Mick Harvey has quit the Bad Seeds

Breaking news: Mick Harvey, long-time friend of Nick Cave, and founding member of The Bad Seeds, has announced he is quitting the band. In so doing, he joins the ranks of former Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld, who quit in March 2003, as the last of the original, founding members, of Nick Cave & Bad Seeds. An era had ended. Nick Cave is now left to carry on alone. We wish Mick Harvey well and offer him a heart-felt ‘thank you’ for the 25 years he devoted to the band.

Read more here.

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About Morgan Wolfe

I write contemporary LGBTQ fiction that explores the dark & light of human love and desire. Interests: Progressive politics, visual arts, vintage illustration, mid-century design. French films, Queer cinema. Literary quotes. J'adore Paris. Ich liebe Berlin.

50 thoughts on “Mick Harvey has quit the Bad Seeds

  1. My fiancee has decided to leave me alone as I am in mourning and like a bear with a sore head!
    I have hardly recovered from when Blixa left. The nails are inexorably being banged in to the coffin.
    I still have infinite amounts of respect for Nick and every member of the bad seeds. I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.
    No other music has so consistently taken me round corners as when the bad seeds were in their heyday.

    I’m going off to cry now and play my favourite BS songs!

    Sylvia

  2. Hilarious! Re: Ron Jeremy and Aqualung! 😀

    There is a sadness in the finality of it all. It’s quite possible that Mick Harvey left for reasons that none of us will ever know or understand. Things catch up with you and one day you realize how short life really is. So, Carpe Diem, regardless…

    You know, one of Nick Cave’s best attributes is his magnificent lust for life. It is a joy to have been blessed by his music, in all of its modes, and through all of his oddly chosen and disparate messengers. So, while I may never be as in love with Grinderman as I am with the old Bad Seeds, that’s okay.

    Melbourne Deb is a great friend, and she’s been a Cave fan for 30 years, poor woman. ;D She advises fans to go with Nick’s creative flow, to take what you need from what’s he’s offering, and leave the rest.

    After all, Old Nick has got an enormous and brilliant back catalog to enjoy and to choose from, so I can weather just about anything. That is my bit of wise council for those who are struggling with anger and sorrow over this news. This too shall pass.

  3. I see what you are sayin Morgan, but I do think Nick learning guitar has allowed him to develop new songwriting techniques.

    I saw an interview where he said that recently he would start writing on the piano in his office, only to disgard it for being reminiscent of something from The Boatman's Call. I think for the first time he felt the power and excitement of having a guitar around his neck with distortion and feedback. He said something to the tune of, "I now understand the Velvets". Perhaps, the piano love ballad is on hiatus for a while. However, he still loves to perform them live, so I don't think he's turned his back on that form of songwriting.

    I love the new rock direction, and Warren's textures (Bazouki, mandolin/caster, samples), but why was Mick's involvement non existent? If anyone knows Rock & Roll, its Mick. He was in The Birthday Party for christsakes.

    If you've seen the doco on the God Is In The House dvd, Mick is gracious to allow Warren to work with him on arrangements, and they seem to bounce ideas and work well. Why did this stop? The 3 of them could have made dynamite loud music.

    Mick was always at the centre of the storm. Without him, it could get ramshackle. He had his finger on the pulse. Don't know if anyone noticed, but there were times on recent dates where things would get sloppy, instruments would drop out, and Mick would be casting his glance. It wasn't as tight as the AB/LOO shows.

    I think they will miss Mick. I don't think the partnership of Nick and Warren is capable of a Mercy Seat. Nick's Ron Jeremy look and Warren's Aqualung thing seems more confined to Grinderman's growing old disgracefully image. How long will that last?

  4. Just in case there’s any confusion after my last comment, I also *hate* Nick Cave. Ssssst. Couldn’t resist. He doesn’t need the likes of me wasting my devotions on the likes of him. Not with all those new souls to steal. As for this thread, it is winding down, but feel free to speak if you wish.

    Cheers,
    Morgan Wolf

  5. Rute, Jesus. I don’t know what to say. Well, here you are. It’ll be fine. Nick is a cat with nine lives. I don’t know what number he’s on. It doesn’t matter. He’ll bloody well outlive me. Bastard. (*I love him.) 😀

  6. I’m 34. For particular reasons, although I had heard of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds long before, I never wanted to get myself "into them". Until last September, randomly, when I was looking for another singer’s video on YouTube and was stubbornly chasing after the idea it was a Nick Cave video. Therefore, I was researching all there was, looking for a particular song. Eventually, I ended up forgetting what I was looking for in the 1st place and got shaken to my guts with what I saw and heard, and couldn’t believe I had been so stupid I deliberately decided, years before, not to know that band.
    So, in September I was hit by an uncontrolled speeding train, smashed under it, then blown inside out, burst into flames and burned myself to ashes. A month with some blank nights, and I made a trip, from that exquisite Henry Lee video (1st night), The Mercy Seat live in Lyon (2nd night, shivering and burning) and Grinderman’s Grinderman (3rd night, latent everlasting helplessness, brutal), and then back. I met Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman at the same time. And, in what TBS are concerned, I lived more than twenty years in a month, as fast as I could possibly handle it, from now into the past. Backwards. Intensely and in a deranged speeding crescendo whose effects I’m still handling. Getting insane wounding kicks as laughing out loud with tears in my eyes on that train long suffering. SING!
    I had a sense of urgency in me I can’t even now start to explain.
    In October I bought the ticket to see NC&TBS in Brighton.
    In November I was on a plane on my way to England. I’m Portuguese. They had been in Portugal in March. I didn’t know them in March.
    It took me less than three months from the moment I listened to Nick’s songs to get me precisely where he and The Bad Seeds were.
    I got lost in London the moment I stepped out of Victoria, wearing mid-summer clothes in a November British night, I went through cold and rain, cancelled trains to Brighton, but I got there.
    I didn’t regret it a bit then, although seeing The Bad Seeds live was physically painful to me. That’s how good they are.
    I sure as hell don’t regret it now!
    Thank you Mick, thank you The Bad Seeds. I love you all. But I still trust Nick Cave completely to do what’s best. Thank you, and your Seeds, for the mere fact that you do actually exist. (Yes, I have a bottle of my favourite stuff and am weeping my guts out. Mick… WHY?)

  7. Cocteau, thank you for your insightful comment. You touch on many things that have long troubled me since Blixa Bargeld’s departure.

    Why, indeed, was Mick left out of the Ab/Loo writing sessions? It is as if Nick wanted cut off the band’s head, as if it were a vampire that might just resurrect itself. This gets at my other problem with his work since Ab/Loo…

    Why has Nick abandoned his long-standing love affair with piano ballads in favor of his so-so guitar playing?

    I can understand and appreciate the excitement of his side work with Grinderman. But what seems to have happened is that Nick fell in love with his guitar hero self and decided to be a pop star after all. The price? The Bads Seeds had to morph into Grinderman.

    I realize Nick’s guitar is an exciting prop. It has generated a huge sexual charge into his live performances. It is thrilling. That said, the guitar playing gets in the way of the quieter, more intimate side of Nick Cave in performance.

    Further, playing guitar necessarily undermines the artistic work what Cave is best known and loved for: the Love Song, which he personally elevated to an art form. Then there are the religious and spiritual aspects of his music.

    Over the years Nick has written deeply inspired songs that have lifted many people up during times of emotional suffering and spiritual crisis. I contend that the piano ballads and love songs, with their carefully considered delivery, are what Nick Cave will be remembered for, in years to come. Not for the scratching guitar and howling animal-in-crisis shrieks he bellows with Grinderman.

    Some of us, perhaps most of us, will continue to listen to Nick Cave’s music. But we should recognize when something is lost take the time to say a proper good-bye. That’s my opinion.

  8. I saw the writing on the wall about 2 years ago. But it still came as a shock when I heard about it.
    After collaboration upon collaboration between Nick and Warren with film scoring and then Grinderman, I felt as if Mick had taken a backseat, and Warren has now become Nick’s right hand man and the two enjoying the great Aussie mateship. I admit i love the music that they make together, and it has propelled the Bad Seeds into a new direction, I just don’t see why Mick was not having a hand in the music process? Why was he not present at the writing workshop for Abbatoir Blues/Lyre?
    Mick is a highly creative, and supreme musician and arranger, and without his input, he must have felt bored and redundant. Take a look at the Night Of The Lotust Eater video. He’s playing that sampled bass riff over and over. Yawn.
    Live, he was in the shadows playing mostly keyboard chords and backing vocals on the DLD tour. This could be a result of Nick learning the guitar and Warren playing the Mandocaster. But neither Nick’s rough attempts at guitar or the thin sound of Warren’s mandocaster can fill Mick’s guitar anchor.
    I don’t believe Warren is a usurper. I think Nick was thinking more about the exciting creative process of working with Warren, however the lines were blurring within the Bad Seeds. Perhaps Nick should have considered that in the Bad Seeds, it’s back to business in terms of creative dynamics.
    As Nick said himself- “I would be standing in a soup queue if it wasn’t for Mick Harvey”. He was the bedrock of that band.
    I can’t see where the line is between Grinderman and the Bad Seeds now.
    I look forward to the future music he makes. Thanks for all the music and not growing facial hair.

  9. @sastrugi : I meant I won’t be a fan of the “new” Bad Seeds.
    Maybe I’m “over-reacting”, but how can you not “over react” ??? Mick Harvey leaving (after Blixa Bargeld), it means the end of the Bad Seeds. :(((((
    And, yes, if Nick Cave only performs with Grinderman, I’m not sure I would go. Seriously.

  10. i might give it a miss, but only because i can never bloody well see anything. i did enjoy the nick solo show at the palais many years ago. can’t even begin to tell you what year that was.

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