will see our love on film???

  13. avatar
    si-kli | 11 May 2006 at 2:36 am #

    glad you got acu needles not a giant big hit from ye olde space needle. Moving from chronic back pain to tales of riding the horse yesterday made me a little nervous. Sometimes it’s not whatever works for ya, but what’s the best for ya.

  14. avatar
    abtom0104 | 11 May 2006 at 3:17 am #

    Have been reading your bloggies daily for the past few weeks and they’re just getting better and better. The humour, the insight to your magnificent music, the poetry, the stories of (hey)days gone by and lately the wonderful tales and fond memories of your dear friend, Grant.

    Up until now I worshipped you solely for your music ability, but since I’ve turned into one of your many blog-sprogs, you are so far up on my pedestal of inspiration it’s not funny.

    Your comment about telling loved ones your true feelings before it’s too late has inspired me to this …. Steve, I love you. I have been so blessed to have seen your sensational band every time they toured Melbourne since ’91 and cannot wait until later in the year when you come back to play tracks from ULTC – in my opinion the best Church album since Priest=Aura.

    I’m just your average bloke – mid 30’s, married, 2 kids, bad knees, bad back, don’t do drugs (although have sampled some of those funny green ciggies many years ago) yet I still amaze the missus as to how excited I get when a new Church offering is on the horizon. Been a music lover all my life. Play the geetar, have written a bunch of songs and was even in the Vic Boys Choir as a young’n. So I’d like to think I am well versed in declaring the music you have created over the years as totally fucking brilliant.

    I think somebody posted a comment a couple of weeks ago saying that they are kinda glad in a way that you guys aren’t worldwide sensations and plastered over every glossy mag available, so we can feel like we’re all part of an exclusice club and keep you all to ourselves. That was perfectly put. You can stick your boyband / girlband and Australian Idol 3rd place runner-ups up your clacker. Is Church is good.

    Hope the back pain eases and the sleep increases. Celebrate a wonderful life in Brisbane tomorrow.

    Don’t change, Steve. We love you just the way you are.


    PS. Any chance of slipping Hotel Womb and/or The Disillusionist into your set list this tour?

  15. avatar
    Brad | 11 May 2006 at 3:39 am #

    yes, yr hittin’ it on the hed.
    talkin about things that we all know about,
    but didn’t know we did—



  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 May 2006 at 5:34 am #


    I must get acupuncture to cure all my aches and start me on a diet and exercise after that! I spent 3 years on some ol bands fan website and frank too many beer. And hell the speed never took off any pounds on me like it does on some.

    Wonder if the practitioners porices vary much??


  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 May 2006 at 5:35 am #

    I also need a new Keyboard or new fingers. My fingers in my skull you see.


  18. avatar
    juniper | 11 May 2006 at 7:33 am #

    I so admire your honesty and storytelling. Lovely the accupuncture worked for you; I’ve considered it…now, you’ve got me convinced & considering…. I once had a woman from Thailand walk on my back…it was otherworldly….some people just have a gift. Yours is your way with words and painting beautiful images for others’ minds, ears and hearts. I am a fan of The Church, The Go~Betweens and Jack Frost….I’m thinking back the years {heh…we’re all gettin’ older} I lost someone very special to me {me brother; birthday May 12th} last year…he was performing when it happened. I am sad for you and for everyone who had the pleasure to know Grant. I will think of him tomorrow; and you — wishing you strength.

  19. avatar
    Rubikon | 11 May 2006 at 8:57 am #

    “Needles and Pins”

  20. avatar
    don joe | 11 May 2006 at 11:01 am #

    Im with u Steve…been there n done work at a rehab where i face it everyday..we dont use druge to help the peeps.. just your basics in health. vitamins minerals calcium etc..they dont sleep for a good week..speed freaks though!! they come in and sleep 90% of the shift, so polar opposed are the effects it’s criminal..speaking of criminal, methadone is…well… the devil incarnate. Saturated to the bone dripping in this tonic, they SUFFER!..opiates are a walk in the park compared to these cats..but they persist and put on 20kg’s in a couple of weeks..then they sauna to rid the body of accumulated toxins..and i dont just mean drugs!!..Maccas, fruit loops, fortified foods..all this gunk gets trapped in the adipose tissue and glug u up!!
    I am SO glad u kicked the opiates..probly askin too much for the rest, BUT it’s well worth it…6.5 yrs for me. no drugs . just left with black tea and tobacco..haven’t been sick in all that time feeling great..
    im also glad u can openly speak of what u went through too..but that zap to the head..little too much like psychiatry’s 400 volts to the head ECT..”we cure insanity by shutting them down”..well, at least u didn’t end up like Orson Welles..”they cured the patient but destroyed the writer”


  21. avatar
    drzej | 11 May 2006 at 10:31 pm #


    Sharing this with all of us is an incredibly generous gesture. To paraphrase your own words (or perhaps, Grant’s) it is precisely for this reason someone most of us will never meet will always manage to stay with us.

    Grant’s loss is undoubtedly unbearable for you at present moment. You have my support and my good karma.

    Brilliance comes rarely and is fleeting, but love marches on.

    — drzej

  22. avatar
    eek | 12 May 2006 at 4:28 am #

    God Steve you have certainly written some very powerful and moving entries this week.

    Thank you for being so opened and honest about your emotions and your life.

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 12 May 2006 at 6:25 am #

    Steve Steve Steve Steve

    Nice to see you have released your fear.
    You had enough sleep in the late nineties anyway.
    Sorry for smoking in the toilets at Karmic hit. I did however flush afterwards.


  24. avatar
    Guy E | 12 May 2006 at 5:11 pm #

    I’ll share an interesting back pain story.

    About 20 years ago I’d moved some heavy cabinets into our apartment and did a number on my back. I couldn’t get out of bed, a trip to the toilet was torture. After a couple days my wife said I should go to a pain doctor that someone in her office recommended and I said “OK.” I recall his name being Dr. Reader.

    We go to this office on Park Avenue, a spacious clubby-looking place and I check in with the receptionist. She sends me to the waiting room (more wood paneling and worn leather chairs) and I was confronted with the most bizarre scene. There were a dozen elderly gentlemen and matronly purple-haired women sitting reading magazines, their heads tilted back slightly, and they all had a pair of large needles with knurled brass stud tips sticking out of their nostrils! It was a surreal marriage of Fellini and Brazil… if I could have run I would have, but getting to the office had been torture enough.

    After a few minutes the receptionist directed me to the doctors office and there were two more codgers shooting the breeze, more knurled needles protruding from proboscis. I sat down and waited for the doc. After 30 seconds or so one of the gray-haired, needle-adorned geezers turned to me and asked me what the problem was… he was the doctor. I told my tale of woe and he said, “OK, this isn’t going to hurt, you may experience a bit of discomfort, but this isn’t an acupuncture treatment. I’m going to anesthetize the nerve center (nexus, I don’t remember what he referred to it as) at the back of your sinus passage and this will alleviate the pain in your back.” He pulls out a pair of 6-inch long needles with the brass tips, twists a bit of cotton onto the pointy hooked end, then puts a drop of pharmaceutical cocaine on the cotton. He rubbed it in and threaded these needles through my nostrils into the center of my skull. “If you feel them slipping out, just tamp them back gently,” he said. “I’ll call you back in 25 minutes.”

    I went back to the waiting room and settled into a comfortable chair. Cocaine is an anesthetic, not an opiate, so it was being used correctly and had no mental effect on me… I did not get high. But the pain started to ease slightly over the course of my sit. After a few minutes I glanced to my right and there gathering dust on the adjacent desk was a striking work of art – a Pablo Picasso original! He had apparently been a patient of Dr. Readers and showed his appreciation by giving him a collage of a matador and bull; the bull was assembled from “noses” cutout of magazines and the ink sketch matador – a signiture Picasso image – was using one of the doc’s needles as his sword. Brilliant.

    When I left I was charged $20.00 – his standard fee. I was expecting to pay a hundred. I felt better after the first treatment, went back to him the next day and woke up the following morning fit as a fiddle. I guess that by treating the pain he eased the stress and tension that was generating the muscular reaction, etc., etc.

    He was on the news not long afterwards. The DEA were hounding him for using cocaine as a “one cure fits all” Dr. Feelgood. They assumed that people were going to him to get high, but that wasn’t the case. He stuck to his guns and continued his pain treatments; a treatment that he invented/developed. About five years later I read his obituary in the NY Times, which made me very sad, but I will always be thankful… it was an unforgettable experience.

  25. avatar
    Good wishes from melb | 18 May 2006 at 12:54 am #

    So sorry to hear about your good friend Grant. I thought of you straight away and how devasted you must be. My heart goes out to you and everyone else that is missing him. I came across him through you and I’m glad I did. Like you he is a fantastic writer. I met both him and yourself at a Jack Frost show in Melbourne. What a nice person he is. How lucky you are that he will always be a part of you. I wish you the best.

  26. avatar
    Paul Adams | 18 June 2006 at 10:52 pm #

    Hey Blogger, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you!
    I have adiet home site. It pretty much covers diet home related subjects.
    Come and check it out if you get time 🙂
    Best regards!

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