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Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction
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Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick, and Benediction

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Beginning with the creation of Bauhaus's seminal debut hit 'Bela Lugosi's Dead', David J. Haskins offers a no-holds-barred account of his band's rapid rise to fame and glory in the late 70s, their sudden dissolution in the 80s, and their subsequent - and often strained - reunions. In between, he explores his work as a solo performer, and with acclaimed trio Love and ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 15th 2014 by Jawbone (first published October 1st 2014)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mel
So I'm probably biased. Bauhaus are my favorite band of all time and David J my favorite band member but I really loved this.

The book is divided into three parts, the first is the early days with Bauhaus, creating the albums, lots of touring madness and gives a really great insight into the late 70s and early 80s music scene. It was probably not that surprising to see that some many of the bands early influences were things that I also loved and shaped my teenage years. From Bowie to punk to th
...more
Sonic
Feb 03, 2015 Sonic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What an excellent tell-all staring some of my favorite musicians! This is very well written and at times a lil' juicy if you know what I mean. The gossipy quality this book holds is slightly tempered by David J.'s charm, sincerity, and just a touch of self-deprecation.

All the personalities of Bauhaus (and Love & Rockets) are just as I imagined them to be and even maybe worse! :) And yes Peter Murphy is described at one point as an "insufferable prick" with many incidents to back that u
...more
Aug Stone
Apr 30, 2015 Aug Stone rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. One of the best autobiographies I've ever read, definitely the best music autobiography. I'm not even the biggest Bauhaus fan. I prefer Love And Rockets, and would've loved more about them but I do see how focusing on that band would be a shift away from the theme implied by the title. David J has done a fine job with 'Who Killed Mister Moonlight', very well-written and full of interesting anecdotes and keen occult/spiritual insight. The descriptions of the Magickal workings ...more
Josh
Oct 13, 2016 Josh rated it really liked it
An extremely entertaining look at life inside a fascinating personality- and artistically-driven band. In addition to being a pioneering musician, David J. is a bookworm and a very good writer, so it's an unusual treat to get to read a firsthand account so skillfully presented. He is nakedly honest about what made the band work well, and then ultimately fall apart. Bauhaus made a lot of amazing, original music, but they also have a lot of crazy near-unlistenable tracks. They loved ...more
Nic
Nov 10, 2014 Nic rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, well-written, hilarious, disturbing and detailed. If you are a fane of Bauhaus or Mr. J this is very obviously a must-read. David J is a great writer of prose and is refreshingly honest in his recounting of the history of a very important (and overlooked) band. Reveals plenty of hitherto unknown incidents and encounters. Thoroughly recommended. A highly readable rock biography - which is a bit of a rarity. PS: please note that a certain Mr. Murphy isn't portrayed in too flattering a ...more
Tanya
Nov 13, 2014 Tanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know, it's all fun and games until you start playing with toilet paper angels at Alan Moore's house. Amirite?

Also, I would still like to know why Daniel Ash tried to beat me up in Athens, GA back in 1986. I guess David ain't telling.....

A little too much black magick, needed a little more witticism from "The Undertaker." All and the same, a book that brings me back to my well-spent youth!
Leah Mayes
May 18, 2015 Leah Mayes rated it it was ok
What an exasperating and often silly read this was!

I adored Bauhaus in the early 1980s and was rather fond of some of David J's solo output. Love and Rockets and the reunited versions of Bauhaus I could do without but, fortunately for me, there was very little about them in this book. Unfortunately for me and for most readers, there was very little about, well, much of anything in this book beyond some protracted nonsense about sigils and fetishes and oooohhhhhh!!!!!! other spooooooky scary dark
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Scot
Aug 04, 2015 Scot rated it really liked it
This was a bit bittersweet for me. I am a huge Love and Rockets fan. I never really got into Bauhaus but this was mainly because i had really only heard Bela Lugosi's Dead and never liked it and therefore never listened beyond that. That was obviously a mistake because while reading this book i figured i should spotify the rest of their output to follow along with. The rest of their stuff i found to be so much better than the Bela single which was a nice happy discovery for me. So all in all i ...more
g-na
Nov 24, 2015 g-na rated it really liked it
I was a huge fan of Bauhaus and Love & Rockets during the 80s, but for as much as I liked them I did not know much about the people behind the music. Here, bassist David J. talks about his life, the bands, and some of the stories behind the music.

J. is quite a good writer, and he is quite candid when it comes to describing certain events that other writers may have glossed over. I found it interesting to see just how casual the band members were about their music. I suppose the other musical
...more
David
Dec 17, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Oy vey! Like cats and dogs, they were! That's my ultimate takeaway from David J Haskins's new memoir. This concentrates mostly on his time in/with Bauhaus(Love and Rockets was all but skipped over. Maybe next time?). No one's feelings were spared, including the author's, but no one in particular was really thrown to the wolves. Loads of great stories of the band and their contemporaries. Utimately the book only confirms what we all probably suspected, which is the band was driven apart by ...more
Sara
Bauhaus is one of my favorite bands of all time. Mr. Haskins is an excellent writer, and I loved the first and third part of this book, recollections of life with the band and all the debauchery involved. The second part is about his drug filled trips into "juju shit" - his words. Some of it made me uncomfortable, some of it I skimmed cause it didn't hold my attention. It felt like an entirely different volume.

It was interesting to read about the many issues Peter Murphy has, and I alternated f
...more
William
Jan 02, 2015 William rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music
Really dug this. A great read - mainly concentrating on the various incarnations of Bauhaus and the troubles therein plus some excursions into the land of magick. I wish there would have been more about David J's solo work and Love and Rockets, but that's a minor complaint.
Tom Dolan
Too much David J, not enough Bauhaus.
Skyler
Oct 27, 2016 Skyler rated it liked it
Well, we can start with the good. 40% of the book is goddamn riveting. David J. writes with a distinctly glib British wit, somewhere between Eric Idle and a less-dry Douglas Adams. There is a presumably intentional and honestly quite delightful contrast between the drear happening amongst our Gothic teenage protagonists and the writing style of 2014's David J. Also refreshing is the lack of your traditional post-breakup venom. Even when describing the worst sins of Peter Murphy, you get the ...more
Drew
Oct 12, 2016 Drew rated it liked it
Interesting... pretty weird. He gives much more time to his Bauhaus years than to the Love and Rockets days, barely covers the L&R releases, especially the more popular early ones. When he delves into his black magick phase, things get a little loopy. About as interesting as when a Facebook friend describes in detail a dream she/he just had. A bit of an unreliable narrator too, you wonder what his wife thinks of some of his rock-star sexual dalliances, and then he explains their open ...more
AP
Oct 06, 2016 AP rated it liked it
Shelves: music
I'm a big fan of the author's music, especially from Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. He has written the lyrics to and sung the vocals on my favorite L&R songs, such as "Dog-End of a Day Gone By," "Haunted When the Minutes Drag," "Kundalini Express," and more. David J wrote the lyrics to "Bela Lugosi's Dead," Bauhaus' most famous single. I consider Bauhaus an influential band and also enjoy some of his solo work. I am reading this book to find out about David J's creative process, how he has ...more
Andy Agz Rose
Sep 23, 2016 Andy Agz Rose rated it liked it
Not much of a review from me but just thought it lost it's way with all the magical crap. Wasn't interested in that at all. Far too much of it. The first third of the book is great & I was enjoying it then the magic/fantasy crap came & I literally never picked the book up for a few months again!! I decided to just ignore that bit & skip through until stuff of interest came back Bauhaus, music stuff stories about that etc Maybe his brothers will be a bit better when that comes out. ...more
Matt Mitchell
Nov 11, 2014 Matt Mitchell rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book from David J. If you have any interest in Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, the supernatural or how a band can burn so bright and crumble several times you'll love it, too. One caution, though… if you are a Peter Murphy fan you probably won't enjoy it too much. I was on the fence after the last couple of times I saw Murphy and now… ugh. David paints him mostly as a paranoid egotistic lunatic.

The other part of the book does deal with magick (yes, with a K) and spirituality -
...more
Jack Bates
Jan 02, 2016 Jack Bates rated it really liked it
Ha, this is quite fun. I mean I know they say you shouldn't write about tripping... and actually that's probably true. Or only once per book. More than that is quite self-indulgent.
Still, I can forgive that because this is a fun read. I love a music autobiography, partly because being in bands looks cool but seems to be less cool, which is interesting. Also David J knows loads of interesting people, of course, Genesis P Orridge and Alan Moore particularly fascinating. Oh and Peter Murphy is a ri
...more
Leonardo
Jan 16, 2015 Leonardo rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers of musicians' biographies
A rock'n'roll biography like no other, David J's autobiography takes the reader into a rough, heart-warming, exhilarating, and even frustrating trip through the musical and magickal life of one of the post-punk era's most daring artists. A very honest account of his musical and occultist quests, the book two main focus are Bauhaus (both in its original incarnations, as the pioneers of goth, and during the two reunion tours) and his experiences with magick and spiritual experiences. Between the ...more
Kirsten
Jan 14, 2015 Kirsten rated it liked it
Lots of really interesting Bauhaus history (and history of the music scene at the time in general). The drugged-up magic gets completely over-blown and ultimately leads nowhere, which is sad. All that talk it gets and...? I would have rather read more about Love and Rockets (I adore that band).

One of the best things David J gives us is a pretty even-handed look at the multiple demises of Bauhaus. He doesn't get mean, which is really big of him. It's obvious that Peter Murphy has some serious iss
...more
Dragan Nanic
Feb 12, 2015 Dragan Nanic rated it really liked it
The unbelievable ease with which David J. talks about his life in music and magick hints at honesty, at least honesty of the kind you would get as you sit with him at a table in the nightclub, waiting for the act you both came to see. There were already couple of rounds of drinks and you realize you are in for a much more than expected - occasional insights into both personal life and relationships in the band(s) that are maybe even deeper than intended. And as the night and the music progress ...more
Jorge Jaramillo Villarruel
Feb 20, 2015 Jorge Jaramillo Villarruel rated it really liked it
Le daría cinco estrellas, tan bueno es, pero le quito una por dos motivos muy relevantes. 1. Todo ese capítulo sobre los sufis, yogis y demás charlatanería, es aburridísimo. 2. ¿De veras David J. cree que el lector le va a creer sus mentiras sobre viajes astrales? Sin cuentos divertidos, pero nada más.

El resto del libro es magnífico, muy bien narrado, y realmente te hace vivir de cerca la experiencia Bauhaus. Ojalá escriba uno sobre Love and Rockets y su carrera en solitario. O libros de cuentos
...more
Ben
Nov 07, 2014 Ben rated it it was ok
Lots of interesting Bauhaus trivia and stories and fun to read if you're a fan. I kind of wish he'd gotten a writer to help, however. I guess the conclusion of this tale is that if one spends 30+ years partying quite hard, things like voodoo dolls, good/evil spirits, and spontaneous rituals of burning things make sense and can be very meaningful to one.
Stephen Slaybaugh
Jan 25, 2015 Stephen Slaybaugh rated it it was ok
The parts about Bauhaus are interesting, but too many pages are spent recalling his acid-fueled explorations into magic and not enough written about Love and Rockets, particularly the Seventh Dream and Express years. Also, the book ends inconclusively without any kind summation to tie up the themes he explored.
Andrew Metadrouid
Oct 01, 2015 Andrew Metadrouid rated it really liked it
Hmmm. Wow. Intense and revealing. If you want to continue to idolize your rock-n-roll heroes, avoid books like this one. But if you want the truth, warts and all, or at least one person's account, go for it. An intriguing and at times bizarre book, in many ways on both counts. Thus tentatively recommended if any of the words in the title, or the author himself, interest you.
Joe Mason
Jan 09, 2015 Joe Mason rated it really liked it
Sure the title is a Bauhaus song, but it would be more appropriate to use "Searching for Satori."

David J's book tracks his spiritual quest, from the catharsis of playing live in Bauhaus to his occult practices.

In between, there's plenty of band history. It's delightfully dishy, but not vindictive.
Eric Reitz
Nov 27, 2014 Eric Reitz rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
David is funny, clever and engaging, but he really could have used some assistance with pacing and plotting. Not to mention the fact that out of over 300 pages, not even TWO full pages are dedicated to the music of Love and Rockets, a far superior musical project to Bauhaus' work. A mixed bag of interesting anecdotes and depressing 'Behind the Music'-style shattering of a band's mythology.
Nicholas Why
May 06, 2015 Nicholas Why rated it it was amazing
Being a Bauhaus, Love & Rockets & solo David J fan, this rock memoir was totally not what I expected. Stories of inflated egos, band arguments & fights, black magick, touring adventures, and a very sad portrayal of Peter Murphy as egotistical lead singer makes this probably the best rock book I have ever read. I can't wait for the supposed 2nd book on Love & Rockets.
Colin Tew
Jun 23, 2015 Colin Tew rated it it was ok
Likeable chap writes about unlikeable bandmates. Believable? I suspect that there are other sides to the stories.
Still —great bands. No amount of trash talk can take away from the pleasure i get from listening to Bauhaus and Love and Rockets.
...more
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