Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead


Bela Lugosi’s Dead 45
August 1979 – Small Wonder Records

Peter Murphy – Vocals
Daniel Ash – Guitar
David J – Bass
Kevin Haskins – Drums

1 – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
2 – Boys

I first heard about the Bauhaus in 1981. The Los Angeles punk scene was splitting up around this time, sort of splitting into separate genres. Basic punk was bands like Mau Mau’s, and a couple of the groups from the first Decline movie, then you had Hardcore where you had most of my favorite bands like Bad Religion, Black Flag and dozens of others. After that a death-rock scene started, we didn’t call it Goth back then, the deathrock scene in L.A. started around the time T.S.O.L. put out Dance With Me (some of you may dispute this, but this is how I remember it), and the scene suddenly had a truckload of groups, such as Christian Death, 45 Grave, Castration Squad, and a few more. And then around the same time, psychedelic punk started with Redd Kross, Salvation Army (later 3 O’ Clock), The Bangs (later the Bangles), and a few others. It was around this time that a girl (Stephanie Chatterton) from school told me about the Bauhaus. I was a huge TSOL fan, and she was telling me that a lot of these death-rock bands were biting stuff from The Damned, and Bauhaus, so when I put some money together from my McDonalds job I picked up the only vinyl of theirs I could find at Moby Disc.

On the first play, I thought something was wrong with the single, I’m waiting two to three minutes before the guy starts singing, and then they go on for about nine minutes. I was used to songs that ended at the two-minute mark. But the craziest thing happened, after the second listening, the song is embedded in your brain.

Every few years or so, I still put it on. While I still treasure the Dance with me album more, Bauhaus were a pretty good band. Their version of Ziggy Stardust is a damn good cover.

The song was written as if Bela Lugosi’s was a vampire. Lugosi was, in fact, buried in his Dracula cape, an event shown in the film Ed Wood:

More than thirteen different bands including The Buzzcocks, Godhead, and Poison Idea have covered Bela Lugosi’s Dead.

Bauhaus originally called Bauhaus 1919 after the German art movement; by 1979, they had dropped 1919 from their name, formed in 1978 in Northampton, England. Guitarist/vocalist Daniel Ash, bassist/vocalist David J, and drummer Kevin Haskins had played together in a band called the Craze, before forming Bauhaus with vocalist Peter Murphy.

In August of 1979, they released their debut single, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” on the independent label Small Wonder. Three months later, the group signed with Beggars Banquet’s subsidiary label, 4AD. The group’s second single, “Dark Entries,” was released in January 1980. Following their first European tour, they released their third single, “Terror Couple Kill Colonel,” which became a hit on the indie charts.

After their first American tour in September 1980, the group released a cover of T. Rex’s Telegram Sam. A month later they released their debut album, In the Flat Field, which reached number one on the independent charts, and number 72 on the pop charts.

The success of In the Flat Field led to their first hits on the pop charts; both “Kick in the Eye” and “The Passion of Lovers” made the U.K. Top 60 in 1981. In October, they released their second album, Mask, which revealed a more ambitious musical direction, which featured elements of metal, and electronic, that made the music more accessible, without abandoning the dark core of their music. Mask was a commercial success, peaking at number 30 on the U.K. charts.

In March 1982, Bauhaus released the EP Searching for Satori, which reached number 45 on the UK charts; another successful single, Spirit, followed in the summer. That fall, the group had a number 15 hit with their version of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust. The success of the single propelled their third album, The Sky’s Gone Out, to number four on the album charts.

Murphy contracted pneumonia at the beginning of 1983, which prevented him from participating in the recording sessions for Bauhaus’ fourth album, Burning from the Inside. The album featured substantial contributions from Ash and J, who both pursued more personal directions. After Murphy recovered, the band toured Japan, and then returned to the U.K. to promote the summer release of Burning from the Inside. The album was another hit for them, hitting at number 13.

If you haven’t already heard this song a million times, give it a listen!

Rating: ** * two out of three stars




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Symbol Six, Dirty Filthy Mugs, The Livingstons -LIVE


Symbol Six, Dirty Filthy Mugs, The Livingstons, and many more.
The Airliner, Los Angeles, CA
Friday, March 16, 2012

OK, true believers, here’s the deal, you know how the inner gossip in me loves the pre-show drama and bullshit that I eavesdrop on before a single note is played. Well, let me tell you, I could’ve written books about the shit I saw this night. First off Million Kids, with the man with a plan, Billy Caldwell, didn’t get to play, which in all honesty was a shitty move by the promoters. Through some kind of miscommunication, Million Kids showed up 15 or 20 minutes late. I know it’s tough promoting and putting on a show this big, but in a case like this, where some of us are there to see Million Kids (and a few others) put them on last if there is absolutely no way to fit them in. The way the show was going, oh well; 2:00 is Million Kids. Instead, around 8:30 or 9:00 they were sent packing. Another funny thing is if Billy weren’t such a nice guy there would be some backlash in an upcoming issue of Sparkplug Magazine (Billy runs it). Hell, even dogs know you don’t shit where you sleep.

Since there were so many people and so many bands playing I’ll give a rundown of whom I saw and how they were. So, let’s get started.

First off, let me say this, I printed out a map to this place, and I punched it into my GPS, and guess what? I still got lost.

The first band I caught was The Livingstons. I enjoyed these guys. I saw them back in May of 2011 and wasn’t overly impressed, but this show they were really good. Who knows why you like a band one night and not the next. But they were real good.

Right after The Livingstons was a guy who goes by the name Lightning Woodcock. Musically, pretty darn good. The theatrics and the whole “Look at me, I curse,” thing is kind of weak to me. The band can really play, but the whole image made me want to turn my back to the stage so I could deal with the music.

Next up was Dirty Filthy Mugs. The music was all right, and Matt Wedgley, the vocalist of Dirty Filthy Mugs, was doing his best to keep the crowd energized. Pretty strong performance.

I saw the Mugs a few years back at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, I wasn’t wild about or the show or the venue. But tonight they were pretty good.

One last comment about Dirty Filthy Mugs, after seeing them live I came across an ad they placed in Razorcake, in the ad they quote a crappy review given to them from Razorcake, I thought that was great.

As the bands were switching, I went outside to put something in my car and noticed some asshole thought it would be cool to park diagonally behind my car, completely blocking me. I had no clue where to begin looking for the owner. The alley, I was in was deserted. I figured I’d go back to the show, and deal with it at the end of the night.

The second to last band of the night was the mighty — Symbol Six! As I watch the guys tune up, and prepare their sonic assault on my ears, I can’t help but feel like I’m at a communist rally, this blast of red and black, and armbands. This room of a hundred or two people are attending a rally where neither money nor freedom is being preached, tonight it’s music and decadence.

As I’ve stated in the past, when you see Symbol Six there is always the feeling that this is the show. Symbol Six is always upping their game a few notches. Not to say the other bands aren’t good, I’m saying if another band is playing a good set, Symbol Six will play a great set, and Eric Leach will howl the vocals from the pit.

Symbol Six steamrolled into their classics, like Viva, and Generation Damnation and brand new songs like Never Gonna Make It, with everybody is singing along.

After Symbol Six wraps up, I go back to check on my car. I’m still blocked. I wrap my belt around my knuckles and get ready to smash the passenger-side window. Figure once I’m in, I can pop the car into neutral, and push it out of the way. Just as I’m cocking back, and wondering if I’ll break another finger, I hear some shitty Ranchero music from one of the offices overlooking the alley. So, as I walk away from the car I notice a Piolin sticker on the back, so I figure the car doesn’t belong to somebody at the show. I might be wrong, but Piolin listeners don’t usually dial into Symbol Six. I figure maybe the owner of the car might be working in one of the overhead offices. I look around and see a small staircase; I head up and try all the doors all of them are locked. So, from the beginning, I start knocking. I knock and knock, I hear music, and so I kick. Finally, a guy answers. I tell him that somebody got the bright idea to block me in. He asks what kind of car it is. I tell him it’s a shit brown Acura.

He said to go downstairs; to the right is a tiny staircase, the owner lives there. It seemed, kind of, like a set-up. I rap on the door pretty hard, then stand off to the side, hey, it’s 11:30 on a Friday night off of Broadway in Chinatown, not a great place to get shot. Finally banging on the door for almost five minutes a young Latina opens the door. I explain that the Piolin fan has me locked in. And I need the shit-box moved quickly. She says, OK. Then disappears for about 10 minutes.

Finally, she comes back and says the guy that owns it is gone, and she can’t drive stick. I tell her it’s no big deal. Unlock the car, wiggle the shift, put it in neutral, I’ll push. She says OK and shuts the door again. Five minutes later she opens again and says, he’s on his way.

So, I’m standing in the alley, it’s almost midnight, and from behind I hear someone charging at me, I spin around (and unintentionally with my belt around my knuckles), I see a medium build Hispanic guy with a buzz cut change from being full on raged out to passive in seconds. I nod at him, and say, “Your car?” He looks down and says, “Yeah, sorry, I’ll move it.”

Just like that, he moved the car. I parked further down the alley in a spot where no one could block me.

The last band that I got to see was White Flag Down. I don’t know how to describe their type of punk, other than it’s about my favorite kind. Some people prefer the kind of punk where it’s nothing, but screaming and the sound of a belt-sander on a chalkboard. The vocalist, Coop can sing and the band throws in a classic blast of punk with an occasional seventies metal riff snuck in here and there.

Our next oddity, also, involves me personally. At the end of the night, I’m talking to Taz Rudd of Symbol Six, and this guy comes up. He starts rubbing the front of my leather jacket. He starts asking if I’m a musician or a producer. I say, “No,” to everything, and keep backing up, because I’m very claustrophobic.

Finally, he asks if I want to join him upstairs. I say, “I’m good and I’m leaving.” Then he moves his attention to a girl who was standing nearby, and tells her “The big guy doesn’t seem to dig me.”

About a half an hour later I go into the restroom. Unfortunately, he’s in there. I sneak in with my back to the wall so he won’t see me.

A minute later he starts yelling “Hey Darkness.” He yelled it about 5 or 6 times. At first, I thought he was talking to me. So, I was trying to finish up, and I was going to stomp him.

Finally, some guy outside (the two windows in the men’s room were broken), says, “What?” The guy starts yelling, “Come here, I want to show you my dick.” The guy outside says, “Fuck you.” So, the guy says, “Come on, it will only take a second.”

I washed my hands and left the place.

So, I headed back to the car, and the gods of punk rock were smiling down on me, my car was fine, and I was ready to make the long drive home.

So, do you think my drama was over for the night? Think again. I get home; step into the downstairs bathroom and right below the sink is a Black Widow, fuck. By now it’s close to midnight, the brain isn’t working well, I start to reach down to smack it. But luckily something in my brain click, I stop. I look around and grab the first thing I see, a can Lysol. I blast the bitch. It runs into a slot between the sink and the wall. I grab some toilet paper, tear away its webs, and blast Lysol into the slot. Close the door and go to bed. At 5:00 am my OCD alarm clock goes off. Suddenly, I jump up in a panic; I’m wondering if the Black Widow lives and what if my son goes into that bathroom. I go to the bathroom, sure enough, it’s walking around under the sink. I run upstairs to the other bathroom, grab some Clorox, come back down and blast the bitch. The spider starts walking wonky and heads back to the slot. I can’t get it in there. I run to the kitchen, get some salad tongs, reach in and smash the bitch.

Went back to bed, and at 6:30 my son was ready for breakfast. Damn.




Misconceptions of Hell is available now:

TSOL – Disappear


June 26, 2001
Nitro Records

Jack Grisham – Vocals
Ron Emory – Guitar
Mike Roche – Bass
Jay O’Brien – Drums

1. Motivate
2. Sodomy
3. Crybaby
4. Anticop
5. Terrible People
6. Pyro
7. In My Head
8. Renounce
9. Socialite
10. Wasted
11. Automatic
12. Paranoid
13. Disappear

I have owned every TSOL album ever produced at one time or another, with the exception of the Joe Wood albums, and I have found something good in all of them, sometimes only a guitar riff; this one, however, I couldn’t find shit. Sorry, I’m a huge TSOL fan, but I didn’t dig this one.

If you don’t own it, don’t sweat it.

Rating: * ** one out of three stars

On with the story . . .

Back in the early part of 1982, maybe late 1981, there was a woman making headlines. Her mug was on every talk show, and her quotes were splattered across pages of many woman’s magazines. Her name was Serena Dank. She founded some exploitive group called Parents Against Punkers. Between Flipside, Maximum Rock and Roll, and We Got Power, Serena received tons of hate mail, rude cartoons, and overall vile comments.

Her goal was to sort of re-program punk kids into law-abiding preppies. But her argument was that punks were absolutely everything that was wrong with society. What blew about this was, like every group, there were some bad apples, but, every punk I knew was trying to make something of themselves.

None of Serena Danks’ ranting bothered me much. I felt I was under the radar enough to be immune. And I was for a minute, then at the age of 15 or 16, my mom and I would fight every time we would leave the house together. I wanted my leather jacket and 5 minutes to spike my hair. I was young, and mom took it way too serious.

So, she signed the family up for therapy. I went for about three months, the shrink was always trying to get me to come with my hair spiked, but for some reason, this embarrassed me, and I wouldn’t do it.

After a few sessions with my mom and me together, the shrink told me she thought my mom was over-bearing, I really didn’t know what this meant, so I said, “Cool.” And thought nothing more about it. Then one day my mom was after me about something or other and I blurted it something along the lines of, “The shrink is right, you are over-bearing.” This flipped my mom out a bit, and she accused me of making this up.

Within a day or so my mom called and canceled all further therapy sessions. It was chalked up to me swaying the shrink to my way of thinking. Kind of using “Hitler-like mind control”. I was accused of this when I was much younger if neighborhood kids liked me, but not my mom so much, I was pulling a “Hitler.”

Anyway, having gone through this I probably won’t care what my kids do with their hair, but then again, I might turn into an old fart and bitch about hair length and color too. But the greatest thing to come out of the therapy was that my brother went on to become a psychologist himself.




Misconceptions of Hell is available now:

Feral House Punk Books Part 3


Hard-Core: Life of My Own
September 27, 2016- Feral House
Written by: Harley Flanagan
Introduction By Steven Blush

Harley Flannigan’s book is difficult to classify. It’s part-contradiction, extreme violence, and drugs while maintaining a vegetarian Hare Krishna lifestyle. It’s a punk rock family tree, child drummer of The Stimulators and hardcore poster-boy with The Cro-Mags. There are moments where you wonder if Harley is a full-blown sociopath, then he exposes heartfelt stories of his mom and bits of his dad and his children.

In other words, Harley opened up his life to the readers and he is not easy to classify. There are many layers.

There are not many other people that started as child authors that had Allen Ginsberg write their introduction and then have Patti Smith call on their mom at the tail end of her life.

Flannigan is a polarizing figure. The book is written in a way that, you feel like you are walking the streets of the Lower East Side and Harley is pointing out where everything happened in the history of New York punk.

What a life this man has led. From roaming around Europe with his hippie mother as a kid to 12-year-old punk-rocker with the Stimulators to starting the Lower East Side’s skin movement, Harley’s lived 10 lifetimes.

There’s so much here that it’s almost impossible to list it all: Meeting famous people at a very young age, squatting and surviving the Lower East Side gang culture, Hare Krishna, and making history with the Cro-Mags – mixed with drugs and enough violence to make the most hardened gangbanger squeamish. To live this life and end up a healthy, happy husband and father of two is damn near miraculous.

If you’ve read American Hardcore and New York Rock: From the Rise of The Velvet Underground to the Fall of CBGB by Steven Blush, Hard-Core: Life of My Own by Harley Flanagan is the perfect companion piece.

I’ve read a lot of music, biographies, and this one ranks near the top.




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Symbol Six, RF7, White Flag Down, The Gypz, The Perverts – LIVE


Symbol Six, RF7, White Flag Down, The Gypz, The Perverts
The Redwood, Los Angeles, CA
Friday, January 27, 2012
Admission $5.00
Time: 9:00 PM

This place is pretty cool to hang out, lots of seating, but if you want to see the stage you have to get in close. There are only a couple of booths to sit at; otherwise, you’re chancing the pit.

As a, somewhat, regular to this club I swoop into the parking lot, pay my $5.00, walk around the corner, and I’m in like Flynn.

By the time I parked, got to the club, said a few “hellos,” and got to the door I had missed the first band The Perverts. So — I can’t review them, sorry.

I walk in and the second band, White Flag Down, is ready to start. These guys are better every time I see them. The vocalist, Coop can sing and the band throws in a classic blast of punk with an occasional seventies metal riff snuck in here and there. Great stuff.

Here’s where the night got fun. Somewhere between leaving my house and getting to the Redwood, I lost my camera. I just got a brand-new Android phone (don’t know how to work it), and there was no way I was going to watch a show and not photograph it. So, I head to the front of the stage holding my phone up (sideways) the place is super-calm, so I’m taking my time to snap pictures and learn how the phone works. Then all at once a three-person slam pit breaks out. Some ass-hat hits me in the eye, and since I didn’t stop to think, “Oh, they’re just slamming.” I instantly punched back. I hit some guy in the head. Then some guy comes up behind me and does this bear-hug/prison rape attempt, I drop my new phone, as I behind down to get it this guy won’t let go of me. Some I grab him by the shirt and pull him to the ground. Once I retrieve my (unbroken) phone, I leave the fuckin’ pit.

Now back in the early eighties when slamming became the staple of hardcore punk shows, it was based on the pace of the music, the energy in the room. Nowadays, a band could be playing a ballad and these jerk-offs will go ape-shit.

Here’s my theory on it: you get a roomful of people that weren’t loved enough by mom, and loved too much by dad (follow me so far?) They will fill up on booze, hit the slam pit with one goal in mind, “God dammit, I’m going to prove to the world that I am a man!”

That’s great; if it helps you sleep on your tear-soaked pillow, then slam, ass-hat. The only problem is if I am tapping my foot, and you’re swept up in a surge of homoerotic energy, and ram me during a slow-paced rock song, I’m going to lay you out. And the beauty of being a gray-haired 45-year-old man is that security doesn’t seem to believe that I had anything to do with these guys laying face down on the concrete.

The third band on was The Gypz. I believe this was their first or second show. They were still working out some kinks. Not bad. I’ll check them out in a few more shows.

The fourth band on was RF7, they played a super-tight set.

When I first bought the Public Service album RF7 were my favorite band, for about a month based on these four tracks, I even went as far as painting their name on the base of my leather jacket. Felix Alanis, in my opinion, created this, almost, monster-style of singing, this sound is everywhere now from Slipknot to Lamb of God. RF7, mavericks? Maybe.

They wound up their set with the entire room singing along with them to “Fuck Money,” while Felix lit a $20.00 bill on fire. Is he aware of our economy? Afterward, Felix and Nick signed my copy of Public Service.

Finally, the last band of the night: Symbol Six hit the stage. The band was tighter than a gnat’s ass. People dancing slamming with vocalist Eric Leach in the pit, members of White Flag Down and (producer) Phillip Raves are on stage singing along on the mike. Symbol Six has a new EP coming out soon on Suicide Kings Records, and the new tracks were getting great reactions.

By the time they got off stage, I was ready to have the band sign their 1982 Posh By EP. I was in full fanboy mode throughout the night.

Another great show.




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