The pianist, organist, and backing vocalist for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Conway Savage, died Sunday evening at 58, according to a statement on the band’s website.
Savage had previously undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor and due to his diagnosis and operation, he had missed most of the band’s tour behind their album Skeleton Tree. He had died in concurrence with the brain tumor. Savage had been with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds since 1990 for their album, The Good Son. He also released several solo albums as well as collaborative during his career. released multiple collaborative and solo albums throughout his career.
Savage was born in Victoria, Australia, where he went on to play in bands throughout the ‘80s, like the Feral Dinosaurs, Happy Orphans, and Dust on the Bible. He had recorded seven albums with the Bad Seeds including Henry’s Dream, Murder Ballads, and Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus. Throughout his time with them, Savage recorded with other artists like Suzie Higgie and he also released his full-length solo debut Nothing Broken on his own label, Beheaded Communications, in 2000. His last release was Pussy’s Bow EP with Amanda Fox and Robert Tickner in 2010.
In their statement, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds write:
A member of Bad Seeds for nearly thirty years, Conway was the anarchic thread that ran through the band’s live performances. He was much loved by everyone, band members and fans alike. Irascible, funny, terrifying, sentimental, warm-hearted, gentle, acerbic, honest, genuine – he was all of these things and quite literally “had the gift of a golden voice,” high and sweet and drenched in soul. On a drunken night, at four in the morning, in a hotel bar in Cologne, Conway sat at the piano and sang Streets of Laredo to us, in his sweet, melancholy style and stopped the world for a moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Goodbye Conway, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.