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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Boys Next Door, 1978

Michel Lawrence

type C photograph on paper (frame: 45.2 cm x 52.2 cm, mount: 43.5 cm x 50.7 cm, sheet: 20.2 cm x 25.5 cm, image: 13.5 cm x 20.0 cm)

The band the Boys Next Door were formed by schoolfriends Nick Cave and Mick Harvey, who were joined by Tracy Pew, Philip Calvert and, later, Rowland S. Howard. Their first single, 'These Boots are Made for Walking', was released in 1978 and the album Door Door appeared the following year. With the issue of The Birthday Party (1980), some copies of which were released with the name of the band omitted, The Boys Next Door metamorphosed into The Birthday Party. As they changed their name, the band moved from Melbourne to London, where they proved enormously influential on the British rock scene. The band disintegrated in West Berlin in 1983. Their last recording, Mutiny, is held to be the definitive expression of their art. Nick Cave and Mick Harvey went on to form The Bad Seeds, who have garnered critical praise and cultivated-popular adulation over several decades' performing in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© Michel Lawrence

Accession number: 1999.58

Currently on display: Gallery Two (Contemporary Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Michel Lawrence (age 30 in 1978)

Nick Cave AO (age 21 in 1978)

Mick Harvey (age 20 in 1978)

Tracy Pew (age 21 in 1978)

Philip Calvert (age 20 in 1978)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes
Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes
Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes
Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes

Nick Cave by Howard Arkley

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An interview with graffiti artist Marc de Jong about the art of Howard Arkley.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.