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Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party)
, 1983

by Bleddyn Butcher

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.2 x 50.5 cm, image: 26.2 x 39.7 cm)

Rowland S. Howard (1959-2009), singer and songwriter, joined The Boys Next Door in 1979, two years after the band had been put together by schoolfriends Nick Cave and Mick Harvey. Cave, Harvey and Howard continued to play together as The Birthday Party until 1983. (In 1982, as the Tuff Monks, Cave, Harvey and Howard released an album with the Go-Betweens.) Remaining in the UK, Howard then took his own significant direction with Crime and the City Solution and These Immortal Souls, although Harvey played drums for Crime as well as for the Bad Seeds, and Howard played as a session musician on several Bad Seeds albums. Howard has collaborated with several high-profile artists and musicians, including the subversive American feminist performer Lydia Lunch. His first 'solo' album, Teenage Snuff Film (which also features Harvey), was released in 2000. Bleddyn Butcher was born in London and came to Australia when he was six. In 1980 he returned to London where he first heard The Birthday Party and met Nick Cave. A self-trained photographer, Butcher was on the staff of New Musical Express throughout the eighties, his interests in the music industry and friendships with fellow expatriate musicians providing the impetus for much of his work. He is well known for his photographs of Nick Cave and Dave Graney and has taken publicity images and album covers for bands including U2, The Triffids and The Go Betweens. Over many years Butcher's work has appeared in Melody Maker, Vox, Mojo, Rolling Stone and Vogue and he has edited and designed the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds fan magazine. His books include Save What You Can: The Day of The Triffids, a biography of David McComb; and A Little History: Nick Cave and cohorts 1981-2013.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2002
Accession number: 2002.31