Nick Cave pens emotional tribute to Anita Lane: “It was both easy and terrifying to love her”

"You think that there is nothing more that can hurt you in this world, and then Anita dies"

Nick Cave has penned an emotional tribute to his former partner and bandmate in The Bad Seeds and The Birthday Party, Anita Lane, who died this week.

Lane was a pivotal member of The Birthday Party, co-writing their tracks ‘A Dead Song’, ‘Dead Joe’ and ‘Kiss Me Black’.

Following the band’s split in the early 1980s, she went on to co-write iconic Bad Seeds songs ‘From Her To Eternity’ and ‘Stranger Than Kindness’ with her then-boyfriend Cave.

Taking to his Red Hand Files website, Cave responded to questions from fans about Anita. “What can you tell us about Anita?” one wrote, while another asked Cave to “please share a favourite memory of Anita with us.”

Cave’s tribute read: “You think you know grief, you think you’ve worked out its mechanics, you think you’ve become grief-savvy — stronger, wiser, more resilient — you think that there is nothing more that can hurt you in this world, and then Anita dies.

“Standing on the street in a baby-doll dress, surrounded by sunshine, laughing and radiating a piercing beauty of such force you stop breathing.

“I could not believe my eyes.”

Anita Lane
Anita Lane. Credit: Facebook.

The tribute continued: “Later, at my kitchen table drawing things, she had a quickness of touch and a clear, light line full of humour, throwing each drawing away and starting another, charged with a rampant, unstable, fatal energy that would follow her all her life. My line, amateur and ponderous.

“Everyone wanted to work with her but it was like trying to trap lightning in a bottle. Mick Harvey managed to coral her into the recording studio, but these precious offerings are a fraction of what she was. She was the smartest and most talented of all of us, by far.”

Cave went on to discuss Lane’s time writing songs with him for The Birthday Party and beyond and explained: “She was the brains behind The Birthday Party, wrote a bunch of their songs, wrote ‘From Her to Eternity’, ‘The World’s a Girl’, ‘Sugar in a Hurricane’ and my favourite Bad Seeds song, ‘Stranger Than Kindness’, but was much more than that.

Calling Lane his “best friend,” he added: “Two months ago, speaking to her on the phone she seemed a million miles away. Loved her children more than anything. They were her pride and joy. It was both easy and terrifying to love her. Leaves a big, crying space.”

Following her work with Cave, Lane also released a number of solo albums, including 1993’s ‘Dirty Pearl’ and 2001 album ‘Sex O’Clock’, as well as collaborating with the likes of Kid Congo Powers, Gudrun Gut and Einstürzende Neubauten over a long and distinguished career.

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