Bill Paul’s First Tuesday of Every Month: Bauhaus
By Bill Paul
“They simply needed to occur…it wasn’t their fault!”
Amid the swirl of ending and emerging musical genres defining the late 1970’s, Bauhaus saw the need to assemble, slit a sonic artery and bleed a new sound on the white marble floors of 4AD .
Daniel Ash, David J., Kevin Haskins and Peter Murphy were together only 4 years and yet managed to carve out a sound which would in later years have them referred to as the godfathers of Goth. According to Murphy, this reference is “reductive” as they were really a mesh of punk, kraut-rock, synth and even reggae led by his at once Bowie-esque yet rumbling baritone, Ash’s unique spotlight-sharing guitar, J’s dub influenced bass lines and Haskins forward driving beats. They were no more by 1983, or so it would appear…
Bauhaus-She’s in Parties
While there were just 4 studio albums during this period, all failing to create much momentum in terms of entering music’s mainstream, what was occurring in reality was the laying of the band member’s career foundations. From these 4 albums grew a legacy as follows: Ash and Haskins, along with Glenn Campling, formed Tones on Tail and 1 studio album was the result; David J., Haskins older brother, replaced Campling and Love and Rockets were born leading to another 7 studio albums before their disbanding in 1999. Simultaneously, Ash continued to record and release solo albums – totaling 8 while David J. released two albums of his own as well as 2 albums as The Jazz Butcher. Peter Murphy was also prolific during this period. His departure from Bauhaus led to his partnership with Mick Karn, former bassist of art-rockers Japan (sadly, Karn passed away on 01/04/11) and Dali’s Car released one album “The Waking Hour”. Murphy’s solo career then went on to include 1 live and 8 studio albums including his 2010 release “Ninth”.
Peter Murphy-Cuts You Up
Bauhaus reformed just long enough to create and release their 5th studio album, “Go Away White” in 2008. Unfortunately, ‘internal issues’ as Haskins described them, arose which prevented the band from touring in support of the new album and they called it quits for what appears to be the last time just one month after the album’s release.
Murphy toured small to medium venues in 2010 on his ‘Dirty Dirt Tour’ and, having seen this show twice, I am glad to report that at age 53, his pipes and stage presence are as strong as they have ever been! During the Toronto Lee’s Palace show, Murphy indicated plans were in the works for a 2011 World Tour however, as of this writing, his official website makes no reference to a tour.
Love and Rockets-No New Tale to Tell
While Bauhaus’ tenure may have been short, its dark-haired, pale-skinned progeny have had a rather massive output – more than 30 studio albums not including EPs, live recordings or compilations and it looks like they are not done yet!
Take a listen to the tracks highlighted here and give some appreciation to those four fine lads from Northampton from those four fine years…