Go dancing with Kim Volkman
“For Those That Dance with the Skeleton”
by Kim Volkman
It was George Bernard-Shaw who said: “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance” and it’s a maxim St Kilda musician-turned-author Kim Volkman has applied exceptionally well.
Kim’s first book, the autobiographical “The Devil Won’t Take Charity” (2017), was a rip-roaring Harley ride through his own back pages that hung out enough dirty laundry to keep 10 dry cleaners in work for a month.
“For Those That Dance with the Skeleton” is occasionally more of the same but in vignette form. These are short stories about OCD girlfriends, workmates, dentists, rostered days off, kicking smoking and indulging addictions (like guitars and heroin) all rendered in unique style and peppered with dry humour.
Music should have made Kim Volkman a bigger name. Recruited off the street after Ian Rilen saw him busking, he became the guitar fixture in Rilen’s gut-bucket blues rock band the Love Addicts. He’s also held down the late great man’s own bass spot in a reformed X, and fronts his own bands including the formidable Whiskey Priests.
Ian Rilen and the Love Addicts had something very special and bounced around the pubs of Melbourne and Sydney playing incredible rock and roll shows before cancer cut their leader down. Kim’s experiences with them and other bands - and his deep and abiding love of music - has informed much of “For Those That Dance…” it's not strictly a music book. Most of it has been drawn from his life outside the pubs and clubs.
Some of the family characters from “The Devil Won’t Take Charity” have come out to dance again. That’s to be expected; unless you’re a Buddhist, you only get one life - and that’s enough for most of us. Volkman’s ex-partners, offspring and late father all feature and he’s nothing if not unerringly honest about his own feelings and failings.