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A detailed story on Steve's 1999 arrest Print E-mail
Friday, 08 October 1999
A story from the Daily Telegraph on Steve's 1999 arrest.

HD Rock star unfazed by arrest.


WC 447 words

PD 8 October 1999

SN Daily Telegraph


PG 19

LA English

CY (c) 1999 Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd


STEVE Kilbey emerged from room 103 of the Manhattan Criminal Court slightly dishevelled but otherwise unfazed over his experience with the US legal system. Kilbey, lead singer of veteran Australian rock band The Church, had been arrested by police the day before attempting to buy three small packets of heroin from a street dealer.

After spending a night locked in a cell at "Central Booking" with about 30 other prisoners and having missed the band's second and last New York concert, Kilbey still managed a joke.



He said being picked up for drugs in New York was a rite of passage for Australian musicians.

"A drug bust is something every ageing rock star should have under his belt," he said.

"(Australian singer) Nick Cave and I are in great company."

Kilbey said he was "popped" by police while walking near the corner of E6 St and Avenue D in the Alphabet City district of lower Manhattan about 2.40pm on Tuesday.

"Five years ago you would have had no problem down there," Kilbey said outside court. "Now things are different."

The 45-year-old singer/bass guitarist felt the full sting of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's zero-tolerance crime policies.

NYPD officer William Post arrested Kilbey as he bought three "glassines" of heroin, neatly packed with a "Red Devil" trademark.

He was handcuffed and made to wait in the back of a police wagon for two hours, watching police arrest eight more men. After being strip searched, photographed and finger-printed at the local precinct, he was sent to the police lock-up at Centre St.

Not sleeping a wink in the crowded cell (he said one inmate propositioned him, another tried to sell him crack that had been smuggled in), Kilbey went before Judge Gregory Carro the following morning at 11.30am.

John Kerins (representing Kilbey) asked that his client, who had no record in New York, be allowed to go free, without any conviction.

Police prosecutor Jeff Chabrowe said the "people" demanded some form of punishment.

Judge Carro ordered Kilbey to report for community service for one day later this month.

He will spend a day cleaning A-Train subway carriages running from Manhattan to JFK Airport.

Kilbey's fellow band members - unhappy at being left without a lead singer the night before - did not show up at the court to retrieve him.

The band had already flown to North Carolina where they were to perform a concert at the Cat's Cradle nightclub in Carrboro.

Kilbey managed to get a later flight, making last night's gig.

(c) Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd, 1999.

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