Remembering Lou Reed, Poet~Musician~Pioneer

Lou Reed



Playing music is not like athletics:
One may improve with age.
The untrained mind with natural talents
reflects the part and never the whole
it is too narrow to perceive itself.
Its goals erase themselves.

May I have your ear, that
curlicued receptor of sound?
(If this were Rome we could be so grand).

The movement from instinct to calculation is quite profound
You’ve listened and been more than a tape recorder.
Talent carries its own weight;
the intellect it weds determines greatness.
Our age is such that we must fight off fat.
One hopes the mind outlasts the skin.

If this is true,
I’II say goodbye to me,
and say hello to
yet another you.

Hooky Wooky CD single, 1996

Lou Reed, 1996
Photo: Renaud Monfourny, Les Inrockuptibles, no. 45


Sometimes when I’m all alone
I feel a type of fear
dawn’s descending, dusk is breaking
creep my darling near.
I see my life before me
as a seamstress sees her pins
fulland linedwithfailure
and coated then with sin.
An education gone to waste
talent left ignored
imagination rent with drugs
someone who’s always bored
scared to death of life itself
but even more by death
not fit company for anyone
let alone a wife
no example for a child
therefore no sun for me
I am told never to think these thoughts
for they make me unhappy.

The sin was craziness you see
don’t blame yourself for that –
a strange childhood, wel1 that is true
but nothing can be done about that.
The future is the same for all
we face it as we can
and there is nothing wrong with fear
it proves that you’re a man.

Then other times I feel so good
the opposite you see
I think I’m full of talent
good old intuitive me.
I write all hours of the night
terrible poetry.
Others say that it is good
but they are lying to me.
Why would they lie, you might ask
and to this I would reply
encouraging me encourages them,
to cut me shows their lie.
For mine was illusion of life well spent,
everyone thought so.
I was courted as a rake
wherever I did go.
But I know warts, you can’t fool me
with flattering and praise.
You sing my songs to prove to yourselves
that you are not a waste.


We can learn to murder in the early hours
mulling over dour fate
technology offering its endless alternatives:
poisons, boxes spewing chemicals.
And yet
in murder
we return to the odious spectacle of physical expression –
I’ll break you neck;
I’ll break your back
thinking unacquired savagery.

Karate is a special kind of dance.
Who pulverizes someone else’s bones
has lifted violence to the level of
an art,
which, unlike ballet,
does not require the total man.

Magic And Loss, Metal Memorial Edition CD, 1992

Profiles: Steve Kilbey~Musician, Poet & Painter

Steve Kilbey


Steve Kilbey (born 13 September 1954, Welwyn Garden City, England) is the lead singer-songwriter and bass guitarist for The Church, an Australian rock band. He is also a music producer, poet, and painter.Steve Kilbey 

Kilbey began his professional music career at age 17 when he joined a “cabaret band”. He then joined Precious Little, a rock band featuring future Church bandmate Peter Koppes on drums. Kilbey followed up with another band, Baby Grande, around 1978 while he lived in Canberra. Soon after, he formed The Church along with Koppes, Nick Ward, and Marty Willson-Piper.   After some success in their native Australia in the early 1980s, Kilbey and The Church went on to international fame when “Under the Milky Way” (from their 1988 album Starfish) became a hit.

Kilbey has released six solo music albums and collaboratively written and/or produced recordings with the late Grant McLennan (of The Go-Betweens), Stephen Cummings, and Kev Carmody. Earthed, a book of fiction, was published in 1986, in conjunction with an album of the same name of instrumental electronic music. His book of poetry, Nineveh/The Ephemeron, was released in 1998 and was later republished.

Kilbey lives in Bondi, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, with his wife and three of his five children.  His brothers, Russell Kilbey and John Kilbey, have also led successful Australian bands.  

A biography of Steve Kilbey titled No Certainty Attached was released in June 2009 by Verse Chorus Press. Also in June 2009, an album with Martin Kennedy (from All India Radio) called Unseen Music, Unheard Words was released. Kilbey’s first solo record in eight years, entitled Painkiller was released in North America on Second Motion Records in early 2009.

~ Wikipedia


rocknroll gave god to you

the light still pours out of me

the need to experience everything

the most sacred place the most dirty place

the place that is no place at all

the emptiest place where the soul stripped bare of skins

and  hardly recognisable  to that naked  i

they have sold you a lie brothers and sisters

and the rock and the roll is a path to that lies heart

ladies and gentlemen is it not best that we rock and rock on?

i strap on my plank with wires but its a stradivarius of a plank

boom boom boom my amplified notes that have busted my ears

i am an old soldier still fighting in his legion

my sword is my music

my arrows are my words

my integrity is my shield

my failures and mistakes scar me but i fight on

such a grandiose metaphor  such is rocknroll

you can be high n mighty

you can be down and low

you can be gay or junkie or christian or  fool

you can be lovely or ugly or rich or poor

self taught or conservatory it doesnt matter

rock put the power back in all our hands

now we the people can select our heroes

and we choose em from rocknroll because its all we got

you cant trust actors n politicians speaking someone elses lines

you cant trust rocknroll singers either …what the hell do we know?

but rock aint asking for your trust

rock aint asking for your vote

but it is asking for your money

and in return it gives you something

so sublime there is no word to describe it

some revelation some bliss some divine insight

some release of the feeling of love

some excitement some hope some pride some joy

only a few can ever invoke such things and that music we treasure

it brings the holy to even the most heathen of hearts

it sets the scene for an epiphany

it guides you towards a splendid feeling of being in the know

it creates a world for you

each record by the beatles built on and expanded from the last world

the initial solid modern construction would begin to sprout strange new wings

consider “the end” by the doors

who has ever conjured this mood before except maybe arthur rimbaud?

a journey within decadence and failure and random images of dissolution

when its all over you feel like you experienced something, eh?

oh that jimbo quite a poet and those lovely instruments

hear them embellishing and weaving the threads of the story

hear that voice leading you all over the place

through time and nightmare

its a play its a poem its a story its a vision

in this we somehow get glimpses of  the supernatural world

the world inhabited by spirit by the dead by the drugged by the insane

a wild world oh baby baby

there is magic in this world and 3 short cuts

are sex drugs and rocknroll

all three together taken in regular large doses will open up your chakras

or something

the profound shift in any direction away from this dismal reality of here

when i was 16 i worked on a building site as a labourer

for 6 weeks of school holiday one year

at work it was brutal and hard and so male it was disgusting to me

everything was coarse and vulgar and loud and brutal

i got home and my antidote was to enter the world of “a beard of stars”

yeah marc bolan was the opposite of the guys on the site

here was romance and tragedy and strange strange magic

a middle earth set to some mixture of the weirdest rock

these songs seemed dragged from another continuum

where eric claptonesque forms are laid over baroque tapestries

where fey means faery and miracles are materialising

and the love oh my goodness

the love the love the love

bolan is in love with his babe

he is donovan playing romeo playing legolas playing caspian

away from the concrete dust and the muddy carpark and blokes

bolans world opened upon the first note of the record

it was not a world like a book to be explored once maybe twice

it was a world expanding open in breathtaking jumps

the more you listened the more you heard and ditto in reverse

this was not the hamfisted thump of your zeps and purples

nor the grammar school feel of yer yesses n genesises

nor the rebellious strut of the stones

not even the beatles

in all their trailblazing wanderings had hit upon this world

not even druggy not even deliberately weird

bolan had taken rocknroll instruments and techniques

and used them to outpour babylon and greece and narnia and druid

like half remembered books from childhood

with the witches and black cats and its elders and m m m magical moons

and against this backdrop bolan invokes youth and love and an ideal idyll

fuck its not everyones cup of tea

but the marvel is nonetheless that he pulled it off

and it gave me a chance to see the possibility

of reconciling all my favourite things into song

and somehow locking them there to be taken out when needed

i take bolans blueprint and i sometimes reassemble it in my own materials

thats alright thats what its all about

thats the business thats the way it s’posed to be

you take the best stuff and recombine it

thats what we do

thats what you like

~ Steve Kilbey


Ian Curtis: The Lost Lyrics…Poems By

Ian Curtis put an end to his life the night of May 18, 1980, two days before the roadshow to the United States. The lead singer of Joy Division played “The Idiot” of Iggy Pop in his pickup and hung himself in his kitchen in Macclesfield, leaving a short note: “This moment I would want to be dead, I simply cannot take it anymore”. In these few words, the enormity of a brilliant mind came to an end. It took him maybe few seconds, to tight the rope around his neck, deciding that this world is not enough for him. It took him only few seconds to decide that he would be better off someplace else, away from human cynicism.

an Curtis’ writings condemn cynicism, the lack of ethics, the autocratic greed of the Western world, and the secret nature of insight. For Curtis’ ability to integrate anything together and produce a masterpiece, his poetry seemed to fit, suggesting that art can be so simple if you really want to get to know it. For the people that couldn’t get along with the darkness of Joy Division and Ian’s obscurity, this kind of poetry was nothing more than glam-rock wasteland.

Ian Curtis knew how to write. Even more than that, he knew how to put verses together that could sound good both on paper and with music. In “New Dawn Fades” he writes “the strain’s too much, can’t take much more…. it was me, waiting for me, hoping for something more, me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else.” For anyone who deals with personal issues, this is exactly how he feels. And Ian knew that because he had his own issues too, but he also had an extraordinary ability to express his feelings artistically and reflect the pain and the strain and the emotional horror so eloquently so as to make an ordinary psychological human fear a #1 hit track on the punk charts. If this is not art, then what more can be art?


Another Uneventful Day

The ones that got away.
The pretty haired, girlie girls, ones that got away ones
Those second to none, blistfully dumb, ones that got away ones
A small bit chubby and freightfully  funny ones that got away ones
And too tragic to say, the uneventfully got away, ones that got away ones.


Concentrating on an angels nest
that had caught my eye only moments
before, barely loud enough to hear
and whispered only to me. In the
depths of reality we lose our dreams.
I lit a smoke yet couldn’t grasp
its meaning. Utter silence followed,
Disrupted only by the increasing thump
of my heartbeat. Out of the life
known to me I went along. ‘Till slowly
I regained consciousness and
the angels were gone.

Unseen Lyrics of Ian Curtis:

I walked out and thought for a time I could see no defense, and I thought for a while you were me, we were wrong, in our time, always down, out of line.

I relaxed from the days filled with bloodsport in vain, and returned with the knowledge that we’re two the same, two in Hell, two set free, too alike, you to me.

And we watched everything pass us by in due course, always tied by a mutual feeling that lost, we were two, two in hell, two set free, known too well.

In the back of my mind, all I feel is mistrust, in the back of my mind, all I see is the dirt, segregation of thoughts, ideals turning to dust.

Where some houses once stood, stands a man with a gun, in some neighbourhood, a father hangs up his son, in the back of my mind.

Don’t think I’d have stayed just for one more day, it seems so much like home, no room to go astray, don’t think I could watch – with mindless, empty tasks, intake moving in, forced to walk a lonely path.

Pictures all around, of how good a life should be, a model for the rest, that bred insecurity, I walked a jagged line and then came back for more, it’s always in my mind, an institution with no law.

I can see a thousand wills just bending in the night. And all the pretty faces painted grey to match the sky, from a distance seeing friends just washed up on the shore, a picture in my mind of what’s to come before the storm.

In time, we don’t belong in our own lifetime.

I can hear the voices lost in echoes as they build, new homes to hide the sadness that the search for more had killed, from a by road seeing friends just washed up on the shore. Picture in my mind of what’s to come before the storm.

In time, we don’t belong in our own lifetime.

I can feel an emptiness and see heads held in shame, trapped inside a legacy of everyone to blame. In the distance see myself just washed up on the shore, a picture in my mind of what will come before the storm.

In time, we don’t belong to our own lifetime.

We won’t crawl and never show our faces, we’ll stand firm and never show the traces, of the fear we knew but always could disguise, of this sinking feeling hid behind our eyes.

Nothing seems real anymore. Even the flames from the fire seem to beckon to me, drawing me into some great past life buried somewhere deep in my subconscious, if only I could find the key..if only..if only. Ever since my illness, my condition, I’ve been trying to find some logical way of passing my time, of justifying a means to an end.

He desires love, in some special way against all perversion, fed with fruits of decay. He remembers, how the guilty have seen, all the pure but selfish, buried deep in his dreams.

He sees a vision in the sky, looking down on him, calling him by name, yeah he sees faces from yesterday, of what might have been, but the past must still remain.

He desires love, not some perfect affair, in hotels of steel and glass, just to cross on the stairs, but he can still see, all the angels in time, as his dreams of ecstasy, turned to nightmares of crime.

He sees a vision in the sky, looking down at him, how the past will remain, yeah he sees a vision in the sky, staring down at him, he’ll always see the same.

Sure I’ll see you down, you do for me I did for you, cure just takes you down, we’re down for good that’s understood.

Door slides open, Johnny laughs. A view from above sticks his head out of the window and dries his eyes. I remember a winter sometime ago, angular patterns formed deep in the ground, where someone once stood. White on black, white on white. Echoed voices bouncing off the buildings around.

A ramp to the trees and trees all around, I remember a tear, frozen white on white, I remember nothing. A grey saloon, Johnny sighs, winds down the window and stares at the road.

Some things never make sense, crouches shivering in the corner, blanket ‘round your shoulder, hot then cold, cold then warm, pulse is racing, slowly racing – stopped. I remember nights listening to untill dawn, I remember nothing. Some things never make sense, a fear of stepping out,

Door slowly opens, Johnny sits on his bed, lays down and dies.

A wider alliance that leads to new roads beyond the limits, holding hands, jumping off walls into dark seclusion, cut off from the mainstream of most intimate yearnings, I left my heart somewhere on the other side, I left all desire for good.
Clinging to naked thought, impossible tactics worked out for impossible means. This is the final moment of respite. The final page in the book. A bitter challenge between old and new, with one last warning.

All lyrics (untitled) by Ian Curtis circa 1978 taken from “Touching From A Distance” by Deborah Curtis Published by Faber & Faber London 1995