Nick Lowe

24 March 1949

Nick Lowe Artistfacts

  • Nick Lowe was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, in 1949. He started playing music when he was 18 years old, forming Kippington Lodge in 1967. In 1969, the band renamed themselves Brinsley Schwarz, after their guitarist of the same name. Brinsley Schwarz went on to become pioneers of "pub rock" - a back to basics genre, which came in reaction to prog and glam rock - before disbanding in 1975.
  • Following the split of Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe began playing in Rockpile alongside the Welsh musician, Dave Edmunds. Rockpile toured on and off until 1981, when tensions between Lowe and Edmunds lead to the band's demise.
  • In 1976, Lowe released "So It Goes," the first ever single to be issued by Stiff Records, a label founded by Dr. Feelgood's Lee Brilleaux. The song later featured in the 1979 musical comedy, Rock 'n' Roll High School, starring The Ramones.
  • In 1977, Lowe released the EP, Bowi, the title of which was a comedic response to a David Bowie album released earlier that year, Low (which in turn spelt "Lowe" without the "e").
  • Lowe experimented with LSD in the early '70s, a period which he told NME left him like a "vegetable": "I had a very bad time in the early '70s with acid and, er, I nearly lost me marbles, there's no two ways about it. I went like a vegetable for quite a long time."
  • Lowe married Carlene Carter - daughter of the country musicians, Carl Smith and June Carter Cash, and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash - in 1979. The couple divorced in 1990, but Lowe remained close to the Carter/Cash family, particularly Johnny Cash, who recorded several of Lowe's songs, including "The Beast In Me," which appeared on his 1994 album, American Recordings. Lowe spoke to A.V. Club about his relationship with Cash: "He was a fabulous bloke, and I miss him still - lovely, lovely guy. A handful, sure. Like all the best people are, he could be a handful. But he was a super bloke."
  • Lowe wrote "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," which was famously covered by Elvis Costello in 1979. The song has since been covered by the likes of The Flaming Lips, A Perfect Circle and Simple Minds. In 1992, it was covered by Curtis Stigers for the Whitney Houston film, The Bodyguard. The film's soundtrack album went on to sell 44 million copies worldwide, landing Lowe a rather large royalty check!
  • Lowe is married to the designer and DJ, Peta Waddington. The couple have one son, Roy, who was born in 2005.
  • Wilco invited Lowe to open for them during their 2011 North American tour.
  • Alex Turner, front man of the Arctic Monkeys, is a big fan of Lowe. During an interview with The Daily Record, Turner said Lowe made him reconsider his own songwriting: "Every couple of months or so is that I'll hear a song I've never heard before and feel I've gone right back to square one. Recent examples? That Nick Lowe song, 'The Beast In Me,' which is just brilliant. It doesn't happen too often that I'm blown away by someone else's songwriting."
  • Alongside his music, Lowe is a coveted producer. Artists that Lowe has produced include Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Pretenders and The Damned. Lowe's raw production style earned him the nickname "Basher," because he would tell bands to "bash it down and tart it up in the mix." Lowe admitted to NME he fell into producing by mistake: "The only reason I got into it was that when Stiff Records formed I was the only person who had ever worked in a studio just about. I had no interest in being a producer at all."

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