posted on May 26, 2008 at 9:25 pm

as most of you now know
we recorded an album between heyfish and starday
that never got released
it was called
was there ever talk of love?
and it was gonna be on warners spin off label
voodoo records
thats right
of course i know most of you have the bootleg by now
i hear its easy to come by if you know where to look
but several people have come undone pursuing it
so emptor cave….is that latin?
does it dye its mustache black?
anyway back to wtetol?
i had been living with billy idol for a while
and hanging out in l.a.
with the cult and guys like that
guys who’d been in the sex pistols and stuff
warners had accidentally slipped the church a million odd bucks
and i thought it was our golden handshake…
i grabbed my share and i was living it large in the canyon
no kidding
joni mitchell used to feed my axolotls for me when i went on hols
i dated that chick from melrose place or whatever it was
through her i got into a coven where we worshipped spirits
and practiced sorcery
standing in my cowl surrounded by the celebs of the mid eighties
that child star whatsername
i saw rock hudson there i think
and a few other quite famous guys
incredible days!
during that same period
while round at a certain journalists house
i took an experimental substance that we had obtained
through the journalists wifes brother
who was a doctor in the military
but he also liked to turn popstars on
anyhow this stuff didnt even have a name
no name just a number # 79
you rubbed the stuff on your wrist
and hey presto!
at first i assumed i had not been affected
and i wandered off into this huge tarzana garden
under a sickle moon and the hazy californian sky
i was struck dumb with fear
when They contacted me
i first felt Them as music
music wild deep and urgent
and utterly inhuman
incredible impossible music
music you would weep for joy if you heard but one stanza
music to make you cower
music to make you march
and the words
in some alien language
in some universal translator
in some way the most tender most violent poetry
poetry with colour and fragrance and flesh and spirit
i immediately began to make mental notes
phrases melodies etc
my impressions i mean
i could never remember or reproduce the real wonder
#79 had tuned me in to Their sphere of influence
i began receiving transmissions from that time until early 87
most of the music on wtetol? was from those transmissions
i arranged some more #79 and i secretely spiked my compadres wrists
(with disastrous consequences)
it was around this time i began seeing monsters in swimming pools
alone at the beverly hills hilton one night
i chanced upon a swim in the pool
i was beset upon by a strange tentacled phantasm
and rescued by 2 guys i now realise were neil diamond n willie nelson
they took me to some place in the hills
where i met prince charles and madonna
(who were having a secret fling)
the party was being hosted by phil spectors little brother inch
inch spector uh huh
he was to produce wtetol?
although how could i possibly know that
using some extraterrestial technology i was healed
although many freckles appeared all over my body
(compare to pre starday!)
i was later horrified when inch and our keyboard player billy
were arrested for trading production secrets with the soviets
but it was never proved
anyway you guys all remember
how voodoo records collapsed being implicated in some phony eclipse
how the tapes went missing in the bermuda triancle
(gees it sounds like a sci fi storey!)
how shorty messhuggah who managed us briefly got offed
how They transmitted utmw but i got it mixed up
how #79 became a brief street sensation
before being blamed in the death of actor lake byrd
the doctor in question
later turned up as governor of nevada for a while
was also dick cheneys golf caddie until a mysterious accident
(involving a niblick!)
which ended his career
billy idol took # 79
and mentions it and me on the track
the fatal sure
which came out on voodoo records in brazil 86/87
one member left the band briefly to cope with his #79 traumas
one member remained unaffected
and one member was never the same again
i was hauled before congress
i was debriefed and sent back to australia
parts of my personality were erased
but my supervising torturers also slipped me MEMORY
a then new treatment for metaphysical delusions of grandeur
end of steve kilbey mark 1
several people disappeared
several more reappeared as presidents and popstars
the wheels were in motion
but what about
wtetol? itself
ah why bother…?

youve already heard it, aint ya?
cmon…its everywhere
i picked up my copy in a street market in mongolia
there it was
with the cover by warhol n everything
(cost the warner brothers a small fortune)
peruse the songs on this cheap cassette copy
yep thats it alright
was there ever talk of love?
what a story!

35 Responses to “the real story behind "was there ever talk of love?"”

  1. avatar
    fantasticandy | 26 May 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    i’m off to bed!
    i shall chuckle to myself half the night…….
    what a howler!
    cheers steve,
    andy L.

  2. avatar
    princey | 26 May 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    MEMORY…I knew badboy Rudolf Neuman had something to with it!!!! Yeah, what a story!!

  3. avatar
    Richard | 26 May 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    I am ashamed to say that you had me for the first ten lines

    I was thinking to myself ‘how did I miss that one?’

  4. avatar
    craig1.618 | 27 May 2008 at 12:03 am #

    just came in from swimming

    had ipod running into stereo and broadcasting to pool

    left ipod on and sat down to check your bloggie blog

    within minutes of finishing blog billy idol’s

    “all summer single” started to play

    it’s from his whiplash smile album back in 86 or so

    no shit! true story

    not like winning the lottery or one’s ship coming in

    but still true

    now whether you choose to believe me or not

    is your choice

  5. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 27 May 2008 at 12:33 am #

    A very trippy blog by the lead vocalist of Australia’s renowned, mystical band. I’m recovering from watching an HBO movie called Recount. It vividly brought back all the chilling memories of how the USA 2000 Presidential election was stolen from Gore. Kevin Spacey played a good guy for GORE.

    Unearthed was a rather magnificent CD that was released around the Heyday and Starfish era. Unearthed is nonviolent dynamite !

  6. avatar
    nickfiction | 27 May 2008 at 1:02 am #

    yes i think you could be right …. this LP is pretty rare, so extremely rare that i think it may exist only in your mind. Next time i speak with Billy eyeball , I’ll get the real skinny. did ploog play drums?

  7. avatar
    Lian | 27 May 2008 at 1:41 am #

    A few days back Steve ever talked about it on his blog, that “dont show your work or play your songs to ninnies who wont understand”.

    oh thanks for it. I cant tell how much i’ve been benifited from this blog. been very muchly influnced by it, if there is a blog that can change your life, then this one is it.

    what I want to say is, yes I do have learned it: you never pluck your harp to a Cow.

    (oops! I suppose brien probably wouldn’t like it. Cows are innocent, at least they are polite enough to not bark at you, arent they?)

  8. avatar
    veleska1970 | 27 May 2008 at 1:48 am #

    hmmmm….i think i may have this bootleg you speak of…..

    **rumages through the chrunch music collection**

    yep~~here it is!! it’s on 8-track. (i wasn’t able to find that cassette copy anywhere. nobody was selling it….)

  9. avatar
    captain mission | 27 May 2008 at 3:34 am #

    ha you suckered me in for the first bit, what a trip man. great tale.

  10. avatar
    the dean | 27 May 2008 at 3:57 am #

    in a parallel universe wtetol has the departure point and utmw was never written but they did sound
    remarkably similar.

  11. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 27 May 2008 at 4:25 am #

    yeah write, you and billy idol living together in LA, only in my wet dreams, pure nonsense i say, oh by the way you should take your children to see Narnia: Prince Caspian, it was awesome…

  12. avatar
    kat | 27 May 2008 at 4:47 am #

    no sk i’ve never heard this masterpiece . can u send it to me?

  13. avatar
    William | 27 May 2008 at 5:46 am #

    You completely had me up to the part where you claim to have had to *secretly* spike the rest of ’em with 79. Heh.


  14. avatar
    Lebrinho | 27 May 2008 at 6:13 am #

    Borges began writing when he fantasized about books in history that should have been..

    Maybe you recorded it during your REM sleep throghout the 80’s, and it’s existing there in your subconscious &nbsp : )

    “..[One] purpose of the quantum-mechanical theory is to predict probabilities of various alternative histories”.

  15. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 27 May 2008 at 6:32 am #

    you’re a witty bastard, steve…don’t change…had a wonderfully cerebral and pithy comment to post last night but alas, my internet shit itself (yet again)…
    love always…

  16. avatar
    Leelinau | 27 May 2008 at 7:28 am #

    haha, he had me til line 14!


    was there ever talk of love?


    double bass


  17. avatar
    linjo | 27 May 2008 at 8:35 am #

    Oh yeah, that was about the same time I was having a menage a troi with Sylvester and Van Damne, oh yes, I was quite the courtesan in those 80’s heydays, till my falsies sprung a leak! But seriously peeples, Steve was a big star in the 80’s (plus he was (is) as handsome as the devil!) as most know, so it quite well could have been. Had me going, let me say. I didnt tweak until Prince Charles was mentioned! Fatal Shore! oh my lord, that is the most amazing novel by Wilbur Smith! Linda x

  18. avatar
    athanasiuspernath | 27 May 2008 at 9:20 am #

    “Was there ever Talk of Love” – god I adore that album. as reinvention it’s quite unique, it was when psychedelic pop didn’t know where to go and made this unholy union with magmatic, spacious, burning sounds from the basement of hell.

    My favourite moment is possibly that solo on “Strangled by my Spine”, what Marty is capable to achieve with a sledgehammer in a belltower is absolutely stunning. And I love the sick duet tracks, the one with Diamanda Galas is even better than the one with Beefheart. Great string and Maori choir arrangements by Jaz Coleman and Stockhausen, absolutely lovely.

  19. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 27 May 2008 at 9:56 am #

    Yeah, I love that album, too. Especially your faithful covers of John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs”…

  20. avatar
    linjo | 27 May 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Did I tweak or twig? dunno coulda been a freudian slip! wordsmiths?

  21. avatar
    Swampmeister | 27 May 2008 at 11:26 am #

    … but what I really want to know is… are you gonna go my way?”, no, ah, no, what I really want to know is…was there ever talk of love?”

  22. avatar
    matt davison | 27 May 2008 at 11:32 am #


  23. avatar
    linjo | 27 May 2008 at 11:39 am #

    Oh god, I am doing the ironing with all these thoughts going through my head. No it was the Burning Shore by Wilbur Smith. A very blonde day today!

  24. avatar
    restaurant mark | 27 May 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    had me going there for a bit…good stuff

    take care

  25. avatar
    Ross B | 27 May 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Was good to learn something new today, i liked the word axolotls so i looked it up to find it’s an exotic Mexican fish! and they look real pretty too.

    I recall reading years ago an interview with Joni in an old Rolling Stone magazine where she mentions you helped her out with Ladies of the Canyon, so she was returning your favour by minding your fish I assume!

    Great blog – love to you and all, r.

  26. avatar
    CSTCoach | 27 May 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    son of a bitch! i saw that tape in the container market in Ulan Baator and thought it was a cheap chinese fake. mongolia’s full of crap like that, so i passed it by and bought a chairman mao lighter instead. it at least plays ‘the east is red’ when you open it, which is more than i can say for your crummy ‘was there ever talk of love’…

  27. avatar
    verdelay | 27 May 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    If you take #79 and smoke a little spliff, you slow down to #78 and start channeling Dean Martin.

  28. avatar
    Lian | 27 May 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    This is a mere problem of IQ I’d like to say.

    and once again, I shouldn’t judge people by face valve but everytime i was right. (Is it why that someone has to hide behind a woman’s scarp? OK, maybe for other reason but anyway, the truth Is the truth.)

    Glad I didnt send Any mail to Any nerd!

  29. avatar
    Lian | 27 May 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    sorry, SK. some irrelevant comments here.

  30. avatar
    davem | 27 May 2008 at 5:27 pm #

    Nah, nickfiction, it was Ken Wylie on drums!!!

  31. avatar
    davem | 27 May 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    Have just spent an interesting few minutes reading about the saviour of The Church, KLK.

  32. avatar
    Cee | 27 May 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    That was the time we all rode our Harley’s to Santa Barbara and camped out for 3 days, then up to Monterey and a great lost weekend. I’ll never forgive Billy Morrison for cracking all those tapes when they went flying off his bike!

  33. avatar
    The Kipper | 27 May 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    Of course, those of us in the USA are already well familiar with all of this since the three-part in-depth report on these happenings appeared on Entertainment Tonight in ’89. The real controversy took place when parts of WTETOL appeared on John Tesh’s ’90 album, Banana of Love.

  34. avatar
    ^jax | 27 May 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    Wow, I always knew it was you SK that turned me on to #79 at that party on Wells Drive in Tarzana.. the house was trashed but you were tripping with Astrid and the Pepperwood Twins..another lost weekend in the hills..

  35. avatar
    Polydora | 28 May 2008 at 6:04 am #

    #79 on the wrists or a little tiger balm rubbed on ye third eye; it’s all pretty much the same thing, ain’t it?


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