posted on July 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm
mo jo

mo jo

spring has come to sydney in the middle of winter

my life is stranger than most strangers

a long time ago in another universe

i was a junky

and every day a very good friend of mine

who was also a junky would pick me up in her VW

and we would make the long drive out to cabramatta in sydneys west

where in the mid nineties there was very good heroin to be had cheap

my friend was a musician and we drove out there which usually took an hour

and on the way out we were sick and twitching

we arrive and she always waits in the car while i duck up the stairs

up to a karaoke place but no one up there is fucking singing

theres a guy at the door

hes got half a gram of smack in a 150 buck wrapper

you can have as many as you like

the stuff comes straight from vietnam presumably

its fucking deadly good

it was killing people

man you bought your stuff and you fucked off quick

these cats selling it are hard faced bastards

jump in the car

we drive to this weird remote kinda park thing in the middle of nowhere

and me and my friend would hit up our sweet poison and the mood would change

everything looked so refreshed in the light of that fix

as we drive home we are relaxed and loquacious

drive so politely and within all the laws to the tee

this happens day in day out for a long time

on our drives out there and back

we chart the courses of other junky musicians

my friend has all the latest goss on whos using the stuff

at the same time i came across these records by glide which really impressed me

glide were chucked in with shoegazer but in fact they were much more than that

they were around mid nineties

hell they even did a gig with us

william approached me

its an honour to be playing with you he said and shook my hand

i think i told him how much i liked glide

and how good it was to have them playing with us

i listened a lot to a record called shuffle off to buffalo

it was no surprise when my friend began to mention williams name

on our daily pilgrimage to sydneys heroin mecca

the music somehow suggested as much in some subtle way

only a junky would understand

a lot of shoegazer is perfect heroin music

anyway glide really had something going for them

before william who was the singer and mainman went and overdosed

one day when she picked me up

my friend said

william died . he OD ed

i sat there feeling sick and worn out and sad

my first impression was to envy him

that he had found some warm safe haven in the embrace of an opiate overdose

this would not be an unpleasant way to die

youd go out on a carpet of dreams

obviously my thinking was warped twisted and totally fucked up

but in the end i just shrugged

another victim of her-o-in

i imagined i’d probably be coming along pretty soon myself

i didnt care

life as a junky was a half-life as Karin used to say

my impression of william arthur is that he had some real fucking talent

these songs anticipate a lot of what was to come

he was an audacious witty poignant writer

the band play with impressive fury and restraint

the guitars often sound orchestral and ambiguous


i am having the pleasure of singing 7 songs at a glide night

vanguard newt-town 21 and 22 of august

one day i wrote a song about those days

and its called keeper

the speed seems to have slowed me down

we talk about william from glide

the names of the towns go past

im driving on the wrong side


37 Responses to “we talk about william from glide”

  1. avatar
    captain mission | 31 July 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    i loved glide, saw em a couple of times and they were greatness.
    love that song to, it get’s me every time.

  2. avatar
    Cath | 31 July 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    never quite heard it as her-o- in. Hero goes within, into the inner worlds to fight epic battles, dream visions and go to magical places, while the body atrophies the heart grows weaker and one is left for dead! So glad it did not claim you….the word junky is like mud it stix, and is an awful unnecessary stigma that artists should not have to bare…..once a plant medicine, our laws prohibit it, as it be to strong a doorkeeper….and the door for many is one way! RIP for those who met the ferrymen…for the rest the road goes on

  3. avatar
    heather daydream | 31 July 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Warm as the pilbara night

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 31 July 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Donnette Thayer said she thought you loved that life and actually wanted to be a junkie.
    She’d know better than most, I guess, but when you write about those days it seems more like you have good memories of the effect of the gear, rather than the lifestyle you led to acquire it.
    I dunno.

  5. avatar
    Eskaedor | 31 July 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    I couldn’t stand heroin. I felt ghost-like. My friend and his girl were using 150 bucks a day. He was a complete junky and so was she. All the veins in her arms were collapsed and she was shooting into the top of her hand. She was an aerobics instructor. Crazy. I only used for half a year then I was done. I didn’t enjoying throwing up all the time right after fixing, and sometimes I wouldn’t make it to the bathroom. I’d wake up in the hall. I knew how long I’d been out because I could still remember the last song I was listening to on the stereo before I collapsed. When I was settled, smoking a cigarette on the couch and just zoning out to tunes was all I did. Pretty much I would always fall asleep after a couple hours. I don’t see my friend anymore because I don’t want to be around that scene. Just made me sad.

  6. avatar
    Chris | 1 August 2014 at 12:13 am #

    intensely poignant sk

  7. avatar
    Anthony | 1 August 2014 at 1:29 am #

    I love Glide. I love The Church. I’ve never used drugs so while I feel on the outside of what it must be like and what it may open within a person creatively, I’ve always enjoyed the falling into the music made by those who have. So glad you didn’t overdose, particularly as I think the music you’re creating in the last 10 years is even better than what you did in your 1st 10. Or 2nd 10. I wish I was still in Australia to experience Glide night & more of your solo, The Church & Martin Kennedy gigs. Thank you!

  8. avatar
    Eskaedor | 1 August 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Thankfully you’re still with us Steve. Using for as long as you did, dodging bullets, so to speak. Cheers!

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 August 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    52 years of straight-edge sobriety here, so can’t exactly relate.
    But your descriptions of the effect of heroin manage to convey the actual allure of it extremely well.
    Very clever writing, that.

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 August 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    Annik Honore has died.
    I’m very sad now.
    Hopefully, she and Ian are together at last.

  11. avatar
    veleska1970 | 2 August 2014 at 2:04 am #

    This made me sad to read it. But at the same time I’m grateful you didn’t lose your own life.

  12. avatar
    Craig | 2 August 2014 at 2:59 am #

    5 weeks after mom died (which the 6-year anniversary is tomorrow for me here in the states), Robin and I finally found the courage to go into her room to sort things out. After all day going through her belongings and holding back the tears we came to the final task. Disassembling her bed. While doing so, Robin discovered a bank deposit bag and handed it to me. I opened the bag to discover the real reason mom had died. It hadn’t been heart related per se. In the bag was a spoon, needles, and a prescription that had just been filled the day before for HydroMorphine. 17 pills were missing. Mom had overdosed. My life will never be the same. Now I sit here writing this and reflect with regret. All the ones I loved the most are gone now. Including Robin my wife and best friend for so many years. I miss them all terribly. Your entry today and the anniversary tomorrow all sort of pushed me to write. Sorry it couldn’t have been a happy story with a happy ending. Sometimes life turns that way I suppose.

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 2 August 2014 at 12:01 pm #

      god bless you man. may your mum RIP

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 2 August 2014 at 6:16 pm #

        I hear u re prescribed medicated drugs. During my mums final weeks I heard her say ‘I want to live’. I was never sure if that meant in the kingdom of heaven therefore her choosing to accept Jesus Christ or she wanted to continue living in this world a bit longer. I knew she was suffering cause of spiritual warfare so I keptup the prayer vigil & contact for her daily strengthening & deliverance. It was when she said she was in pain & the medical staff decided to syringe by mouth liqid morphine. She said the pain was only 3/10 so y give something so strong. I knew it would b downhill for her physical body from there. She wood be unable to help herself in regards pulling her body up the bed when she had difficulty breathing etc. The hospitals way of euthanasia on the elderly. I have peace that God saw everything. Although it was a sad & difficult time for many. I find comfort in that I was given a vision of her skipping in the spring fields towards somewhere in one of her usual cotton nighties she used to wear. As if revealing ‘on her way to heaven’. We shall not be moved’, the next line in the song goes.

  13. avatar
    Bernadette Keys | 2 August 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Glide are great but my favourite were My Bloody Valentine and I absolutely love Swervedriver’s ‘Feel so real’ The Church were/are not the type of band that gets people onto drugs….unlike some other international australian artist who deserves to remain nameless. But you still haven’t given me back that fifty….I really need it….gotta go to the docs mate


  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 August 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    You say I only hear what I want to..
    No just kidding lyrics from song that is forever playing at wk.

    You say SK that GWM introduced u to her o in. (Yr play on words).
    I say i had last beers on the last performance i saw of GWM in 2006.

    When I heard it spoken that they would be my last beers. I thought God meant 4 the night.
    So far 8 yrs without a beer.
    GWM had u take something up & I had to give something up.

    My constant running joke is ‘if I knew they were to be my last 2 that night I would have had four.

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 August 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Glide never did a damn thing in the UK, so I’ve no idea who or what this is. With a name like that they’d’ve got murdered by the poxy UK music press of the day, anyway. Glide – bit like Ride, etc.
    Strangely, I knew someone who always said Koppes’s songs seemed to glide. That I do understand.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 August 2014 at 1:52 am #

    Steve, what did you think when you met that goth chick who was walking around with an actual rat on her shoulder?

    • avatar
      thetimebeing | 6 August 2014 at 7:06 pm #

      whos asking?

      • avatar
        Anonymous | 7 August 2014 at 12:07 am #

        Come on, Killa, there’s got to be a great yarn in there!

        • avatar
          thetimebeing | 8 August 2014 at 10:34 am #

          tell me who you are and i’ll tell you everything

          • avatar
            7 Types Of Ambiguity | 9 August 2014 at 4:03 am #

            Ah, you’re Steve Kilbey – you’ve never told ANYbody EVERYthing!

          • avatar
            thetimebeing | 9 August 2014 at 4:30 pm #

            how is your english summer?

  17. avatar
    john browne | 6 August 2014 at 6:27 am #

    hi, through an American magazines ” the big take over” inspirational writeing I know of glide I love glide I love William arthur it hurts to know a talent that great is gone but not ever forgotten glide songs are like a champagne rush that bubble over you too fast. once those songs take root they are devastatingly good. do him proud steve thank u all and William for the songs jb

  18. Kraig
    Kraig | 6 August 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Steve, haven’t commented in a long while. So glad your still not a a smack attic and so glad you made it out ok my friend. Im still a little sad you commented on an email about my orders a few months back it was kind of mean, telling me I stole your products that I’ve been waiting for since Feburary, they sent them out 3 times I think from two different merchants, but I finally got The Church Psychedelic Symphony one time, but never did get your solo about stuff I ordered, yes it seemed weird and strange. I guess I’ll chock it up to the leprechauns hding behind the post office bushes LOL? I’ve been a long time fan 25+ years so much to the point of worshipping your paintings, have Lonely City in my living room, all your music, and most art prints. All are beautiful, but the response I got from you one day was disturbing, I surely hope you are ok my friend. You seemed defensive and mad about me ripping you off, which I have never done, nor ever will do, but I chock it up to the bad taste of the shit representatives and junkies you guys have had in the past. So all in all, I still love your stuff but still waiting for some sort of an apology that I’ll never get most likely. Looking forward to the new and different Church, been with you through thick and think, Afternoon Fix, Baal, Forget, and the good song Keeper. I forgive and still love your tunes, blog, art, and all you do anyway. I surely hope you mistook me for someone else. I’m still waiting for the goods that I’ll probably never receive whether you believe me or not. I’m not a scoundrel or thief but in disbelief. I want to feel good about the tunes I once enjoyed like I did before that incident. I hope you understand I’m not guilty of anything, just of post office negligence. God Bless and Big Cheers! Kraig

    • Kraig
      Kraig | 8 August 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      ‘smack attic’ I mean smack addict, stupid me, so glad you’re not a addict anymore, we all have our faults and i’m the forgiving type…anyway sorry Steve for the long drawn out whine session. Man dude…Psychedelic Symphony is just one fucking awesome show with both audio and video, it’s soo damn good to hear The Church with an Orchestra, it’s as though you guys just ‘belong’ with that, its good to hear and is one excellent show caught in time! When do we get to hear the extra songs that were dropped from this show? Were they dropped because of time constraints or copyright for the songs? Would be awesome to get the whole continuation of the show as fans and concert goers saw it that night, but nonetheless, just glad this was caught that night for The Church archives, long live The Church! Cheers

  19. avatar
    Michel | 6 August 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I have never heard of Glide… I will check them.
    I absolutely forbid you, Steve Kilbey, to die of OD in the nineties. Because we need our dose of Keeper, After Everything, Espionage, Nothing Seeker, Transmigration, Unified Field, Anchorage, Lowboy, Old Black Spirit, Pit Stop, Lorelei, Poison (yes, we need our dose of Poison too !), and all these hundreds of Psychedelic Symphonies that may appear after 2000 if you survive.
    Music is the only real drug. It had to be said once again !

  20. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 6 August 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Looking forward to that gig

  21. avatar
    sodface | 8 August 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Steve, watched the latest DVD tonight, incredible. Saw you in the back parking lot before a show, wanted to say hello but you were talking to a gal and I didn’t want to be rude. Wish I could have just shook your hand and mumbled a clumsy thank you for everything. Keep on rocking. Keep on painting. Keep on writing.

  22. avatar
    Kohl Ette | 11 August 2014 at 10:21 am #

    no rats behind the arass

  23. avatar
    Dosty | 16 August 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Oh Steve … that is so sad. I met William at a gig once. He was such a gentleman. So polite. And his music was beautiful. I still play Shuffle Off to Buffalo. There’s something timeless there. I thought he died of some weird heart condition but to hear you say it was a heroin OD makes it seem so much more tragic, coz that guy had a true poetic spirit and was taken away before his time.

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