After years of campaigning, St Kilda officially now has a Rowland S Howard Lane in honour of the late Rowland S Howard of The Birthday Party.
Rowland S Howard was an icon of the Melbourne music scene and while he never benefited financially from his talent he contributed culturally to an evolving music world.
Howard was The Boys Next Door’s second guitarist, joining the group in 1978. He wrote their best-known song ‘Shivers’, covered years later by The Screaming Jets.
In 1980, The Boys Next Door decided to leave Australia for London and changed their name to The Birthday Party. By 1983, frustrations within the band and tension between Cave and Howard brought The Birthday Party to an end. Cave went for The Bad Seeds, Howard formed Crime and the City Solution.
Howard’s friend Nick Haines initiated the action to have a laneway named after the man who had contributed so much to Melbourne’s musical ethnicity but was road-blocked by then planning minister Matthew Guy who continually bogged the requests down in red-tape.
The champion of the laneway came via support from them opposition member Martin Foley who is now the Minister for Creative Industries in Victoria and the local member for Albert Park, taking in the area of St Kilda. It was Mr Foley who cut through the red tape and made things happen so that the musical metropolis of St Kilda could recognize one of its greatest contributors.
The Rowland S Howard Laneway sign was officially unveiled by Martin Foley, Nick Haines, Cr Serge Thomann of the City of Port Phillip and City Mayor Amanda Stevens with Rowland’s partner Genevieve McGuckin, his brother Harry, his sister Angela. Rowland’s father also attended the unveiling.
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