“Now the scaffold is high and eternity is near. She stood in the crowd but shed not a tear. But sometimes at night when the cold winds moan, in a long black veil she cries on my bones.”
I was very very young when I first became aware of Nick Cave. I used to spend a lot of time sitting in my uncle’s room at my gran’s. Staring at the guitar, the records, the books and the faces on the wall. The faces that later in my life, became the faces that became more than just a band. More than just a face on the wall. I am writing this with no sense of what I want to get out of it, let alone what I want to put into it. All I love about Nick Cave cannot be put into some silly article I have decided to write. Only a fragment of what I feel towards his music and all it means to me will be exposed. The rest is, as ever, kept in my heart. That’s the safest place for anything to be stored. You control what you let out, and what you let in. You know, it sure is hard to meet fellow fans of Nick Cave. It’s alright though, I know you’re out there. Listening to him. Letting him spew out exactly how you feel. You feel less alone don’t you?
So, I first became aware of Nick Cave at a tender age. I used to spend a lot of time at my gran’s house, whilst my mum worked. I’d make up games, listen to music, read, be read to, go for walks- happy and healthy, for the most part. This was all before I went to school. This was all before I was subjected to subjects that meant nothing to me. I think all along, I just wanted to sit and listen to music. Nothing has really changed. I doubt it ever will. I remember constantly asking my uncle about Nick Cave. I was drawn in immediately to this poster he had of him on his wall. I remember going upstairs sometimes just to stare at this poster. I was in awe, and I think part of me sort of had the idea that later in life- this man would be summing up how I feel towards most things. This man would be responsible for my obsession with words, poetry, love, life, death and the darkness. I’m not right about much in life, but I was right about this.
As I got older, certain songs became more than just pieces of music. I will always regard Henry Lee as my favourite love based song of all time. I’m not much of a singer, but if I had a girlfriend I would make Henry Lee our song- I’d probably try persuade the poor girl to sing it along with me. In public and in private. Thing is, they’d have to love Nick Cave. So far, no luck! I’m not waiting around for it to happen. Some things just happen when they are supposed to don’t they. You can control the volume of the song you play, but you cannot control those you let in.
Nick Cave made me feel less alone with how I see the world, all around me and how I view myself. He also made me want to be a poet. I grew up on Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez- this is all where my love for words came from. As I got older, I realised my mum had a huge love for Nick Cave too. At this point, it was firmly instilled in me that I had to do something with words. Thing is, with all the notebooks I have filled with songs and poems- I think only two people have ever read what I have written down. I like to think I have improved as I got older. I love words that are dark and create a really tense atmosphere. I love songs like this too. Nick Cave is pretty much the God of all of this. Without him, I probably wouldn’t venture towards the dark side of literature as much.
Writing should be like a healing process, and also finding a part of you. Much like listening to music. I guess this is why I love Nick Cave so much. I love his solo work, Grinderman, The Birthday Part, The Bad Seeds- everything he has ever done, and continues to do is just perfect in my eyes. The passion in his voice makes every word he drawls out just land a place firmly in your heart. Fuck. It goes beyond the heart and soul. Sometimes, a musician gives you a way of life with their art you know? I hold this opinion on a few musicians such as Patti Smith, Ramones, Morrissey, The Kills and Warpaint. There is something about them all that prove comfort in a world that seems to thrive off bad vibes and back stabbing. I want no part in it, which is why I keep my headphones in.
There’s a strong sense of peace and wonder in his words. You think you’re forever lost, then you listen to a Nick Cave and it is like, “I am home. I am free.” It doesn’t matter which song that makes you feel this way because, well, they will ALL make you feel this way. Nick Cave makes you feel like he is your spirit animal, ya dig? It is like he drags out every ugly and unnamed feeling you have ever felt. But he makes it less daunting and less of a chore to feel. I’ve never really sat down and spoke with anyone about Nick Cave. If I had a bucketlist, that’d probably be on it to be honest. Simple means to lead to lasting pleasures. I think? I’m not sure. I like complicated and intense at times. But I’ll settle for a cup of tea. Make it strong.
I haven’t chosen certain songs or lyrics to mention as honestly, I just cannot do it. Pretty much every word Nick Cave has ever written down means the world to me, and more so it is impossible to list even, say five songs. I mean you’ve got songs like Into My Arms that make you want to sing it to the person you are really foolishly fond of. Then you have songs like The Moon Is In The Gutter that just makes you feel less horrific with yourself. Then you have Stranger Than Kindness and Long Black Veil which are etched upon your heart. It is just impossible. He’s not just someone you casually listen to. He is someone who is part of you. He’s left such an impact within your life that you honestly feel a bit sick thinking about life without his words. How awful that would be.
So there you have it. Another annoying ramble from myself as to why I love, adore, respect and admire Nick Cave. I don’t even think I have conveyed it well enough. I don’t even think this is any good- but that doesn’t matter. It’s come from the heart, and that’s the best any of us can ever do.
“The moon is in the gutter. And the stars wash down the sink. I am the king of the blues, I scrape the clay off my shoes. And wade down the gutter and the moon.”