Wednesday, 30 December 2009

R.I.P. Rowland S Howard - gone to be an Immortal Soul

Rowland S Howard

The name probably will mean nothing to many of my readers, but Rowland S Howard was a defining presence in my musical life during the 1980s. Very sadly, liver cancer has taken him just as his career was beginning a resurgence, but it's good to know he was working right up until the end. I only have three guitar heroes, and he was one (Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd and a friend of mine, Pete Martin, are the others).

He was the main guitarist in The Birthday Party (and, previously, when they were The Boys Next Door where he wrote 'Shivers') and created songs with huge wailing screeches of thrilling guitar noise layered over lyrics about the tortured pain of always being the outsider.  The album 'I'm never gonna die again' by These Immortal Souls is absolutely one of my all-time favourites.

A hugely influential guitarist, my life is certainly emptier knowing that he's no longer on the planet....

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