Currently touring Push The Sky Awayhis latest studio effort with the Bad Seeds and their first ever #1 album, Nick Cave has called upon council to name a St Kilda laneway after his fallen friend and former Birthday Party bandmate, Rowland S. Howard, reports The Age.

The Australian music icon penned an open letter to the City of Port Philip council urging them to consider a proposal lodged by a local music promoter last week to have the laneway named in honour of Howard, who died of liver cancer in 2009.

“Rowland and I were friends, bandmates, collaborators and fellow conspirators in the St Kilda music scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s. His artistic legacy endures, and I hope that you can honour him with the cultural recognition he richly deserves,” Cave wrote in his letter to the City of Port Phillip council adding his voice to the petition lodged by a local music promoter.

Cave also told the St Kilda council he had been in touch with Rowland S. Howard’s estate, who were in support of the move along with the many signees of the petition.

Cave and Howard first came up together in the post-punk scene of the late 70s in The Birthday Party, forging a turbulent musical duo that was characterised by their excessive hedonism and in-fighting. Despite their differences, the two remained friends and Howard went on to become an infamous local figure. “His artistic legacy endures, and I hope that you can honour him with the cultural recognition he richly deserves.” – Nick Cave

The Birthday Party guitarist and solo artist played his last show to a sold out crowd at St Kilda’s Prince of Wales in 2009 before losing his battle with liver cancer, a struggle of his later life that was beautifully chronicled in the 2011, Richard Lowenstein and Lynn-Maree Milburn-directed documentary, Autoluminescent.

The petition to have the St Kilda laneway named in his honour was the idea of music promoter Nick Haines, gaining the aforementioned support of Cave, fellow musical collaborator Mick Harvey, as well as international names like Henry Rollins and The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan, plue a ream of local businesses, musicians, and community support.

Haine says the tribute was inspired by the changing of Corporation lane to AC/DC Lane in 2004 by Melbourne City Council.

“[Howard] really put St Kilda on the map when it comes to music,” said Haines. “It would be good to acknowledge a true local who had a phenomenal influence around the world.”

The proposed laneway runs between Jackson Street and Eildon Road, near where Howard used to live, and the the Port Phillip city council are reportedly planning to assess the petition to name it after the St Kilda musician after consultation, says councillor Serge Thomann.

“Rowland S. Howard is well loved in St Kilda and the two sellout concerts at Memo Hall two weeks ago as a tribute to the ‘Prince of St Kilda‘ is testimony of his legacy,” said Cr Thomann, remarking on the tribute shows to Rowland S. Howard that launched St Kilda venue The Memo, featuring the likes of Tex Perkins, Mick Harvey, Spencer P Jones, and more.

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