Thursday, 25 April 2013

Roland S. Howard Lane, St Kilda, Vic, 3182

In what could be a forming trend, Port Philip City Council have approved the naming of a lane way in St Kilda "Roland S. Howard Lane" in memory of one of the greatest Australian songwriters of all time.  Last night the council voted unanimously for a name change, off Eildon Rd, in a move which, along-side "Paul Hester Walk" and "ACDC Lane" could be the start of a postman's worst nightmare.  Amphlett St, Paul Kelly Rd, Hutchence Cres, or even Molly Gve could be next but I think that honoring Roland S. Howard is a nice touch.

The first time I had heard of Roland S. Howard was in about 1993 or '94 when the Screaming Jets covered 'Shivers'.  Possibly one of his best known songs, it has been covered by a whole host of rubbish bands since (Jets not included!).  While I'm not a huge fan of Howard's music, or any of his myriad of musical collaborations it's impossible not to respect his uncompromising approach and although I never saw him play live I've never heard a gig reviewer who wasn't astonished by his stage presence.

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I'm unable to find any confirmation of this but years ago I heard that Howard had stayed on a fellow musician's couch for a period of time and when he left, as a thank you for the host, he wrote and then performed a song on their answering machine and gave them the rights for it.  It turned out to be a big song for the band but I don't remember which song it was.  I have a feeling it was Tex Perkins or someone from the Cruel Sea but I love that story...

The petition lodged to the council to have a lane renamed was apparently signed by over 3000 people including Henry Rollins, Nick Cave, Lee Ranaldo and Shane MacGowan.

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