Top 5 Most Awesomely Insane Things Done By Nick Cave
Nick Cave remains in a class by himself. On one hand, he's the most gothic person alive, but on the other he's so unique in his contributions that when we sat down to make a list of all the different eras of goth music, we simply had to leave him out because he doesn't fit anywhere. He's a statistical anomaly, a mutation, the homo superior of all that is dark and strange.
On top of all that, he may in fact be the coolest person on the planet. You know those Dos Equis commercials about the most interesting man in the world? Nick Cave is that guy, but with better taste. Bizarre wonders appear all around him.
Our favorites include...
The MTV Video Music Awards used to be a pretty big deal, and against all odds Cave found himself nominated for Best Male Artist in 1996 based of the videos he shot for Murder Ballads. The fact that they were duets with PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue didn't hurt.
Where some artists might have been glad for the record sales a nomination, or even better a win, would produce, Cave thought it over and asked to be withdrawn from consideration... and from all future consideration.
You can read his beautiful, logical, and still somehow crazy letter to MTV here. Cave is polite and thankful, even grateful for the attention that MTV had brought him and for the honor that their recognition bestowed upon him, but he felt that his music was better off not being part of a competition.
"My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and if indeed she was, still I would not harness her to this tumbrel--this bloody cart of severed heads and glittering prizes. My muse may spook! May bolt! May abandon me completely!"
We are so using this the next time we quit a job.
We once read a description of Nick Cave that called him "Devout, yet troubled." There's no doubt that Christianity has played an enormous role in his life and art, and yet his personal interpretation of Scripture is so tailored to him and him alone that it's difficult to equate his ever-evolving faith with anything that could be called conventional Christianity.
Which is why the idea of him writing an introduction for the Gospel According to Mark for Pocket Cannon Bibles is so bizarre. Who else on the planet is possibly identify with the spirituality of one of the most bizarre and twisted artists in the world?
Cave's view of his favorite book of the Bible is of Christ as a rage-filled, intense man at odds with the world he's trying to save. The sparse narrative and raw matter-of-fact tone reveals, to Cave at least, the forgotten human side of the savior rather than the idealized Son of God.
All in all, Cave more or less calls the Jesus we see commonly portrayed "smiling benignly at a group of children or serenely hanging from the cross" a pathetic wuss that doesn't have the balls necessary to do justice to Christ's existence. That image of Him "denies Christ His potent, creative sorrow or His boiling anger."
What a reader loses in those interpretations is the ability to identify with the actual struggle Jesus went through. In an odd way, Cave makes a lot of sense, but it sure isn't the way you usually hear people talk about the Gospel of Mark. You can read his essay here.