July 25, 2021

Nick Cave writes an emotional tribute to Anita Lane: “It was as easy as it was terrifying to love her”

Nick Cave has written a moving tribute to his former The Birthday Party bandmate Anita Lane, who passed away this week.

Lane was a pivotal member of The Birthday Party, co-writing their tracks ‘A Dead Song’, ‘Dead Joe’ and ‘Kiss Me Black’.

Following the band’s breakup in the early 1980s, she went on to co-write Bad Seeds’ iconic songs “From Her To Eternity” and “Stranger Than Kindness” with her then-boyfriend Cave.

On his Red Hand Files website, Cave answered fan questions about Anita: “What can you tell us about Anita?” Wrote one, while another asked Cave to “share with us a favorite memory of Anita” .

Cave’s tribute read: “You think you know pain, you think you have solved its mechanics, you think you have become an expert in pain – stronger, wiser, more resistant – you think there is nothing else that can hurt you in this world, and then Anita dies.

“Standing in the street in a baby doll dress, surrounded by the sun, laughing and radiating a penetrating beauty of such force that you stop breathing.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

The tribute continued: “Later, at my kitchen table drawing things, I had a speed of touch and a clear and light stroke full of humor, I would throw away each drawing and start another, charged with an unbridled, unstable and fatal energy that he would continue his whole life, my line, amateur and heavy.

“Everybody wanted to work with her, but it was like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Mick Harvey managed to get her into the recording studio, but these precious offerings are a fraction of what she was. She was the smartest and with the most talent from all of us, by far. “

Cave went on to talk about the time when Lane was writing songs with him for The Birthday Party and beyond, explaining: “He was the brains of The Birthday Party, he wrote a lot of their songs, he wrote ‘From Her to Eternity’, ‘The World’s a Girl ‘,’ Sugar in a Hurricane ‘and my favorite Bad Seeds song,’ Stranger Than Kindness’, but it was so much more than that.

Calling Lane her “best friend,” she added: “Two months ago, talking to her on the phone, she seemed to be a million miles away. She loved her children more than anything. They were her pride and joy. It was easy and terrifying at the same time to love her. Leave a lot of space to cry. “

Following his work with Cave, Lane also released several solo albums, including 1993’s “Dirty Pearl,” and 2001’s “Sex O’Clock,” as well as collaborating with artists such as Kid Congo Powers, Gudrun Gut. and Einstürzende Neubauten throughout a long and distinguished career.