Nick Cave

Nick Cave's literary, often morose songs have inspired many alternative

groups in the '90s. The Australian singer/songwriter and keyboardist has

been a member of the influential bands the Birthday Party and the Bad


Nicholas Edward Cave was born 42 years ago today in Wangaratta, Australia.

His father was an Anglican English teacher and his mother a librarian.

He attended art school and formed a band called the Boys Next Door with

a schoolmate, multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey.

Cave's first single was "These Boots are Made for Walking," which was

followed by the Door Door (1979) album. The following year, the

Boys Next Door issued The Birthday Party and changed their name

to the album's title. The Birthday Party relocated to London and became

part of the growing new-wave scene.

With its raw, emotive, sharp-witted music, the Birthday Party made an

impact in the UK with such LPs as Prayers on Fire (1981) and

Junkyard (1982). After their EP Mutiny (which featured the

first Cave collaborations with Einstürzende Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld),

the Birthday Party disbanded.

Cave then formed the Bad Seeds (which included, at various times, Harvey,

Bargeld, guitarist Kid Congo Powers, bassist Martyn P. Casey, pianist

Conway Savage and others), who released 1984's From Her to Eternity,

on which Cave wrote about Americana, murder and religion. It featured

"The Moon Is in the Gutter" along with a cover of the Elvis Presley hit

"In the Ghetto" and "Cabin Fever." The Firstborn is Dead followed

a year later.

Kicking Against the Pricks (1986) was a compilation of mostly

blues covers. The same year's Your Funeral ... My Trial was issued

on two EPs.

In 1987 Cave appeared in Wim Wenders' film "Wings of Desire." A year

later Cave published the novel "And the Ass Saw the Angel." Cave also

acted in and co-wrote the prison movie "Ghosts ... of the Civil Dead,"

and composed the film's soundtrack.

After moving to Brazil, Cave issued 1990's The Good Son. Following

1993's Let Love In, Cave & the Bad Seeds performed on the 1994

Lollapalooza tour. Dissatisfied with the crowd reaction, Cave has rarely

played in the U.S. since then.

Murder Ballads (1996) included the lengthy "O' Malley's Bar" and

featured Polly Jean Harvey, Kylie Minogue and Shane McGowan. Cave turned

down an MTV Video Music Award nomination in 1996, citing his refusal to

compete with others over art. That same year, Cave appeared in the film "Rhinoceros

Hunting in Budapest."

In 1997 came The Boatman's Call. Last year Warner Brothers Records

issued The Best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, which included "The

Ship Song" (RealAudio

excerpt). Of the LP, Cave said, "I think it proves we've been

chained to the same bowl of vomit for 15 years."

This year came the video "Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live at the Paradiso,"

a film of a Bad Seeds show in 1991.

"The whole thing [Cave] does really appeals to me," said Dan Seta,

guitarist for slow-core group Idaho. Seta said Cave is a significant

influence on Idaho's brooding, glacial sound. "[The Bad Seeds'] song

structure is amazing. The darkness and overall tenor of the music,

lyrically and tonally, is just amazing. It really sounds like this guy

could be out killing people."

Other birthdays: David Coverdale (Deep Purple/Whitesnake), 48; Debby

Boone, 43; Doug Wimbish (Living Colour), 43; Johnette Napolitano (Concrete

Blonde), 42; Joan Jett, 39; and Big Rube, 28.