SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Although everyone insists that goth only became a thing in the late seventies and early eighties after punk happened, here are some interesting anecdotes about things that we now consider to be ‘undoubtedly goth’ happening long before goth’s time:
-Vampira eventually began to dress in her characteristic style all the time, not just on television. This was in the age of The Munsters and The Addams Family, when people were suddenly introduced to the idea of more darkly inclined people living amongst normal, white suburbia. She was certainly not the only one picking up on this influence and running with it for the sake of self expression; one thing I find interesting is that many of the Eldergoths fluttering around here on tumblr and other places remember being inspired as children by people in the neighbourhood who also wore black all the time, drove hearses, had unusual pets such as snakes or spiders, and would certainly be welcome at any goth gathering happening nowadays.
-My mother went to school in the late sixties and early seventies, and although this is not as early as the previous example, she tells me that it was popular among the early metalheads-the Black Sabbath fans-to wear all black clothing, black hair, black on their lips, and black everything to the point of everybody thinking they were suicidal satan worshippers. Sound familiar? Metal music is often passed off as an inferior pass time and ‘not really goth’, but it’s influence on the aesthetics and musical content of goth cannot be ignored. It isn’t hard to imagine metal music, and ‘shock rockers’ such as Alice Cooper to be havens for the people who would later become goths.
-Many of the people we recognize as being quintessential goths, regardless of whether or not they identify as such, dressed eccentrically and listened to ‘dark music’ long before goth entered the picture(I’m thinking of Siouxsie Sioux and Tim Burton as I type this). It’s also important to remember that most people who identify as being goth adopted the label after realizing that it matched some of the things that they were already interested in . Finally, it’s important to remember that people’s natures don’t change over the centuries, if there are people forming subcultures now over darker music and clothing, than similar people most definitely existed in earlier time periods as well. They were just quieter about it, perhaps out of necessity. The label goth is still very new, but the people and interests are not.