Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Godspeed Guitarist Rowland S. Howard

Australian guitarist Rowland S. Howard passed on December 30, 2009 at the age of 50. The cause was liver cancer.

Rowland S. Howard was born on October 24, 1959 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It was in 1978 that he joined Nick Cave's band The Boys Next Door (later to be renamed The Birthday Party). Howard's addition to the band would be one of the factors which would change its sound. Among other things, he made extensive use of audio feedback. It was in 1980 that The Boys Next Door moved to London and changed their name to The Birthday Party. In the early Eighties The Birthday Party began to disintegrate. By 1985 Rowland S. Howard had left the band to join Crime and the City Solution. It was in 1987 that he formed These Immortal Souls with Genevieve McGuckin.  The band would release four albums.

Rowland S. Howard released a solo album, Teenage Snuff Film, in 2000. He followed it up with a second solo album, Pop Crimes, in 2009. In 2007 he toured with Magic Dirt and Beasts of Bourbon. He also appeared on the Magic Dirt EP "White Boy."

Roland S. Howard was an extremely versatile guitarist. He was a master of audio feedback. And he could play anything from jazz riffs to guitar that could have belonged in a song by The Stooges. He was also a talented songwriter, contributing songs to The Birthday Party and These Immortal Souls. He will be missed.

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