posted on June 2, 2008 at 9:17 pm

tomb of the unknown rocker
rocknrolls where we all intersect really
cmon give us rocknroll mem’ries
cmon give us the wild stuff the dark stuff
its blurring in my mind
an endless stream of motel rooms and tubs full of ice n beer
shaking some bastards hand that i hated
sitting in some office somewhere on the phone
in a tiny dark room in new york at 6 a.m.
its winter its dark its cold i am a longwayfromhome
i struggle to make a suitcase close
always sox and shirts hanging out the side
im miserable and i feel nauseous
all around me the hotel comes alive
i imagine my compadres getting up in their rooms
a shower comes on next door
a door slams somewhere
the phone rings …a soft american accent
its big mike our tour manager
big mike who is a lithuanian giant
like a giant out of the bible or something
i sikked ‘im on peter murphy for his arrogance
and murphy screamed
keep that man away from me
then in new orleans
the mighty lemom drops ate peter koppes chocolate
a melee ensued
2 tough rock bands pushing each other about…
until big mike waded in
and the lemon drops melted away
anyway big mike is not only big
but hes a real smart arse as well
“good morning mr kilbey…how are we feeling today?”
mr kilbey pours out a string of invective that his olde mum
wouldnt like to read here
but mr big mike could see how enthusiastic i was
see you downstairs at breakfast mr kilbey he sneers
yeah bugger off you latvian monster i hiss
“lithuanian” comes the reply….as per usual
look in the mirror
my hair looks a fright
bags under my eyes
teeth yellow
nose red
eyes grey
tongue coated
pulse weak
etc etc
i burn from lack of sleep
my whole body trembles and i feel like im burning in cold fire
i see my bag of toiletries is not packed
so i open up the suitcase
which explodes in undies n books n cassette tapes
after another prolonged struggle the suitcase is subdued
i also have a carrying bag with my passport
and whatever book im reading
and a load of cassettes
cassettes like
everyone knows this is nowhere by neil young
best of bread by bread (i love bread!)
this mortal coil
echo n the bunnies
new gold dream by simple mounds
i drag all my possessions together
and exit the overpriced hole
the roadcrew stand around miserably outside
smoking cigarettes on the footpath
trevor johnno johnston waves at me sadly through the glass
i shake my head at him
he gives me a dopey smile which cheers me up ever so slightly
we have 2 aussie roadies johnno and a character called john goodenough
goodenough is a rugged aussie specimen often with a bare chest
and very rarely without a lady companion
once in madrid he asked a record co guy if he could ride his harley
the guy says yes
and goodenough takes off overnight on it
much to the record co guys horror
he never came back that day
a five minute ride round the block
turned into a tour de force
goodenough arriving back just in time the next day
(with senorita in tow, of course)
(did i tell you that story before?)
anyway we stand in reception
and eventually the other jokers come down
we grunt at each other
we’re all pretty sick of each other by this stage
(its twenty years ago today…)
mwp aint come down yet
he’s hard to wake up sometimes
so biggus mikus goes up to search for him
(it was like waking the dead)
i go into the excuse for a cafe
where theres cawfee n baygles but nothin’ for me
nevermind i feel sick anyway
a tour bus pulls up
and some guys jump on
big mike is angry now
peters wandered off looking for food
and ploogy tried to not pay his incidentals
eventually mart appears dressed in his black coat
he doesnt say anything or even look at anybody
he goes straight to his bunk and disappears behind the curtains
tom verlaine gets on the bus with his eternal cig and cawfee
errr you aint lookin’ so good there errr kilbey he deadpans
tom dont look so good either
no one does in the ghastly light of that pale winter dawning
hey killer …ploogy beckons me up the back
the inner sanctum…sancti sanctorum biggus called it
we go in the back room and ploog chucks on his dub cassette
hes giggling like a fiend
he produces some weed hes been given
and we sink into some half dream
the bus starts up and the heaters finally come on
the dub drones on in the back compartment
others come in
but me n ploog are sprawled all over both seats n they leave
half propped i watch the sights of manhattan go past
the tramps n hookers n biznessmen n women
the chauffeurs in the limos
the doormen the bag ladies
i watch from my cocoon of dub and bus
its real warm in the back here
ploogy sleeps n snores n wakes up n rolls another spliff
by that time we’re rolling thru bleak industrial badlands somewhere
black rivers full of filth and chimneys vomiting muck into the sky
but its all like a film rolling by
in here where i listen to the best of bread
which has driven ploogy to his bunk
i am king of sancti sanctorum now
i gaze out across the bridges n cars n lights
the people hurrying to work
screaming at each other silently behind their windscreens
traffic lights flare on the rainstreaked windows
i watch, a stoned detached foreign watcher
unseen from behind his tinted glass
mothers drag kids across zebra crossings in the morning drizzle
guys load up their trucks n vans
none of it in the least vaguely connected to me
i have achieved detachment from this rat race
now im a hampster running on my own little treadmill
we drive n drive all day
we stop for lunch but mwp sleeps on
we drive into the rain n sleet
north to boston or somewhere
the amps n guitars
the strings n frets
the straps n buckles
the snare n the cymbals
the lights n the effects
the speakers n the desks
roadies in their bus watching spinal tap or porno
smoking cigs n dope n eating burgers n bitching bout us
big mike comes in the sancti
mr kilbey he slyly smiles
how are we feeling now mr kilbey..a little better we trust?
come in here you giant i say
or close the fucking door!
biggus sits down n flops out his paperwork
hes got receipts and bundles of cash
hes got maps n directions n agendas n stuff
he runs through my list of activities that day
like a kings advisor giving his monarch the rundown
at 4.30 youre going on wpox to talk to randy sangwich
me :bullshit!
at 5.15 youre talking to the baltimore balls from a payphone
me :oh no!
at 6 we do a 2 hour soundcheck
me : what…!?
at 7.30 we meet retailers
me : no fuckin’ way!
at 8.30 we meet the lovely folks from arista
me : what the f…?
at 9.30 your onstage
me :great…!?
and after the show you meet the competition winners
me : what about my fuckin dinner?
mr kilbey its taken care of…
we’re ordering in pizzas half hour before show
me : oh no
oh yes mr kilbey…now have a nice day
he exits
i look out at the grey wilderness of the freeway
wheres the fucking glamour, fiendss?

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