It was 1985 when I first heard of Nick Cave. That makes me a little late to the party. Birthday Party, if you will, you hapless music nerds.
I had smuggled in a copy of SPIN magazine into my bedroom. Smuggled, because magazines of this nature were the highest form of contraband, next to playing cards and heroin.
I remember it so clearly. Sting on the cover. I had it because it had an interview with The Edge, and U2 had become an obsession after being introduced to them by a friend who had a seat to himself on the back of the bus and took pity on me after seeing me shoved out of my seat by some red-headed girl whose name I’ll never remember and introduced me to the music that changed my life. No kidding. It did. Oh, yes. He also let me sit beside him, which probably saved my life.
I had convinced my very fundamentalist Xtian parents that this was music that was fine to listen to as they were clearly nice boys with songs like Gloria, 40, and Tomorrow (which is about Bono’s mother, but I was able to convince mine that it was about the baby Jesus; so, that’s good).
SPIN magazine from July, 1985. It featured an interview with Nick Cave. He had hair like I wanted mine to be. Hair like mine eventually became. Before it fell the fuck out.
Nick Cave. Father: English teacher. Mother: librarian. I hadn’t heard a note, and I was hooked. Everything he said resonated, like, “Then there were episodes where I’d round a corner at school and be tripped, and there were a mob of hippies (in my case, jocks) laughing.” And, “Speaking realistically, I expect I’m way past middle aged at the moment.” He said that at 28.
Thus began my new obsession with Nick Cave and some nice young fellows called The Bad Seeds.
And to this day, I have not seen him live. Son of a bitch! I keep telling everyone that there are at least four occasions in which I had the opportunity to see him, but have not yet done so. I can think of only two. Either I’m full of shit, or my booze-addled brain is unable to recall the middle two at the moment. Either way, fuknsonofabitch!
The Lollapalooza Incident
I lived in Vancouver in the 90s. Who didn’t? Saw many great shows there, including a psylocybin and MDMA-fueled Lollapalooza 92, and White Zombie at the Town Pump with about 75 other people. And Built to Spill at 86th Street Music Hall.
I missed The Pixies when they played The Commodore before opening for U2, but sat outside and heard the whole show. 20 years later I saw them in Montreal and almost got kicked out, but this, this is another story altogether.
In 1994 I met a fellow called Arne who claimed he was a big-shot producer in L.A. He claimed to have connections like I had issues with my parents. We discussed music, and that I was thinking that, having seen the last two Lollapalooza shows, that I would buy tickets for that year’s show, just to see Nick Cave. Finally. To finally see Nick Cave.
“Don’t buy tickets, fuck,” Arne said. “I’ve got you covered.”
“You’re sure?” I asked.
“Get to the gate. I got you, baby.”
What I have learned is that when someone says, “I got you, baby,” they do not, in fact, have you.
That year the show was in Langley, which meant a long, long ride from Vancouver. Friends of mine from Edmonton had come to see the show. I got a ride with them and took a gal that was dating a friend of mine, but was so hot that I could not resist attempting to impress her. I was pretty sure impressing her would get me some. She wore long knee socks, a black pleated skirt, and a white V-neck t-shirt to the show. l was pretty sure it was on.
And when we got to the gate, there were no tickets. I could see The Smashing Pumpkins from the gate. We could not go in. We took a bus back to Vancouver. It took hours. I got none. Arne did not have me, and I did not have the lovely Rebecca (say it like “ree becka”).
The Montreal Incident
Skip past times two and three, which may never have happened, but I’m sure that they did and, fuck man, I just can’t remember, and Nick Cave is playing Montreal with his Bad Seeds in Montreal at Metropolis in 2008.
I was going. I bought tickets with my girlfriend at the time, then gave them to her for safekeeping. We broke up after buying them. She went. I did not. She went with a guy called Stef who looks like Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I bumped into her later and she said that she expected to see me while she was standing in line, and would have told Stef to go home. So, that’s good.
I have two tickets to see Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds in March. March 22nd. It’s a month before my birthday, but it’s my birthday present.
I’m old. I don’t much care for loud rock and/or roll shows, but I will see this one. Oh how I will see the shit out of this show. If you see me there, I expect a high five from you, and nothing less. I expect that you will buy me a drink and say, “Fuck, man. Finally, hey?” I expect that it will be everything I have been wanting for the last something something years.
I no longer care about knee socks. I just want to see Nick Cave. For fuck sakes.