Appropriated from Burkhart Studios
Turning 50 today: one of my musical idols, Daniel Ash of Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets fame. Although not what you could call a household name, Ash has had a long and illustrious career that lifts him up high into the pantheon, just one notch below his obvious role model, David Bowie.
Bauhaus hit the scene in 1979 with “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” a nine-minute-long slice of idiot-savant strangeness from a band that barely knew how to play. For its first half, “Bela” consists of Peter Murphy’s moaning vocals riding a stuttering, bat-echo rhythm. The second half is all Daniel Ash and his effects pedals putting on a fireworks show. It’s freaky, off-kilter, borderline ridiculous, and oddly charming. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” remains a much-beloved underground chestnut to this day; when I saw Bauhaus in 2005, they played it as an encore and people went nuts.
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