Do you like this delightful pop confection? Do you find yourself tapping your toes to this slightly sinister, glassy-eyed hymn to the Rollins Stones’ doomed guitar player, Brian Jones? If so, you’ve just fallen right into the trap that Genesis P-Orridge was laying with his rock-band-as-magick-youth-cult Psychic TV. It might seem strange now, especially given the seemingly innocuous nature of this poptune, but for many years, one Genesis P-Orridge terrorized the art and music scene in the UK, and left deep, lasting scars in the popular music firmament throughout the world.
It would take much longer than the strictures of a Song Of The Day piece to fully sum up Genesis P-Orridge’s contributions to music and culture, but I’ll try to single out a few of the more (ig)noble: with fellow conspirators Throbbing Gristle invented industrial music as we know it, terrorizing countless punks (and squares) in the meantime; prime mover of the mail art movement in the UK; walked away from Throbbing Gristle at its height to form Psychic TV, a simultaneously more accessible and more malevolent entity that was obsessed with magick and systems of control; created the Temple Ov Psychick Youth commune/organization with Peter Christopherson (Coil), ended up getting him kicked out of England (you heard me right); incorporated William Burroughs’ cut-up theories into his music, in the process introducing Burroughs to a whole new audience; took a hard left turn with Psychic TV into deep house and techno territory, helping to kickstart the rave scene in the UK; was a member of all-star industrial ensemble Pigface; broke his neck jumping out of the second story of Rick Rubin’s burning house; collaborated with Merzbow, and kept his sanity; became a living cut-up with partner Lady Jaye Breyer, both undergoing simultaneous plastic surgeries to become a new gender. And s/she’s still going strong, ever the outsider.
And, oh yeah, the ever-amazing Sun-Ray Cinema will be screening the outstanding Genesis P-Orridge doc “The Ballad Of Genesis And Lady Jaye” this Friday (June 20th) and Saturday night (June 21st) at midnight (THEE WITCHING HOUR), and so you won’t say I never did anything nice for you, let me give Synconation readers a lil’ scoop: the indefatigable Tim Massett will be screening a half-hour of bonus, absolutely free interview and performance footage of Genesis and his various bands dug out from his film crypt. So bring a date, and get pandrogynous.