Written by Kevin Tuxford
Trying to begin any discussion of “the history of goth” by discussing the Ostrogoths and Visigoths, or Gothic architecture, or even Gothic literature puts too much emphasis on simply the word G-O-T-H, and has little relevance to how “the subculture” started. So I’ll start in Germany, only about 100 years back.
Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill didn’t wear black lipstick or have mountains of black hair. They didn’t play rock, punk, or even post punk. They did, however, live in Germany in-between the wars, in a period marked by despair, decadence, and impending madness–that’s relevant–and their music expressed the realization of that world. This stuff is certainly a little demented and absurdist in nature.
For me, that’s the best place to begin (and you’ll see the connection in a moment).