All you ever wanted to know... ... but you were too afraid to ask, Mick Mercer
Mick Mercer was my first formal introduction to Goth. The first book I ever read was Gothic Rock Black Book, the first book ever published about Goth, written in 1988 by Mick Mercer.
This great book contains unpublished photos of classical band like Alien Sex Fiend, Specimen, Sex Gang, Siouxie & The Banshess, The Cramps, ....
Regardless at the time this book was written, Goth had been around for a while (probably one can say since 1979 or so) it took a while to have a decent compilation of bands and their background.
If you haven't read this book I certainly recommend it you to get to know some of the best bands ever existed in the Goth universe.