TCB LAMF: The great Nick Curran doing his thing (photo by Larry Stern).

TCB LAMF: The great Nick Curran doing his thing (photo by Larry Stern).

By Metal Dave

I like to brag about Nick Curran because he wouldn’t dare do it himself.

A talented guitarist with an outrageous image, Nick was a straight-up rock star minus the self-serving ego. For all his inky eyes, arms, neck, knuckles and God knows what else, Nick was a boyish soul despite the demonic mustache. Wholly humble and seemingly unaware of the hold he had on others, Nick was a captivating character from the moment he got out of bed.

For all his well-deserved accolades with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ronnie Dawson, Kim Lenz, Deguello and his own band, the Lowlifes, I will always remember Nick as the leopard-print-wearing, hollow-body-guitar killer who played on the Flash Boys’ amazing album, “Dyin’ for Somethin’ to Live For.” I adored the Flash Boys (still do) and was thrilled that this second album stood so strongly alongside the band’s tough-to-beat, self-titled debut featuring Nick’s predecessor, Jamey Simms. Not only was Nick a loveable person, but when paired with equally charismatic frontman, Frankie Nowhere, he added a second release to the Flash Boys’ catalog that now stands as two of my favorite albums.

CULT HERO: Nick with one of his heroes, Billy Duffy of the Cult. I was with Nick on this day and will never forget ushering him through the barricade to get him backstage because he deserved it more than me.

CULT HERO: Nick with one of his heroes, Billy Duffy of the Cult. I was with Nick on this day (I may have taken this photo) and will never forget ushering him through the barricade to get him backstage because he deserved it more than me.

I’m not exactly sure when the cancer took hold, but I do know Nick fought it hard for years (with the help of multiple benefit concerts put forth by his army of friends). Toward what became the end, Nick always wore his best public face. When the cancer ravaged his tongue to the point of near-speechlessness, he would collar me around the neck and pull me closer to wheeze greetings into my ear. When the chemo forced him to shave his greasy pompadour, he took it all in stride. When the oral surgery caused drool to run from the corner of his mouth, he’d wipe it away and pick up where he left off, never losing the sparkle in his eyes or succumbing to the frustration that must surely have boiled inside.

I last saw Nick at his own benefit concert at the Continental Club in August. He played like a hellion, but was clearly frail. After the show, I gave him a hug, and for the first time ever, I saw the drain of exhaustion in his eyes. I left the gig feeling uneasy having never seen Nick in such a state. But I also left proud knowing my 4-year-old son had the chance to see a real rock star.

FLASH BOYS: Metal Dave, Nick Curran and Frankie Nowhere at Emo’s, 2011 (Photo by @Jerry Milton)

FLASH BOYS: Metal Dave, Nick Curran and Frankie Nowhere at Emo’s, 2011 (Photo by @Jerry Milton)

Thanks for the music and memories, Nick. You have no idea!!!

Rest in peace, brother.

— Metal Dave

Visit Nick Curran on facebook here.

  1. Dianne Scott says:

    What a terrific portrait of Nick! Thank you for sharing your memories & insight.
    Love & sympathy,

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Sean. It was “quick and dirty” as they say, but time was of the essence. I already miss him. He was an awesome guy. Thanks for reading and commenting

  2. Steph says:

    Nice work, Dave.

  3. Renet says:

    So sorry to hear this. Nice tribute.

  4. Scott says:

    Nick was a a great player and will be sorely missed.


  5. Jade says:

    This captures Nick perfectly. Amazing man and astounding talent…thanks for sharing this.

  6. Lisa says:

    A lovely tribute to a great guy. The 50’s music community have come out in force over the last 2 years to support Nick and all the messages from them now about his passing show just how much he was loved and admired by all that met him. My husband played with Nick a few times and he was the most charming, fun and talented guy you could ever want to meet, and it was always a killer show even when he had kept up with the English drinking all day! The biggest thing though – as you mention – was the dignified way Nick dealt with the shit hand he was dealt and I think your tribute reflects that beautifully. His words on Facebook over the last couple of years have never been self-pitying, just positive, forceful and grateful for his friends and family. RIP Nick, you will be very missed.

    • admin says:

      Lisa, thanks for sharing your memories … and for reading and posting. I enjoyed your reflections of Nick and appreciate you taking the time to share

  7. PatIdle says:

    Very good piece Dave! Austin lost a big part of its cool!

  8. Danny Crooks says:

    Very well said my friend. Way to early. He is missed .

  9. Joe Emery says:

    Great tribute, Dave.

  10. Jason says:

    The best I’ve read. This is the truth, man. It’s hard to get into anything today through the cloud that hangs over all of us. It’s all of our jobs to keep the flame going and it’s going to take all of us.

  11. Trish Wagner says:

    Thanks so much for this. I knew Nick half of his short life and nit a day will go by when he’s not in my thoughts.

  12. Jeanine says:

    Beautiful tribute, Dave. I think the first time I saw him was at T.C’s and I was blown away. Such an amazing talent and approachable guy that will be missed sorely.

  13. Paula says:

    What a great article, you said it perfectly. It’s true he was a brave soul to the very end, he never once let on as to how bad his Cancer had progressed. He had such an undying faith and relentless will to live. He was one lucky guy to have those around him when he went, so many loved him and will miss him terribly. There is a great void. RIP Nick Danger.

  14. Sheree Homer says:

    Very nice well written tribute. Made me cry. I met Nick a couple of times. He was a great musician and a nice guy. Didn’t know him like many of my friends did, but I am glad I got to see him play on a couple of occasions. He was very brave and fought the good fight. Too young to die, but at least now he’s out of his misery.

  15. Dar Lopez says:

    Thank you , very well said… Nick Curran was way beyond cool and will never be forgotten…

  16. wannes says:

    wonderful tribute. you capture his essence(s) so well. thank you. they will be sorely missed: the artist & the gentle human.

  17. admin says:

    Thank you all for reading and posting. Your comments are a testament to Nick’s far-reaching appeal. He should be proud. He earned this kind of love

  18. Steven Blackmore says:

    Great feature really sad to hear that Nick has passed on, i saw him at that Cult free show back in March he looked quite ill then, you did a brilliant job in getting him to see Billy Duffy, for him to have a chat with him.. You telling me that he was huge fan of the band and Billy.. Was Nick with The Flash Boys in 2007? when i saw them with you at Room 710..

  19. perry weber says:

    Nick was one of the best i have ever listened to, i’ve meet most of the blues guy’s i never got to meet Nick but i feel like i know him. The world will miss a good man. God bless his folks and friends.

    • admin says:

      Well said. Perry. Thanks for reading and posting. There will be a tribute/memorial party in Austin on Nov. 10 if you happen to be nearby

  20. Paul Mallett says:

    What a lovely tribute to one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

    I met Nick in the late 90s when he was with Kim Lenz and her Jaguars and just knew that dude had something special. Just the right amount of rock ‘n’ roll attitude with none of the pretentiousness. I was lucky enough to see him two more times as Nick Curran and the Nightlifes and when he was with The Fabulous Thunderbirds. I was a dj for about 10 years and didn’t let a night go by without playing at least two or three of his songs.

    I loved that guy, more than words can describe.

    I couldn’t write as eloquently as this tribute so thank you so much for writing this.

  21. Phil C says:

    Had the privilege of seeing Nick (with the Nightlifes) on three occasions in the mid 2000’s. Always a ferocious performer, yet humble and quiet off the stage. His music sure got the place jumping. Great voice, too. Thanks for the music, Nick.

  22. Nina says:

    oh nick, I knew him from the free street days, and of course loved him.
    I knew he had cancer but thought he was doing well. yesterday when I looked at the clock it was 2:38 and I immediately thought of nick. I went to look him up to see what he was up to and found out the sad news. There was a day maybe 15 years ago when I said to him, if I ever have your kid I will name them whatever time they are born because with a last name like danger you can name them anything and its cool. I picked the time it was and said like two thirty eight danger, see how good that sounds! He just laughed and kissed me.
    I didn’t stay in touch with nick over the years but heard about him once and a while from dice, I miss those days and my heart will always beat faster when I think of nick.

  23. Carole-Ann Labbe says:

    Thank you for writing this, Dave. I read it when it was first published. Couldn’t respond to it as the shock had set in, and I was far less than fully functional. All I could do was think about what my life was going to be like without my beautiful son in it and how I could possibly go on without him. He wasn’t just my son, but he was my best friend. Kind of a double whammy. Nick lived life like a boss, and I’m relatively sure with few, if any regrets. Although I’ll never look at life the same, I will look back on Nick’s journey and know that I did one thing right in my life, and that was to raise a kind, loving, generous, and extremely talented young man. I sure hope all that spirit of his moved on to bigger and better things. I miss him with every beat of my broken heart.

    • admin says:

      Thank you, Carol-Anne. It was a pleasure to know Nick and see him shine both on stage and off. He brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and his spirit, talents and presence are missed. Thank you for bringing him into the world and sharing him with us. I hope you’re finding peace, Dave