Many years ago, my brother and I shared a book on Bauhaus that was probably put together by a fan of the band. It had mentioned some rare curios like a 7-inch recording of band bassist David J collaborating with a member of the original Weimar Bauhaus movement in Germany, René Halkett, who had been residing in Cornwall, England in 1980. David recording Halkett reading his own poetry and releasing it as a one-off.
Here are some more notes from David’s Bandcamp site:
While still a member of the pre-eminent gothic rock band Bauhaus, David J had the brilliant idea to collaborate with René Halkett, artist/poet of the Weimar Bauhaus art school in the 1920s.
On July 28th, 1980, David took a trip to René’s cottage in Cornwall. Using a portable cassette recorder, he recorded an 80 year old René reciting his own poetry. In 1981, David added musical accompaniment to two of the poems and released them as a one-off single for 4AD.
I stumbled across this valuable single at a record convention when I was 19 or so. I think I paid four bucks. My buddy has his turntable set up for ripping vinyl to his computer. Before heading over there, I figured I’d look on Soulseek to see if someone had beat me to it. I found the two tracks, plus three extras!
It turns out that in 2001 this single was re-released as a Silver Anniversary CD, signed and numbered, limited to only 1000 copies. The two original tracks, “Nothing” and “Armour,” are remastered and then followed by a newer track, presumably circa 2001. “The New God” is a longer narrative piece that was also recorded that day in 1980. In a fitting touch, David created the music with the help of a lute that he inherited from René when he passed away in 1983. As a final bonus, the original spoken word cassette recordings of “Nothing” and “Armour” are included. Although David’s surname appears here as Jay, for consistency’s sake I’ve tagged his name as David J, the name he’s used for all subsequent releases in his career.
René Halkett & David J – Nothing . Armour (1981)
1. René Halkett / David J – Nothing (2:22)
2. René Halkett / David J – Armour (2:50)
3. René Halkett / David J – The New God (13:23)
4. René Halkett – Nothing (2:26)
5. René Halkett – Armour (2:53)
creditsreleased January 1, 2011
Words by Renee Halkett
Music by David J
c&p 2001 Urbane Music
Photographed by Anton Corbijn
‘Nothing’ and ‘Armour’ recorded in 1980 and originally released on 4AD Records in 1981
‘The New God’ recorded in 2001, spoken word from the original recording by Rene Halkett 1980.
‘Nothing’ and ‘Armour’ (spoken word) recorded in 1980.