June Milestones: PinkPop & Nixa

It was 20 years ago today that Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds played PinkPop Festival, Landgraaf, NL, the first leg of the Good Son tour (May 13 – June 30, 1990). (INFO)  June 4 also marks the 28th anniversary of Nick Cave meeting Blixa Bargeld at the Amsterdam Paradiso in 1982.

Gudrun Gut of Malaria! formally introduced the musicians backstage. Blixa: ‘Well, I knew nothing of The Birthday Party or their music but I instantly liked it’ (Johnston 109).  The next day, Nick saw Einstürzende Neubauten on a Dutch TV program and was inspired to write the now famous ‘Thistles in the Soul’ essay (published in King Ink, 1990).

Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld, circa 1990

From PinkPop 1990, here are Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds performing ‘The Weeping Song’. Most of you long-timers know this clip by heart with lyric flubs and all the rest. Some may roll their eyes but I’m a sentimental fool.  Here’s to Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld: you cats were a force of nature.  We loved you then and we love you still.  Respect!


Tx to thesoulbreath

  • Works Cited: Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, by Ian Johnston (1995)

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8 thoughts on “June Milestones: PinkPop & Nixa

  1. I meant to post this earlier, but… better late than never.

    “Thistles in the soul” by Nick Cave (essay excerpt)

    Finally, the camera found the third man. He was the most beautiful man in the world. He stood there in a black leotard and black rubber pants, black rubber boots. Around his neck hung a thoroughly fucked guitar. His skin cleared to his bones, his scull was a utter disaster, scabbed and hacked, and his eyes bulged out of their orbits like a blind man’s. And yet, the eyes stared at us as if to herald some divine visitation. Here stood a man on the trashold of greatness; here stood a Napoleon victorious amongst his spoils, a conquering Caesar parading his troops, a Christ akimbo an Calvary. Blixa Bargeld.

    For sixty seconds, this man stood as if paralyzed, hexed by his own madness. Then he opened his mouth and let out a scream that sounded like someone was pulling a thistle out of his soul.

    After the TV show, a friend of mine told me he had met Susanna Kunke – of MALARIA – the day before, and she had told him about a party with E.N. in an Amsterdam hotel. They had all been naked – mucking about. Alexander von Borsig had sat in a corner, staring at a metronome and rocking back and forth – tock tock tock tock tock – to it’s rhythm.

    A few month later, after THE BIRTHDAY PARTY had moved from London to Berlin, we got to know E.N. and became friends. I remember visiting them while they were recording “Thirsty Animal” in a small Kreuzberg studio; the studio was cold and fusty and full of amps, trash and steel. And in the middle of the room a microphone pointed to a small, mangy dog rooting around in a steaming pile of pig guts. Blixa Bargeld had a contact-mike taped to his chest, while the muscle-bound Mufti beat on this natural sounding-board with his fists. Boom-Boom Boom-Boom. Boom-Boom Boom-Boom.

    -Nick Cave, “Thistles in the soul”, King Ink (excerpt)

    Complete version: http://colodez.spb.ru/kladovaya/neubauten/thistles.html

  2. I remember the first time I read Thistles in the Soul, I was amazed by it too. Love that photo, very much a couple pic, I particularly like their feet pointed towards each other, cute 🙂

  3. i love the pinkpop series of vids. as for thistles in the soul – well its enough to make my heart weep. 🙂

  4. Ellen, big huggies to you, honey. Love is all you need (I just thought of Headcleaner *g*). Anna, I agree with you – Blixa *is* stunning. The portrait is priceless.

    Notes on body language (entirely subjective perceptions, included for entertainment purposes):

    Blixa is sitting straight, hands clasped on his knee, pinky fingers precisely joined, shoulders slightly curved and lower than Nick’s. His posture suggests dependability and strength, as a knight pledged to guard the king. Blixa looks straight ahead at the camera, face impassive, like a fearless individualist who freely chose this relationship and is utterly committed to it. Nick’s upper body is turned toward Blixa on the left. He appears relaxed, his right hand dangles casually from his knee. His left arm is raised and rests across Blixa’s shoulders, literally leaning on him. Nick’s body language suggests a deep trust and affection, a certain possessiveness, and a dependence on Blixa. His head is inclined toward Blixa but his expression is defiant, as if daring someone to criticize him. Both men have crossed legs, facing toward one other, forming their own unit, closing out the world, and defending themselves against it.

    Be sure and check out my previous post on PinkPop if you haven’t read it. You will enjoy the annotations. For example, Blixa’s changeover from leathers to suits was a huge costume milestone that occurred in June 1990. See: PinkPop’s 40th; Bad Seeds, 1990, (15 Apr 2009) https://nickcavefixes.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/pinkpop-40th/

  5. Yeah i continue with the love 😀

    Aaah i love the PinkPop-Vids. He forgets lyrics so much and always did..its really funny.

    The picture is one of the best of them, they look a bit gay and i love that. Blixa looks stunning in that pic. What might be on the socks Nick is wearing? 😀

    I also love (how suprising ;)) “Thristles in the Soul”. When i first read it and came to the point where he writes “He was the most beautiful man in the world. (…)” i loudly said “aaaaaaaawww” and then “woooooooh” when it comes to “(…)a Napoleon victorious amongst his spoils, a conquering Caesar parading his troops(…)” He must love Blixa very, very much 🙂

  6. I’m just looking at this sighing to myself. It’s all about love; I love this, I love them and I love you, Morgan for posting this. And I do love The Weeping Song. Well, what more can I say …?

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