A Truly Bad Seed Born Sept. 1957 in Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia, Nicholas Edward Cave showed his outsider tendency early. He and his friends dressed in drag for the last day of school and hit anybody that made fun of them with handbags. Filled with bricks.
The Sacred and the Profane The violence continued when Cave first made an impact on the music scene as part of the post-punk group The Birthday Party. He would exchange blows with the audience, including hitting people with mic stands. Cave balanced this sin somewhat by drawing lyrical inspiration from the Old Testament.
Cave Writings Cave is truly multitalented. Besides writing lyrics and poetry, he’s also taken a crack at novels—And the Ass Saw the Angel was Time Out magazine’s book of the year in 1990—and screenplays, including the 2005 Western The Proposition. He was also tabbed by Russell Crowe to write the sequel to the blockbuster Gladiator. “I wanted to write an anti-war film,” Cave told The Guardian, “and use Gladiator as a raging war machine. He died in the first one so he comes back as the eternal warrior. It ended up in Vietnam and the Pentagon.” That’s a slight departure. The studio rejected the idea.
Oh and The Drugs For the lengthy sessions needed to write And the Ass Saw the Angel, Cave powered himself with speed. He allegedly wrote lyrics using the blood from a hypodermic needle that he’d just used to inject himself with heroin. He was arrested for possession in 1988. He’s since given up drinking and doing drugs entirely.
Push the Sky Away The band’s on tour to support their 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away, their first without founding member Mick Harvey, the guitarist who followed Cave over from The Birthday Party. However, Barry Adamson, also late of The Birthday Party, rejoined the band after a 26-year hiatus. If the reviews are any indication—a rating of 81/100 on Metacritic.com based on 41 reviews—the band is still going strong.