Thursday, December 31, 2009

ROWLAND S. HOWARD 1959 - 2009

Yesterday (Dec. 30, 2009), Melbourne-born guitarist R. S. Howard died of liver cancer. He has been a member of Nick Cave's first band, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (and of Birthday Party, indeed), for which he wrote "Shivers". This song is the closest that Nick Cave ever got to Bryan Ferry, might be for the so called "slow beat"-rhythm. At least it was called like that in one of my first "learn to play the drums" - books. We used to call it "the Roxy Music", because Paul Thompson was a master of this syncopated bass drum rhythm. It goes like that

Here is the drum-chart, the drummer of BND very regularly leaves out the 16th-note on the bass-drum between 4 and 4&ahalf and sometimes between 4&ahalf and 1, and 2&ahalf and 3, respectively.

Later on, Rowland was a member of Crime & The City Solution (of Singer Simon Bonney), a band featured in the soundtrack of Wim Wenders' "Der Himmel ├╝ber Berlin". Here is a song he wrote for their first Mini-LP "Just South of Heaven"

Rowland was featured on many other projects of that Aussie/Berlin/London/New York scene of those days, his guitar-playing heard, amongst others, on records by Lydia Lunch and Jeremy Gluck. Often Epic Soundtracks, brother of Nikki Sudden (the siblings being responsible for the British garage-band The Swell Maps), was playing the drums on those recordings (he had also been a member of CCS original line-up). Nikki is dead, (+2006) Epic is dead (+1997), and now Rowland also is. Epic has also been the drummer of THESE IMMORTAL SOULS, featuring Rowland, Genevieve McGuckin and Rowland's brother Harry. I saw them once in the late 80ies in Vienna, u4 club, one among about 50 who came there. Here is the name-giving song written by Rowland

Hopefully, his soul is immortal like those of Epic and Nikki!


  1. it's a shame, I'm to late ...
    the 2nd and the 3rd video is'nt available enymore

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. At least, I found a version of "trouble come this morning" still looking for these immortal souls...