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Friday, July 27, 2012

Gothic Rock forefathers pt.I (Black Sabbath)

I almost completed a new upload on Danse Society's logo...
I was planning to upload it today when suddenly yesterday night as I was with friends at a local band's gig I overheard a discussion of some youngsters who debated over the origin's of our genre...
I won't produce here their sayings and arguments but... come on people get to know where you "come" from...!
Now this blogpage is not about lengthy argumentations. The term gothic in itself exists since the 13th century...
How can one though claim he "knows" gothic rock without acknowledging that they've been some bands and artists especially in the '70s, who "prepared" mostly aesthetically the ground for the original gothic rock era of the '80s.
The almighty Mick Mercer sites some in his books, now it's summer read a little bit... 

One of them was definitely Black Sabbath, whether you like it or not.  
Their imagery had it all. Gothic attire, crosses, black letters, crows, odd black-clad figures, dark moods, isolation, silence, weird landscapes, allusions about sex and death and the lot.
Here are but a few pictorial examples as a token...

1970's self titled LP cover spread

1976's "We sold our soul to R'n'R" comp LP back cover

1973's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" LP back cover
Anyone still believes that the Sisters and the Mission thought of cathedrals as perfect photo shooting scenery?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A remote island for Killing Joke

As known to older fans and mentioned also in the history page of KJ's official website, in 1982, Jaz Coleman under the influence of occultism and especially of the works of Aleister Crowley, got the idea that the Apocalypse was imminent. 
First him (on the day of the 3rd anniversary of Killing Joke's formation) and then other members of Killing Joke travelled to Iceland and remained there for several months.
The following press clippings depict the musical press reaction to this odd event...

Read more on this event by Jaz himself as he describes them in the Holland Park lectures:

Thanks to S.Savage.G for the above clippings. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bauhaus clippings

Here are some Bauhaus magazine ad clippings I recently received from a friend.

The first is a magazine ad (Zig Zag?) concerning the release of their third single "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" from 1980. The song referred to Paul Bloomquist (a high ranking US Viet Veteran) who was killed by a bombing attack in Frankfurt in 1972.
Note at the bottom the 9 UK dates to promote the single.

The second is from their 1981's LP album "Mask". It reached no. 30 in the UK charts.
The illustrations on the cover were drawn by Daniel Ash. He later used this style also for purposes of "Tones on Tail" material. 
Check also here the live dates at the bottom and the vertical extract taken from the inner sleeve poem (first line) on the left.

The last one in colors that match their sixth single sleeve. As you can read initial 20.000 (!) copies contained a lyric sheet. 
This 7" reached no. 56 in the british charts back then. It's also notable that Nick Cave's band The Birthday Party were the opening act on the promotional tour...

"Dancing in catacombs
 dancing in Tuxedo drags..."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ralph Gibson and the (proto) Goths

Hi folks I'm back again!
Hope you're all OK hiding your precious white skin from the sun...

Here we go again...

Ralph Gibson is an acclaimed American photographer, born in Los Angeles in 1939.
He became famous for his black & white surreal and often erotic photographies and his best known to our tribe (!), work is this picture from the "The Somnambulist" series, shot in 1970.

I'm sure you recognized it , especially if you are Joy Division fans as
it appeared in  the inner sleeve of  the "Unknown Pleasures" LP in 1979.

The sleeve was designed by a young then designer named Peter Saville, who started as
a clumsy collaborator of Tony Wilson's Factory only to become through his innovations
with record sleeves one of the most important and influential graphic designers of the 1980's.
The photographer is though not credited anywhere...

In 1983 this same picture was used as a processed faded image on the back sleeve
of the March Violets 12" "Crow Baby" (Rebirth RB1812) - but not on the 7"!

You can still see it on the (brilliant) March Violets actual website
as a purple decorative detail on the right.
If you're in the mood for more of Ralph Gibson's work, visit his great site:

Stay tuned for more gothic curiosities...