Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds tour documentary: ‘The Road to God Knows Where’

The Road to God Knows Where is a 1990 documentary directed by German filmmaker Uli M. Schüppel. The subject of the movie is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as they traverse America on the Tender Prey tour in early 1989.

The documentary is short on music and long on backstage palaver. Occasionally we get most of a song such as “Knockin’ On Joe” but mostly it’s the dudes hanging out, occasionally with the Wolfgang Press, who served as openers on the tour. The lineup at this point was Blixa Bargeld, Mick Harvey, Kid Congo Powers, Roland Wolf, and Thomas Wydler.

The movie is shot in a lush and shadowy black and white that is intermittently reminiscent of Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel Über Berlin, which came out just a couple of years earlier and which (of course) Nick Cave appeared in.

What do the fellas do backstage and on the tour bus? They do the meet and greet with the fans, they are photographed by media professionals, they talk about the Standells’ “Dirty Water.” Most amusingly, they watch the 1956 movie The Bad Seed (you can bet Schüppel was excited about capturing that bit of business).

The U.S. leg of the Tender Prey tour started at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia and ended at the Club With No Name in Los Angeles. About halfway through the tour, they are on the bus traveling to their Detroit gig when they field a call from a reporter who writes for the Michigan Daily, the campus newspaper of the University of Michigan. The reporter, named Mike Rubin, is looking to interview Cave. Cave takes the call. We see him vigorously defending Tom Jones, of all people.

You can read the article that was written around that interview. It appeared in the February 19, 1989 edition of the Michigan Daily, and the title of the article is “A newer, schmaltzier Nick Cave croons away his past.” You can read it below, after clicking on this here link to access the video. 


Posted by Martin Schneider
11:42 am



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