Conway Savage — the pianist, organist, and backing vocalist for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — passed away on Sunday night at the age of 58.
Savage had a brain tumor surgically removed last year, which caused him to miss most of the Bad Seeds’ tour. The tumor was the cause of his death, Pitchfork reports. Savage first joined Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in 1990 for their album The Good Son.
Savage was born in Victoria, Australia. He played in bands like Feral Dinosaurs and Happy Orphans during the ’80s, until joining Nick Cave. With the Bad Seeds, he recorded Henry’s Dream in 1992, Murder Ballads in 1996, and Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus in 2004. In 1993 he began pursuing a solo and collaborative career on the side with his self-titled EP. He also worked with Suzie Higgie to record their album Soon Will Be Tomorrow in 1995.
Savage released Nothing Broken, his full-length solo debut, in 2000 on his label, Beheaded Communications. His final release was Pussy’s Bow EP with Amanda Fox and Robert Tickner in 2010.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds shared the news in a statement:
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.