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R.I.P. ROWLAND S. HOWARD, GUITARIST FOR BOYS NEXT DOOR, BIRTHDAY PARY, CRIME & THE CITY SOLUTION, THESE IMMORTAL SOULS…


Australia’s music scene has lost a true icon with the reported passing of Rowland S Howard today (December 30). While no official statement has been made by management, close friends of the guitarist have confirmed reports that he lost his ongoing battle with liver cancer at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital this morning…Howard, 50, was a former member of the Young Charlatans, The Boys Next Door (who later morphed into The Birthday Party) and These Immortal Souls. He penned ‘Shivers’, which became an underground hit for The Boys Next Door, and memorably dueted with Lydia Lunch on Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’.

Mess And Noise:

Australia’s music scene has lost a true icon with the reported passing of Rowland S Howard today (December 30). While no official statement has been made by management, close friends of the guitarist have confirmed reports that he lost his ongoing battle with liver cancer at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital this morning…Howard, 50, was a former member of the Young Charlatans, The Boys Next Door (who later morphed into The Birthday Party) and These Immortal Souls. He penned ‘Shivers’, which became an underground hit for The Boys Next Door, and memorably dueted with Lydia Lunch on Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’.

The Age:

Rowland S. Howard – the guitarist in Nick Cave’s cult punk-era bands The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party – died yesterday at the Austin Hospital from liver cancer. He was 50. Howard wrote the 1979 cult hit Shivers for The Boys Next Door. He then played with Cave in The Birthday Party until the influential band split in 1983 amid turmoil and drug abuse.

Long-time friend and Birthday Party bandmate Mick Harvey, who played drums on Howard’s newest, critically acclaimed solo album Pop Crimes, said Howard did not want to die. ’‘Sometimes people are ready to go because they have been sick for a long time, but Rowland really wanted to live. ’‘Things were going well for him outside of his health and he wanted to take advantage of that and he was very disappointed that he wasn’t well enough to do so.’’

Pop Crimes has been on many Australian music critics’ best-of-2009 lists, and the swansong album is considered a favourite in the upcoming Australian Music Prize.

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