September 30, 2020 – 8:20 am


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The Red Hand Files is Nick Cave’s website where fans can ask him anything. Here’s a recent question answered by Nick Cave. Visit the site here.

ISSUE #116

Nina Simone once said: Freedom means having no fear. Sometimes on stage, she added, she would reach that kind of state. How do you free yourself from fear?

Brussels, Belgium

Dear Tim,

Freedom for me is the ability to relinquish control of the outcome of things and so, in this respect, I agree with Nina Simone; it is to be delivered from fear. These are fraught times but, for me, meditation, the loss of my son, and even the fact that I am just getting older, has allowed me to arrive at a place where I do not feel at the mercy of consequence in the way that I used to - it doesn’t matter to me so much these days what happens.

I feel that if I stay true to myself and follow my intuitions, if I surrender control of life’s outcomes, things tend to work out okay. On an artistic level, I play what I want to play, and say what I want to say, and let the chips fall where they may. This is a kind of freedom.

As I have said before in The Red Hand Files, the universe has had its best shot at me and I am still kicking around. The Red Hand Files have played a significant part in this feeling of resilience to the capricious and indifferent nature of the world, they have made me stronger. Each answer I write seems to be an act of surrender, but at the same time a kind of armouring up - vulnerability as a form of protection.

Tim, your question, that came in today, was the 30,000th one. It is also two years this week since I started The Red Hand Files and I can’t tell you how much this means to me. On top of that, this week was my lovely wife’s birthday and also the funeral of my dear, dear mother. Thank you to the many people who offered their condolences at the loss of my mother and reminded me, over and over again, of her beautiful words -

“Head high and fuck ‘em all!”

She was the greatest.

Love, Nick

Note: In 2017, Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave began a series of spoken word shows, “Conversations with Nick Cave”, in which he simply stood on stage and talked to the audience. In September 2018, Cave told email subscribers of his plan to communicate outside “some of the more conventional ways of getting information across”. Hence The Red Hand Files. Named after his 1994 song, Red Right Hand, the website allows Cave’s fans to submit open questions, which the singer then answers, in beautifully written replies that are posted online. “You can ask me anything,” he told readers. “There will be no moderator. This will be between you and me. Let’s see what happens.” So far he has answered questions on everything from the role of humour in his work to what he thinks about Christmas. Visit Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files here.

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  1. 2 Responses to “‘HEAD HIGH AND FUCK ‘EM ALL!’”

  2. Great post. Any chance of some live Cave to follow it up?

    By Bob on Oct 4, 2020

  3. No freedom now! Covid hoax has led to unprecedented erosions of liberties and rights for the sake of Blackrock and Vanguard to increase their bloated coffers once again. Just like a mask harms more than is useful, so does governors dictating stupid illogical mandates like some fascist leader.

    By JBarlow on Feb 5, 2021

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