Thursday, August 6, 2009

You Must Be This Famous to Own an Attack Groundhog

New photo of the moment:
Mr. Cave and Mr. Cash.

The below image, which I somehow spent an hour making, will make even less sense more sense after you read this entry.

Just emailed the following to my dear New Zealand-dwelling friend, Jess, who I met at the concert last year. I sent her a rambling email about how famous Nick Cave is. I include it here because it is NC related, and you all might have your own insights.

I know fame is relative, but I just wanted a general idea.

How famous *is* NC in Australia/NZ? I realize that's a weird question, I mean, how can you say, "oh - he's such-and-such level of famous." But I most people know who he is?

Here, in a chain music store, most people have no idea who he is. In independent/goth music stores, they do (not counting Hot Topic), but he's definitely a cult-level fame here. I've heard a few people call him "underground," and I'm like...uh, no...he's not underground; he's on a relatively large label.

Here in the States, people like Britney Spears, U2, and Beyonce are super famous. EVERYONE knows who they are. You could mention "Beyonce" to anyone and most likely get a response. Then there are people less famous, but still relatively well known, such as (first to mind) Lady Gaga or Lily Allen. Less than that you start getting into people with a smaller, dedicated following, such as Tori Amos, Primus (who I can't stand), etc. I guess Nick would be in that category, but he gets more of a "who the fuck is that?!" reaction than even those I just mentioned. More obscure than him would be independent label type artists.

I know there's no definite answer. Where I live, there are people who know who he is, if you know where to FIND those people. Indie music stores, goth clubs, etc.

Usually, though, when I tell people about my favorite artist, this is what goes down:

THEM: Nicolas Cage?
ME: No, Nick CAVE.
THEM: Oh, Cave...what would I know him from?
ME: The Bad Seeds, mostly.
THEM: Never heard of 'em. What'd they sing?
ME: Lots of stuff, but you'd know 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' with Kylie Minogue first.
ME: Kylie Minogue.
THEM: Oh, she sang that can't get outta yer head song, right?
ME: Right.
THEM: Yeah, still don't know who Nick Callus is.
ME: CAVE. NICK CAVE. He also sang a song called Red Right Hand you might know from those fuckin' Scream movies.
THEM: Ah, so...he's a one hit wonder then?

I AM NOT KIDDING. Well, I am a bit...but come on. He could walk around and people would be like, "huh...tall guy. Now, where's McDonald's?"


  1. As a fellow American, I can relate. I mean, I have been into "cult" and "underground" groups since I was a child, but I'd never actually heard Nick Cave til a year ago. I think an old boyfriend played me FHTE and Mutiny at some point, but they made no impression at the time.
    That is how weird his "fame" is in the States :D The only reason I figured out who Nick Cave is was by checking out Blixa's "other band" the Bad Seeds after years of Neubauten adoration.

    I've rarely met anyone who's heard of him in the States, and the people who have heard of him tend to have the Best Of stuffed under their sofa cushions somewhere and are under the impression that Nick Cave sits around all day sawing at his wrists with rusty razor blades and presume I therefore do the same and that they should call psychiatric services. Quite interesting :D

    I don't know where all the American Nick Cave fans hide...they certainly come out in droves for those oh-so-rare concerts here!

    PS: epic. photo.

  2. I love that photo. It's in my Johnny Cash "Unearthed" box set.

    I know other American Nick Cave fans exist. I saw them at the Ogden in Denver dammit!

  3. Great dialog :D

    Here in Europe most people know Kylie i think and Nick is basically known for the hit he had with her. Maybe its harder to find other fans in the US because its so huge, so the Cavemaniacs are more distributed all over the US? But i must say...i also don`t meet many fans of him, but i think when i mention his name people, especially the older ones, often say "Oh yeah, Wild Roses, Kylie..." because the video was played to death on MTV.

    Lady Gaga and Lilly Allen are also more famous here at the moment than Nick ever was i think ;D Thats because they are everywhere in the press and on TV and Nick is not. On MTV when they aired performances of "Hurricane Festival" i thought from the beginning on "They won`t show the Bad Seeds"...and i was right. Poor, stupid MTV.

    He is primary an independent-legend here i think and will always be and maybe thats one reason why his music is so great, because he does what he want. Good for us, only 3000 people joined the concert this summer and i could stand in front row without going there 2 days before they played. I wouldn`t like to try that on a U2 concert in a venue for 70.000 and more :D

  4. Aaah nonetheless i must say that Nick and the Bad Seeds DEFINATELY deserve 100.000 people joining the gigs...but well...seems like not so many people know whats really good ;)