As Nick Cave celebrates the hugely successful release of his seventeenth studio album, Ghosteen, which seemingly managed to cause a storm without so much of a hint of publicity leading up to its release, short of a brief blog post from the man himself about 2 weeks before its release, Nick Cave is often overlooked when it comes to mainstream media, or at least commercial music media anyway. He was ignored for years by the big players, despite building a cult following from the very start when Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released their first record, From Her to Eternity.

Overnight the door to MTV was closed firmly in my face
- Nick Cave

To an extent, it’s understandable that those pretty-boy blue eyes on the front cover went largely unnoticed by the tastemakers of the day. However, even after this 1984 debut, Cave spent many years under the radar as the airwaves and futuristic TV screens were filled with pop music galore, spearheaded by the dominant MTV that had launched just a few years before in 1981. Although MTV claimed it was the new Rock N Roll for a modern generation, the first videos to air included Video Killed the Radio Star, and She Won't Dance With Me by Rod Stewart, seemingly more pop than rock.

MTV today has never looked so defeated. It’s daily schedule saturated with teen moms and reality TV rejects with hardly a music video in sight. As a respectable musician, you can’t blame Nick Cave for wanting to distance himself from such an organisation, however, he never even had to acknowledge them for the first 20 years of his music career, until they decided to jump on the rising stardom of Nick Cave’s independent bandwagon when he teamed up with fellow Aussie popstar, Kylie Monogue, to record a song called, Where the Wild Roses Grow.

The song was taken from the 9th studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads, which topped a handful of charts around the globe, as well as being certified gold in the United Kingdom. It was this very song that would lead to Nick Cave telling MTV exactly where they can go.

“MTV who had ignored me for 20 years put this video on heavy rotation and I was catapulted into the world of superstardom. The upshot of this was that MTV nominated me for the Best Male Artist, along with George Michael.” Cave says in a live reading of the letter he sent to MTV back in 1996.

Cave says he felt uncomfortable at the idea of having being nominated, much to the amusement of his crowd at the time. He explains how the letter essentially stopped MTV from ever taking note of him ever again. “Overnight the door to MTV was closed firmly in my face and I was flung back into obscurity.”

When Cave starts to read the letter, he opens with his thankfulness to MTV for their recent support before expressing his real opinion of the TV station in the only way that Nick Cave knows how.

“I feel it is necessary for my nomination for Best Male Artist be withdrawn and furthermore any awards or nominations for such awards that may arise in later years be presented to those who feel more comfortable with the competitive nature of these award ceremonies. I have always been of the opinion that my music is unique and exists beyond the realms inhabited by those who would reduce things to mere measuring. I am in competition with no one”.

Nick Cave is, without doubt, one of the rarest kinds of a musician. It’s almost insulting to call him a musician. He is an artistic expression of his own creative outlet, he answers to none yet he gives to all.

Mr Cave, we salute you indeed.

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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