Special Sub-Topic: Notorious Nick!: Great Musicians Called Nick
|Nick Cave is best known as singer in Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but he fronted a highly influential post-punk/gothic band before that. What was the name of the band, whose most renowned album is called "Junkyard" (1982)?|
The Birthday Party. Australian-born Nick Cave is a highly prolific singer and author who's managed to sit quite comfortably just outside the mainstream since the early 1970s, producing quality work that is also (mostly) accessible without forfeiting his integrity as an artist.
The Birthday Party had their origins in The Boys Next Door but really gained attention around 1980 when they moved to London and became part of the fervent post-punk/gothic rock scene. They were fairly erratic and fuelled by drugs and booze, something that took its toll and led to them splitting up in the mid-1980s.
Nick Cave formed The Bad Seeds soon afterwards and he has led the band through a huge array of styles and sounds, gaining a reputation as one of the best performers of his generation, and able to deliver high energy rock music and softer, darker vocals with equal panache.
All the other options are/were Australian rock outfits, Cheetah being especially close to my heart as they were the first live band I ever saw, supporting Saxon back in the early 1980s.
|The late Nicky Hopkins worked mostly as a session musician and boasted artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Jeff Beck and The Beatles amongst his cohorts. What did he usually play?|
The keyboards. Nicky Hopkins was born in London in 1944 and took to the keyboards at a very early age. Unfortunately, he suffered from Crohn's disease which hampered his career, but there was no shortage of work due to his great talent.
He got his first taste of rock n roll playing for English loon Screaming Lord Sutch. Although he was definitely in the right place at the right time, his poor health prevented him joining a big act, so he had to content himself with session work for The Kinks ("Sunny Afternoon, "Mr Pleasant") and The Who ("Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere", "The Song Is Over" ) amongst others.
He then joined The Jeff Beck Group and rubbed shoulders with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood on the classic "Beck-Ola" album. Around the same time he was involved in the recording of The Rolling Stone "Beggar's Banquet", which was the start of a lengthy association.
He died in the USA, aged just 50, in 1994. His intriguing biography, "And on Piano... Nicky Hopkins: The Extraordinary Life of Rock's Greatest Session Man" was published in 2011.
|Finnish band Hanoi Rocks split up when English-born drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley died in 1984. How did he die?|
Car crash. When Razzle joined Hanoi Rocks in 1982 they had already released two cracking albums, "Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks" and "Oriental Beat", and built up quite a live reputation. They'd relocated from Finland to London and Razzle, who had been playing in various punk bands (including the excellent The Dark) became enamoured with them. He asked to join, and in a rather hypocritical move (the band was riddled with alcohol and drug abuse) Gyp Casino was seen as a bit of a burden due to his habits and given the boot to make room for our Nick, who appeared on the cover of third album "Self Destruction Blues" despite not playing on it.
The fourth album, "Back To Mystery City", cemented them in territories already conquered and gained them a major record deal. The first release was the high-energy live album, "All Those Wasted Years", followed by "Two Steps From The Move". Big name producer Bob Ezrin roped in Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople) and Jack Bruce (Cream) to help out, and it seems to have done the trick as the album was a critical and commercial success. This led to high profile gigs in the US, and disaster. During a gap in the touring schedule the band were invited to Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil's posh house where they partied as is rock stars' wont. A drunk Razzle accepted a spin in a drunk Neil's flashy car and it all went pear-shaped when Neil lost control and crashed into another vehicle killing Razzle and leaving the occupants of the other vehicle with brain damage. He spent just fifteen days in prison.
The band struggled on for a short time after the loss of charismatic drummer Razzle, but it was never going to work, so they split.
|Nicke Andersson was a founder member of death metal band Entombed, who he left in 1997 to put all his energies into more garage rock orientated band The Hellacopters. Where on earth does he come from?|
Sweden. Nicke Andersson formed the seminal death metal band Nihilist in 1987 as drummer, and they gained immediate zealous support on the extreme metal underground tape-trading scene. They never recorded an album and split up when bassist Hedlund formed the fabulous Unleashed. The remaining Nihilists retained the guitar buzz when they became Entombed, and quickly developed into the quintessential Swedish death metal band on albums like "Left Hand Path" (1990) and "Clandestine" (1991). They then turned into a hybrid of death metal, punk and rock n roll, forcing pundits to coin the term death 'n' roll for the album "Wolverine Blues" (1993), although seldom has it been applied to any other act.
Nicke Andersson left Entombed in 1997 and concentrated on playing guitar and singing in The Hellacopters, with whom he found greater fame than Entombed, probably due to the wider appeal of the genre. Andersson has worked on a plethora of projects, not uncommon for death metal pioneers, and has also kept his credibility amongst metal fans.
|Andy Nicholson played bass on this band's debut, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" (2006) but had been replaced by our Nick, Nick O'Malley, by second album "Favourite Worst Nightmare" (2007). What's the name of this Sheffield band? |
Arctic Monkeys. Arctic Monkeys formed in 2003 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Their first release was "Five Minutes With Arctic Monkeys" which was available free off iTunes, a clever move to get their name around. They quickly gathered widespread support and the buzz surrounding the release of the debut album was huge, leading to it becoming the fastest selling debut album in UK chart history.
The success meant a heavy touring schedule, which is what brought on Andy Nicholson's departure due to exhaustion. Enter our man, Nick O'Malley, who was only meant to be a temporary replacement allowing the band to fulfill touring commitments, but ended up staying on full time.
The second album "Favourite Worst Nightmare" came out in 2007 and was an instant success, both commercially and critically. The band's cheekiness was still evident, and although the sound was a little heavier and more frantic, it pretty much carried on where the debut had left off. Albums "Humbug" and "Suck It and See" have since followed.
|This Nick released just three albums, "Five Leaves Left", "Bryter Layter" and "Pink Moon" as he died in 1974 aged just 26 years old. What was his full name?|
Nicholas Rodney Drake. Nicholas Rodney Drake only recorded three albums, but they provide more than enough evidence of this apparently mild-mannered, reserved singer-songwriter's genius. His debut was called "Five Leaves Left" (1969), followed by "Bryter Later" and "Pink Moon". All three are essential listening for anyone keen to know about English folk music, or actually anybody into mellow sounds and fragile, brooding soul-searching.
Nick Drake died at his parents' home from an overdose of antidepressants. He was only 26. Much has been said about Drake's death and his depression. Although the official verdict was given as suicide, his family has always stated that he must have overdosed accidentally.
Nicholas James Bates is better known as Nick Rhodes, keyboardist in Duran Duran.
Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov was the last Emperor of Russia. He was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1917.
|Nicholas George Stephanoff was drummer in American garage punk band The Cramps from 1977 until 1991. What was his stage name?|
Nick Knox. There must be something in the water in Ohio considering all the weird and wonderful acts that have emerged from the so-called Buckeye State.
The Cramps started out in 1976 and although they missed out on mega-stardom, they are fondly remembered by many a fan of stripped-down, raunchy garage rock with more than a dash of unsavoury humour and 1950s nostalgia. They split-up in 2009 when singer Lux Interior died. He and his wife Poison Ivy had been the only constants in the band.
Nick Knox was their most stable drummer and played on their classic albums studio albums "Songs the Lord Taught Us", "Psychedelic Jungle" and "A Date with Elvis".
It would be years before The Cramps' reinterpretation of rock n roll would hit the mainstream through bands like The White Stripes, Jon Spencer and the Blues Explosion and The Black Keys, by which time they were in decline. However, their brand of sleaze has never quite been equaled.
|Nick Culmer (better known as Animal) is singer in English punk band The Anti-Nowhere League. Which American heavy metal band released a cover of their expletive-ridden classic "So What?" as B-side to "Sad But True" in 1993?|
Metallica. Anti-Nowhere League are not for the easily-upset, but taken in the right spirit they can be hugely entertaining, as on the extremely rude "So What?", which challenges the most open-minded listener with its list of dreadful antics. The most terrifying to me my mind has to be going to Eastbourne.
The band spawned out of the biker/punk/drunkard scene of the ostensibly posh town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in 1980 and quickly gained notoriety on the second-wave punk scene due to their formidable live performances, and rough image.
Metallica covered "So What?" as part of their homage to bands who had influenced them and it fast became a live favourite amongst the hardcore fans. To demonstrate that they haven't forgotten their roots, the metal legends performed a series of gigs at the Fillmore in San Francisco to celebrate their 30th anniversary. For the occasion they got a star-studded cast in to sing with them on carefully picked cover versions, including Glenn Danzig, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford. Lesser-known Animal, who sang "So What", was also greeted like a hero by the faithful Metallibashers.
|Nicholas Allen Jones is better known as Nicky Wire, bassist in Welsh band The _________ Street Preachers.|
Manic. Manic Street Preachers were formed in Blackwood, South Wales in 1986 by school friends James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals/guitar), Sean Moore (drums), Richey James Edwards (guitar) and our Nicky (bass). These days they are a three-piece after Edwards went missing in 1995 and is now presumed dead.
Nicky Wire used to be quite flamboyant and wore dresses on stage, but he has since calmed down. He has always denied any hints of being a transvestite and is a happily-married man.
They blasted onto the music scene in 1992 with the album "Generation Terrorists" which began a never-ending love-hate relationship with the British press, but enamored them to a generation in need of raw, punky pop tunes and pugnacious lyrics.
|Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr. is a world famous bassist with an American heavy metal band whose classic debut was called "Too Fast For Love". It was followed by "Shout At The Devil", "Theatre Of Pain" and "Girls, Girls, Girls". What's his stage name?|
Nikki Sixx. Frank reinvented himself as Nikki Sixx when he moved to Los Angeles in search of rock n roll stardom after spending a troubled childhood in Idaho.
He formed Mötley Crüe with drummer Tommy Lee, and they were swiftly joined by guitarist Mick Mars and vocalist Vince Neil. "Too Fast For Love" came out in 1981 on their own label and caused enough of a stir to get them a deal with Elektra Records. It is a wonderful gnarly blend of glam rock, heavy metal and punk that has stood the test of time. The band went from strength to strength commercially with subsequent albums, but many (myself included) feel they never again captured the raw energy of the debut.
Arguably the most notorious of all the Nicks, Nikki Sixx has diced with death (heroin overdose), married two Playboy models, and in 1988 Matthew Trippe claimed he had been employed to impersonate Sixx who couldn't perform due to a car accident in the early 1980s. He got a lot of publicity, but eventually most fans realised he was talking, well, tripe.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction