When Nick Cave was asked last week for his thoughts on being inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame, joining legendary Australian rockers like AC/DC, Skyhooks And Rose Tattoo, he said he would turn up to collect his award, but he'd walk in the front door, walk out the back door and go get a kebab.
Fortunately Cave stuck around to give a short acceptance speech.
He railed against the ARIA organisation for refusing his request to induct his band The Bad Seeds along with himself into the Hall Of Fame. They refused his request because the Bad Seeds had a couple of "foreigners" amongst its ranks.
Likewise, Nick Cave's first band, the legendary and extremely influential The Birthday Party were also denied 'access' to the Hall Of Fame.
So Nick Cave, being the true gentleman and collaborator that he is, took it upon himself to induct the members of The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds into the ARIA Hal Of Fame.
True class from Cave, and definitely the most rock moment of the night.
It was also great to see Silverchair pick up a fleet of awards. Australia has produced, and continues to produce, the best rock bands in the world. The new generation learns from and is vastly inspired by those who have gone before, which is exactly the point Nick Cave was trying to make. The members of The Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds belong in the ARIA Hall Of Fame along with Nick Cave, because he couldn't have done what he has done, and made the music he has made, without them.
Nick Cave on his hero, Johnny Cash :
I was in Los Angeles (in 2003) and got another call from Rick Rubin saying Johnny Cash was recording and did I want to come and record with him. I said: "Of course." I had a couple of hours the next day before I had to leave. I chose a Hank Williams song - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. I got to the studio and was a bit early, and was waiting for Johnny Cash to arrive and wondering how I would be able to sing, to hold my own with this incredible voice.
He arrived, and this man with such extraordinary generosity, such an immense spirit made me feel so much at ease.
I suggested this song, and he said: "Hey yeah, Nick, I know that one. Let's do it." And the band started up and we just did it.
It was funny because I sang the song and then at the end Rick Rubin said: "I'm sorry we're going to have to do it again." I said: "I'm flat, right?" And Rick Rubin said: "No, Johnny's flat." He said: "Yeah, I guess I was little off there." And we did it again.
When Johnny first came down those stairs into the studio he looked really frail and sick, but once he started singing he was really brought back to life. It was an incredible thing to see.
For me it's a very sad thing that he's died, because there goes another one of these great voices. As far as I can see there aren't the people around to replace these people. That's the really sad thing about this.