With the passing of Rowland S. Howard (1959 - 2009), I felt compelled to try and remember this specific part of my life...
I first heard The Boys Next Door in
I was first answered by Mick Harvey, the bassist. "How did you hear of us in LA?" and he offered to "get the lyrics" from
Mr. Harvey wrote to me about 4 times a year for most of 1980/1/2/3. They went back to
I went to work for a new importer / distributor ("Important Records"), and when the release notice for The Birthday Party "Junkyard" (1982) walked down the pike, I asked my boss if I could order 4 boxes (i.e. 100 copies) – as I was "the buyer". They hemmed and hawed and let me order 4 cartons. The salesmen didn't know what it was, but it flew out the door – "Can we get another 100 copies?" "Who are these guys?" Me: "Uh, they're my friends from
Somehow, it got back to Nick and Mick that some crazy guy in
The band moved en masse to
If I remember correctly, the swastika (which only meant / represented "Germany" to the band) was a stumbling block for Ivo Watts-Russell (Mr. 4AD), so The Birthday Party signed with Daniel Miller's Mute Records (at the end of '82? Mid-’83?) – and US shows were announced.
They played 2 nights at The Roxy (Sunset Blvd.,
On their night off, we all went out for Mexican food (except for Rowland S. Howard, who, unless I am mistaken, was ‘not feeling well’.). Bassist Tracey Pew was wearing a giant cowboy hat, which attracted a lot of attention. I remember them in a tiny Mexican restaurant on
I remember doing that (the party), and ending the evening with the honor of being drunk and getting to take Nick Cave back to the West Hollywood hotel by myself. Quite a reasonable
Well, I kept up with the Melbourne boys for a while, Nick went solo – and at least the first few solo records weren't so good (for me). Tracey Pew died of an epileptic seizure in '86. I ran into
Rowland S. Howard made some records with Lydia Lunch (a NYC female artist who does not generally interest me): "Some Velvet Morning" (on 4AD, 1982) and later "Shotgun Wedding" LP (Triple XXX, 1991). I guess they ‘roped each other in’, as "Shotgun" is a great fractured "pop" album. I later found out that Mr. Howard was in a band called These Immortal Souls (the one I ended up with is "I'm Never Gonna Die Again" (on Mute, 1992), really a rather good album. This makes me want to hear his later (90's and beyond) work. Pretty sure I missed some of his other solo works.
For me, Howard was 40% of the equation, Cave really about 60% with Pew and
Related music: Crime & The City Solution, The Dirty