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Nick Cave: The Journalist and the Singer

Mark Mordue, 'Boy On Fire' (Allen & Unwin), February 2021

THE FIRST TIME I ever spoke to Nick Cave was in a phone interview to promote his second solo album, The Firstborn Is Dead (1985), an ominous, blues-affected work that sanctified the birth of Elvis Presley and thereby rock'n'roll itself in quasi-religious, apocalyptic terms. Our conversation around the recording was as dry as spinifex, so slow and spacious it sometimes ceased to exist. As if Cave could not be less interested in what I was asking or saying and never would be. Given his notorious hatred of journalists back then, this made for an uphill experience. I put the phone down with sweating palms and a sinking feeling in my heart. What a failure.

Total word count of piece: 1684


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