Roland S. Howard the guitarist for the legendary Birthday Party died December 30 of liver cancer in Melbourne Australia at the age of 50. Howard had also been a member of the bands Boys Next Door (who went on to become The Birthday Party), Crime & The City Solution, and These Immortal Souls. He had planned to perform in Australia the night before his death opening for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but had to pull out due to his illness.


His last live performance in October saw him in very ill health and spitting up blood throughout the show.  Pop Crimes, Howard's 2009 solo album, his first in nearly ten years, had received substantial critical praise in Australia and was deemed a favorite to win the upcoming Australian Music Prize. Prescient lyrics on the album's title cut ring all too true, "I guess that I won't see you tomorrow/On this, our planet of perpetual sorrows."  No official announcements have yet been made in regards to arrangements.