when David J wrote a book

[Literature and Music History]

Who Killed Mister Moonlight?
the book, by David J

The Incredible Reviewer TV Interviews

by the amazing Reviewer Rob

Buy the book | Listen to the track

Interview One

Rob: We’re here with David J, formerly of Bauhaus, and he’s doing an interview with Reviewer TV– very graciously–
David J: Cheers. [takes a sip of beer and holds glass up]
Rob: Cheers to uh, your new book! Ya know? That’s quite an accomplishment, it’s a big (unintelligible) too. [holds book up to show camera]
And it’s a memoir, of your days in Bauhaus? Or does it go back further– does it go after it? Tell me about the overall–
David J: It’s goes back– right back to the time when I met (unintelligible)– my former partner in crime, which is way to back to uh, the early sixties because we were in kindergarten together, and we didn’t realize that until we had met up again when we were both attending art school in Northampton, we got into a conversation and realized that we were actually in a little group shaking tambourines and woodblock when we were under 5.
[chuckles]
So uh, yeah that was an interesting revelation. So it starts there, and then it tells the story of Bauhaus right up until the end which was in 2006.
[sound of wind chimes]
Rob: And uh, on the cover it says Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction. And um, the song Bella Lugosi’s dead is kind of credited with starting the goth music in America from what I’ve heard, and can you elaborate on that? What that an intentional thing on your part or did that surprise you?
David J: [shakes head]
Not at all. No. That song just bubbled up like the best songs do, and the mantle of goth– gothic, was laid upon us you know, we didn’t intend to be gothic, and in fact it was a rather limiting label because the band was much more expansive than that and was always evolving so it became a bit of a limiting name and I really believe that we transcend the gothic. Although there was obviously a gothic element there and sometimes we played with that and had fun with it and sometimes we would take it quite seriously- but then you can’t take goth too seriously.
Rob: Can’t be too serious as a vampire.
David J: Um, there was always a bit of tongue in the cheek action going on– sometimes it went over peoples head ya know, and they thought we were being serious but we weren’t, so there ya go.
Rob: Well you’re here in sunny San Diego, which doesn’t seem like the most conducive environment to dark gothy kind of culture, but you’ve been here a long time from what I know– you’ve lived here a long time. You have your family here right?
David J: I’ve been here eighteen years now.
Rob: That’s a long time. (unintelligible) Right by the beach.
David J: Yeah.
[makes a circular motion with finger]
I’ve sort of made a transit around this whole area– Encinitas, (unintelligible), (unintelligible), uh I think it’s a very special place, I’m sure there’s some ley line energy going on.
Rob: What lines? Ley Lines?
David J: Ley lines, yeah.
Rob: Oh what the uh–
David J: Some special energy going on here– some kind of like spiritual vortex.
Rob: Really? Can you give me an example of that, can you elaborate on that?
David J: Well I think it’s exemplified by the self-realization fellowship.
Rob: Oh (unintelligble). Paramahansa Yogananda.
David J: Paramahansa Yogananda had the vision of this place and then came here–
Rob: And he came here early on.
David J: And I had an interesting encounter with a yogi when I first discovered the self-realization fellowship, I didn’t know anything about it I’m actually going to tell the story tonight but it’s in the book.
Rob: Can you tell it to Reviewer TV?
David J: Well, it was when I first arrived here and I was out for a Sunday drive with the misses and we were driving down the 101 and we saw the interesting building that sits proudly up there–
Rob: The temple.
David J: And uh, just decided to investigate. And it was open, and we looked around the gardens which were splendid and also the little building at the top where Paramahansa Yogananda lived and where I found out later wrote his book. It’s the same place so uh–
Rob: What year was this?
David J: This would have been 1999– I believe. And uh, so we just went in there just kind of casually looking around and I was intrigued by all of the Indian instruments that they have on display, and also I saw the photograph– or the painting that is based on the photograph of the yogi, and I was very transfixed by that image, very soulful (unintelligible). And then I went up the little steps and stood at the
threshold of his office– his study, where he wrote his book. And I became overwhelmed with this feeling of spiritual elation– ecstasy. I was completely (unintelligible)
[Rob laughs]
David J: And to such a degree that my legs gave way, and I just felt enveloped by a feeling of absolute peace, serenity, and love. And I saw this golden pinkish light in the center of the room and I was just gobsmacked– my soul was– struck. And I had to be– one of the sisters gently tugged me on the shoulder because there was a line forming of people who wanted to look into the study. So I was just in a dazed state– meandered my way back into the outside into gardens and told my wife what I had just experienced. And she had just been reading this little pamphlet that she picked up on the way which I had not seen and there was a story in there which was very similar, interestingly enough it was a testament of an English lady, who had a very similar experience. So I thought to myself, “Well there’s something going on here.”
Because that was just out of the blue, like a lightning bolt. So I decided to pick up his biography there and read it straight away. And I was really charmed by his sense of humor I was quite surprised by that because he was quite cheeky, and ever since then, I have felt very blessed to have discovered Paramahansa Yogananda and having him on my side having him in my corner. Yeah, it was quite an experience.

Rob: That’s spiritual!
David J: Yeah, deep.
Rob: That came on you like– almost like a muse or a spirit coming on you.
David J: Yeah, it was something of an epiphany.
[sips drinks]
Rob: What about– has that ever been like the songwriting experience for you? Can you tell me about when you wrote Bela Lugosi’s dead? Was it inspired by movies, was it inspired by a book?
David J: It was inspired by a conversation that I had with Daniel, and at the time in England they had been showing all the old vampire films, it was a season of vampire films so we had both been enjoying that one, on the phone just arranging to go to our rehearsal, we would talk about these films and one that had just been on was Bela Lugosi, classical Dracula, so that was in my consciousness when I was riding home on my bicycle from my boring warehouse job the next day.
Rob: In Northampton?
David J: In Northampton, and I was struck by this idea of Bela Lugosi. And Bela Lugosi personified the elegant vampire figure, thought he was dead– but the guise of the vampire of course– he’s undead.
Rob: And in Hollywood, he’ll never die. In Hollywood (unintelligible)
David J: Quite. So I just started writing these lyrics down on the packing labels that were attached the boxes that I would send out. And by the time we got home I had the whole thing written down on the labels. And then transcribed it– gave it to Peter the next night at rehearsal, and we all just started playing at separate parts, I wrote the lyrics but we all contributed that was very much a four-way collaboration that song, but we didn’t plan it or anything we just started playing– basically what you hear it on the record. And Peter did that, the vocal as pretty much what you hear on the record. As if we had been doing that song for a long time!
Rob: One take?!
David J: Well when we went into the studio it was one take, yeah. All played live. But I’m talking about the very first time we played it in the rehearsal room when we were writing it. It just flowed very naturally, and that was our first group collaborative song.
Rob: About what year was this? About how old were you?
David J: 1978 so I would have been like 21. My brother was 19.
Rob: Absolutely. So tonight you are going to read from the book, or are you just going to sign the book– or?
David J: I’m going to read some selections from the book yeah, uh–
Rob: You’re at (unintelligible) a beautiful (unintelligible)
David J: Exactly, and uh– I’m actually going to tell the tales that I’ve just told you because they are (unintelligible) to this locale.
Rob: Well thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your new book, Who killed Mr. Moonlight. And it’s available on the internet, but what is the publisher that printed it for you?
David J: Jawbone press in London. I’m just about to go out to London and then to carry on through Europe on a book promotional tour.
Rob: When will that start, right away?
David J: Well I go to Canada next week, and then New York, and then I go to London and then I’m out there for about four weeks.
Rob: Woohoo.
David J: Yeah.
Rob: And people can expect to see you at some book stores in London, or in Europe?
David J: Yes, yes, I’m mostly doing living room shows which I’ve been doing of late– sometimes it’s actually a living room but sometimes it’s just– it can be anywhere that the host, who is just anybody
who wants to come on board and book one of these shows– they host the event, so I’ve played in all kinds of places from used chapels to warehouses, to art galleries, as well as living rooms, so– we’re tying those in, and there’s a couple of club dates as well. But it’s all based around the book so i’ll be combining the readings with live music.
Rob: are you going to be playing tonight?
David J: Not tonight no, tonights just a reading.
Rob: And if people want to send you an email they can go through your website which is–?
David J: It’s DavidJonline.com
Rob: Any dash in there? Just all one word?
David J: Yes, There’s also a Bandcamp. The best place to get the book really online is Amazon.
Rob: Of course, of course. [laughs] Amazon the great book store love, that all the book store owners love. But yeah what can you do right?
David J: Right, right, whenever I can I support the independent stores like (unintelligible, Duckies?) [points to store] Ya know?
Rob: Absolutely.
David J: And I’m doing independent stores on the European store so that’s all very good.
Rob: When you go out David J, today, to your favorite clubs, what are some of your favorite clubs right now? I know that a lot have come and gone in San Diego, I saw you at the (unintelligible) the other night to see a London band, uh, Fat white family.
David J: I love the– the (unintelligible) is my second home, it always has been since I’ve been coming here. I like the belly-up and especially these days when they have a really good booker, they get some really good bands, really good acts there.
Rob: Who’s the booker?
David J: Chad. And in fact I may be doing a show there with my bandmates, I have a full band, The Gentlemen Thieves, and so that’s another avenue.
Rob: Anything up in L.A. you’d like to mention? I saw you up in L.A. one time, years ago, when they were doing a Suicidegirl show up there one time, I think you were DJIng, weren’t you?
David J: That is quite a time ago. Yes, I was DJing.
Rob: That was like 15 years ago.
David J: It was that long?
Rob: I think so– maybe it was right after 911, I don’t know.
David J: Yeah, I did Booksoup up there, and I may have a show again with the band there, and maybe some more living room shows that are pending.
Rob: In L.A.?
David J: Yes.
Rob: And would that be something that people can find out about online and get an invitation to go to?
David J: Yeah it will be posted up on my site.
Rob: Nice. Well good. Thank you again, is there anything else you’d like to mention?
David J: I think we’ve covered it all.
Rob: Well thank you from our watchers at Reviewer TV, David J, and looking forward to hearing you talk about the book.

:::

David J after his book reading.
David J after his book reading. Click the pic for the video.

Interview Two

Rob: This is Reviewer TV and we’re back with David J, and he just did a very good reading of his new book, Who killed Mr. Midnight. And, there was one story in there where you were talking about the intellectual property you called it–trademarking, of uh, the name of the band Love and Rockets. Tell us about how the name came about.
David J: We stole the name from the comic book, Love and Rockets, uh–[unintelligible] Which was made by the Hernandez brothers.
Rob: How did that happen?
David J: We were trying to think of a name for the band, and I just had a bunch of those comics because I was a big fan of that comic and it was just like– What about this? You know– Love and Rockets. So everything thought– Yeah that’s great, you know. But you know, will we get into trouble? But we didn’t know so we just thought– Oh well we’ll just go and do it and see if they slap a cease and desist on this. And then, sure enough, we actually made our first record– through all of our confusion, so that was out and then we got a call from– Jaime Hernandez, one of the brothers saying, “What’s all this about, you’re using the name..”
[laughs]
Rob: Yeah, how did that happen?
David J: I mean because it was known, it was out there.
Rob: you know when something like that’s about to happen you kind of sense it or feel it, you hear rumors and stuff, you didn’t have his lawyer contact you or anything, he just got your number and called you?
David J: Yeah, he actually got it– when he contacted the record company, and they contacted me, they said, “This guy needs to get in touch with you can we give him your number?”
Rob: Oh, so you were expecting it?
David J: Yeah I was expecting it, but initially you know I wasn’t expecting it. Anyway and so he calls me up and I said yeah, “It’s really a tribute.”
Ya know, and uh–
Rob: Seriously though, was it?
David J: Yes, of course it was, because I love that company, And it was a great name for us and it was just right for the times, but he said uh– “The thing is that’s cool and everything but my brother and I were thinking of making a band and we were going to call it Love and Rockets.”
[laughs]
And so I said, “Then go ahead, we’ll think of something else.”
And he said, “well no, it’s okay, just send me your record, send me your music and we’ll check it out and we’ll go from there.”
So we sent him a copy of the record and fortunately enough he liked it. So he said, “Music is cool, it’s okay you can use it.”
So we have his blessing which was lovely.
Rob: So if at that point if he would have asked you to back off, would you have?
David J: Of course! Just out of (unintelligible) not anything legal but just like– sure. We knew we were being a bit cheeky, but we also stole the name Bauhaus! And the logo. This is the official viper Bauhaus Seal [points to Cd cover] and we had no rights to do that but we were just like– we just stole it.
Rob: Those guys were all dead, they lost the war didn’t they?
David J: After the war came down we got a very scary letter– which I write about in the book, from these lawyers in Berlin who were questioning our use–
Rob: They sent you a threatening letter?
David J: Yes and it was scary you know because we had been using this for years! [points to Bauhaus CD cover] [laughs]
Rob: How did that happen, how did that happen?
David J: We just ignored it and it went away. [laughs] So hopefully it will stay– away.



:::

Find a mistake in our expert interview transcription? Email and inform us HERE, please: Department Of Corrections errors@prospectormag.com.

Brexit, democracy, and the will of the people

[Verbatim]

Reviewer TV Vox Populi

I’m in Sydney and have been talking to some “foreigners”, who, as an American is a rarity for me I guess. The upcoming British exit to the E.U. has been on the minds of many of the Brits I’ve seen, and there’s a few of them here in Sydney.

Ian Commons is an art scenester here and March was the Art Month here. I talked to him for a few moments at the Lansdown bar for a brief Vox Populi clip and he expressed the opinion that although the upcoming Brexit “crash out” without a deal may be destructive to England the original vote in favor of leaving should be honored.

Commons said he originally voted “Remain”. Although he’s a Sydney resident and an Australian citizen he has dual citizenship due to being from London, and most Londoners voted “Remain” in 2016. But if the vote was held again today he said he’d switch his choice to “Leave” because of England being the birthplace of democracy, he said, and the will of the people must be honored.

~Rob

Brexit vox populi, Ian Commons in Sydney.
Brexit vox populi, Ian Commons in Sydney.

Transcript:

When: Thursday, March 28, 2019. Days before England left the E.U.
Where: The Lansdowne Hotel bar, in Sydney, Australia, during their city-wide “Art Month”.

Rob: So, this is Prospector Magazine, Reviewer Rob here, and we’re talking “Brexit” and why it’s happening and why it’s good or bad or– First of all, you’re name again?
Ian: I’m Ian, I’m in from London originally, I’ve been in Sydney for 10 years.
Rob: So are you a citizen?
Ian: I’m also a citizen of London, 42 years in London–
Rob: And Australia?
Ian: And Australia.
Rob: The best of both worlds.
Ian: I feel privileged– I’m lucky. Yeah, it’s beautiful, how lucky am I to live in such a beautiful place.
Rob: Absolutely you guys are very lucky, but they’re doing Brexit this month in a few days I guess, right?
Ian: They’re starting that on Friday– and for some weird reason after 700 years of democracy in England they voted for something and now it isn’t going to happen.
Rob: It is or isn’t?
Ian: It’s not going to happen, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Rob: Are you sure?
Ian: No– they’re still fudging around, they’re still talking about it.
Rob: You think they’ll be able to get out of it?
Ian: Out of what?
Rob: Exit– or Brexit
Ian: No. Brex-shit as they call it. What’s happened is that the people that voted for it, the people that own the country, didn’t want it to happen.
Rob: all of the British oligarchs.
Ian: Of course.
Rob: Theresa May wanted it.
Ian: No she didn’t.
Rob: She didn’t?
Ian: No she was against it. There was only a few of them, anyone who voted for it, which I didn’t, was called racist and horrible in this weird new Trump-ism world. Anyone who voted for Trump is obviously a scum racist bastard and all that. But obviously there are (unintelligible) people that did that, they did it for their own reasons, they didn’t want to have a woman or whatever. There was a whole plethora —
Rob: (Interrupting) Trump was bragging at the time, saying, when he was being elected in 2016, he was saying, “Yeah, yeah I’m gonna be the American Brexit!” Like it was a populous movement.
Ian: Yeah, yeah yeah and the thing is you’ll probably get another 4 years, because the other side hasn’t put anyone else up. All they’ve done is slag him off for four years. But at the same time you can’t slag someone off without putting someone against him. So he’s obviously the best person in America to run the country, which is the most ridiculous thing on earth.
Rob: Geographically the people of London voted popularly against. They wanted to Remain, and the rural people —
Ian: It wasn’t a London thing. It was a Britain thing. (Unintelligible remark) It’s a British — and most people voted to leave.
Rob: Sort of like the Trump election.
Ian: Completely, completely.
Rob: Many of the big cities– the educated people– so to speak, didn’t vote for Trump but middle America voted for Trump, and it was the same with England right? Out in the rural areas they voted for exit.
Ian: Exactly the same thing, which is what democracy is, and it has been for 500-600 years, that’s what democracy is. Democracy isn’t about these people that went to the same university, that watch the same TV shows and read the same papers. That’s not democracy. Democracy is a country.
Rob: Right, well we’ve got the electoral system in America, and then the super delegates who can vote for whoever they want, it doesn’t matter what their constituents vote for.
Ian: And who’s going to be the next president in two years time?
Rob: Probably Trump, yeah, you’re right.
Ian: Why?! What’s wrong with your country?
Rob: Because everyone’s afraid of him, he’s the big dog.
Ian: Afraid of what? You’re brave people!
Rob: Afraid of– just afraid of him. They’re afraid he’ll tweet about them! [laughs]
Ian: So that’s how scared America is.
Rob: But getting back to Brexit–
Ian: So Brexit– Brexit is a trade deal. Britain never joined up to Brexit– they joined up to– in 1972 they signed a common market with nine countries, over the last 40 odd years it’s become this superpower of weird– it’s like having your country run by FIFA. It’s having your country run by this undemocratic, unelected body. It’s a bit like having America run by someone in fucking– Canada, it’s a weird system.
Rob: Well you know, if you had to predict what is gonna happen in England in the next year after Brexit, what do you think it’s gonna be like? Is it gonna be anarchy, cannibalism?
Ian: Nothing! [laughs] This ain’t a war it’s a trade deal it’s fuckall! it’s nothing!
Rob: Nothing? You don’t think it will affect the economy at all?
Ian: No, It’s going to be very disappointing that democracy had ended after 700 years, the longest democracy in the world is in Britain and it’s ended with Brexit.
Rob: What do you mean by that?
Ian: Because you have democracy, but democracy has said that we don’t want to be in Europe, and democracy is now somewhere hanging– it’s quite a serious thing.
Rob: So you don’t think that there will be more unemployment you don’t think that there will be more and more vacant storefronts? You don’t think that it will affect the economy at all?
Ian: No! And if it does then who cares! So some rich people lose some fucking money, the people who voted for Brexit anyhow have nothing, what’s half of fucking nothing, nothing! It’s like we don’t care! The rural people aren’t all worried about fucking shares and stocks, they’re just worried about trying to put something on their table for their kids. They don’t care about the economy.
Rob: And that’s why they voted for Brexit.
Ian: I didn’t vote for Brexit, I’m a remainer!
Rob: They– I said they. That’s why they voted for Brexit because they thought it would be more local.
Ian: A small section, most people that I know who voted for Brexit were just a bit bored of not having a judiciary and not having any laws to be passed it was always you had to go beyond and ask Brussels and that’s why most people I know voted for it. It was nothing to do with– it was to do with losing your sovereignty. As I said, no one has a British passport, they have a European passport.
Rob: They wanted control.
Ian: So you give away control to a body that has invented itself after the past 40 years. You only have to watch the Eurovision song contest and match how much continental Europe hates Britain, we come last every time, and if there’s one thing Britains good at it’s writing fucking songs and making music.
Rob: Writing songs? Making pop music?
Ian: Making popular music, and you can’t argue with that.
Rob: The next Depeche Mode, the next Beatles.
Ian: And what happens is we come last every year in the Eurovision song contest every year.
Rob: Oh, that sucks, if I was you guys I would be pissed off.
Ian: Well of course, so we know they hate us anyway, so– [laughs] It’s like– but at the same time I’m a remainer! I like having a purple passport, I like going everywhere, I lived in Berlin for 15 years. I was married to an Italian, wait–wait– I am fucking pure European, I am European in my blood, it’s all there!
Rob: Well to close out I’d like you to tell me more about what you mean by the 700 years of democracy being ended by Brexit. What does that mean?
Ian: So the oldest living democracy on the planet is in Britain, yes? After Magna Carta–
Rob: The oldest? Yeah yeah yeah, when the nobles rose up and said, “No.”
Ian: Yes, It’s constant. And in a way finally Parliament did something, and they let the people vote on something, and they’ve not allowed it to happen. That’s the weirdest part. Somehow the (unintelligible) or the new world or the, “I wanna give– my opinions worth more because I’m louder than you because I’ve got the (unintelligible) and you haven’t.”
Has now taken over just voting in a ballot box.
Rob: So do you think if it happened again Britain would vote for Brexit again?
Ian: Probably. This is the point of that old thought like, what if you lose again? Does that mean you have a third vote?
Rob: Isn’t there a grassroots movement rising up saying, “I don’t know maybe we shouldn’t have done this, maybe this was a mistake.”
Ian: No, no, no. This could happen every single time, this is my point– you have a referendum, and if it goes that way it means, “I know you’re wrong, we’ll do it again.”
If it happens again, who’s to say it won’t happen, even more so? If anything I voted to remain last time I would vote to leave this time. And I’m not the only one, because that was what you know– this weird sort of rewind because we’re noisy on Twitter.
Rob: I was talking to one girl from England, she was saying today that the next day after the Brexit vote the biggest google search phrase was, “What is Brexit?”
Ian: Yes exactly.
Rob: It was like they voted for something that they didn’t know what it was.
Ian: No it’s a trade deal with Europe, that’s all Brexit is! It’s not a fucking world war. It’s nothing, it’s a meaningless thing anyway! It’s just like what we say is, “We’re not allowed to deal with America or anywhere else in the world unless we go through Brussels.”
That’s what Brexit is. Brexit is a trade deal where you’re not allowed to deal with any other country other than you know, the (unintelligible) countries in the world.
Rob: Well it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens, to watch the whole thing, so–
Ian: It’s been– if you ask me it’s been (unintelligible). I’m quite happy to watch it.
Rob: [laughs] Well thank you for the interview, Ian.



Find errors in this transcription? It can happen. Please email Rob with any corrections you uncover, Editor@ProspectorMagazine.com.

In Transit

Posting here from Sydney, Australia, currently. But this will be the new blog. We’re in transit from where everything was in the Reviewer Pressblog (with Reviewer Magazine content posted beginning in the early-to-mid 2000’s, to late 2018), to this place, the new News Blog at Prospector. More on THAT later. Thank you and please stand by!

~Reviewer Rob