posted on June 1, 2008 at 9:30 pm

go on
what happened after that?
which bit?
any of it…dip in again
ok…um…nothing coming to me
try man try…
yeah my dad bought his first ever house in dapto
the fibro one….
5 billabong avenue..
how very australian….
my mum n dad made fun of australians accents
mum sent me to the shop to ask for sort
for sort ?they said
yeah i said you know sort n pepper
you mean salt they said
but we say sort n pepper i say
whose we?
us! i dunno… family
les n joyce n steve 5 billabong ave, dapto nsw
practically in the bush
kids went to school in bare feet
there were frogs n turtles n goannas n skinks
n kookaburras n snakes n ticks n ants n beetles
we play cricket n some kid’d knock it out into the bush
we jumped from the roofs of half finished houses into sandpits
we climbed up trees n got attacked by magpies
we roamed through the trees hunting little creatures
we went to school where we sang lavender blue dilly dilly
we did our work in lead pencil n later little wells of ink
we got hit behind the knee with the nasty bit of a feather duster
my teachers were miss rowan, mrs allen, miss dewgood n mrs mcguiness
we had 2 sets of twins the abbotts identical
n the holloways non identical
i felt lonely n naked without any brothers or sisters
everyone said bloody steven cos he’s an only child
didnt they know i was gonna write some stupid pop song 20 years on?
everyone seemed to wanna take you down a peg or 2
being precocious was not where it was at in dapto in 1960
i can see that now but sometimes i felt like a freak
but not an unhappy childhood?
oh no no no oh bless me no my unhappiness was merely melancholy
i was always interested in sad films sad songs sad people
didnt like happy endings…cept for myself, of course
i liked to play alone
i liked to play with my soldiers
how did you play? how did you while away those hours?
you know…i cant really remember
i was a soldier performing heroic tasks
being shot over n over again
i made up some brothers glen kilbey n kevin kilbey
they were heroes as well in your battles
yeah we were a fighting heroic family
as the battle swung between my bed and the wardrobe
sometimes i’d play the game with decks of cards instead
i guess i was kinda writing a story
starring steven kilbey as tragic courageous ‘andsome lieutenant kilbey
or as the jack o’ clubs….
ah….the imaginary bloodshed in that room…
relaxed days
halcyon days
watermelon days
guns n holster days
binocular days
dog n cat days
riverbank days
roaming days
being cruel to bugs days
school holidays that went forever
sitting in the back of the car
hardly any bridges in them days…lotsa ferries
dad was always wondering at the raw wild country
the inchoate roads
the barbaric conditions
a long way from welwyn gdn city, herts
but he found the freedom…yes he did
he was exhilarated by the open road by the possibilities
in those days…
no internet
no mobile phones
no colour telly …only 2 channels
no cassette tapes
no ensuites or lifestyles
no walkmen or discmen or ipods neither
there were electric guitars
but no one was playing em prop’ly till the beatles
i remember i had a friend called andrew bristow
he was a real boy genius
this cat could read n write n converse with grownups
when he was only bloody 4
he came round one day and told my mum jfk had been shot
i d never ever even’ve known who he was when i was nine
he also had a magazine
this 8 year old kid had a magazine featuring these young blokes
the whole magazine was about them…
i’d seen em on telly
my dad said they were daft ..that they wouldnt last
he changed ‘is mind for a while later tho’
said they were as good as bloody batehoven or mose-art
until they went all weird n the japanese bint arrived
he used to call her yokohama…
hey im jumping way ahead of yourself now
back then you didnt really differentiate em
they were just all this hair
yeah this hair waving around
and when the drummer waved ‘is hair around
the kids in the audience went bloody nuts
silly bits of girls my auntie lou said
and a local show sent them up by having a group called the butterflies
oh the butterflies….oh ha ha oh how funny….
but andrew bristows gotta whole magazine full of em
whose your favourite? said bristow sitting in our back yard
what? i said…i looked through at em
they all looked the same
i couldnt believe andrew had paid one shilling n one penny for this
but he was totally fascinated
he got me to test him on pauls favourite colours
what kind of girls did george like
what did ringo think of life as a beatle
john was married
bristow was really disappointed that i wasnt interested
a bout six months later i got that same magazine
my uncle harry had lashed out n bought please please me
and i was hooked
was their hair really long?
no it was very neat n washed n shiny
why all the fuss?
cos they had fringes (bangs to yanks)
thats it?
thats it..before that blokes had combed their hair back
but the beatles combed it forwards n it touched their ears
its hard to estimate their impact on this world…
unless you were there noting the changes
my dad eventually even grew sideburns n combed it forward
what a groover….?!
oh no he never really got the sixties
i think he liked the seventies better…
the sixties really were a mini renaissance then?
gee it seems like it…not in 1963 in dapto tho’
it seemed a long way off
it was all lawn mowers n timber n blokes with greasy overalls
it was rothmans for me dad
n viscounts for uncle dennis
it was aunty lous chutney n spotted dick (a dessert)
it was tadpoles n mud n sticks n stones
salad days
the inviolate past

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