Saturday, 10 October 2015

David J: Blood-Letting With Alan Moore!

David J. (aka David John Haskins) is the British musician/composer and frequent collaborator with comics-writer Alan Moore, who originally found fame as the bassist for the goth bands Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. The following extract is from his memoir Who Killed Mister Moonlight?, in which he discusses his occult experiences with Alan Moore in their home town of Northampton.

...When I returned to the attic, Alan told me that he felt that he was not involved in the magick in the usual way, whereby he had always felt himself to be the centre of attention. He said that this time, the energy was very much focused on me.

"It is interested in you," he said. He suggested that we should think again about the lyrics to my new song, YSL. "What do you really mean?"

The coda at the end of the song revolves around the repetition of the taunting jibe: "Sissy, sissy, sissy!" I glanced down at the knife. Alan remarked that the fetish we had made was very strange; that it had a beauty -- an awful beauty -- but needed something more. He said he wasn't sure what that something was, but I knew: blood. It was crying out for blood.

I did not speak my mind, as I knew that to do so would inevitably lead to a ritualistic bloodletting, and the mixing thereof. I was most apprehensive about this, as it crossed my mind that my old friend might have some blood-transmissible disease -- fuck, he might have AIDS for all I knew. This was only part of my concern, however. There was something else, something even more dangerous, but it was something that I could not put a finger on.

Alan handed me an issue of the epic serialised graphic novel Cerebus. It was issue 31, Mothers & Daughters. I opened the book at random onto an extremely bloody battle scene between the hero, Cerebus -- a sword wielding hermaphrodite aardvark warrior -- and his foe, a white-robbed and masked matriarchal fascist called Cirin. They were depicted struggling over the blade, each cutting the other to shreds as they engaged in mortal combat. Page after page of blade and blood. The synchronicity was unnerving.

Alan then picked up another copy of Cerebus and started to read from the text at the back. It was about Alan himself and his correspondence with the author, Dave Sim. Each paragraph was punctuated by the lines "Tell me what you're thinking" or "What are you thinking about?"

Each time Alan read these words he would look up at me and, as it is written in another part of the same text, "his eyes widened as they seemed to bore twin holes into my own, as he drove his thoughts deep into the recesses of my own awareness". What are you thinking?

Breaking away from the terrible glamour of this situation, I went downstairs to select some music. I returned with R.E.M.'s Automatic For The People and a Cockney Rebel compilation. I decided to play Nightswimming from the former. Before I put on the disc, Alan sighed deeply. "Yes," he said, "we're swimming in deep waters now." I had not told him what I was going to play...

(Submitted by Eddie Khanna. Thanks Eddie!)


Jeff Seiler said...

Anyone else more than a little creeped out by this?

And there're still 20 days til All Hallows' Even.

Tony Dunlop said...

There guys were messing with some dangerous shit...whether truly supernatural or just reaching into the darkest recesses of the human psyche, you could get very seriously hurt playing with that fire. Anyone who thinks that's "cool"...well, just be VERY careful, that's all.

Tony said...

THESE guys.

ChrisW said...

There isn't enough context to understand why Moore would choose the Cerebus/Cirin fight over his sword [the remaining piece of the aardvarkian prophesy, other than the medallions] right before the real Final Ascension [as real as today's headlines.] Was the other issue of "Cerebus" Moore selected one of the issues that covered Dave and Moore talking, or was it the "From Hell" dialogue?

But yes Jeff, it is creepy. Alan Moore was basically made to write mainstream comics, and I have wondered what paths he's travelling down now that he's quit. I don't want to know that badly, but it's still curious.

Byron Dunbar said...

Bauhaus was always one of my favorite bands, so it's cool to know David J was aware of one of my favorite comics too.

Byron Dunbar said...

Also, somewhat related to the weird coincidences David J mentions...

I'm too young to have read Cerebus during its original run (I would have been around thirteen or fourteen when it concluded) so I only own the trades. However, a friend of mine (also named Dave!) found a Free Cerebus in a thrift store and bought it for me a little while before I found this article. The issue in question? 31 of Mothers and Daughters; one of the only single issues of Cerebus that I own.