Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV leader Genesis Breyer P-Orridge dies aged 70

Co-founder of avant garde and experimental groups dies after long illness, leaving behind complicated legacy

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, co-founder of avant-garde band Throbbing Gristle and leader of Psychic TV, has died aged 70, according to reports from their family.

Genesis’ daughters, Genesse and Caresse, stated their parent, who used s/he as a pronoun, died on 14 March, issuing the following statement via social media:

“Dear friends, family and loving supporters, it is with very heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved father, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. S/he had been battling leukaemia for two and a half years and dropped her body early this morning, Saturday 14th March, 2020. S/he will be laid to rest with h/er other half, Jacqueline ‘Lady Jaye’ Breyer who left us in 2007, where they will be re-united.”

P-Orridge had been diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia in 2017, and in recent years had been touring farewell shows with Psychic TV, last playing in London and Berlin in 2018.

Born as Neil Andrew Megson in Manchester, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge grew up in Essex. S/he was a member of radical art collective COUM Transmissions in the late 1960s, and went on to form Throbbing Gristle with Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter. The band’s three albums in the late 70s were considered landmarks of the industrial scene.

Godstar, Psychic TV’s tribute to Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, came closest to delivering a pop anthem from an artist who had helped pioneer industrial sounds and then adopted trappings of psychedelia.

Godstar - Psychic TV

In recent years, the nature of P-Orridge’s work in Throbbing Gristle has been re-examined after Cosey Fanni Tutti’s biography revealed more about their relationship, and the sometimes physical danger she felt she was in while working in the collective. She claimed that at one point s/he nearly killed her, throwing a breeze block at her from a balcony, narrowly missing her head. P-Orridge always denied the allegations.

In 1993, P-Orridge and second wife, Lady Jaye, devised the “Pandrogeny Project”. They received body modification surgery to resemble one another as a single being named Breyer P-Orridge and adopted gender neutral pronouns. Lady Jaye died in 2007, and P-Orridge continued to identify as part of their pandrogynous being for the rest of their life.


Martin Belam

The GuardianTramp

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