Even back in '83, Cave was already obsessed with drenching his Southern gothic tales in blood. The finale of the Birthday Party's Bad Seed EP is a first-person account of a man who knifes his lover.
Caveâs first novel tosses main character Euchrid Eucrow into an unforgiving world of violent sleaze. As a child, he witnesses his only benefactor, the prostitute Cosey Mo, butchered by the people of his village. Things get worse from there.
Caveâs take on the traditional folk song âStagger Leeâ is raw beyond precedent, and dripping with menace. Neither the barkeep, nor local boy Billy Dilly, manage to avoid Leeâs threats, or his bullets.
âRed Right Handâ
In this case, the murder is only implied. The tall, handsome man in the dusty black cloak offers salvation, but at a terrible price.
Cave wrote the screenplay for this gothic Western set in the Australian outback. Guy Pearce plays Charlie Burns, an outlaw who finally ends the reign of the Burns gang by shooting his older brother. The two sit side by side while Arthur bleeds to death before a setting sun.
SEE IT: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, with Mark Lanegan, on Saturday, July 5. 8 pm. $37-$76. All ages.