Kill That Woman

Here are Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds performing ‘Kill That Woman’, in Ljubljana, 8 February 1987, a year that marks a period of escalating turmoil in Nick’s personal life. The interview portion of the video is absolutely charming – Nick flirts with the female reporter and talks about looking for a new home (he finally leaves Berlin in April of 1988). The band play only 12 shows in 1987; Nick’s first book is about to be published, his addiction is worsening, and he reunites with Anita Lane. See Nick Cave chronology following another interesting interview, circa 1996-97, with Nick discussing John Lee Hooker, his feelings toward women, and the motivations behind the Murder Ballads album.  Check end of this post & comments for ‘Fixes’!  (Post updated 22 July 2009.)

Kill that Woman + Nick Cave Interview (1987-02-08)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Live in Ljubljana)

Tx to maxosole

Nick Cave Interview (circa 1996)  on John Lee Hooker, his feelings about women, and the Murder Ballads album
Tx to conortalbot

Nick Cave Chronology: Highlights from Year 1987

  • Feb 8: Ljubljana concert (Nick says the band is looking to relocate.)
  • Feb 10: Wim Wenders films the band for Wings of Desire.
  • Feb/Mar: ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ is filmed for VPRO-TV
  • April 10: Anita Lane returns to Nick in Berlin at Christoph Dreher’s Dresdener Strasse loft space. Nick’s heroin addiction has reached a critical stage and friends hope that Anita can help. Meanwhile, Nick is involved with Bunny.
  • May 17: At Cannes, the world premiere of ‘Wings Of Desire’.
  • May 28: At the Amsterdam Paradiso, patrons throw trash as Nick reads from ‘And The Ass Saw The Angel’.
  • May-Jun: Die Haut record “Headless Body in a Topless Bar” at HansaTon Studios, Berlin, with Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Kid Congo Powers & Anita Lane.
  • Jun 13: At 6 a.m., Nick and Anita have a violent argument. Anita falls through a glass coffee table and is hospitalized.
  • Jun 13: Nick, The Bad Seeds, and friends get completely smashed at the after party for the German premiere of Wings of Desire.
  • July: Nick works on editing his book, ATASTA
  • Aug 15: Knopf Music Hall – Kings of Independence Festival*
  • Aug: ‘Tender Prey’ recording sessions.
  • Sep 25: Athina Club, Greece – Nick allegedly shoots up before returning to the stage for the encore and passes out during ‘Kill that Woman’.
  • Oct: Ghosts of the Civil Dead shootings begin. By now Nick has cut his hair cut short for the role of Maynard.
  • Nov 28 & 29: Two drunken/wasted/pissed and otherwise insane ‘performances’ at the Ritz, Novarella, Italy.
  • Dec: Mixing sessions for Tender Prey in London (with Tony Cohen).
  • January 1988: Nick is busted for heroin in London. This is the year he finally goes to rehab.

RELATED POST: Stranger Than Kindness (1987, Hamburg GE ) (Feb 23, 2009)

YEAR 1987 MUSIC FIX is NCATBS, Live in Wein, 1987-05-10 (Tx to Kakophonia ! )

SOURCES: From the Archives  and ‘Bad Seed’ by Ian Johnston

*updated 10 dec 2009 mw

This entry was posted in 1980s Era by Morgan Wolfe. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

6 thoughts on “Kill That Woman

  1. excellent thread this !

    many thanks

    on a different note I came across The Bad Seeds
    getting folksy

    don’t know if it’s a repost
    hope not

    • Thanks, Tanz.

      This is my favorite type of thread, meandering but circular, with lots of trivia and deep links. Stuff you can chew over for a bit.

      The 1987 Ljubljana interview is very important. It takes place at a critical juncture in his life/career, encapsulating nearly the entire situation in under 8 minutes. If you listen while looking at the chronology, Nick seems to be reading the list himself. Positively eerie, like the performance.

      Time points of note:

      @2.25 – 3.10 some of the scariest footage I’ve seen of him doing the song. He means it.
      @4.08 – 4.19 this is money. The camera angle, the dark lighting, the extreme (almost painful) close-ups of a still-youthful baby face as it morphs into a killer’s mask. Menacing enough to freeze your heart.

      Love the Cindy, Cindy video. I just happened to watch it the other day. Here’s the original, from Rio Bravo (1959), sung by Ricky Nelson and Dean Martin, if anyone cares. Ah, those dorky 50s.

    • Oh, I’m gonna have to make a separate post out of it, a part 2, if you like. You know how these threads get connected… 😉 Sorry for disappointing those of you who are not into blues all that much. Take heart, or hold on to yourselves, ’cause I got some hot young Nicky on the back burner for tomorrow. Blixa’s looking pretty steamy hisself. Stay tuned…. 😀

  2. ON EDIT: The ‘Blues Monday’ fix has landed:

    John Lee Hooker & The Coast To Coast Blues Band, Salle Europe
    Montigny Les Metz, France, May 08, 1981
    (FIX LINK Zip file, 103.97 mb)

    Set List:
    01 Get My Baby
    02 instrumental
    03 Find My Baby
    04 instrumental (John Lee intro)
    05 Served Me Right to Suffer
    06 Boom, Boom, Boom
    07 unknown
    08 Roll Me
    09 Rock Steady (fades in / tape flip)
    10 When Im gone?
    11 Rain
    12 Baby, Please Don’t Go
    13 One Bourbon, One Scotch & One Beer
    14 Boogie
    15 outro/boogie


    Great Blues Man, Great Blues Music. “John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) was an influential American post-war blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter born in Coahoma County near Clarksdale, Mississippi. From a musical family, he was a cousin of Earl Hooker. John was also influenced by his stepfather, a local blues guitarist, who learned in Shreveport, Louisiana to play a droning, one-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time. John developed a half-spoken style that was his trademark. Though, similar to the early Delta blues, his music was rhythmically free. His best known songs include “Boogie Chillen” (1948) and “Boom Boom” (1962)”

    ‘Boom Boom’ by John Lee Hooker.
    Notice how his left hand reaches over and down across the frets to play those notes? Blixa does that, as well. If you watch the earliest live Bad Seeds clips from 1984, you’ll see a similar technique, HERE and HERE.

    Blixa learned to play a pretty mean bottleneck for a skinny German kid heavy into the anti-music industrial noise machine art that Neubauten was making at the time. I often wonder if he was influenced by Son House or Blind Willie Johnson. Amazing, considering he didn’t plan to be a guitarist in the first place. Leonard Cohen once said (referring to ‘Avalanche’): “for a guy who reputedly can’t play the guitar [Blixa Bargeld] I’ve never found a guitarist who can play that pattern.”

    John Lee Hooker, Montreal Jazz Festival, 1980
    ‘It Serves Me Right To Suffer’
    Tx to aartRussian (This entire show is on Youtube, fyi).

    Nick does a fantastic job merging verses from ‘Suffer’ with ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and I love his rendition, raw as it is. He changes the entire meaning by singing it serves YOU right to suffer, serves YOU right to be alone. From 11/23/84, 666 Club, Barcelona, here’s Nick (with Blixa on slide, Barry Adamson on bass, and Mick Harvey on drums).
    Tx to PrickMayall !

    I was going to post more old Bad Seeds to follow this up but it will have to wait. It’s late and I’ve got appointments all day tomorrow. Here’s Nick saying good night with this under-appreciated number. I love the concentration in his face and how he raises his arms like Elmer fucking Gantry at a tent revival. Shivers!

    Nick Cave – John the Revelator

    Good night, sweethearts…..

    • Add-on ‘Blues Fix’:

      John Lee Hooker (with Carlos Santana)
      San Francisco, CA 1985-03-20
      (Soundboard mp3@320) (130mb)

      01 – Shake Your Money Maker
      02 – I Don’t Know
      03 – JLH Intro One Monday Morning
      04 – I Don’t Know

      John Lee Hooker & Carlos Santana:
      05 – Boom Boom
      06 – Serves Me Right To Suffer
      07 – High Heeled Sneakers
      08 – Boogie Chillin
      09 – Jam & Outro

      I’m listening right now. Wonderful. If you’re a John Lee fan or just learning about this artist’s influence on Nick Cave’s music, this is it. Cheers.

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