You probably recall the trouble Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy got into back in March when he was arrested in Glendale, California for driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run and possessing crystal meth. Police reports said he appeared confused and even had difficulty recalling what day it was.
Although the goth legend initially pleaded not guilty to all three charges, he changed his tune when he was sentenced on October 10 in a Los Angeles court. Murphy plead no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving and guilty to the methamphetamine possession charge, as reported by Glendale News.
The singer must also attend 45 days of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, perform ten days of community service and submit to random drug tests.
The eyewitness followed Murphy, 55, from the crash at Central and Goode avenues in Glendale to the 3400 block of Barham Boulevard in Los Angeles because “he was afraid [Murphy] would kill someone with his driving,” according to Glendale police.
Murphy, who was in a Subaru Forester, reportedly struck a Mercedes about 11:48 a.m. at the intersection, then drove around it and got on the Ventura (134) Freeway, police said. As he fled the scene, a witness who was washing windows, snapped a photograph of Murphy’s Subaru, which sustained moderate front-end damage.
The driver of the Mercedes was also able to write down Murphy’s license plate number before Glendale fire personnel hauled her away on a gurney, police said.
Meanwhile, the driver of a pickup truck reportedly followed Murphy to Los Angeles, where he pulled in front of him, blocked his Subaru and called Glendale police to tell them he was detaining Murphy.
Good for this guy. That’s a seriously impressive act of citizenship.
According to the report, Murphy copped to the traffic collision, telling police that he was jet-lagged.
Then there’s this:
Inside the Los Angeles police patrol car where Murphy had been detained, officers reported finding a small plastic bag, possibly of methamphetamine, police said. Murphy denied the bag belonged to him, but officers said they believed he was trying to discard it in the patrol car.
Murphy was arrested on suspicion of causing injuries while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, felony hit-and-run and possessing methamphetamine, police said.
As on Monday, Peter Murphy was still being held in police custody, remanded in lieu of a half million dollar bail. Police officers expressed concern that Murphy could be a flight risk, and they’re probably right.
What I want to know is this: What was the bloody King of Goth doing in fucking Glendale, anyway?
According to his Wikipedia entry, Peter Murphy, who in 1983 had only just recently departed Bauhaus, made “some brief dabbling with acting and dance – including a slightly odd televised performance to Bauhaus’s ‘Hollow Hills.’”
Wha? Naturally I googled this “slightly odd televised performance” and of course, there it was… His interpretive dance here is slightly odd, I’d have to agree (“naff” is a word that comes readily to mind as well). You’d have to think his former bandmates would have found this sand dune ballet on-the-floor, coughing-with-tears-hysterically-funny to watch.
Speaking of Peter Murphy, I heard the craziest story last night over dinner with my friend Adam Peters, a Hollywood composer who recently scored Oliver Stone’s Savages (and who arranged and played the famous cello part on Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon”).
We had been discussing Howard Devoto’s post-punk artrock band, Magazine and he told me about seeing Bauhaus open for Magazine in Guildford in 1980. The “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” single was already out, but In The Flat Field had not been released yet. The third band was Crisis, with Douglas Pearce and Tony Wakeford later of Death In June and Sol Invictus, whose following included many skinheads.
Of course the Guildford skinheads had never seen anything like Bauhaus and, as skins do, started spitting at the band, Peter Murphy in particular. Adam said that Murphy tore his shirt off, grabbed a light on a stand and made like he was being crucified at the front of the stage, provoking a steady stream of gob as he stood motionless, shining the light directly into their faces, staring them down and daring them to continue. The band continued to vamp on the slow chords of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” he told me, for about a half hour as this went on, with Murphy absolutely drenched in spit.
Eventually it stopped and the skins left because this interaction had apparently freaked them the fuck out!
“That would be hard to top! Did Magazine actually play after THAT?” I asked him.
“They did, but they probably should have just tuned the house lights up. No one really cared about Magazine after that.”
If that isn’t the most Artaud-esque thing that’s ever occurred on a concert stage, I can’t imagine what would be…
Below, Peter Murphy’s “slightly odd televised performance” on Riverside, 1983:
And while one may be tempted to criticize Lee’s artistic interpretations of jazz standards, you do have to admire his spryness. He’s still incredibly involved in the community (this video was taken at Comikazi, a comic, sci-fi, and fantasy convention), and he’s never stopped working.
Here’s a classic British TV commercial from the ‘80s starring Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. You can read on the Internet that he was on the label, seen above, and in the print ads, too, but was that really Peter Murphy, too? I think it’s someone else.
Peter Murphy’s birthday was July 11. He’s 53 now and still looks like this. I guess drinking the blood of vestal virgins keeps you young, eh?