Monday, October 8, 2012

Rowland S. Howard

Rowland Stuart Howard (24 October 1959 – 30 December 2009) was an Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work with the post-punk group The Birthday Party and his subsequent solo career.

-I'm soaring through outer space
There is no better place
To be...-
''ROCK guitarist Rowland S. Howard dragged himself out of bed on October 29 last year for a gig in his St Kilda neighbourhood.

Weighing 60kg, he barely made a bump under the blankets but a dapper suit helped him conceal his swollen abdomen, puffy legs and the rash over his dysfunctional liver. Dosed with anti-nausea medication, he warned the audience of goths and hipsters that he was feeling queasy and could vomit. The signature Lark cigarette that dangled from his lips when he burst on to the ’70s punk scene with Nick Cave in The Boys Next Door was missing. So too was the heroin that had laced his veins on and off until 2004.
He swigged from a bottle of Pepsi at the Prince that night, playing his trademark Fender Jaguar, performing songs from his new solo album Pop Crimes as well as classics the fans knew by heart. Standing several feet from the front of the stage, gig reviewer Greg Moskovitch tried to reconcile the room’s thumping mood with the painful signs of Howard’s physical decay.
Halfway through the last song, Exit Everything, he noticed something spill from Howard’s lips. He thought it was sweat or saliva. But when Howard wiped his mouth his fingers were covered in blood; it dripped on to the microphone and down to the floor. “I’m not sure if I’ve ever knowingly been this close to a dying man,” Moskovitch later recounted in an article lauding this gaunt, talented, underappreciated songwriter, who like it or not had made heroin chic. Eight weeks later, on December 30, Howard let go of life. He was 50.''