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

1983
Bleddyn Butcher

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.2 cm x 50.5 cm, image: 26.2 cm x 39.7 cm)
Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party)

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
Gift of the artist 2002
© Bleddyn Butcher
Bleddyn@Tenderprey.com

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.
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Audio description

1 minute 56 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Bleddyn Butcher (age 30 in 1983)

Nick Cave AO (age 26 in 1983)

Rowland S. Howard

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Bleddyn Butcher (5 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

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.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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