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Nick Cave awarded honorary doctorate
The Quietus , March 28th, 2008 11:03

Nick Cave awarded honorary doctorate

Dr Huck's Letters...

Nick Cave has been given an honorary doctorate for services to songwriting and suitwearing by the university that he dropped out of in the mid-1970s.

Cave abandoned his Diploma of Art and Design (Fine Art) at the then Caulfield Institute of Technology (now the Caulfield Campus of Monash University) in 1978 in order to focus on The Boys Next Door (later The Birthday Party), the band he'd formed with posh school chums Mick Harvey, Tracey Pew and Phill Calvert. Bit like Billy Bunter, dressed as a cowboy, with a fixation with the smiting bits of the Old Testament.

Speaking about his time at the University as he was made a Doctor of Laws, Cave said "I'd come out of Caulfield Grammar School which was very sports-orientated and to be interested in arts at the time was swimming upstream. To suddenly go into this environment where there were a lot of like-minded people talking about art was incredible for me.

"I sat around and talked with a lot of third year students in the park and didn't really hand in a lot of work... but what I learnt from those conversations was enormous. I'm eternally grateful that I failed because it pushed me into a different area. You learn what you love in those years.''

Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Larkins said, "Nick Cave's substantial achievements in the creative arts and in raising Australia's profile internationally make him a worthy candidate for recognition by Monash University. In addition to his musical contributions, Nick Cave has shown an outstanding ability to contribute to writing and acting - he is truly an extraordinary creative talent.

"His reputation and popularity crosses age and culture barriers. As an Australian largely based out of London, and previously in Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and Berlin, Nick Cave has been successful in increasing the profile of Australia internationally, particularly in terms of our nation's creative and artistic capabilities."