Friday, January 1, 2010

Rowland S Howard Loses Battle With Cancer

Wednesday, December 30 2009 at 04:00 PM.

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 the underground
hit ‘Shivers’ for The Boys Next Door and memorably dueted
with Lydia Lunch on Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’.
In 1999, Howard released his debut solo album,
Teenage Snuff Film, which quickly became a cult classic.
Its long-awaited follow-up Pop Crimes was released in October
this year, sparking a run of well-received shows and
garnering widespread critical acclaim (it topped M+N’s
annual Critics Poll earlier this month).
Howard’s ongoing battles with liver cancer recently forced
the cancellation of several shows including a spot on the
Homebake and Summer Tones bills.

In his final interview with M+N, Howard said he was
enjoying the renewed interest in his career.
“It’s very gratifying,” he said.
“When I play live, nobody calls out for ‘Shivers’
any more, because they are too young to have any
kind of historical attachment to it …
It’s peculiar in a way, it just seemed to happen on
its own accord. And it’s great,
because no longer do I look out from the stage and
just see a bunch of ageing ex-junkies.” Go to article

Taken from

Sad news indeed and as he was making a comeback.


chuck said...

some posts to check the guys talent.. hmmm immortal his art.

rage has some clips tonight.

lots of live things here-

and this guy taped the recent sydney gig for his new cd

cancer sucks!

Marcus said...

I have just come to this blog by way of a JFK and the Cuban Crisis link, only to find out the sad news of Rowland S Howard's passing.

As a teen in Canada I had an unseemly attachment to Australian and New Zealand music (Fast Forward cassette fanzines were my guidebook...).

I placed Shivers on many a tape made for many a girl, so sad to hear he's passed, but we should all be so lucky to have such a fine monument to our lives.

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Totally agree Marcus, Shivers is one of those songs I would have been well pleased to have written

Billy Pilgrim said...

I just downloaded the Us Mob/NFA album from your link. Thanks very much for that. I have the NFA CD reissued on Mushroom years ago but US Mob are pretty much unfindable. I used to see them both in Adelaide in the early 1980's. Also saw that Roland Howard was dead. I remember seeing the Birthday Party also in Adelaide at a pub venue, about the cartoon time of 'Release the Bats'(which I always preferred to 'Shiver'). Roland was rake thin, and completely wasted and looked very pissed off too. Adelaide was an absolute hotbed of amazing music at that time, most of which was recorded on cassette of course, and I assume has all vanished. And your cartoon pic of Bjelke-Petersen is the cover of my old ZZZ compilation album, which I still have. I spent my teenage years in Brisbane, one suburb over from Chris Bailey and Ed Kuepper. My brother used to play soccer with Ed's brother! Thanks for your website/blog. I got it by way of YouTube where someone recommended it for the Us Mob/NFA download.
Stephen Wright

Bob, Brisbane, Australia said...

Pleased to be of help stephen,
the ZzZ comp you refer to is the stat of emergence album which is posted on this blog way back in the early days