Early Bad Seeds collaborator Anita Lane died early this week. In the latest edition of his Red Hand Files newsletter, Nick Cave remembered Lane as “the smartest and most talented of all of us, by far” and called her a “lighting in a bottle.”
“You think you’ve become grief-savvy — stronger, wiser, more resilient — you think that there is nothing more that can hurt you in this world, and then Anita dies,” he wrote.
Cave admired Lane’s myriad accomplishments and sometimes contradictory qualities, saying, that “She was the brains behind The Birthday Party, wrote a bunch of their songs, wrote ‘From Her to Eternity,’ ‘The World’s a Girl,’ ‘Sugar in a Hurricane’ and my favourite Bad Seeds song, ‘Stranger Than Kindness.’ but was much more than that.”
He also wondered, “How could something so luminous carry so much darkness? Drank gin out of a baby’s bottle. Despised the concept of the muse but was everybody’s. Spoke in a child’s voice and was my best friend. Two months ago, speaking to her on the phone she seemed a million miles away. Loved her children more than anything. They were her pride and joy.”
Describing Lane’s early days, he recounts that she “walked into the most prestigious art college in Australia — on a whim — and talked her way into being given a place there. Bought an easel, some butcher’s paper, some crayons, put on a dress, did her hair and never went back in. She thought the best ideas were the ones that never saw the light of day.”
Apart from Cave, Lane was a lyricist and solo artist in her own right and did several solo records Dirty Pearl (1993) and Sex O’Clock (2001).
Cave concludes, “It was both easy and terrifying to love her. Leaves a big, crying space. Love, Nick.”
Check out one of Lane’s solo songs, “The World’s a Girl,” below.