[Or, How my copy of The Bats’ The Law of Things was lost forever]
I was a vile teenager. I discovered the joys of boys, booze, weed and miserable music at an early age and used to take great pleasure in locking myself in my room, lying on the floor and listening to all manner of desperate Gothic howling at full volume, horrifying my mother in the process, who had dutifully brought me up on a diet of quality funk and soul and was probably bewildered as to how this tactic had backfired so badly.
Of all my music, she loathed my Morrissey and Smiths collection the most (“For god’s sake, the man can’t sing in tune!”, “All he does is whine!” etc etc). However the rest of it wasn’t too far behind – particularly the collection compiled during my 5th form year, thanks to a long-distance relationship with a Goth called Grayson from Greytown (apart from a brief interlude on a staircase this one time at orchestra camp, conducted solely through the exchange of letters, terrible poems and home-recorded tapes).
This collection included the likes of Laibach (a bunch of Fascist-leaning Slovenians whose albums seemed mostly to consist of the croaks of someone being slowly strangled), The Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.
Bauhaus is the only group of the above (not counting Morrissey and the Smiths, of course) whose records still sit on my shelves, but it’s down to luck more than design that their records survived that tumultuous time.
Sometime in 1991, after an afternoon of ignoring my mother’s pleas to assist with some household chores in favour of loudly blasting Bauhaus’s Mask*, the last straw was reached, and my mother swept into my room, furiously picking up a record and snapping it over her knee. Unfortunately the record happened to be a copy of The Bats’ The Law of Things, a more innocuous album you’ll never find.
* The offending Bauhaus album survived until 2000, when my mother unknowingly packed it up with a bunch of other records to send over to me in London. It was irreparably water-damaged en route – so perhaps she had the last laugh after all.