Nick Cave calls for lane named after Rowland S. Howard

Nick Cave has added his voice to those asking that a laneway in St Kilda be named after Rowland S. Howard.

“Rowland and I were friends, bandmates, collaborators and fellow conspirators in the St Kilda music scene in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. His artistic legacy endures, and I hope that you can honour him with the cultural recognition he richly deserves,” Cave wrote in a letter to the Port Phillip city council, urging them to consider a petition lodged by music promoter Nick Haines last week. As well as being signed by locals, the petition bears the names of international musicians including Henry Rollins and Shane McGowan of The Pogues.

The currently unnamed laneway runs between Jackson Street and Eildon Road, where Howard used to live. The Port Phillip city council reportedly plan to assess the petition after consultation.

Haines has said that he was inspired to begin the petition after the 2004 decision to name ACDC Lane in the Melbourne CBD after the iconic rock band. Previously it was known by the designation given to unnamed laneways in Melbourne, “Corporation Lane”.

As well as being a bandmate of Cave’s in The Birthday Party, Rowland S. Howard spent time in bands including Crime & the City Solution and These Immortal Souls and went on to release two solo albums, Teenage Snuff Film (which topped our list of the most underrated albums of all time) and Pop Crimes. He died of liver cancer two and a half months after releasing Pop Crimes in 2009 and his life was celebrated in the documentary Autoluminescent, directed by Richard Lowenstein and Lynn-Maree Milburn.