by Victoria Wasylak
Photos courtesy of Magnum PR
Much like an overwhelming amount of rock ’n’ roll’s vast history, the vast majority of Bauhaus memorabilia had been sitting in a plastic bin in a basement until the power of suggestion resurrected it. In the case of Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins’ extensive collection, it took a nudge from his friend to not only pull the vintage goodies back into the light of day, but to conceive BAUHAUS: UNDEAD, the new hardcover book chronicling the visual history of the iconic band.
“I had no thoughts or plans to do such a thing and if it wasn't for him all the collection would still be in a container in my basement,” Haskins said.
Named after lyrics from the group’s first single, “Bella Lugosi’s Dead,” the deluxe hardcover coffee table book is the latest addition to rock’s complex literary vernacular, abounding with artifacts from the gothic rock group’s heyday. Sprawling with old ticket stubs, backstage passes, concert flyers, set lists and pictures from Haskins’ collection, BAUHAUS: UNDEAD serves a visual textbook on the band’s journey in the late ’70s and early ’80s—many of which Haskins admitted he had forgotten about. Between his own collection and donations from diehard fans Andrew Brooksbank, Vincent Forest and Gabor, the coffee table book comes together as a comprehensive and complete Bauhaus bible.
The book has been printed in two editions: the deluxe version and standard version, both sleek black hardcovers. Hatskins said that he decided to create two versions of the book after glancing over customer feedback on his Facebook page.
“I noticed that some people simply couldn't afford the larger book and so I thought it was very unfair that they should be excluded based on that,” he said. “That's why and when I decided to offer a smaller, more affordable book.”
While the standard “compact” editions are $69, the deluxe versions ($195) are part of a limited-edition collection of 500 and are signed by Haskins himself. Currently, fans can pre-order either edition to support this printing of the books later this year.
Renee Cahill, former promoter of local goth night Corrosion, noted that the book will serve as one of the first literary documentations of the origins of goth culture. Because goth remains a relevant subculture in modern music, this book will set the scene for the culture that thrives today.
“I think that the book is great, because although Goth loves to remember its roots, it doesn't have much to actually immortalize it,” she said. “Other genres have some great coffee table books, but this is the first of its kind.”
At the end of the tome, the last page reads “undead” in white handwritten scribble, the idea of layout artists Donny Phillips and Kaylee Carrington.
“For me it says that the band is not dead and forgotten, and that our legacy will continue on,” Haskins said of the book’s telling last page.
Despite Bauhaus being a band that known for gothic gloom ’n’ doom in the post-punk era, Haskins has a surprising goal behind the printing of BAUHAUS: UNDEAD. The drummer said that he hoped to warm the (usually icy) hearts of fans with a celebration of Bauhaus’ heritage, rather than dwelling on any past drama.
“There are many books concerning bands that have a lot of mean-spirited and negative comments in them, and really I want my book to be the antithesis of that,” Haskins said. “I set out to make my book a celebration of the band and our legacy and I have achieved that. I hope that the viewer will close the close the book with a warm feeling and a smile on their face!”
BAUHAUS: UNDEAD is now available for preorder here.