Yesterday I received shocking news of Paul Lanyon’s untimely death. With this the Uk goth scene has now lost one of its greatest champions and archivists. A man that deeply cared about goth, how it was portrayed and how it was chronicled. A meticulous collector of all things goth, and it’s most fierce and focused defender. He deeply cared how goth should be recorded and did not suffer notions of goth that he considered misleading or unsubstantiated. He clearly saw the overview of goth’s development and trajectory and was always happy to share what he knew with anyone. I first met Paul over 30 years ago and we both shared the Nottingham 80’s goth experience, and during many conversations we would refer back to times and events, even through we did not know each other until the early 90’s. Paul was an early supporter of Nightbreed Recordings and enthusiastically embraced the then new scene and was culturally active in distributing rare video footage of the emerging 90’s bands via his “Count Orlock’s Video Emporium”. During the early to mid 90’s Paul generously gave me many hours of vhs tapes of rare live footage and self produced promo videos of US, UK and European bands which he had painstakingly sourced and personally compiled. This was at a time when the internet was in its early stage, and goth material, especially new and cutting edge stuff was pretty much impossible to find. His cultural work did help to build the foundation of the post 80’s legacy goth scene as what he did was to share and promote the then new music to as many people as he could. As such, his contribution to the building of the Uk goth scene as it is today should be recorded and appreciated. My deepest regret is that we never got to work on the book that we planned on the Uk 90’s goth scene. We roughly planned what shape it would take and I sent him a chapter from my thesis regarding the history of Nightbreed Recordings as perhaps a foundation for our planned collaboration. He was happy with this and enthusiastic that we should ”set the record straight” as to what happened and who did what at that time. An intended counterpoint to the several legacy books on goth that have been heavily promoted in recent times that ignores the 90’s goth experience as best, or portrays the 90’s scene incorrectly at worst. The plan was to start work on this once I finished my PhD thesis, which is planned to be early summer this year. But so, so sadly this now will never happen. Sleep well mate, you and your work will not be forgotten.
I am very sad to hear of the passing of my friend, Paul Lanyon, who was one of the original generation of UK Goths. He was a great devotee for gothic culture and the preservation of gothic history. A sharp and witty fellow with a creative and whimsical side, he was obsessed with keeping records of everything and prided himself on being able to backup everything he said with documentation. He had great pride in being a part of the northern gothic movement in England. Rest in peace Paul.