Victorian musician Conway Savage has died aged 58, after undergoing treatment for a brain tumour last year.
In a statement, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds said, “Our beloved Conway passed away on Sunday evening. 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. Love, Nick and the Bad Seeds.”
Best known for his work as keyboardist and occasional backing vocalist in Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Savage joined the group for 1990’s The Good Son and continued to work alongside Cave to deliver some of his most iconic works. Many will be familiar with Savage’s brilliant contributions to albums Murder Ballads, Let Love In and The Boatman’s Call.
Savage was involved with The Bad Seeds for 30 years, even touring with the group in 2017 before withdrawing from live performance due to ill health.
He also recorded a number of other projects including collaborations with The Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster and Beast Of Bourbon’s Spencer P. Jones, who passed away just last month.
Conway is also credited with a number of well respected solo releases. His last solo recording came in the form of 2010’s Pussy’s Bow.
Born on 27 July, 1960, Savage grew up in rural Victoria and cut his teeth playing piano in pubs his parents managed. Convalescing in the southern state’s burgeoning post-punk scene, he performed in a number of Victorian outfits throughout the 1980s, before linking up with Cave in 1990. He was also the uncle of Melbourne artist Cash Savage.