Book Review: David J. Haskins – “Who Killed Mister Moonlight? Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction”

David J. Haskins
Who Killed Mister Moonlight? Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction
(Jawbone)

Even if you’re not a fan of Bauhaus, you can’t deny the indelible mark they left on the post-punk and goth scene. Though one might expect frontman Peter Murphy to tell the Bauhaus tale, Haskins, the bassist and sometimes singer, divides this memoir between Bauhaus, Love and Rockets (his post-Bauhaus band) and his interest/obsession with Black Magick.

Understandably, much of the book discusses the humble beginnings and quick rise to fame of Bauhaus, as well as the ill-fated reunions in more recent years. Haskins has an incredible memory, recalling events from decades past with meticulous detail, and thankfully for the reader has an even stronger ability for engaging prose. His storytelling is so fluid, so easy to find yourself immersed in, even someone who has never heard a Bauhaus song would have a hard time putting this down.

Haskins does touch on his Love and Rockets fame, although it’s not as in depth as the Bauhaus portion, probably because their legacy wasn’t as tumultuous compared to that of Bauhaus. Where Haskins really gets fascinating is his accounts of dark arts and occult interests, where unexplainable, eerie events seem to occur randomly and sometimes not so randomly. Were these situations drug fueled? Probably. But did Haskins really experience them? Absolutely.

Memoirs from seminal musicians are becoming more and more common, but this account is one of the most interesting and intelligent I’ve read. With a refreshing lack of ego, a healthy sense of humor and a sophisticated, cultured approach to his art, Haskins provides us with much insight into his musical endeavors while also delving into the abstract. (Tom Haugen)

Purchase Who Killed Mr. Moonlight? Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction on Amazon here.

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