Nick Cave Pens Letter About Bob Dylan’s “Extremely Moving” New Song

Cave has also rescheduled his European tour for 2021

Nick Cave Extremely Moved Bob Dylan, Reschedule Dates Murder Most Foul
Nick Cave, photo by Ellie Pritts, and Bob Dylan

Like everybody else, a few weeks ago Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds had to postpone their tour over coronavirus concerns. While Cave did find time to reschedule his European trek for the spring of 2021, he’s otherwise passing his self-isolation in an extremely relatable way: by obsessing over the new 17-minute Bob Dylan ballad “Murder Most Foul”. In a thoughtful letter to his fans, Cave wrote that he found Dylan’s new epic to be “extremely moving.”

The gothic folk rocker waxed poetical about “Murder Most Foul” in the latest issue of The Red Hand Files, his semi-regular newsletter in which he answers fan questions. Recently, he’s been getting asked about Dylan’s new release, and understandably so. It’s Dylan’s first song in eight years, it’s almost as long as a sitcom episode, and it takes as its subject the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There’s a lot to talk about.

As you might expect, Cave’s thoughts are eloquent and enlightening. He sees “Murder Most Foul” as an exploration of how tragedy warps culture, and in turn, how works of culture can help us heal from tragedy. “It is a perplexing but beautiful song and, like many people, I have been extremely moved by it.” Cave writes,

“At the heart of this seventeen-minute epic is a terrible event, the assassination of JFK — a dark vortex that threatens to pull everything into it, just as it did in the USA back in 1963. Whirling around the incident Dylan weaves a litany of loved things — music mostly — that reach into the darkness, in deliverance. As the song unfolds he throws down lifeline after lifeline, insistent and mantra-like, and we are lifted, at least momentarily, free of the event. Dylan’s relentless cascade of song references points to our potential as human beings to create beautiful things, even in the face of our own capacity for malevolence. “Murder Most Foul” reminds us that all is not lost, as the song itself becomes a lifeline thrown into our current predicament.”

Nick Cave goes on to say that while this may be the last Bob Dylan song, “I certainly hope not. But perhaps there is some wisdom in treating all songs, or for that matter, all experiences, with a certain care and reverence, as if encountering these things for the last time.” Read his full, extremely moving letter over at The Red Hand Files. 

As for his tour, The Bad Seeds announced on Twitter that the European leg has been pushed back to the spring of 2021, kicking off in Antwerp in April. Fans in North America won’t need to wait that long, as Cave still plans to tour America and Canada starting in September. Check out the updated tour dates below, and snag your tickets here.

Last month, Cave tackled the tricky question of old “problematic lyrics”, saying “I would rather be remembered for writing something that was discomforting or offensive, than to be forgotten for writing something bloodless and bland.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 2020-21 Tour Dates:
09/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Armory
09/19 – Chicago, IL @ UIC Pavilion *
09/21 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple *
09/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage at the Mann *
09/25 – Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena *
09/26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center *
09/28 – Montreal, QC @ Place Bell
09/29 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena
10/01 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
10/03 – Atlanta, GA @ The Fox
10/04 – Nashville, TN @ Grand Ole Opry House
10/06 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
10/08 – Denver, CO @ The Mission Ballroom
10/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center *
10/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium *
10/14 – Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theatre *
10/15 – Portland, OR @ Theater of the Clouds
10/17 – Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coliseum
04/10 –Antwerp, BE @ SeedsSportpaleis
04/11 — Amsterdam, NE @ Ziggo Dome
04/13 — Birmingham, UK @ Arena Birmingham
04/15 — London, UK @ The O2
04/16 — London, UK @ The O2
04/18 — Leeds, UK @ First Direct Arena
04/20 — Glasgow, UK @ The SSE Hydro
04/21 — Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
04/23 — Dublin, IE @ 3Arena
04/24 — Dublin, IE @ 3Arena
04/26 — Cardiff, UK @ Motorpoint Arena
04/28 — Paris, FR @ AccorHotels Arena
04/29 –Cologne, DE @ Lanxess Arena
05/01 — Copenhagen, DK @ Royal Arena
05/02 — Copenhagen, DK @ Royal Arena
05/04 — Stockholm, SE @ Ericsson Globe
05/05 — Oslo, NO @ Spektrum
05/07 — Hamburg, DE @ Barclaycard Arena
05/08 — Berlin, DE @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
05/10 — Gliwice, PL @ Arena Gliwice
05/12 — Vienna, AT @ Stadthalle
05/13 — Budapest, HU @ Sportaréna
05/15 — Belgrade, RS @ Stark Arena
05/17 — Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
05/19 — Munich, DE @ Olympiahalle
05/20 — Milan, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
05/23 — Madrid, ES @ WiZink Center
05/24 — Lisbon, PT @ Altice Arena
05/27 — Barcelona, ES @ Palau Sant Jordi
05/28 — Toulouse, FR @ Toulouse Métropole
05/31 — Rome, IT @ Palazzo dello Sport
06/03 — Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion
06/07 — Tel Aviv, IL @ Bloomfield Stadium

* = w/ Weyes Blood
# = w/ Courtney Barnett