A quick history lesson: Back in 1996, despite all odds, Nick Cave got nominated for a VMA for Best Male Artist, mostly due to the duets he had with PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue on Murder Ballads and their music videos. But Cave wasn’t thrilled about the whole thing: I mean, can you imagine that dude having to stand alongside the cast of 90210 to accept an award? So Cave wrote a letter to MTV declining the nomination, and it’s as crazy as anything Cave has ever written:
TO ALL THOSE AT MTV,
I would like to start by thanking you all for the support you have given me over recent years and I am both grateful and flattered by the nominations that I have received for Best Male Artist. The air play given to both the Kylie Minogue and P.J. Harvey duets from my latest album _Murder Ballads) has not gone unnoticed and has been greatly appreciated. So again my sincere thanks.
Having said that, I feel that it’s necessary for me to request that my nomination for Best Male Artist be withdrawn and furthermore any awards or nominations for such awards that may arise in later years be presented to those who feel more comfortable with the competitive nature of these award ceremonies. I myself, do not. I have always been of the opinion that my music in unique and individual and exists beyond the realms inhabited by those who would reduce things to mere measuring. I am in competition with no-one. My relationship with my muse is a delicate one at the best of times and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature.
She comes to me with the gift of song and in return I treat her with the respect I feel she deserves—in this case this means not subjecting her to the indignities of judgement and competition. My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and if indeed she was, still I would not harness her to this tumbrel—this bloody cart of severed heads and glittering prizes. My muse may spook! May bolt! May abandon me completely! So once again, to the people at MTV, I appreciate the zeal and energy that was put behind my last record, I truly do and say thank you and again I say thank you but no… no thank you.
Nick Cave 21 Oct ‘96
Awesome. Dude is just a treasure. [DS]