Life’s What You Make It

Back in January 2010 when I was only a few posts into the blogging game I posted this song by Rowland S Howard. He died of liver cancer just a few days earlier, 30th December 2009. Rowland recorded his album Pop Crimes while ill and this song, a cover of Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It, has a slightly different perspective when sung by someone who knows their time is up.

Life’s What You Make It

Aged just sixteen Rowland wrote Shivers, recorded by pre-Birthday Party band Boys Next Door. Strange to think that Nick Cave was actually this young once.

>And Then I Kissed Her With A Kiss That Can Only Mean Goodbye Part Two

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Just so you can compare and contrast, here’s Roland S Howard’s She Cried, from his 2000 album Teenage Snuff Movie, which today’s earlier Horror’s song is clearly indebted to. Rowland S Howard was guitarist in The Boys Next Door (for whom he wrote the still stunning Shivers aged only 16) and then The Birthday Party. He died of liver cancer on December 30th 2009, two days before I started Bagging Area. His cover of Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It was the second or third post here, and was part of the reason for starting blogging.

The Boys Next Door ‘Shivers’

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago when I posted about Rowland S. Howard. This is the song he wrote aged 16, which became a millstone around his neck, still having to perform it 30 years later. Sung by a fresh faced Nick Cave, The Boys Next Door’s ‘Shivers’, from before they became The Birthday Party and moved to London.
All together now… ‘ And my baby’s so vain, she’s almost a mirror’

10 Shivers.wma

Rowland S Howard 1959-2009


Rowland S Howard was the guitarist with The Birthday Party, and before that The Boys Next Door. He joined Nick Cave and Mick Harvey, and aged 17 had already written Shivers, the underground Oz-rock classic. After The Birthday Party split, amid chaos, vomiting and drugs, he drifted around fronting the odd band (These Immortal Souls) and released some solo lps (Teenage Snuff Movie in 2000 and Popcrimes in 2009). By the time Popcrimes was released Rowland was suffering from liver cancer and waiting for a transplant. He died on December 30th. He was a unique guitarist, songwriter and singer- and he could record a decent cover as well. On Teenage Snuff Movie he did White Wedding (yes, that White Wedding) and here for you to download Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It (given some grim irony by his state of health, I guess)

mp3: Life’s What You Make It