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Nick Cave and the Archetypal INFP

By Lee Morgan

Nick Cave: “All outward motion connects to nothing for each is concerned with their immediate need.” (As I Sat Sadly By Her Side)

Nick Cave: “God has given you but one heart. You are not a home for the hearts of your brothers.” (As I Sat Sadly By Her Side)

Nick Cave: “[Reading Mark’s Gospel] one is reminded of a child recounting some amazing tale… the narrative aches with the melancholy of absence…  the outpourings of [Christ’s] brilliant, jewel-like imagination are… misunderstood, rebuffed, ignored, mocked and vilified… It is Christ’s divine inspiration, versus the dull rationalism of those around him, that gives Mark’s narrative its tension, its drive.” (Introduction to the Gospel According to Mark)

Nick Cave: “The Christ the Church offers us… denies Christ his potent, creative sorrow… It was through His example that He gave our imaginations the freedom to fly.” (Introduction to the Gospel According to Mark)

Mick Harvey: “Nick would obsessively write [production notes] because it had to be his handwriting. If someone wrote on them he would actually rewrite that page from the beginning and stick it back up again, because it had been polluted… But he could see the funny side of it too. He’d say, ‘Who wrote that?’ and he’d take it down all the same. All over the piano were all the songs with his little notes, his little graphs of chord sequences, bits of lyrics.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 297)

Ian Johnson: “Various ideas were discussed [for the video]… Someone knew a tow-truck driver who was frequently called out to car accidents, and Cave suggested that… the group drive around with him to a crash site where the band would perform with a recent accident acting as the backdrop. Another idea involved Cave riding an elephant in a circus big top tent. Eventually Cave and Goldman decided that the song would be best presented visually as a carnival vision of hell, with strong allusions to the work of Fellini, on a budget of around a thousand pounds.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 71)

John Hillcoat: “Nick particularly liked the poetic side to [The Collected Works of Billy The Kid). He also really liked William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 71)

Rowland S. Howard: “There was always a problem with the lyrics when it came to anything I wrote. They had to be impersonal enough so that Nick felt he was able to sing them without feeling he was crawling into somebody else’s skin.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 69)

Anita Lane: “Nick’s got this incredible drive that’s got him through everything. He’s a workaholic. When we were younger I thought it was something that he’d grow out of and get over. He really wanted to impress his father and wanted him to think he was clever. His father would just laugh at him, he wouldn’t take any notice. When his father died I wondered what was going to happen to Nick’s drive, but it just got stronger.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 57)

Ian Johnson: “Despite his views on modern art, Cave’s own painting style owed much to German expressionism.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 39)

Ian Johnson: “Technically they might not have possessed the ability of the more conventionally gifted and sober students… but Cave thought their willful abandon laid bare on the canvas contained a conviction and emotional charge that the others did not express.”  (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 38)

Ian Johnson: “He felt alienated, and was obstreperous and aggressive toward the other pupils.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 30)

Mick Harvey: “He was an extrovert at school, everyone knew him and he made a show of himself.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 30)

Ian Johnson: “Despite gaining above average grades in English and Art, Nick began to develop a reputation at the high school as a disruptive influence.” (Bad Seed: the biography of Nick Cave, pg. 27)

Nick Cave: “My adolescence was pretty hideous but I think it probably would have been anywhere.” (Stranger in a Strange Land, Dutch Television Documentary)

Nick Cave: “The Love Song must be borne into the realm of the irrational, the absurd, the distracted, the melancholic, the obsessive and insane… Love is, of course, a form of madness. Whether it is the love of God, or romantic erotic love – these are manifestations of our need to be torn away from the rational, to take leave of our senses, so to speak.” (The Secret Life of the Love Song)

Nick Cave: “The songs that I have written that deal with past relationships have become the relationships themselves, heroically mutating with time and mythologizing the ordinary events of my life, lifting them from the temporal plane and blasting them way into the stars.” (The Secret Life of the Love Song)

Nick Cave: “I’m happy to be sad.” (The Secret Life of the Love Song)

Nick Cave: “In the hysterical technocracy of modern music, sorrow is sent to the back of the class, where it sits, pissing its pants in mortal terror.” (The Secret Life of the Love Song)

Nick Cave: “Well, it’s because I failed art school… I failed art school, epically, and ended up getting into rock n’ roll. We had the Johnny Cash show in Australia… that had a huge impact on me. Leonard Cohen too, especially growing up. The Songs of Love and Hate was an album that… nobody knew about… it was like being initiated into a secret club… who found that Leonard Cohen’s stuff touched us in a particular way.” (Austin City Limits Interview)

Nick Cave: “I think we write what we need.” (Austin City Limits Interview)

Nick Cave: “I write narrative songs, I write very visual songs, I write stories, and they’re often dotted with esoteric information and I find Wikipedia in particular extremely exciting… because it acts as a sort of memory of sorts, a memory for us all, a kind of flawed memory with a lot of information that’s not particularly correct, and I like that. Wikipedia is a lot like our own memories, in that it is flawed. And it’s enormously helpful as a songwriter to be able to go to Wikipedia and find out esoteric details about the things that you’re interested in.” (Austin City Limits Interview)

Nick Cave: “I don’t think I’m nostalgic by nature but I’m very much interested in memory and the way our memories mythologize things… From small things much greater things grow. So when I write songs I’m concerned with writing what’s happening now but… there’s echoes of memory and stuff that are involved in it as well. I’m not nostalgic but I’m interested in memory.” (Austin City Limits Interview)

Published in Lee Morgan