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Bauhaus

Bela Lugosi’s Dead

The influential post-punk band, Bauhaus, helped invent the musical genre and sartorial style of goth-rock. Formed in 1979, their nineminute-long debut single Bela Lugosi’s Dead includes a refrain that has also inspired the title for the exhibition chapter Still Undead.

Bauhaus: Bela Lugosi’s Dead, 1983

Originally called Bauhaus 19 after the year the school was founded, band member David Jay explained how the choice of reference sprang from a desire to “strip everything down” to something straight, functional, and stark to cite the theatrical and visual influence of the Bauhaus.

A published interview with the band in the October 1981 “Bauhaus Issue” of New Sounds New Styles, features a “triangle, square, circle” graphic throughout. In it, English writer Robert Elms eulogizes the Bauhaus parties and the “Bauhauslers eccentricity of dress and anarchic behaviour” as inspiration for a new wave of music and street fashion. Jay went on to track down the United Kingdombased Bauhaus émigré René Halkett, and recorded a track with him that fuses the amplified sound of a pocket calculator with Halkett’s poetry.

From New Sounds New Styles, October 1981, edited by Kasper de Graaf, designed by Malcolm Garrett.

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