Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy charged with hit-and-run offence

Goth forefather crashed car while under the influence of drugs, say Los Angeles police

Former Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy has been arrested after an alleged hit-and-run in a Los Angeles suburb. The English musician was spotted driving erratically on Saturday night, before he crashed his Subaru Forester into the rear of another car.

According to the Glendale News-Press, a nearby window-washer saw the accident and took a photograph; the victim of the crash also noted the Subaru's licence plate number. She was later taken to hospital.

Instead of stopping, Murphy allegedly drove around the smashed car. But he was followed: a witness in a pick-up truck tailed the Subaru all the way into Los Angeles. He was "afraid [Murphy] would kill someone with his driving", police said. The truck driver finally cornered Murphy's vehicle and called the authorities.

Arriving at the scene, Los Angeles police claim to have found a small plastic bag, possibly full of methamphetamine, which Murphy was trying to discard. The 55-year-old was "very confused", they said, and had trouble giving the time or date. He said he was jet-lagged from a recent flight and denied being drunk, but stated he was on prescription medication for depression.

Murphy was charged with possession of methamphetamine, felony hit-and-run, and on suspicion of causing injuries while driving under the influence of drugs. As of Monday, he had not yet posted bail, set at $500,000 (£330,566).

Born near Northampton, Murphy has lived in Turkey since the early 90s. In addition to his work with the seminal goth band Bauhaus, he has released eight solo albums and had a cameo in the third Twilight movie, Eclipse. In 2010, Dead Can Dance's Brendan Perry cancelled a joint tour with Murphy, complaining that he had wasted "months of … time, energy and effort".

"The guy has too many albeit mysterious health issues to deal with," Perry wrote on his website. "To be honest, he's a sandwich short of a picnic."

Murphy is scheduled to begin a four-month tour in April, performing songs from the Bauhaus catalogue. His UK dates start in June.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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