We’re dipping our toes back into the Far Out Magazine Vault to remember a time Nick Cave recruited his good friend Kylie Minogue to address his rejection letter to MTV.

Back in 1996, Cave wrote his now infamous letter to the music television channel, requesting that they withdraw his nomination from the ‘Video Music Awards’.

Cave, who was up for ‘Best Male Artist’, a time when he had just collaborated with Kylie Minogue for their duet ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’ – a track which would then appear on the band’s ninth studio album Murder Ballads.

It was that attention drawn from the duet with Minogue that prompted recognition from MTV and, at the time, Cave was absolutely not interested. Addressing a letter to “all those at MTV” to eloquently reject the nomination.

The letter reads:

“21 Oct 96
“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“Having said that, I feel that it’s necessary for me to request that my nomination for best male artist be withdrawn and furthermore any awards or nominations for such awards that may arise in later years be presented to those who feel more comfortable with the competitive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 is 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.

“Yours sincerely,
“Nick Cave.”

[MORE] – The beginning of something special: Remembering when Nick Cave met Kylie Minogue

Years letter, in a project entitled ‘Letters Live’ and fronted by Shaun Usher, Cave’s letter was revisited as part of a series of live events celebrating the power of literary correspondence.

“The idea of Letters Live is simple: we ask talented, inspiring and high-profile artists from various disciplines to read letters out loud to our audiences,” the project explained. Letters Live celebrates letter writing and the art of correspondence first and foremost.”

Given the incredibly strong relationship between Cave and Minogue and, coupled with the fact that their duet actively sparked the letter, Australia’s favourite popstar was chosen to read Cave’s letter.

Here it is:

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