Peter Murphy 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The bats haven’t quite left the bell tower for Peter Murphy, to borrow a phrase
from “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” the definitive song by his old new wave gothic rock
pioneering band, Bauhaus.
With a brief but ghoulish cameo as “The Cold
One” in the summer’s celluloid phenomenon The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the
“Godfather of Goth” has regained some of the darkened spotlight that decades of
pop culture vampire wannabes have chipped away at. But unlike many of his 1980s
musical brethren, Murphy has never really faded away, launching a cultishly
productive solo career following Bauhaus’s implosion in 1983 after four
And nowhere has his cult burned brighter than in
Israel, where the original “undead” with the high cheekbones was treated
ghoulish hero when he performed in Tel Aviv last year. It’s a mutual
society for Murphy and Israel, despite the fact that the Catholic-raised
adopted Islam more than two decades ago and lives a Sufi life in
his choreographer wife, Beyhan.
“I like to go on at the beginning of my
all my shows and say, “Shalom, peace, salaam,” in the order of the
the prophets,” Murphy said in a recent interview with The Jerusalem
And that’s what he’ll do when he returns this week for two concerts
– on July 26 at the Mann Auditorium and the following evening at The
Haifa. But on this day, Murphy was in a studio in Oxford, England,
batch of songs for a future album, even though his ninth solo album –
– has only recently been
“I have a lot of ideas and want
to put them down. Over the years, I’ve always had to find those pockets
to be able to write. My wife is a very successful choreographer with the
National Contemporary Dance Company in Turkey, and we’ve always balanced
other in terms of raising our two children.
If one was busy, the other
was home,” said Murphy.
“I don’t have a studio at home, and I found it
hard to work with my kids around, so when we moved to Turkey I had to
my pockets of time to write. Now that they’re both in university,
more free time, but I still like to block off time for writing away from
While Murphy has no problems criticizing Israel for what he
perceives as heavy-handed military tactics, personified most recently by
Gaza flotilla incident which further strained Israel’s ties with Turkey,
as quickly acknowledges that there’s a broader picture. “Look, Israel is
surrounded by loads of people who want it to disappear,” he said.
visited the country many times with his wife, on joint dance projects
Suzanne Dellal Center, Murphy said that he appreciates the vitality and
of the country. And he’s not surprised that his show here last year was
enthusiastically received that less than a year later, he’s back for two
“I forge a bond with all my audiences. If they come, I’m going to
be there. I’m not a political chap.”
No, Peter Murphy’s just your
every-day friendly vampire.