July 10, 1998
Part four of a five-part series I am doing this week on Classic Reunions. Each day I will add a new photo of a featured artist and that band’s classic reunion.
After just four short years together, Bauhaus established themselves as the ultimate Goth band. Everything about them, from their name (inspired by a German school of design), to the harsh white light that threw shadows all over the stage as they played, to their gloomy lyrics on songs like Bela Lugosi’s Dead created an atmosphere and vibe unlike anything we’d seen up to that point. They may have been influenced by Bowie, punk and glam but ultimately, Bauhaus created a totally original sound, and they were a major influence on bands like Joy Division, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
They broke up in 1982, with rumors flying that resentment was building up between lead singer Peter Murphy and the rest of the band. According to Wikipedia, the resentment dealt with Murphy’s appearance in ads and the way the final shot of the band’s appearance in the Bowie movie The Hunger focused solely on Murphy. I’m sure the whole thing was more complicated, but whatever the reason, the band split up. Both sides had successful post-Bauhaus runs with Murphy building a successful solo career and the other three having equal success with Love and Rockets.
Despite huge demands for a reunion, all four said they would never do it. Then, in 1998, it happened. There was no dramatic reconciliation and no talk of this being permanent, or tying it to an album. Neither side was struggling artistically or financially. They just all felt it was time and wanted to do it. The band played three nights at the Hollywood Palladium and I shot them all. These gigs had everything a fan could ask for – great set lists, energy, and the classic Bauhaus look and feel. It was like watching them pick up exactly where they left off. One night, I hung around for hours and hours after the show to get them to sign a copy of my book Bauhaus – Beneath The Mask. Finally, around 2:30 a.m. they came out to greet a small group of die-hard fans, and all four members graciously signed my book.