Peter Murphy plays here tomorrow, but the location is top secret. And only 125 guests will have the chance to join the singer — whose husky voice and dramatic performance style first made waves during his time with Dark Wave act Bauhaus — for two shows.
One will be his 1989 solo album Deep performed live in its entirety for the first time, and the second set will feature both solo work and songs from his Bauhaus days. Called Miracula Halloween, the event is a cocktail party/meet-and-greet/show with a $500 price tag.
The U.K.-born Murphy spends months at a time in L.A. His band is out here and he's also doing some acting — you might have caught him in Twilight: Eclipse as Cold Man. His homebase, though, is Istanbul, where he was when we talked to him about tomorrow night's event.
Tell me a little bit about the event in L.A.
I met with Daniel Ash [Bauhaus] in Ojai last year just to visit him as a friend. He was talking about an events organizer in Vegas, who was talking about a special kind of event whereby one would invite a limited number of audience members for a packaged kind of time with you. I thought that sounded a bit suspect at first, but I looked into it. Talking with that particular organizer, we organized — I think it was about six months ago — an event that I entitled Miracula. With that version, it was a full weekend, hotels, a cocktail reception, a full day where we would meet and I played two sets.
Just being with those people was very special. It allowed me to meet the audience close up, which is what we rarely get to do. What I decided to do is hold worldwide Miraculas.
What has it been like for you to go back and revisit Deep?
I've been playing bits of that, songs off that, consistently, but yesterday, for the first time, I listened to it again from top to bottom to arrange it for this show. It really did hit a mark for that time and still certainly stands up now.
When I make an album, the order is important. It is composed as an album rather than a group of songs. I thought it was a nice idea to offer Deep in its entirety because that's kind of the apex of the late '80s and early '90s period. It does have a particular special place in a lot of people's minds. It' a good place to start.
And your second set is going to be your songs done in different ways?
I'm going to strip it down to a three-piece. I don't want to talk too much about it because it's got to be unexpected. It's going to be different. I'm going to include some different, unexpected songs too.
With that, we'll talk about the performance. Recently, I've been improvisationally stopping and talking to people, talking to the audience…It breaks down this barrier of icon and distant cold legend, an unreachable iconic thing.
The myth is in the hands of the audience, in my case. I like to invoke that. It's important to play that role for the audience. If you walk on stage in your jeans and look down at your navel with all of your self-importance and think it's going to change everything, that, to me, is sad.
What is it that you've learned about your audience from doing the past intimate event?
They aren't just geeky, silly sort of fans who like a band and then it's over within a minute. They really are committed and there is a great appreciation of the sense of the sacred in my work as much as anything else. It's really given me confidence in what often one imagines is a delusion, how important my work is to people. That really is important to me, not because I want to be lauded as some amazing person… God forbid being lauded, but what I do, to me, is holy.