As previously reported, Throbbing Gristle and Coil founder member Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson passed away on November 24.
His TG bandmates Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have since issued the following statement on their official website:
Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson
27th February 1955 – 24th November 2010
Peter Christopherson, affectionately known as Sleazy, died peacefully in his sleep on the 24th of November at his home in Bangkok, Thailand.
The music and art world has lost a great talent whose unique approach ignored the conventions of the day and often challenged the status quo.
Sleazy’s playful and inspiring creativity saw him pushing boundaries as a musician, video director and designer throughout his life. He had recently returned to Thailand from Europe, where he had played a short but spectacular series of live shows as a member of Throbbing Gristle and in the newly formed trio X-TG with Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter.
Sleazy’s visual art career included work as a member of the influential British design agency Hipgnosis, creating iconic record sleeve artwork in the 1970s for Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and, later, Factory Records. He took the first promo photographs of the Sex Pistols, created a highly controversial window display for Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s clothing shop, SEX, and went on to design the logo of the hugely popular fashion company, BOY. In 1976 Sleazy met Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Genesis P-Orridge and together they formed electronic music provocateurs Throbbing Gristle and Industrial Records, creating one of the first independent record labels of the era and laying the foundation for a new genre of music. The band was infamously described in the Daily Mail by Tory MP Nicholas Fairbairn as “the wreckers of civilisation”.
TG ceased operations in 1981, after which Sleazy formed Psychic TV with Genesis P-Orridge and they produced two albums. The second, Dreams Less Sweet included his future life partner Jhonn Balance as a member, with whom he went on to form Coil and to release an extensive body of work up until Jhonn’s passing in 2004. Subsequently, Sleazy left the UK to live in Bangkok, Thailand and to continue his artistic and musical vision in the guise of The Threshold HouseBoys Choir and Soisong.
Following their original break-up, Throbbing Gristle’s legacy steadily grew within the music and art world, leading to their reformation in 2004 and a series of sold-out performances, including in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
At the time of his death, Sleazy was in the midst of assembling what was to be Throbbing Gristle’s next project: a cover version of Nico’s Desertshore album.
Sleazy was a kind and beautiful soul. No words can express how much he will be missed.
Throbbing Gristle / X-TG
Cosey Fanni Tutti
Carter, Tutti and Christopherson had been operating under the name X-TG in recent weeks, following the sudden departure from the group of Genesis P. Orridge. It is not known at this time whether the remaining members will complete and release the long-planned Desertshore cover album; their initial studio sessions for the LP were conducted at London’s ICA in 2007 and made open to the public. A selection of the raw material they created there was released three years ago in the limited edition 12xCD-R set, The Desertshore Installation.
Chris Carter has written a personal tribute to Sleazy on his blog:
I first met Sleazy in 1975 when we were both in our early twenties. We immediately hit it off – talking endlessly about films, the merits of John Barry or Martin Denny’s arrangements, the aesthetics of gay vs straight porn, the why’s & wherefores of programming in Basic, or the best place in London to get a decent ice cream sundae. Sleazy was the first person to give me an Abba album, in 1976 – and it being Sleazy it was of course a ‘signed’ copy.
Over the 30 odd years we knew each other mine and Cosey’s relationship with him got closer as we grew older and spent more time together – lately comparing our various ailments and aches & pains, or the latest Apple gadget. There was (there is) nobody else on this little blue rock that I shared such disparate and diverse interests with, no one.
I last saw Sleazy about a week ago, just before he left for home to his beloved Bangkok. He was clutching a bag full of Apple goodies and he never looked happier or, ironically, healthier. He had new schemes and plans for X-TG’s future and was looking forward to finishing the Desertshore project and playing us rough mixes of “his baby”. He gave Cosey and me each a kiss and one of his infamous ‘bear hugs’, jumped in a waiting taxi and was gone… forever.
To quote the same movie three times (including the title):
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain…”
“The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly…”
A fan-founded online book of condolence has been set up here.