Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, RIP

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I’m sorry to hear about this.


Wow, that’s some sad news. They’ll be missed.

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It was a full life. “We’ve not squandered it,” Genesis said in 2018.

S/he will be remembered.




I am disappoint that the Guardian article doesn’t talk about Throbbing Gristle being called Wreckers of Civilization on the floor of parliament… Gen was considered deeply subversive back then, a real dangerous individual.

This one gets more into the subversive nature of their life, though.

I always loved this song… as close as TG ever really got to pop:


I got to meet he/r 26 years ago in Irving, TX – a suburb of Dallas, and not where I’d have expected such a meeting to happen. A few weeks earlier, I was at the first film festival they had at SXSW (theretofore only a music festival). After one of the films (possibly Book of Shadows (1992)), I found a flyer for an upcoming video festival in Irving where Genesis would be the juror. This would’ve been a while before he/r pandrogyne project.

The video festival was part of a larger arts & crafts festival in Las Colinas (in Irving). I hung around all day, waiting for he/r to arrive and also watching all of the videos – I recognized some work (actually, they would’ve been films to begin with) by former fellow students from the Radio-TV-Film dep’t., when I’d attended UT-Austin a few years earlier.

There was an award for audience favorite, and an award for the juror’s (Gen’s) favorite. It turned out I was the only attendee who voted, so my selection won the audience award by default. (At this long remove I can’t remember the name of the video nor its creator, but it was a series of increasingly faster zoom shots at Japanese temples and some Kanamara Matsuri footage.)

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met he/r, after everything I’d read. S/he was friendly, though rather soft-spoken. I still have an autograph, somewhere. We talked about Throbbing Gristle a bit; I had been listening a lot through college. S/he asked, “oh, from the CDs?” (which came out after 1990 or so), emphasizing “CDs” in a way that sounded contemptuous, but maybe s/he wasn’t receiving a dime from them, the music business being what it is. Or s/he didn’t like the idea of them being mass-produced, since (IIRC) the original albums were in limited runs. Or both? I didn’t push it any further. (I did have one of the TG live cassettes, IRC 9, that was probably my favorite thing they’d done, although it’s mostly instrumental.)

Then s/he left with the video festival’s curator to go get something to eat, just like the rest of us. They were both going to be at a rave that night in Dallas (with Gen as DJ) but I didn’t make it…

ETA: The next year, the juror was Kenneth Anger, but I didn’t make it. I think I wound up in Ft. Worth that day, (unsuccessfully) pitchin’ woo, instead. I’m not sure they had the video festival thereafter.


Another on Gen’s performance/body art:

Again, recounts the allegations against Gen by Cosey.


I missed my chance to see Psychic TV about four years ago. I forgot to buy tickets and take PTO for the show. Now I never will. Huge bummer.

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That is but one way to describe them, and I like this much better:

Her quest, she felt, remained the same: to pull things apart and put them back together, questioning why they were a certain way. Holding it all together was her most inspired creation, the changing canvas that was herself.

I would guess that to a conservative, this way of questioning things would be threatening to the point that would bring a bout a lot of hate.

But maybe an obituary is not the place to mention that other people were idiots?

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In the heady days of the late 70s, in a isolated pocket of Ohio, my group of miscreants, submerged in Eno, Ultravox etc would spin some Throbbing Gristle (or maybe side 2 of Suicide) when we wanted to creep ourselves out (Hamburger Laaadeeee!).
Cut ahead a few decades and I was fortunate to see T.G. in London, which was probably their last or nearly last tour. It was a beautiful sonic nightmare.
Mate, carry on along the endless path of non-distinction. We’ll think of you back here on terra firma.


Well that’s too bad. :frowning:

I can’t say I really got into Throbbing Gristle or Psychic TV, I do appreciate their work for being founders of music whose derivatives I really enjoy.


I got so used to Genesis taking up space in my head as a personality I forgot how much I loved the music. Nice to see all you folks hanging out in this forum sharing stories and listening to a few songs together. Didn’t know there was a video for Godstar and it made me feel a lot of old feelings to listen to it again after all these years.

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They do mention it in their full obituary and in today’s Alexis Petridis piece, to be fair.

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Yes, I noted that in the second link, which might be the same as your first link.

It figures that there would be more than one of us who came out of the UT Austin Radio, TV & Film program. I graduated there in 90 so I guess a bit earlier than you.

While I never got to see Throbbing Gristle or Psychic TV live and honestly wasn’t all that into any of their music directly, I was influenced by them in the sense of by hearing their industrial works, that influenced my own music I was making in the latter 80s. Maybe more so, the way I was making music. Between hearing their work and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts I started understanding how objects and electronics could be manipulated into a kind of music. (not sure if that phrase makes sense, but its the best I can do)

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Love TG and everything that came out of it, but honestly I prefer to listen to C&C and Coil to PTV mostly because P-Orridge’s voice just gets on my nerves! Love it when they’re not singing or prattling on though. (Can’t do Bob Dylan for the same reason!)

I believe Cosey’s allegations because they always seemed way too into being a cult leader.

And Hot on the Heels of Love is better because it’s Cosey singing! :kissing_heart:


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