The Wilderness Years

by Steve Kilbey

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about

Steve Kilbey (The Church) & Rick Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre) "The Wilderness Years", By David Neil.

David Neil was born in Saskatoon Canada circa 1950. His early days are largely unknown except that he took guitar lessons from a man called Mr. Shapiro who lived at 19 Crown St . Mr. Shapiro later noted that as a guitar player, Neil was "nothing special".

Around 1970 Neil begins to play some regional gigs here and abroad. He puts together his classic band line up and records some of the material for these songs . An apparently amazing show at the Bottom Line in New York secures a recording deal with Anchor records, a fledgeling company of the giant DMI corp.

David Neil and band enter studios in New York and Los Angeles where much material was recorded.

Neil develops multiple drug addictions and begins several affairs with various Hollywood and Long Island wives.

One last tour of the States in 1974 he is joined on bass by Steve Kilbey who 6 years later will form Australian rock band The Church. Kilbey frequently notes Neil was "a huge influence on the songs i was trying to write".

In December 1974 Neil had the dubious distinction of dying 3 deaths at once i.e. the plane he was on crashed while at the time he was overdosing in the toilet while a jealous husband kicked in the door and gunned him down. The coroners later ruled they could not tell which happened first and that all 3 things were equally fatal at exactly the same time.

Neil's tapes circulated as bootlegs. The most famous and revered being "The Wilderness Years" on the famous Trademark of Quality label. It was on blood red vinyl.

In 2008 Steve Kilbey and Rick Maymi were bequeathed some 16 track masters for what would later became known as "The Wilderness Years". The tracks were unfinished and in some places unusable. Kilbey and Maymi aimed to preserve the authenticity but also had to play to and around the original recordings. Some songs that lacked vocals. Kilbey sings relying on memory of his tour and friendship with David Neil plus some newly found lyric books. Other songs are various admixtures of new and old vocals and instruments as different players are blended through the weave while preserving Neil's true sound.

credits

released July 5, 2011

David Neil, with the help of: Steve Kilbey, Rick Maymi, Jonathan Zwartz, Matthew Mcmahon, Scott Von Ryper, Graham Lee, Lindy Morrison, David Skeet, John Kilbey.

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Steve Kilbey Australia

Steve Kilbey - musician, painter, writer, poet, sage, dispenser of arcane wisdom, and much loved national treasure. A songwriter of many musical tongues, from the sprawling guitar thunderstorms of The Church, to the opiated dronescapes and psychedelic vision of his solo recordings and paintings. ... more

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