posted on May 8, 2006 at 9:16 pm

morning fiends
how are ya?
obviously im still pretty broken up bout grant
and all those regretful things that happen
when someone you love dies
like something i didnt tell ya
after grant and i were reconciled last year
a couple of weeks later
grant called…
hi steven, im down here in sydney
oh dear not a good time for me grant…
i gotta do this…
i gotta do that….
but ah, thanks fer callin’
give us a ring tomorrow or something..
grant sounded sad
i knew he probably wouldnt call tomorrow
he hung up sadly…
ok steven, i’ll speak to ya soon…
and that was it
of course
now im not gonna beat myself up for it
how were either of us to know…?
i had other more important things to do…
(yeah, right….what was that…yoga? painting? shopping?)
i missed a last opportunity to hang out with my friend
people always ask me when i play in brissy
is grant coming?
will macca be here tonight?
“ah, i dunno…i didnt call him….maybe”
you see i thought i had all the time in the world
just like the last time i talked to my dad
“sure dad….i’ll catch up with ya later…im a little bizzy right now”
yeah procrastinate
hey we’re all gonna be around forever, right?
now i know that grant, wherever he is
understands and forgives

but ya see where im going with this, dont ya?
if theres someone ya love
and ya feuding…
fer god sake make it up NOW
dont put it off
ring em up
“lifes too short, i love ya, lets get together”
cos it could be them
it could be you..
be smart, my fiendss
call em now
whattya got to lose?

lassa nite i listen to snow job
the second frosties album
(grant always called us the frosties)
so different to that first album
the levity has faded somewhat
but with tim powles drumming
this one really rocks
if you do hear this youll notice i dont sing so much
my voice wassa pretty shot with drugs by then
and i was so uninspired i could hardly be bothered
but grant does a great job
and by christ
these songs fucking rock, baybee
listen to grants grreat guitar solos
a lotta pentup energy and raw emotion
he was a sensitive guy who could shake it!!
theres some beautiful songs here
i will no longer avoid this record
the aviatrix, a song about amelia earhardt (spelt wrongly?)
listen to the layers of guitars at the end as they peel off
before polinskis beautiful ambient section….
running from the body
we watched a doco on the mamas n papas
and we both identified with john phillips drug hell
and we were taken by their harmonies
we tried to incorporate those harmonies
angela carter
a song about one of my fave authors
grant sings sorrowfully as hed known her personally

you dont know
i wrote the music
grant came up with the words and singing
“you dont know what life is
you dont know where life is taking you…”
sadly prophetic

i love this song
once again i did the music
grant the singing
another message to ab?
“i just wanna know how long
ya gonna keep me locked outta yer empire?”
i just couldnt believe hed come up with lines like that
straight off the cuff
but that was his genius

weightless and wild
wow i actually sing this one
a lonesome fucked up song
“watch me run a crroked mile” i sing
while underneath grant sings
“youve lost the world”

listen to the string of images at end
memories from grants early days
the country doctor going blind
i only just found out grants dad who died when grant
was very small
was a doctor

grant was haunted by his dead father
i guess he never met
i remember one night in new york when we were playing
grant came running into the dressing room
youll never guess whos here, steven?
who grant who?
he got a strange look in his eyes
“our fathers, steven, our fathers are here…”
mmm, i’ll never forget the way that made me feel
for a second i wanted to believe it…

that was grant
funny and sad at the same time
he wasnt a saint and he had some wicked putdowns
and sometimes he could seem a little snooty
he could nae abide swearing
nor did he like dirty jokes

i dunno
i dunno
i dunno
his funeral is on friday in brisbane
how am i gonna see lindy and amanda and robert
without completely losing my nonexistent composure
i dont wanna go to grants funeral
i wanna go up there
and see him appear
glass of red wine in his hand
grin on his face

grant was on the front page of the sydney morning herald yessaday
i KNOW that woulda given him a kick
just like i said once
youll become immortal on the day that ya die…

anyway ya gotta say he went out onna good one
he beat the chchur to win his aria award
(we beat streets of my town in89)
he had some money from his emi deal
he was doing pretty goode
i wish id come across him at “rics” in new farm, bris
drinking his ice teas and smoking his stuyvos
i’d wrap my arms around him
and say
grantley, i had the strangest dream…..

but now thats too late

if there is someone in yer life like that
let em know

44 Responses to “wouldnt ya know it, thats how life ends…”

  1. avatar
    Centuryhouse | 8 May 2006 at 10:34 pm #

    Some beautiful words said here about Grant, in the last few days – it speaks well of him that so many care so much.

    It’s strange how you only fully appreciate something when it’s out of reach and gone.

    Daniel W.

  2. avatar
    the dean | 8 May 2006 at 10:44 pm #

    you’ll lose your composure but go.

  3. avatar
    echobaseone | 8 May 2006 at 11:10 pm #

    civil war lament makes me weepy already…i’m almost afraid to listen to it now.

  4. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 8 May 2006 at 11:18 pm #

    thanks esskay, i guess i will let my father know i still love him so, even though i wanted him to see it in that movie, “life by the drop”, guess not…

  5. avatar
    LittleSecret | 8 May 2006 at 11:35 pm #


    It’s the hardest thing in the world saying your final goodbye. Trust me, your composure will be the furthest thing from your mind.
    You may not want to go to the funeral, no one ever does. Go, say goodbye and give Lindy and Amanda a loving hug.

  6. avatar
    francisxavier | 8 May 2006 at 11:44 pm #

    Steven this is a “Ramble”

    For me,Grants voice harboured a thousand memories and childhood vulnerbilities …listening to his work with you especially the debut Jack Frost album is like someone poking a feather around in your head.
    “yeah and someone said …”
    Its the early days of the Nineties and im in the middle of a freaking Irish winter, Dublin is covered in snow and as i walk through the blizzard i remember being in a trance listening to this precious album.
    “Plane crash in the desert” …”shirt stuck to your skin”.. “i opened up my arms walked out underneath the palms” what a contrast to the white hills of Howth ..then enter that great guitar line followed by “i know you can keep me warm” – magic poignant atmosphere and i was a true believer.
    “Even as we speak” is an absolutely stunner and i remember keeping it on a loop in the battered sony walkman ..i was really gripped by Grants voice and the vulnerbility he managed to radiate and then it was over with the piano tinking.
    The melding of yours and Grants voice and how you both seemed to be serendipitouly brought together for this great colaboration -the spirit moves on that album.
    The news is shocking and we wish you strength during this difficult time.
    You both share the same gift of uplifting melancholy which is a balm for these times.
    Grant leaves behind his Family and friends and his immortal songs.may he rest in peace.
    Love and light

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 May 2006 at 11:51 pm #

    you are so right sk
    carpe diem

    shower the
    people you
    love with love
    — james taylor

    go to brisbane and
    celebrate grant’s
    life with your
    friends and his
    you’ll never
    regret it

    with love

  8. avatar
    Daberhasher | 9 May 2006 at 12:27 am #

    true words of love…
    thanks for the look at the songs
    and the man behind them…

    i listened to Jack Frost on my a.m. bike commute today… many thoughts flitting through my head, some songs played twice, fields and trees colored further by the beauty you two created… then Didn’t Know Where I Was came up, and my pedals went faster, much faster, thanks to the power of ROCK… that is a perfect record…
    thanks again for sharing…


  9. avatar
    fergal | 9 May 2006 at 12:47 am #

    nice one sk
    “you won’t find it again”
    “don’t call me gone”

  10. avatar
    captainmission | 9 May 2006 at 1:36 am #

    once you signed my steve kilbey book of poems with the words ‘go’ and with the greatest respect i can only say to you, ‘go.’
    ‘composture’ is meant to be lost sometimes, it’s quite liberating but you know that….

  11. avatar
    OneAndTheSame | 9 May 2006 at 2:02 am #

    Driving to work yesterday morning, I hear Bye Bye Pride on Vega. “What a treat!” I think. Crank up the volume and sing along out loud… then to hear Angela Catterns announce that Grant had passed. Erm… hang on! ?? That’s not how it works. ‘fraid so… Still kinda doesn’t compute.

    Steve – you may or may not remember me. Virginia. Friend and former co-worker of Peter K. City Hub. And whattaya know? We’ve been neighbours in the Bondi vicinity…

    Take care, Steve. I’ll have to dust off my Jack Frost 45s and Go-Bees LPS, and have a warble in memorium…

  12. avatar
    buckmoose | 9 May 2006 at 2:21 am #

    As I enjoyed yesterday’s post on Jack Frost I, I hoped you’d do a similar post on Snow Job but doubted you’d want to revisit that time…thank you for proving me wrong. I love these “creation stories” of great music. You could do posts like this for every album you’ve ever made.

    I have you to thank for turning me on to Angela Carter’s work (I think I saw an interview where you mentioned her)…I frequently reach for her Collected Short Stories when I want my mind bent in a way that quickens my pulse at the same time. And Grant actually knew her? Amazing…small world indeed.

    Listened all day at work to 16 Lovers Lane, over and over. Magnificent.

    Make the trip to the funeral…you need to see these people and they need to see you. Funerals are sad times but they are also sharing times. Partake.

  13. avatar
    Tony Pucci | 9 May 2006 at 2:29 am #

    you are meant to go
    and lose your composure
    it’s part of the healing process
    grant and his memory
    will be able to shine even brighter
    in your heart
    when the veil of misery
    is washed away with tears

    you mean a lot to us too, SK
    we loveya
    thanks for your honesty
    and memories
    these past few days

  14. avatar
    mike a | 9 May 2006 at 3:03 am #

    steve – so sorry to hear about Grant, I can tell by the way you write about him that he was a dear friend.

    I think some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard came off of Snow Job – songs like Aviatrix, Running From the Body, Little Song, and Haze. Your voices blended perfectly – I had to listen very hard during some of the songs to tell if it was you or Grant doing the singing – and the choruses were amazing!! The entire album rocks – what an achievement!!

    What can I say about the first Jack Frost album – I bought it about 1-1/2 years ago and was pleasantly surprised!! Civil War lament is a haunting song and very emotional. Ramble reminds me of a sunny summer day.. Trapeze boy reminds me of my neighbor when I was a child.

    I’m very glad that you were able to work together and produce such beautiful music – we’ll miss his voice and his music..

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 May 2006 at 3:04 am #

    sometimes the risk is too enormous
    to lay your heart on the line

  16. avatar
    laetitia | 9 May 2006 at 3:13 am #


    you’ve been writing such beautiful things about grant these last days, i’m sure from where he is he can hear you and knows how much you’re going to miss him. the records you did together will forever remind us of the wonderful connection you two had.

    thank you for sharing your pain with us, and i hope all the kind words from your fans are helping you a bit feel better 🙂



  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 May 2006 at 3:14 am #

    If it were you going into the ground, Steven

    Macca would be there

    Half a carton of Styvos in his pockets

    And a riff in his head he’d dedicate to you.

    Fuck composure.

    Just go.

  18. avatar
    sue cee | 9 May 2006 at 3:53 am #

    Steve, dont feel bad about what you could’ve said or done the last time you spoke to each other, we’re all guilty of that. Go to the service and dont worry about losing your composure. Its so hard but it’ll help and he’d want you there. love xxx
    PS after that, celebrate his life, his memory with good friends and then go write a beautiful song or paint a picture

  19. avatar
    cos | 9 May 2006 at 4:00 am #

    Thanks for all of these memories, Steve(n). I love Snow Job, it definitely does rock.

    I’m sure you’ll do what you feel you’re able to do, and I’m sure Grant will understand either way.

  20. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 9 May 2006 at 4:06 am #

    I think you must know you have to go say ‘so long for now’ to Grant on Friday. Composure is overrated. I was 19 when I went to my first funeral for a 20 year old friend who died in a motorcycle accident; I think I held my roommate’s hand so hard I almost broke her fingers. Think of us if it gets really tough; we’ll be with you in spirit, holding your hand.

    Words will never be enough to thank you for the beauty and kindness you’ve written about Grant, your friendship and the gorgeous music you made together. I wish there was something we could say or do to make this easier for you, but I know the only way out is through.

    BTW don’t you dare fucking go anywhere for about 40 more years – or at least until I lose my mind and don’t remember who you are and all the magic and wonder you’ve given me. I feel like an idiot for saying that in front of everyone. But life’s too short for that too I guess.


  21. avatar
    sue cee | 9 May 2006 at 4:06 am #

    yep, cos said it so much better but like I said, its a good lesson to us all, but dont beat yourself up about it

  22. avatar
    sue cee | 9 May 2006 at 4:08 am #

    and ditto for denise’s words! Thats it, you’ll know whats best.

  23. avatar
    wondrous one | 9 May 2006 at 4:45 am #

    sunday night in a flying dream hitting the wire and in that moment of falling, in the clarity that comes just upon waking and perhaps upon dying, I felt the peace and sheer joy of loving you and the endless inspiring courage of your revelations, blessed and brave journey dear wanderer

  24. avatar
    spikeymikey | 9 May 2006 at 5:25 am #

    Sorry Steve – not nice news. Your words on Grant were so nice and very honest.

    See you in London and hope the smiles return…

  25. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 May 2006 at 6:49 am #

    the church and the go-betweens are in my life since i was 16 or 17 years old. now i am 37! i`m so said that a your friend died. i love the emotions and the energie in his songs and his voice. last year i was on the go-betweens show in cologne. it was great! i felt like i was 17 years old again.
    best wishes from cologne

  26. avatar
    oldchurchfan | 9 May 2006 at 8:27 am #


  27. avatar
    Fandorin | 9 May 2006 at 9:26 am #

    The Church vs. The GoBees was in my head always a bit like the Biitls vs Stones- i’ve always been a Church man, and the GBs seemed often too soft for me. Boy, what an idiot i’ve been– i got into the GoBees via the Frosties and Grant’s solo stuff before I understood the magic of Forster, too. Hello, we are the Go-Betweens and we’re here to bring a little superb sunshine, magic and poetry into your life, while I preferred Hello, we are The Church and we want to rattle at the basement portals of your deepest unconscious, we want to play guitar on your nerves and show you vast, enchanted places. The Frosties did both, left me shivering in the desert night after a plane crash… and then there’s Angela Carter, my favourite song on snow job….
    So sad. You’re doing fantastic epitaphs, Mr. Kilbey. You show what we can/should do while alive, while not forgetting the ones we loved. You use a sad event to make us happier about what we have today. Ever thought about speaking at the funeral?

  28. avatar
    dig | 9 May 2006 at 10:45 am #

    You’re a good man Mr Kilbey

  29. avatar
    dig | 9 May 2006 at 10:59 am #

    “I’m counting the stars in the sky”

  30. avatar
    Richard - Liphook UK | 9 May 2006 at 11:40 am #

    What a shock and what a loss for all concerned. At least Grant can feel vindicated with the rebirth of the Go-Betweens over the recent years. Am currently off work and using the time to revisit “WATERSHED” & “FIREBOY”. For me the JACK FROST project always seemed to be underplayed – ’twas worthy of its’ own universe. It created it own world just as did HEX (bout time those go reissued ?). Anyway, back to the matter in hand – Grant was a talent for sure and I hope that he’ll get some gigs “up there”. As for you and Friday – Go, you’ll be amazed at your feelings on reflection – far better than “abstaining”. On a brighter note – looking forward to the UK gigs – should have both Sons in Tow too. Eldest has seen you afore, youngest coming round with the contemporary feel of last few releases.

  31. avatar
    don joe | 9 May 2006 at 12:16 pm #

    What can i say Steve?…excellent blog; bit like some other comments..just didn’t quite gel on the go-betweens..sadly it has taken this to re-ignite my u say, “whattya got to lose?”..wish i had of done it, i even felt spite that they got the aria..what good did that do..i don’t need to do one does. We’re all here for the same reason’s..gotta find a way, a better way, when i’m there.

    again, thankyou and as always…ML

  32. avatar
    rubikon | 9 May 2006 at 12:33 pm #

    I feel like I’m intruding by commenting here at the moment but,… I think you need to go to say goodbye to your friend.

  33. avatar
    verdelay | 9 May 2006 at 1:16 pm #

    Surreal to see his obituary in the New York Times this morning…like seeing something of yourself there.

    “I read about your death in the paper…”

    Thank you for making me feel a little closer to someone I admired immensely.

  34. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 May 2006 at 3:01 pm #

    Grant said “…in your mind you’ll never do/time in the box that’s waiting for you” on In Your Bright Ray. It’s always a shock when someone we love passes on, and we lament the times we should have spent with them, growing old together. But Grant also said on the same album, “Can you see the lights/Up ahead”, and thanks to people like him, we still can.


  35. avatar
    tim | 9 May 2006 at 6:35 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    Although it seems more like an accident the way you describe it, Snow Job is one of the best works to have your name attached to it.

  36. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 May 2006 at 7:08 pm #

    SK: thanks for sharing all your emmotions with us. I think it helps us all.


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  38. avatar
    John Garratt | 9 May 2006 at 7:24 pm #

    Watch the video and see Steve Kilbey smiling:

  39. avatar
    daniel 26, 9 | 9 May 2006 at 8:23 pm #

    Don’t hesitate, just go there. Or do hesitate, and imagine yourself at home at the moment of his funeral. Not a nice picture. But I can’t kick your ass.

  40. avatar
    Dave | 10 May 2006 at 8:25 pm #

    An amazing moving Blog Steve. I was a huge Go-Bee fan and own the second Jack Frost CD (Ive taken ur advice and ordered the first!).I just wanted to say sorry for your loss.Grant was my favourite artist and I am not articulate enuf to put into words how much I will miss his music and his trips to Dublin.I hope you find the strength to go and take some comfort in saying goodbye.Thank you once again for such a moving piece of writing at such a difficult time. “lucky in love, that’s how life ends” RIP Grant.

  41. avatar
    Eve McGivern | 11 May 2006 at 7:54 pm #

    Just wanted to say how beautiful your words were in this post. I lost a dear friend whom I grew up with; he died last year at the age of 35. And guess what? I only found out about it through someone else’s BLOG. We’d been too busy to keep up on each other, played phone tag, said we’d catch up some day. I hadn’t visited his blog in well over a year, and then when I couldn’t access his blog, I did a search and wham – there it was, he’d passed away in February of 2005! So let it be a lesson, don’t let another day go by without tellling someone you love them.

  42. avatar
    Anonymous | 11 May 2006 at 11:20 pm #

    i knew a girl who thought she could love him
    she is sad, too

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