Renowned Bauhaus archivist and mastermind level expert Andrew Brooksbank has dug deep into his mind and diaries to dredge up the humble beginnings and misadventures of Goth Pioneers the one and only Bauhaus.
Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins, are the primary characters in this impressive Tome that has been obsessively and meticulously researched. Chances are you’re reading this because you’re a Bauhaus nerd or possibly just a music geek who loves to shine a light into the dark recesses of bands histories to see what made them work and get to a pitch where someone will write a book about them and to be fair there are none more unique and mysterious than the dark lords of gothic imagery and post-punk genre leaders Bauhaus.
This book gives a sense of perspective and what makes a band tick and reaches out further than their local pub or town center to play all over the world and sell many many records over decades. The primary characters all shared a love of Bowie, glam and what was happening quite quickly around them in such unchartered times that were the 70s. A time like no other for what was happening in music.
Brooksbank sure knows his subject matter in impressive detail. Includes interviews with Northampton’s new wavers doling out their memories of important times, places and people, as well as Ash and the Haskins brothers themselves, If like me you have an interest in the band but not an in-depth knowledge then this really adds meat to the bone in an easy on the eye way and a book that doesn’t dismiss the casual fan and only appeal to an illite few. The flow is great in bite sized passages all dated for easy reference.
If you’re wondering where the band’s vocalist is in all of this, well, Peter Murphy’s journey to Bauhaus is also referenced throughout, as the band’s story is told up to and including the recording and initial triumph of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ at the final knockings of the seventies. I did chuckle that ‘Bela Legose’ lyrics were written whilst David J hoped on and off his bike when the ideas came to him. It’s great to read about early shows being played in the Rock and Roll maelstrom of Wellingborough at 3pm for kids. Brilliant stuff.
Brooksbank has been referred to by David J as the “invaluable ‘tenacious truffle pig’ adept in the unearthing of minutia and obscure facts”, a quote that must be manna from Heaven for a fan of any band to be referred to with such affection. The book also contains dozen and dozens of grainy transferred pictures as well as flyers, demo mixtapes, ticket stubs live shots and so much more.
After reading it front to back I’ve also enjoyed dipping in and skimming the pictures where you also get a sense of how a band evolved in such an inspiring time in music. It’s written with humour and the cast of friends who contribute with their anecdotes really make the book such an engaging read. It’s a no-brainer for a Bauhaus fan but for anyone who likes reading about music, this is great and coming from such a creative time when innocence was something to nurture and wasn’t seen as a weakness or disadvantage. Seeing how a band rose from a time in music that was simply beautiful and rewarding it’s 40+ years ago yet a lot of us remember it like it was yesterday. ‘From arthaus’ is a Great trip – you should check it out its a pageturner for sure.
Author: Dom Daley