posted on May 5, 2006 at 9:14 pm

kilbey here….
steve kilbey….
license to blogge
7 17 on satday morn
all the gurls in my little house are fast asleep
was nk’s birthday yessaday
we had cakey and stuff
happy birthday dear duckling happy birthday to you
me and aurora went shopping
i say to aurora howcome evie didnt wanna come with us..?
she says
(in a jimmy stewart accent)
well dad, ya know how me an evie are fraternal twins..?
uh huh
well ah…ya know how we’re different on the outside..?
well we’re different on the inside too…i dunno why shes like that
i see
i aint no mind reader, dad
we get up to the biggest shopping mall in the southern hemisfear
(so they say)
auroras picking up everything
hey dad buy her this!
hey dad buy her that!
you know fiendss
i can do 2 ks in the pool no problem
not tired..
but 5 minutes in a shopping mall
and im completely fucking knackered
what is it with that?
i hate shopping
i hate buying stuff
i hate the fluoro lights and the rush
of teenyboppers armed with mummys credit card
i hate the bullshit when ya buy jeans..
me: these are too small
dopey shop asst.: sir, theyll stretch
me: these are too big
dsa: sir, theyll shrink..
mmm, ive always hadda thing about jeans
you see there wassa kid at my school
he was like the dictator of fashion
he was like trip fontaine if ya saw the virgin suicides
this kid, neal g.
he wassa the bees knees
he was handsome
good at sport
good fighter
he was smoking pot and liasing with girls
when the rest of us were still playing marbles
(i will resist the impulse for any naughty puns here)
he always looked great even in school uniform
tousled hair, tanned complexion, big smile
oh i wanted neal g to like me
think i was cool
but all i usually got was a
“what are ya, kilbey?”
now it may seem hard to believe but up until about 15
i thought jeans were jeans were jeans
but one day i come to school
and neals talking about levi-strauss
ya gotta have levi-strauss
not these horrible old jeans ya been wearing
i hit up my dad
dad, i need levi-strauss
i bought you some jeans a cuppla weeks ago son
but dad, i need 1o bucks for levi-strauss
(thats what they cost in 1970)
ok ok but this is it
now sooner had i got my l-s
(which fitted me atrociously, there was no boot cut etc etc
in those days , just this jodphur looking baggy things
that hung off my skinny frame ludicrously)
then neal g says
ah kilbey, levis are last years thing
ya gotta have lee jeans
uh oh
same process
but son…?
i know dad…but..
ok ok but this is it
i get a pair of lees
(hardly much different to the l-s
but what the hell)
same thing
neal g says lee?
no mate, ya gotta have lee cooper jeans
yes son…
ok but this is it
ok, dad
by the way son, who tells you whats in and whats out?
never mind dad, ya wouldnae understand
ok ok heres 15 bucks…
so i get me a pair of pink lee cooper cords
but lo n behold
neal g the fashionista
wrangler are the only hip jeans
oh no
yes son
blah blah blah
got me a pair of wrangler jeans
im sorted
school social
got my wranglers
hip and cool
but whats this…?
oh no
a new boy at our school
has the last word in hip
a pair of bearcat jeans
fucking bearcat?
my wranglers are instantly passe
im a fashion disaster
next day i try to find a pair of bearcats
not in canberra i dont
after a little research i find out
you can only buy bearcat jeans in one shop in australia
and its in melbourne 600 miles away
they cost 22 bucks a pair
unheard of in those days
yes slim
(my dad always called me slim
i dunno why but he thought it was funny)
why dont we visit the rellies in melbourne?
you want to?
i nagged my dad into driving to melb
ostensibly to visit uncle cyril and aunty eve
(who i named my daughter after)
when we get there
i track down the shop
borrow 22 bucks from my poor dad
and get down there
they only got one pair thatll fit me
a little on the smallish side
“nah, theyll never shrink
theyre pre shrunk !”
says shop asst.
get back to canberra
teenage dance soon
i’ll be unveiling my bearcats
how can anyone out trump me now
(you knew thered be a but)
joycie gives em a good wash for me
before the dance
oh no!
when i try em on
theyve shrunk half way up my leg
miserably i wear them anyway
hoping no one ll notice
but they do
“hey kilbey
why dont yer shoes have a party and
invite yer pants down ???”

oh the shame
oh the embarrassment
eventually i cut em off for shorts

these are the events that shaped my life
i love you fiendss
(pssst. wanna pair of cut off bearcat jeanss??)

33 Responses to “trespassers will be persecuted”

  1. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2006 at 10:15 pm #

    Yeah sure I’ll swap you a green velour top.

  2. avatar
    rubikon | 5 May 2006 at 10:15 pm #

    You fashion victim you.

    I’ve still got a pair of lime green flares from the 70s (which still fit me – kind of) – I thought I looked cool in them. Wanna swap?

  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 May 2006 at 10:23 pm #

    Steve, you touch my heart. Fuck all the neil g`s of this world and be yourself. Someone once said: we`re all born originals, but we die as copies….. Well, you`re not in the category of copies. But neil. g probably is, slaving away somewhere…. (in his fucking jeans).
    I think that was your best blog ever and by the way, some of the songs on ULTC are the best ever.

  4. avatar
    Abana | 5 May 2006 at 10:28 pm #

    I have long had a belief that shopping centers pipe in bad air to make shoppers stupid and tired and buy indiscriminately. Of course, this isn’t necessary with teenagers.

    Sorry about your 70’s pants. The whole story has shattered my misconceptions of SK always leading the way, making his own path, not caring what others think, and being brilliant because of it.

  5. avatar
    CeciliaGin | 5 May 2006 at 10:58 pm #

    Awww, what a sweetheart, your dad!
    Luckily the group I ran around with in highschool and college all shopped at the second hand stores! We mocked the so called “fashionistas” in our Goodwill goth kit, the boys looking good in their lipstick and stubble! Ha! Or so they thought!

    Hey, as long as the powers that be keep smiling down on me, I’ll be working with the scallop tomorrow. I’m going to tell him you called him that.

  6. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 5 May 2006 at 11:12 pm #

    This is definitely one of yer best blogges yet SK- yesssssireeeeeee! I laughed, I cried, well, ok, actually I just smiled knowingly the whole time – but man, you manage to move me with stuff that is seemingly so mundane. It took me back…us chick-a-dees – we all *had* to have some jeans called Chemin de Fer(???) or something. Then we had to have some short shorts called Dophins. Had to have tennis shoes called Vans. T-shirts by OP. Sandals by Cherokee. Shirts by Izod. Label-freaking mania. I’m sure we all looked like idiots too. I have immunity! I was just a child! I knew not what I wore!

    Hope you found NK somethin’ nice and didn’t lose too much of yer soul at the mall. I don’t mind shopping, but malls make me want to seriously end my life the second I step inside one.

    Have I mentioned how ‘ultc’ gets better and better and better an better every time I listen to it? See it is really YOU who is the Magic Man (now that you mention The Virgin Suicides I can’t get Heart out of my mind – thanks).

  7. avatar
    Krissythegroupie | 5 May 2006 at 11:35 pm #

    That is PRESH. And here I thought in high school only girls dealt with that trend thing..!! But I *cannot* imagine you in cut-off jean shorts. Wow.

  8. avatar
    eek | 6 May 2006 at 1:48 am #

    That was great! I know this will sound snarky, but I am so frickin’ happy to know guys deal with this shit too!

    Loved the conversation with Aurora. Quite the self-possessed little soul. I’m always impressed that you really seem to like your children as well as love them.

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 1:55 am #

    thank you sk
    for sharing yet
    another memory
    so vividly
    brought to us
    from your teen years
    love the jeans story
    my friend mary
    used to have
    the coolest jeans
    worn in all the right places
    (and not bought
    that way!)
    cool patches sewn on
    perfect fit
    perfect length
    worn effortlessly
    she inspired us

    loved eve’s comment:
    well we’re different on the inside too…
    i dunno why shes like that
    i see
    i aint no mind reader, dad


    best birthday wishes
    to nk


  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 1:57 am #

    i meant aurora!


  11. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 6 May 2006 at 2:28 am #

    maybe you can auction off those bearcat jeans on e bay, i’m sure your fans would pay buckoo bucs for them…

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 2:32 am #

    next time you need to go shopping let me know…I’m VERY good at shopping with other’s mastercards

  13. avatar
    the dean | 6 May 2006 at 2:32 am #

    I hate to generalise but guys hate shopping and all the associated coffee and cake that goes with it.

    When forced into shopping, treat it like a bank heist, leave the motor running, get in, get out, 5 minutes max. It’s the thought that counts after all.

  14. avatar
    sue cee | 6 May 2006 at 5:43 am #

    Dont mind cd shopping with good friends followed up by a glass of Beez Neez.

    Are you talking about W at Bondi Junction? Theres a toy store there that Elise loved and National Geographics always a must-do with the kids, but I get literally ill in those places, the fake lighting, the nick nacks, colour overkill and the lack of air!

    BTW your dad was pretty cool, I never got my 70’s Miller surf shirt…imitations would not cut it. Luvly days you have with your family SK and its a pleazure to read your stories ! Hope the girls in Sweden are fine. Happy birthday to the gorgeous nk

  15. avatar
    sue cee | 6 May 2006 at 5:45 am #

    BTW is that little fairy shop in Bondi Junction still there? the one where you get to sit on a mushroom and listen to a story told by a real live fairy? My daughter thought she’d died and gone to heaven 🙂

  16. avatar
    lily | 6 May 2006 at 6:46 am #

    Thanks for the laughs, SK. So every kid goes through that, huh? Even the guys? Believe it or not, despite being female, I LOATHE shopping. ESPECIALLY clothes shopping! So I hear ya on dealing with the mall. That’s why I will literally wear something until I can wear it no more, just to avoid going shopping for new clothes. This drove my mum mad (still does!).

  17. avatar
    lily | 6 May 2006 at 6:48 am #

    P.S. – Do you know what the fashionista neal g. is doing these days? Bet it’s nothing nearly as cool as The Church.

  18. avatar
    eek | 6 May 2006 at 7:40 am #

    Despite my penchant for buying stuff (actually only some stuff — there is a whole lot of crap I’ve never been tempted to buy) I hate shopping, and I especially hate malls. They are so loud and echo-y. Even when they aren’t busy there is like a constant dull roar. Always gave me a headache. Haven’t been to one in years now.

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 8:22 am #

    my mum bought me rupert bear trousers to wear,mind you i was only 15, so thats ok.

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 10:33 am #

    You’re childhood memories crack me up sk! What a cheeky kid making you’re dad drive to Melb for a pair of jeans, could you imagine driving all the way to Melb if one of you’re girls nagged you for the latest fashion thingy? They’ve got some pretty good bribe material if they know that little story!..ha ha.

    Amanda P

    P.S. It sounds like you’re writing your blogs from home these days, have you finally bought your own laptop? I remember you said once that you’d never own a computer ‘cos they’re “evil”.

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 10:50 am #

    Computer’s are evil sk? ha ha, yeah, but a necessary evil 🙂 I honestly dont know what it would be like now to lose touch with my o/s fiends and have to talk to real people LOL ….have you see the ones out my way … eek.. but seriously, think about it! There’s always the telephone, um, but I talk too much and you’d never get a word in, see this way … you’re in control

  22. avatar
    light-relief | 6 May 2006 at 1:14 pm #

    what a pisser! one of your best bloggs! Loved it!

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 1:48 pm #

    SHOPPING…I’d not been shopping for sometime (groceries or other) having, over the past few months, swapped roles with my husband as primary bread-winner. The only real benefit was to NOT have to do the shopping. Nevertheless, things changed again this week and we have swapped roles again, although I am sustaining a career AND motherhood.

    I had to relearn supermarket shopping after school pickup. IT TOOK ME AN HOUR AND A HALF!!! I had it down to a mere 45 minutes door to door in my hey day (not so long ago).

    This morning to my son i say….”Darling, you need a new pair of shoes.
    These ones are too scummy and your feet have grown”. He throws himself to the ground and wails “BUT I LOVE MY SHOES. I DON’T WANT NEW ONES!”

    At 4 he is open to bribes and I tempt him with junk food for lunch if he agrees to shopping for shoes. With complete disinterest he tries on pair after pair and finally agrees to a purchase [I am freaked that in the year that he has come to develop a love interest with his shoes, his feet have not GROWN!!] The shop assistant says “Well you got good value out of these shoes”. I say “Well I’m glad I did. I paid 200 bucks for them” (Italian, of course). We agree to go up a size and put an insole in to allow for “growth” [I hope his feet grow in the coming year]. This experience takes an hour and only 130 bucks from me (I am now a VIP customer and get a discount – the idiot who spends a fortune on kids shoes and buys homebrand toilet paper).

    We then make our way to Chadstone and are bombarded by the lights and people (my daughter, 7, calls them “ants”). I think “I wish I had taken a valium before coming here”. I need to fulfill the bribe promises and we kill time at the food hall. WHAT IS IT ABOUT PEOPLE EATING SO MUCH GARBAGE IN SUCH A HORRIBLE PLACE?! I say to the wearer of new shoes “How do you like your new shoes?” He snorts “STOP TALKING ABOUT MY SHOES!” as he (ever so slowly) eats his fries. We go home….I want to run out of the place but am shackled by two sets of little feet.

    5 hours later my son casually approaches me and says “Mum, I like my new shoes”.

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 May 2006 at 3:19 pm #

    esky, i remember Lee jean cords. We had them for school winter uniform at our school in Victoria. We used to see how long we’d go before our new ones got ‘tagged’… y’know, when someone ripped the bastard tag off the back of your jeans, the one down by the pocket! It was not cool to still have the tag so you’d be naggin’ ya friends to rip it off for ya and of course they’d do the friends thing of saying ‘Suffer!’ 🙂

  25. avatar
    don joe | 7 May 2006 at 11:03 am #

    Its sad to think that in todays day and age people are still caught up in the frivolity of glad u got out of it..(must admit i have stolen a few classy cues from u my friend!:)…well that was then as this is to now…it is a funny saga though as i have had the same experiences in life..i just got jack of it and went “to hell with u all, im going over here to induldge my senses,not your ideals.” best thing i ever did! I found you my shining star that has blessed every moment of contemplation that has beset itself upon me through your art..yes it is art because it communicates..nothing more nothing less..”we wont listen to, the lizard part of our brains; giving in to the orders..” superlative stuff Steve. ahh..its already yesterday…

    c u there.


    PS: how is the “dripping leather and velvet” coming along? 🙂

  26. avatar
    Daniel W (aka Centuryhouse) | 7 May 2006 at 5:06 pm #

    I was perpetually out of style all through school. The few times I tried to hit the parents up for a certain brand there was always a “NO”!

    I haven’t changed much since then, other than that I just don’t care about fashions anymore, haha.

  27. avatar
    John Garratt | 7 May 2006 at 6:44 pm #


  28. avatar
    Melquiades | 13 May 2006 at 8:29 am #

    I’m laughing out loud here. this is funny shit. I love you Steve.

  29. avatar
    veleska1970 | 13 May 2006 at 7:31 pm #

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! (insert doubled-over, crying icon here…)

    steve, i haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. oh the joys of trying to be like your friends. and your poor dad paid a fortune for that “joy”, too!!

    love ya…

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  33. avatar
    spud | 11 April 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    SK, Great piece re the jeans. Went through the same thing, no amcos???
    Used to get my Bearcats from riddell st in Elsternwick. Have still got some button up lees that i got from sam bears in Melb in 1978

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