Nick Cave has paid tribute to under-fire Love Island contestant Luca Bish after the fishmonger’s parents supported him following the tragic death of his teenage son.
Posting an open letter on Friday morning, Australian singer Cave surprised fans by revealing a close bond with Luca’s parents Maria and Michael that developed as a consequence of the Islander’s own friendship with their late son, Arthur, and his twin brother Earl.
Cave and fashion designer wife Susie’s son Arthur died aged 15 in 2015 after taking hallucinogenic drugs and stumbling off a cliff top near his Sussex home, plummeting 60ft to the ground.
Open letter: Nick Cave has paid tribute to under-fire Love Island contestant Luca Bish after the fishmonger’s parents supported him following the tragic death of his teenage son
He suffered catastrophic injuries and despite being rushed to the nearby Royal Sussex Hospital he later died.
Responding after an Instagram follower asked his wife to detail the major difference between she and her husband, Cave admitted Luca’s parents were a constant presence as they came to terms with the devastating loss of their son.
He wrote: ‘At the moment, the defining difference between Susie and me is that she watches Love Island, and I don’t. Susie watches Love Island because we know one of the contestants, Luca. Luca was a school friend of our twins, Arthur and Earl.
‘As a consequence, Susie and I became friends with Luca’s parents, Maria and Michael. Maria is an antique dealer. Michael is a fishmonger. Luca is a fishmonger too.’
Speaking out: Cave surprised fans by answering a question addressed to his fashion designer wife Susie by an Instagram follower
He added: ‘After Arthur died, in the early days of that terrible, chaotic first week, Maria turned up on our doorstep with a tray of lasagna and basically looked after us. She barely said anything to us. She made us cups of tea. She cooked for us. She was just there.
‘She was the one constant through a time of horror and confusion, when scores of despairing and commiserating people came and went. We will never forget her kindness. Even in the first week, when the world seemed suddenly and shockingly defined by an unspeakable and distorting cruelty, Maria reminded us that there was good in the world.
‘She also served as a lesson in how to deal with grieving people – you don’t need to say anything, just do something; make them a cup of tea, cook them dinner.’
Nick Cave: The singer’s tragic personal life that has seen the death of two sons
The dark, tragic edge to Nick Cave’s music has led to him being known as rock’s ‘Prince of Darkness’.
Born in Australia before moving to Britain in 1980, his music is known to have been influenced by tragedy in his early life, when at 19 his father was killed in a car crash.
Some experts have said that his dark outlook may have sprung from, and is still inspired by this tragedy more than 30 years ago.
Cave has had four children with three different women – the first being Jethro Lazenby in 1991.
Tragically, two have died – including Jethro.
Cave met and married his first wife – Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro – in 1990 after he moved to Sao Paulo.
She gave birth to the couple’s son Luke in 1991. They stayed together for six years before divorcing in 1996.
Just a matter of days before Luke was born, Cave’s first son Jethro Lazenby was born in Australia to mother Beau Lazenby. Jethro, who was Cave’s eldest son, was confirmed dead by his father on May 9, 2022.
‘With much sadness, I can confirm that my son, Jethro, has passed away. We would be grateful for family privacy at this time,’ Cave said in a statement.
Cave did not meet Jethro until he was around seven or eight years old, but in 2008 described their relationship as being good.
Cave briefly dated singer PJ Harvey in the mid-1990s, and after they broke up be met British model Susie Bick. The pair married in 1999.
In 2000, Bick gave birth to twin boys – Arthur and Earl – when they were living in London, and raised them in Brighton. Tragedy first struck Cave in 2015 when Arthur fell from a cliff in the English coastal city while on LSD.
Arthur’s death has had a profound impact of Cave’s work, and was explored in two of his albums – Skeleton Tree released in 2016 and Ghosteen in 2019.
Cave was also close with Australian musician Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997 aged 37. Cave is the godfather to Hutchence’s daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, and played at his funeral.
Devastating loss: Cave and fashion designer wife Susie’s son Arthur died aged 15 in 2015 after taking hallucinogenic drugs and stumbling off a cliff top near his Sussex home
Cave admitted Luca’s kindhearted parents still provide them with food, without charge, and for their inexhaustible kindness he and Susie are willing Luca to win the current series of Love Island.
He wrote: ‘To this day Michael brings fresh fish around to our house, drops it off and leaves without a word. He pretends to charge us for it, but we know that he doesn’t. These people, Luca’s parents, are as good as people get, and they love their son, Luca.
‘So, Susie watches Love Island and cheers him on, and hopes that he will win. I also hope that Luca wins, and wins soon, because then I can get the f**king TV back.’
Family: Cave with Arthur (right) in 2012 and his other son, Earl, during a premiere of the Hobbit in London in 2012
Tragic: The area of cliffs from which Arthur Cave fell from in 2015 is seen at the time in Sussex
Cave and his wife had proudly taken twins Arthur and Earl to several high profile events and the brothers had appeared at the end of 20,000 Days on Earth, a film documenting a fictitious 24 hour period in the singer’s life.
A coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death at an inquest later in 2015, after which Cave said the grief was ‘unimaginable’. The family also spoke of their heartbreak after the death of their ‘beautiful, happy loving boy’.
The singer has composed scores for a number of films, including The Proposition in 2005, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2007, and The Road in 2009. He also co-wrote 20,000 Days on Earth.
Cave is most famous for his work with his band the Bad Seeds, formed in Melbourne in 1983. Previously he was in cult band the Birthday Party.
But his biggest hit was a duet with Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow. The pair are still friends and appeared together in his 20,000 Days on Earth film.