Somewhere in the video archives of Newcastle TV station NBN I'd like to think there's a bit of 30-year-old telethon footage of me telling the schoolboys who would go on to become Silverchair that one day soon their music will rock the world. Except I'm not sure I did tell them that because, for the life of me, I can't recall much about the performance by the Innocent Criminals in the midnight-to-dawn talent quest on NBN's 1993 charity fundraiser. I remember sitting next to Romper Room host Miss Kim and puppet sidekick Mr Do-Bee on the judging panel in the TV studio. I remember the telethon producer, the late Rob Short, coaching me as a junior reporter from the local newspaper, the Newcastle Herald, to keep my comments positive or pithy or funny - or preferably all three - to give the viewers at home and all the local hopefuls helping to put on a show for a good cause, a reason to smile. I remember a country-singing bloke who looked like country singer Alan Jackson and I think he appreciated me pointing out that at least there was a physical resemblance. But for the life of me I can't recall the garage band of 14-year-old boys calling themselves the Innocent Criminals grinding out their rock song - or whether I said something kind and encouraging like a good Mr Do-Bee should. A few minutes of that March 1993 telethon performance surfaced in the ABC's recent Australian Story show on Silverchair (the instalment was later removed from iView over a music licensing dispute). It shows Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies, Chris Joannou and then bandmate Tobin Finane in their best collared shirts seemingly chosen by their mums to look colourful on the telly. "Let's rock'n roll," the blond-haired, blue-eyed lead singer drawls as they launch into a song titled Felt Like It. The drummer smiles sweetly, un-rock-star-like, as the studio camera glides past. The bass player has his shirt neatly tucked in. The singer, his teeth in braces and surfie fringe swept across his face, stares into the camera, his eyes darting nervously, as he howls out his lyrics: What is your name? How are you doing? I committed a crime and you felt like suing I begged you that you wouldn't tell But you said No No coz you felt like it Less than 18 months after that TV debut, the band as a trio wins a national song contest and releases the EP Tomorrow as Silverchair. The rest, as they say, is Oz rock legend. Everyone has a Silverchair story, drummer Ben Gillies observes in Love &amp; Pain, his new memoir with bass player Chris Joannou. Everyone who's from Newcastle has at least three, I'd suggest. In the wake of the intimate insights singer Daniel Johns offered in the 2021 podcast Who Is Daniel Johns? and last year's Past, Present &amp; FutureNever exhibition, Love &amp; Pain is the inevitable - and, for fans, essential - counterpoint and companion from the perspectives of his former bandmates. It's an energetic, anecdote-filled, hearts-on-sleeves account of the joys and hijinks, dramas and traumas, intensity and insanity of the trio's head-spinning rise from Sizzler cheese bread-guzzling mates making noise in an after-school garage band to globe-trotting teen rock gods making stadium concert stages vibrate so much "it feels like we could levitate". A conversational blend of pride, regrets and war stories, Love &amp; Pain is a more prosaic reflection than the elusive, introspective Johns gave us in Who Is Daniel Johns? But it is no less heartfelt or fascinating. The Silverchair parents emerge as the real heroes, from nurturing their musical talent ("Dad was right all along. Who knew?," Gillies says of his Led Zeppelin epiphany) to shepherding them around Newcastle and - then suddenly - the planet. It's hard to not weep a little for formative adolescent years warped by instant global fame and hard-landing homecomings to playground bullies and stalking paparazzi. Later, after chasing the highs of those early years into booze, drugs, illness and mental health struggles, come the "ravines" that open up in the band with the making of the 1999 album Neon Ballroom and eventually swallow them with the aborted making of "Album Number Six". The post-band realities of marriage, parenthood and health battles have brought perspective. But the yearning for the deeply felt brotherly and creative bonds that helped transform their lives - plus the lost hope of a Silverchair swansong - is vivid and poignant. "Silverchair has been over for a long time now but because of the way things ended it still feels unfinished," says Gillies. Adds Joannou: "Silverchair broke my heart. I had so much love for the band that the pain of the end was immense." Childhood friends growing apart is hardly unusual - even in a town like Newcastle, where Johns and Gillies still live. And band break-ups are a story as old as rock 'n' roll itself. And yet, with their recent truth-telling duel reminding us of the special kind of magic we were privileged to witness them conjure as schoolboys, there's something you can't help but wish for - and it's not even a Silverchair reunion. Boys, we just want you to be happy and be friends.