Genesis P-Orridge

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Genesis P-Orridge (center) with Alice Genese (left) and Markus Persson (right) from Psychic TV in Cologne 2004
Genesis P-Orridge, recording from the film The Future of Art (2010)

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (born February 22, 1950 as Neil Andrew Megson in Manchester ; died March 14, 2020 in New York City ) came from the United Kingdom and worked in the field of performance , music and as a writer . P-Orridge lived and worked in New York City. P-Orridge founded the bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV , among others, and was featured with guest contributions on many publications by other artists. The complete works (solo as well as collaborative) comprise over 200 music albums. P-Orridge recently identified himself as gender-fluid (not clearly man or woman) and used gender-neutral pronouns such as s / he or they .


Neil Andrew Megson came from a family that was musically and acting. The preoccupation with art and occultism began in youth. In the mid-1960s, the alter ego "Genesis P-Orridge" was created and with it the continuous stylization of the human art object. At the end of the 1960s, P-Orridge first attracted attention through aggressive and deliberately provocative performance actions together with the stripper and artist Cosey Fanni Tutti under the name “ Coum Transmissions ”. A happening by the duo P-Orridge / Tutti at the renowned London Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) escalated into a national scandal when it was flirted with clearly pornographic elements, which irritated the English audience, which was mostly conservative at the time. More scandalous appearances followed, in which u. a. blood and excrement was handled.

Throbbing Gristle

In the early 1970s, Megson founded the performance group Throbbing Gristle together with Cosey and her partner, the musician Chris Carter . A short time later, the designer, programmer and synthesizer expert Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson joined the group. Throbbing Gristle soon caused a stir and coined the term industrial music . Appearances by Throbbing Gristle were always considered precarious, as the four protagonists used stylistic elements from National Socialism , rumored violence and pornography, and "sang about" serial killers and occultism in their annoying bursts of noise.

Throbbing Gristle separated in 1981, but reunited in 2004, performing together until the sudden death of Peter Christopherson in 2010.

Psychic TV and TOPY

After separating from Throbbing Gristle, P-Orridge founded the group Psychic TV in 1981 with Peter Christopherson (later Coil ) .

She made her debut in 1982 at an event called The Final Academy , a four-day multimedia orgy in Manchester and Gallery B2 in south London, featuring performance , literature, film and music. In addition to Psychic TV, Cabaret Voltaire , 23 Skidoo , Z'ev, John Giorno , William S. Burroughs , Brion Gysin , Terry Wilson , Jeff Nuttall and The Last Few Days appeared. In addition to video projections and the visual-hallucinatory Dreamachine , digital sampling was also used technically .

The group founded the Temple of Psychic Youth (TOPY), intended as a propaganda tool. The loose commune gathered a number of young people in London, but also propagated their ideas through concerts and publications, for example under the title psychic music for psychic youth . The followers revered P-Orridge like a guru . P-Orridge relied on works by William S. Burroughs , Brion Gysin , the artist and founder of chaos magic Austin Osman Spare, or the occult thelemic texts of Aleister Crowley . Psychic TV addressed gender and confronted the public in the mid-1980s with the methods of piercing and sigil magic , among other things . Together with Burroughs, P-Orridge appeared in the film Decoder .

P-Orridge was very productive with Psychic TV: it is estimated that over 120 publications (plus video productions) were mainly distributed by their own label Temple Records by the mid-1990s . The musical contribution of P-Orridge to these productions is controversial. The publications with Psychic TV are more strongly influenced by the respective songwriters: initially by Alex Fergusson , after his departure by Fred Giannelli .

US exile

Since the British judiciary suspected P-Orridge of pedophilia on the basis of video material shown during live performances and issued an arrest warrant, P-Orridge and the family moved into self-proclaimed "exile" in the USA around 1991 . After a short time, the wife and the two daughters Genesse and Caresse separated there. Since very few musicians from Psychic TV P-Orridge had followed to the USA, a more experimental phase of publications began with changing accompanying musicians. New publications often consisted only of spoken esoteric texts on ambient sound or archive material, such as the CD series Splinter Test and Electric Newspaper .

In the mid-1990s, P-Orridge and his second wife, Jacqueline Breyer, alias Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge, moved to New York and, in the meantime, devoted himself increasingly to gender issues . Together with Lady Jaye Breyer, P-Orridge developed the concept of pandrogyny , called herself “Transmediator” and went on a solo tour, during which P-Orridge presented texts and, for example, gradually changed clothes with an extra on stage during the performances. In 1995, P-Orridge was seriously injured while fleeing from a fire at Rick Rubin's home . In the following years P-Orridge only appeared sporadically, while guest contributions on numerous productions by other artists remained frequent.

When it was possible to return to England after the legal problems had been resolved, P-Orridge celebrated the official end of Psychic TV there in 1999 with a two-day concert. At the same time the new project Thee Majesty was presented, in which P-Orridge spoke word and was accompanied by the percussionist Larry Thrasher and the guitarist Bryin Dall. The texts of that time often revolved around questions of identity and gender.

S / He

Together with Lady Jaye, P-Orridge began to create the art product "Breyer-P-Orridge" in 2000. The aim of P-Orridge and Breyer was to jointly create a pandrogyne gender identity that included masculinity and femininity in equal measure and aimed at great external resemblance between the two. The project should show that traditional male and female gender identities are no longer up to date. P-Orridge and Breyer underwent numerous surgical procedures such as breast implants , liposuction , skin tightening and others. The two looked more and more alike as time went on. P-Orridge also had an artificial denture made entirely of gold. S / He is a gender-neutral pronoun in English.

In 2004 P-Orridge brought together a new line-up for Psychic TV, which now also included Lady Jaye, who quickly completed several smaller tours and released three albums by the summer of 2007.

Lady Jaye Breyer died unexpectedly on October 9, 2007 of stomach cancer in Brooklyn. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Psychic TV / PTV3 then canceled their North American tour planned for November.

From 2010

In the years from 2010 onwards, Psychic TV / PTV3 were again on tour frequently. In the drummer Edward O'Dowd (aka Morrison Eddley) P-Orridge found not only a constant long-time musician, but also a talented graphic designer who has been responsible for the design of the band logos, concert posters, album covers, etc.

In October 2017, P-Orridge was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia ( CMML ). P-Orridge died of cancer on March 14, 2020.


  • Uwe Schütte: Godstar: The twisted path of Genesis P-Orridge. Portrait, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-903043-07-7 (biography).

Web links


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Adam Sweeting: Genesis P-Orridge obituary Musician, writer and performance artist who was a co-founder of the band Throbbing Gristle. The Guardian, March 15, 2020, accessed March 16, 2020 .
  2. Randall Roberts: Genesis P-Orridge shares their vision for “gender evolution”, possibly for the last time. In: Los Angeles Times . October 23, 2019, accessed on March 16, 2020.
  3. Marie Losier : The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. Documentary 2011 (English).
  4. ^ Brian Raftery: Gender Bender: Throbbing Gristle's singer Genesis P-Orridge is turning into a Woman. But not just an Woman - he's turning into his Wife. In: Spin . May 2006, p. 72 (English; page preview in the Google book search).
  5. Erica Orden: I Am My Own Wife. In: New York . September 6, 2009, accessed March 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Donovan Farley: Throbbing Gristle & Psychic TV founder Genesis Breyer P-Orridge announces leukemia diagnosis. In: Consequence of Sound. October 20, 2017, accessed on March 16, 2020.