Nick Cave AO (b. 1957), singer, songwriter and author, was born in Warracknabeal, Victoria, and educated at Caulfield Grammar School, where he formed his first band, The Boys Next Door. In 1980, when Cave had spent two years at art school, the band changed its name to The Birthday Party and moved to London, where it significantly influenced other punk bands. With several talented recruits, members of the Birthday Party formed The Bad Seeds, whose first album was released in 1984. Cave has participated in a number of fruitful musical collaborations and has been involved in several films, including the arthouse sensation Wings of Desire (1987). He co-wrote, acted in and wrote the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed Ghosts . . . of the Civil Dead (1988) and scripted the grim Australian drama The Proposition (2006); he appeared in I’m Your Man (2005-2006), and features on the soundtrack of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007). A long-term resident of the UK, he has written several novels while performing all over Europe and continuing to issue albums regularly. His releases with The Bad Seeds include Nocturama (2003), the acclaimed double set Abbatoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus (2004) and Push the Sky Away (2013), the latter the band’s first Australian number-one album. He has made two albums with Grinderman, all the members of which are members of the Bad Seeds: Grinderman (2007) and Grinderman 2 (2010). Individually, he has appeared on such ventures as the sea-chantey compilation Rogue’s Gallery (2006). Cave was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007.
Bleddyn Butcher has worked closely with Cave since 1980. This photograph was first published in Rolling Stone Australia in May 1994.
Gift of the artist 2002
Accession number: 2002.27
More about the artist and subject
Permanent collection catalogue
On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.