British rockstar Peter Murphy is now more like the Grandfather of Goth than the Godfather of Goth, as he is widely heralded. He’s hit the big 5-0, but he’s still got a fan base that packed the House of Blues to see him perform solo on June 7th.
Back in ’78 in England, Peter Murphy was the lead vocalist for Bauhuas, a band that popularized the goth-rock genre (a titillating fusion of early horror films and glam rock). The band members played around with all things macabre, performing dressed as vampires, rising up on-stage from coffins and careening around in a hearse called the “Bauhearse.”
The band broke up in ’83 and didn’t reconvene until ’05 at Coachella and then in ’06 for a tour with Nine Inch Nails. In the intervening years, Peter took himself for a wild ride on the Bauhearse. His more than two decades-long solo career included acting and dancing, dyeing his hair platinum blonde and releasing albums that range from pseudo-pop to alt. rock to haunting ballads about the metaphysical. A few of his songs reached cult status, such as “Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem” and “I’ll Fall with Your Knife.” He converted to Islam and moved with his family to Turkey, where they currently reside.
Peter resembles a ghoul with his all-black attire, pallid complexion, sparse hair, gaunt frame and severe, staring eyes. His days riding the Bauhearse may be over, but Peter will continue to haunt the stage with his eloquent guitar, evocative, poetic lyrics and deep dark voice. The spirit of goth-rock is immortal.