posted on October 14, 2008 at 8:11 pm

just before ricky left
we was talkin’ one day about the great lies of rocknroll
you know
you must have heard em
your cheques in the mail etc
one of the greatest lies of rock is
we got plenty of phone calls
that is
you turn up and you aint sold no tickets
but someone tries to cheer you up
by saying
“we got plenty of phone calls”
me n ricky agreed
this was one of the greatest n most prevalent lies
a lie i had heard so many many times
yet i had failed to realise it actually
although i always knew in my heart of hearts what it really meant
me n ricky had a good laugh
yeah i’d be on the lookout for that one again
last night,….
well a guy emailed me a few weeks ago
would i like to play this hotel
i was offered a certain very small amount of money
which i presumed i’d get no matter what
i knew in my heart of hearts not to do this gig
but i fucking did…didnt i..?
could it have been worse…?
a wet tuesday
no real advertising
tho would it have made much difference..?
so i turn up
the promoters out the front
looking for punters
(a bad sign)
theres no one there
maybe 20 to 30 he says
“we got plenty of phone calls”
inside a kinda big venue
that coulda held 5 hundred people
with a bout 15 people
(who i am grateful for i guess)
i played miserably
i couldnt get my eyes open to focus on
all that empty space
i ran through my set in a blur
wishing it was over
could find nothing interesting funny or pithy to say
i was useless
so now even the 15 there
will never come again
after my pathetic n sad set
(“sometimes when this place gets kinda empty”
ha ha ha)
am informed
that there is no money to pay me
which is understandable enuff
i dont blame anyone
i slink off home
beaten n depressed
all that for nothing!
couldnt sleep all night
now i really feel old n washed up
i really do
and i prob’ly have another hiding
coming up on this saturday night in manly
a real glutton fer punishment

ps its the doodles ninth birthday today
happy birthday eve n aurora


44 Responses to “we got plenty of phone calls”

  1. avatar
    restaurant mark | 14 October 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    sorry about the bad night man…yeah, i’ve had those shows where 5 minutes into it you’re thinking…what the hell am i doing here? playing in bands and djing…but then the next one might be great. sometimes you have a feeling one way or another beforehand…and sometimes you don’t know till ya get there.

    happy birthday to your girls!

    take care steve

  2. avatar
    MEM | 14 October 2008 at 9:23 pm #

    I had the perfect words
    But to what?
    Answers to a sacred mystery?
    An ancient riddle?
    The perplexity of the present moment?
    The past?
    The future?
    Keys to unlocking the doors of perception?
    Meaningless babble?
    An edict for all humanity?
    A decree of love?
    Wanton lust?
    My spiritual awakening?
    Maybe these words were
    All these things
    And why have
    I forgotten them?

  3. avatar
    eek | 14 October 2008 at 9:35 pm #

    Oh crap. This really hurts. And I pick today to whine. I’m sorry Steve.

    Happy Birthday to Eve and Aurora! Wow, nine already! Hope they have a great day.

  4. avatar
    heather | 14 October 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    Happy birthday Eve and Aurora; Aurora and Eve!!!!!


  5. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 14 October 2008 at 9:52 pm #

    oh boy, what a downer…
    happy birthday, gels! did you get dad up at 4:30 this morning to open your pressies?
    love always….

  6. avatar
    princey | 14 October 2008 at 9:53 pm #

    Let’s just forget about that one sk, but gee my heart goes out to you. This next gig will be completely different sk, I’d catch the ferry to Manly to be there with bells on, that’s for sure!
    Happy birthday to the young ladies too!
    We love you sk!
    Take care and lets boycott the Annandale,
    Love Amanda

  7. avatar
    esne snoner | 14 October 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    damn – am i like many other readers wishing i had known about the gig – did i miss a blog entry telling me about it – self-promote sk – put a link on blogspot for upcoming gigs, etc – and don’t lose sight of the fact that most of us are here for you as a member of a certain band that plays way too infrequently but will be showered with love and respect when it does – bad comparison but a certain jagger dude knows solo is a tough gig and now sticks with the band

  8. avatar
    eek | 14 October 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    ^ yeah he did mention it in his blog, and it (and some other dates yet to come) were listed on his and the Church’s Myspace pages, the Hotel Womb bulletin board, and sent out on the official Church email update (which I encourage everyone to sign up for). So check out these sites and get to a show or two.

  9. avatar
    melissa | 14 October 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Happy Birthday to Eve & Aurora!!

    I'm really sorry to hear about the gig last night SK πŸ™ hopefully the next one will be a whole lot better!

    All the best :)xx

  10. avatar
    ml68 | 14 October 2008 at 10:49 pm #

    yep that furkin sux…but its just further proof that there a vast majority of idiots out there…unfortunately they outnumber the people with good taste and intelligence…its a sad but undeniable fact….

  11. avatar
    jax | 14 October 2008 at 10:54 pm #

    I have been there.. but with a band where we could play off of each other and still make a fuss.. ** Happy BDay to E & A! Sing them a song for me^^

  12. avatar
    captain mission | 14 October 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    happy birthdays to the girls, have a great day.

    oh i missed that ‘date’ totally, wow i must get my radar fixed. however saturday night = locked in.

  13. avatar
    Shawn El | 14 October 2008 at 11:49 pm #

    Hey SK,

    I’m a teacher and it happens to us too – often I spend hours doing my lesson plans and whatnot, thinking my class is going to go beautifully, and I look forward to all the wonderful and amazing things I’m going to teach the kids about life, how cool the ideas are…and what happens? I go teach my class and it falls completely flat, it doesn’t work at all (insert fart sound, etc.). But when the stars align right once in a while it’s totally worth it.

  14. avatar
    the dean | 15 October 2008 at 12:00 am #

    That’s just crap. I feel for you. Keep in mind that you are a genuine genius who has got loads and loads of friends, fiends and fans, a disparate diaspora admittedly who love you and what you do.
    Manly on a Friday night should be good but I’d be asking for the dough regardless.

  15. avatar
    ml68 | 15 October 2008 at 1:00 am #

    mmm… I see what you mean about advertising…the old manly boat shed website fails to mention yer sat gig!

    Old Manly Boatshed

    Coming up at Old Manly Boatshed
    When What / Who Cost Genre
    17 October
    9pm Chase The Sun, Blue Zone, Botanics $10 Rock & Pop Gig Info
    20 October
    8.30pm Brett Nichols, Wayne Dixon, Peter Egner $8 Stand-up Comedy Gig Info
    27 October
    8.30pm Steve Philp, Bruce Griffiths, Ryan Belleville (Canada) $8 Stand-up Comedy Gig Info

  16. avatar
    kat | 15 October 2008 at 1:08 am #


    that SUX but you are not washed up or old. i'm on my way to see the walkmen if we even make it on time. i haven't felt well, speaking of feeling old. screw it, i need a few drinks for my nerves…

    happy bday to e & a

    bye fiends

  17. avatar
    Baz | 15 October 2008 at 1:49 am #

    I saw the show last night and thought it was great. Despite the poor turn-out you were truly professional and continued to deliver an entertaining show. I loved your versions of Wrong Turn and Randwick Bells. Other highlights were Keeper civil wartime lament.
    Initially I was hoping you would just call it off but it ended up being a triumph over very difficult circumstances. Kind words are fine but I’m donating $20 right now to help compensate the hole in last night’s earnings.

  18. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 15 October 2008 at 2:48 am #

    What do you expect from a fallen, malevolent, sadistic, inane, unenlightened, violent and stupid human race that still slaughters and eats the dead flesh of our fellow creatures. I’m really getting close to insanity and I blame it on humanity. All of my tireless efforts and writings for the animal kingdom have accomplished nothing. Suicided by society. In my cat’s small tiny eyes I can see all of eternity and millions of his feline peers are irreverently killed and butchered every day in places like superpower China.

  19. avatar
    ross b | 15 October 2008 at 2:53 am #

    I agree with Baz, i enjoyed the show and felt much better for coming along to see/hear you perform. Admittedly it was a bit of a struggle to leave the door last night and with barely any traffic on the roads, and being a cool wet Tuesday like you said, it did feel like that kind of night where people just wanted to stay home, i certainly felt that way initially…but am very glad I came out. It was good.

    so there was no money to pay you huh? that’s fucked!

    I hope Manly goes well, it’s a colourful place on a Saturday night, hopefully it’ll be a fun gig!
    Cheers, ross b

  20. avatar
    matt davison | 15 October 2008 at 3:10 am #

    Kurt Talk to him man…..we got ta get him here AKL only.

    There will be a reasonable paydirt I can Assure that.

    Cheer up Killer, you are as good as it gets man!

    Happy B Girls


  21. avatar
    Polydora | 15 October 2008 at 4:15 am #

    Happy Birthday to Eve and Aurora.

    As far as the washed up feeling goes, I’ll share what a friend said to me today: “Don’t worry, it’s just a phase.”

    I believe him. You can too if you want; I won’t mind.


  22. avatar
    markobears | 15 October 2008 at 4:23 am #

    Local punk bands used to make flyers that said stuff like “Free Metallica concert” Sure the crowd was unhappy but a larga unhappy crowd indeed.

  23. avatar
    persephone2u | 15 October 2008 at 4:35 am #

    Find the dipshit guy that called you up and ring his neck! Don’t feel bad — the guys who call you up at home begging you to play their hotels/clubs etc, are all sad sorry losers. They could’ve at least advertised you if they’d wanted a lot of people, I mean, really! You’re not old and you’re definitely not washed up either…this kind of thing happens to everyone in bands no matter who they are.

    Take care, off to Heathyrow now…

  24. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 15 October 2008 at 5:37 am #

    Steve – Just reading about your crappy night really hurts me – I feel like I’m taking it so personally – like – how could anyone DO THAT TO STEVEN KILBEY? Don’t you KNOW who this man IS?
    I’m sorry Steve – I can feel the horrible experience thousands of miles away. πŸ™ And it didn’t even happen to me. I wasn’t there but you made me feel like I was and it was awful.

    But alas, you are NOT old or washed up. Good lord – you are lovely and beautiful and more talented than ever; I just want to wring the necks of the morons who did this to you! Anyway…

    Happiest of birthdays to your lovely doodles, Eve and Aurora. Nine years old! How it just seems like yesterday…

    I remember briefly speaking with you at a show 9 years ago – it was September 14th, 1999 in Santa Barbara, CA. Don’t worry, I’m not crazy – I just have this odd Rain Man-type thing with dates. You guys seemed to have a really bad night/gig (MWP stormed off stage) and it was the day after your b-day and your girls were one month away from being born! You didn’t seem too happy though. It was a shitty small club but I thought you were quite amazing, as usual.

    Jesus, time does fly – like it was nothing at all. I have to go drink heavily or something now. πŸ˜‰
    love always,

  25. avatar
    davem | 15 October 2008 at 6:04 am #

    I remember you saying on TTB a couple of weeks ago that you didn’t fancy it.
    You deserve, and will get, much much better.
    Washed up? No way. You KNOW you’re making brilliant music.

  26. avatar
    Mr. Ricky | 15 October 2008 at 6:52 am #

    Happy Birthday Doodles!!!

    See you soon Steven!!!
    I miss you guys!!!
    Can’t wait to come back!!!


  27. avatar
    lily was here | 15 October 2008 at 8:39 am #

    You always run yourself down so im guessing it was still better than you say but Im so sorry to hear about the turnout πŸ™ I feel for you, wish i could turn it around for you. Im amazed at the number of people i know in Sydney who never go out to gigs anymore when I, who lives so far away, dies just about every time you perform a gig Im not at. I know lots wont go to ANYTHING if its midweek .. whereas Id see that as a bonus! The downfall of having commitments I guess. Nevertheless, will make it to Sydney for Painkiller.. rain, hail or shine.

    MANLY gig is this SAT night 18th Oct at 8.30pm at the Old Manly Boatshed 40 The Corso, Manly. They dont have a proper website. I remember the venue last time i was in Sydney; it looked like a great spot; real warm and cosy. I hope hope hope yr gigs the same!

    Previous night FRI 17th Oct is the Sculpture By The Sea party gig at the Bondi Pavillion but no idea what time it is!

    Love xoxox

    ps oodles of good wishes to the doodles!

  28. avatar
    fantasticandy | 15 October 2008 at 8:43 am #

    no LOCAL promotion means no chance.
    just say no in future.

    you can post on all the internet boards in the world,
    but ya can’t beat a couple of nice posters and an add or two in the local press and radio.

    i can understand that when that happens to you solo, it must hurt like hell.

    it’s just a glitch…..
    saturday will be fine.

    happy birthday to eve and aurora!

  29. avatar
    12str | 15 October 2008 at 8:46 am #

    how can they NOT pay you?! you had an agreement…Youre to kind Killah..Youre not to blame for poor advertising..
    im sure the 15 people will turn up next time around, you have that effect on people you know, even if you think you made a bad performance…kilbey on stage can never be bad..

    all the best


  30. avatar
    jactin | 15 October 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Excuse me stating the obvious Killer, but you’ve gotta get a publicist – not sure that your audience are necessarily out to swill.

  31. avatar
    eek | 15 October 2008 at 11:44 am #

    Click here to read a nice article on the Art Groupie exhibition.

  32. avatar
    chrome3d | 15 October 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    That sucks big time. DonΒ΄t worry, next time will be better and then youΒ΄ll forget this one ever happened.

  33. avatar
    veleska1970 | 15 October 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    sorry i haven’t been around…i haven’t had a day off work in over two weeks…..

    and sorry about your horrible gig. like davem said, you deserve so much better. you are not washed up. we love you and believe in you wholeheartedly, steve.

    happy birthday to the doodles!!

  34. avatar
    Wiley Strafer | 15 October 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    Killa appearance at 1:22

  35. avatar
    jeanz | 15 October 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    I don’t get it….how come you weren’t paid ?????
    I wld have thought you’d have a playing fee no matter what the attendance was……….
    I mean its the promotor that fucked up…for starters a 500 capacity venue for an accoustic gig ??? come on
    and he obviously didn’t promote the gig…..
    oh well…these things do my little brains in

  36. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 15 October 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    get the money up front next time, so it won’t be “all for nothing”, looking forward to my great church gig in the sky…
    Jonny Church

  37. avatar
    William | 15 October 2008 at 7:37 pm #

    Just as there are dreadful nights like that one — there have been and will most certainly be more evenings that will see you decimate people’s very sense of reality with the killer-spawned power cosmic — leaving all in attendance grasping and gasping for even a shred more of your vision of pure, main-lined, unyielding, soul searing, mind fucking (in a good way) R-O-C-K.

    So, you know. Don’t forget that part.

    You know it’s true.


  38. avatar
    seoigh | 15 October 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    Well that’s no fun.

    Better days and worse will come. One way or the other, you’ve written some of my favorite stuff ever.

  39. avatar
    CSTCoach | 15 October 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    i’ve had that same experience with seminars. it’s due to piss poor promotion, not you. i’ve had seminars in my own city with barely anyone showing up, and yet i can go to europe and pack them in on 2 weeks notice. It’s all in the promoter.

    i don’t like the sound of your not getting paid, though. That wasn’t the up front agreement. It’s his problem that he didn’t bring in a larger crowd. He should be out of pocket, not you. The not getting paid thing has also happened to me, but only once. That’s when you’ve gotta lay a little bricklayer on em.

    Hope the next ones go better, killa!

    Happy birthday to eve n aurora πŸ™‚

  40. avatar
    steve kilbey | 15 October 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    dear guys
    the poor guy seemed so generally miserable that it seemed boorish to threaten him or even try to be nasty
    easier just to leave
    hope we have a better experience on saturday
    a happy karmic postscript is that that very same night
    some incredibly generous subscriber donated the exact amount i was to be paid from the gig
    (warm n appreciative thanks to mr I.S.)
    (and to everybody else who ever has donated to me blogge!)
    stay tuned
    im taking doodles to school
    gonna have a walk on beach with nk n woofle
    then will write about patti smith at opera house

  41. avatar
    tim | 15 October 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    ryan is right, if no one knows about it….then you are lucky to get 15…chin up…you have nothing to prove mister kilbey..nothing…you are one of greatest god damn vocalist/bassist/composer
    author/poet/artist that i have had priveledge to experience..don’t you realize who you are? Who cares about everyone else…you are steve fucking kilbey and you fucking rock…go out and slay em tonight!

  42. avatar
    melissa | 15 October 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    OH MY GOD, YOU WENT TO SEE PATTI! Awesome .. can’t wait to hear about it πŸ˜€


  43. avatar
    CSTCoach | 15 October 2008 at 11:14 pm #

    Ahh, i hear ya killa. While it pisses me off to see someone stiff you, i can understand why you might choose to turn the other cheek. Judging by the karma that played out, it seems like it was the right thing to do. Saturday will be better.

    Also wanted to mention that i wuz just catching up after a weekend outta town, and really digging the twisted tale of mr. weird. As always, TTB, Inc. peddles quality blog.

  44. avatar
    Melquiades | 16 October 2008 at 3:06 am #

    sorry to hear about the gig.

    happy birthday Eve and Aurora.

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