SOUTHFIELD, MI—Sadness, loss and the dull ache of acceptance were just some of the feelings experienced by 29-year-old suburban homeowner and father-to-be Jeff Struck Monday after unearthing a deteriorated Bauhaus T-shirt from his fondly remembered college days.
"You can barely read the part on the back where it says 'Bela Lugosi's Dead' any more," said Struck, who came across the shirt in a box marked "Rags/Goodwill" while looking for something old to wear to paint the garage. "This is like the end of an era for me."
"Sure did have a lot of good times in that shirt," said Struck, slowly turning the faded garment over in his hands.
Struck, who attended the University of Michigan from 1987 to 1991, was introduced to Bauhaus in October 1987, when friend and roommate Scott "Scooter" Rothenberger rented the movie The Hunger, which featured a Bauhaus song over the opening credits. The following day, Struck purchased two of the British proto-Goth band's albums, Terror Couple Kill Colonel and Bauhaus 1979-1983, as well as the T-shirt.
"Look, there's the rip on the sleeve Crazy Mike made that time we were carrying him home and he was so drunk he kept slipping on the sidewalk," said Struck, sitting in the breakfast nook of his new starter home. "And that rusty stain where I left it on Scooter's bike handlebars for a couple of days after going skinny-dipping in the river. Good times, man, good times."
Among other fond memories dredged up by the shirt: the time he wore it for four days straight during an unplanned, last-minute trip to Mardi Gras; the time he wore it in 1988 when he and a co-worker stumbled across a free concert in the Michigan Union by "this incredible band that turned out to be Jane's Addiction"; and the time he wore it dancing, then got drunk, went home with a woman whose name he never learned, and had the best sex of his life.
"I'm really glad I found the shirt," Struck said. "But I can't for the life of me remember what happened to my Bauhaus albums. I think we may have sold them at that garage sale we held to pay for the bedroom set. Oh, well."
Deciding he didn't want to get paint on the T-shirt, Struck put it over his shoulder and returned to the basement, rummaging in the box for an alternate shirt. He eventually settled on a yellow Meyer's Rum Sharkbite! shirt he received for free while working as a bartender at The Gold Mine, a popular student night spot that is now a laundromat.