Great Reading: The Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave

Well, here’s little Nicky’s part six now of my posts just before his new record is out. I’ve re-read Nick Cave‘s last book again and now listening to the audiobook, this must be the third time reading it since last year when it came out. My dad got it for my birthday then. Now you can buy it in your local bookstore too, available in paperback in the UK, in hardcover in Australia and you can still buy it from the website too. It comes in a big blue box, it should have been a sick bag really but the book’s cover does look like one.

You know? This is the closest thing Cave written to an autobiography? So far but it’s not really that at all, it’s nothing like any other rock star’s books you can think off. When it was released last year no one use the word: autobiography maybe it’s the kind-off one you write while in America on sick bags. It reminds me of how Bob Dylan said once writing his song Like A Rolling Stone was like long form of vomiting or something like that. Cave’s written two fiction novels before this, both were started with the idea they’re going to be movies, you know feature films but no one would give anyone money to make them by publishers would print them and they both have now gone on to be best sellers, translated in almost all the different languages of the world.

The Sick Bag Song is totally different to those two, it was start with the idea of writing some songs for the next album when on his 2014 U.S. tour but not having his notebook with him garbed what was nearby on the airplane, a sick bag so that’s when the title comes from.


A spoiler now, if you haven’t read it yet! You do get to read about everything and then some in this book so just to name few but far from everything: some new lyrics he’s did wrote on tour but he’s saying after each he’s not very happy because and gives a reason maybe Bryan Ferry will sing them, now that would be funny and really wicked at the same time too! They’re a few funny stories are in it too like about when he meets Bob Dylan but the Bryan Ferry stories really do take the cake. Ferry should do these songs just to get him back, just imagine him doing a song called King-Sized Nick Cave Blues plus he could put The Butcher Boy on the album too because as far as I can tell he’s not done it anyway else but I did find a live audience recording from that show Cave writes about and included it just below. You get a bit tour diary with each chapter named after each city on the tour so you read about traffic jams, backstage, hotel rooms, tour buses and off-course airplanes, don’t forget the phone calls home like he’s trying to get hold of his wife the whole tour/book but she’s not answering her phone or at least that’s what is happening until… no, you should read it so I’m not going to tell you that!

You get a lot of long lists about totally different things which there is no point trying to even describe them here other they’re very entertaining reading. You get parts other people have called totally fiction but are they? He might have rescues a dragon which dies overnight in his room, you never know? He does write “Don’t let them tell you that there are no monsters.” You get hometown childhood memory’s like the one about him being on railway bridge which the book is for: To the boy on the bridge. Then he stands on various America bridges on tour, talk to girl then she just simply disappears also his some awful childhood memories for as he calls it “the disastrous events of my youth” the thing he mostly remembers is the one about an accident which a child drowns after falling from that same rail bridge and being found a couple days later in the river bay on the branches of a half-felled tree but this bit sounds so close to home now after his own son passing away last year, it’s spooky reading it now. Then new album is even called Skeleton Tree.

You do get so much more too but those are just some bits that popped out this time. Cave called this book when it came out only a bit over 12 months ago, long form poem but I don’t know about that really myself, I’ve never read any poems like this ever before but I guess I couldn’t not call it than because Cave’s lyrics always has a poetry to them. Even those two previous novels had both a lot poetry to them. It’s really is totally great reading and I highly recommend it if you having read it yet and you’re a fan of Nick Cave or even just a fan of music, art and the creating journey. He’s got to be one of the greatest songwriters currently work in the 21st century. Here’s my one my faves part that’s now a YouTube clip, Denver:

So have you read it? Or Not? Have you read his other novels too? I have to say the first novel called: And The Ass Saw The Angel is still my fave from the three but this one would be is second place and bronze medal would go to The Death Of Bunny Munro. Which one did you like the best?


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