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The Boys Next Door
, 1978

by Michel Lawrence

type C photograph (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
Accession number: 1999.58