Genesis P-Orridge (born Neil Andrew Megson in Manchester on 22 February 1950; died 14 March 2020) was an English singer-songwriter, musician, poet, performance artist, and occultist. P-Orridge rose to notability as the founder of the COUM Transmissions artistic collective and lead vocalist of seminal industrial band, Throbbing Gristle and fronted the experimental band Psychic TV.
Born to parents involved in theatre and music, Megson's father, Ron, was a Jazz musician who liked Bebop and Nat King Cole. A photograph of Megson, age five, appears on the cover of the CD A Hollow Cost. Interest in the occult began as a teen, attending Solihull School; one grandmother was a medium. Hir early confrontational performance work with COUM Transmissions in the late 1960s - early 1970s along with the original Industrial band Throbbing Gristle, which dealt with subjects such as prostitution, pornography, serial killers and occultism, generated controversy.
Later musical work with Psychic TV received wider exposure, including some chart-topping singles. GP-O can be found on well over 200 releases, including a number of films.
In 1971, P-Orridge met William S. Burroughs after a brief correspondence. One of the most significant outcomes of these exchanges was Burroughs's introduction of P-Orridge to Brion Gysin. Gysin would become a major influence upon P-Orridge's ideas and works and was hir primary tutor in magick.
On 04 November 2009, it was announced that Genesis Breyer P'Orridge is retiring from touring in any and all bands including Throbbing Gristle & Psychic TV to concentrate on art, writing and music.
P-Orridge dropped out of the University of Hull in 1969 and joined Exploding Galaxy, a commune in London's Islington Park Street. Members abandoned all normal modes of living, all notions of privacy, and Britain's class structure. Discipline was expected and costumes were the norm, as was role-playing and a rejection of all forms of social convention.
P-Orridge returned to Hull and formed a prankster collective which eventually included Cosey Fanni Tutti. Tutti and P-Orridge became the focus of COUM events and transformed COUM from a music and theatre operation into more of a performance art group with a focus on sex, taboos, and the paranormal. In 1973 they were joined by Hipgnosis's Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson[artist/]. Throbbing Gristle was formed on September 3, 1975 at the ICA as a four-piece rock band.
P-Orridge and Tutti's living and work space was the mailing address of Industrial Records, whose logo was a faded, high-contrast black-and-white photograph of Auschwitz's main ovens. The final IR release was called Nothing Here but the Recordings, a best-of album taken from the archives of William S. Burroughs, who had allowed P-Orridge and Sleazy access to his reel-to-reel tape archive.
The final TG event, Mission of Dead Souls, was in May 1981 in San Francisco; Psychic TV was formed in 1981. Earning an entry into the Guinness Book Of World Records for most records released in a year by a musical group, Psychic TV set about, in the mid-eighties, to release 23 live albums on the 23rd of each month for 23 months in recognition of the 23 enigma.
In the 21st century, Megson relocated to Brooklyn, New York City with his second wife, Lady Jaye, née Jacqueline Breyer, and s/he began an ongoing experiment in body modification aimed at creating one pandrogynous being named "Genesis Breyer P-Orridge". Genesis P-Orridge received breast implants and began referring to hirself as s/he. A book of GP-O writings, poems and observations was published in Nepal.
In 1999, Megson performed with the briefly reunited late 1980s' version of Psychic TV for an event at London's Royal Festival Hall, called Time's Up. This is also the title of the first CD by Thee Majesty, Genesis' spoken word project with noise guitarist Bryin Dall. The MC for the event, via pre-recorded video, was Quentin Crisp. A DVD was made of this event, which included the Master Musicians of Jajouka, Question Mark & the Mysterians, Billy Childish, and Thee Headcoats.
Psychic TV's current incarnation, PTV3, released the CD/DVD set, Mr. Alien Brain vs. The Skinwalkers, on December 9, 2008. This was the first full length release since the death of Genesis' "other half," Jaye Breyer (best known as Lady Jaye), due to heart failure. The two had previously embarked on a years-long pursuit of pandrogyny, undergoing painful plastic surgery procedures in order to become gender-neutral human beings that looked like each other. "We started out, because we were so crazy in love, just wanting to eat each other up, to become each other and become one. And as we did that, we started to see that it was affecting us in ways that we didn't expect. Really, we were just two parts of one whole; the pandrogyne was the whole and we were each other's other half. "
On 04 November 2009, it was announced that Megson was retiring from touring in any and all bands, including Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, to concentrate on art, writing and music.
Megson returned to touring with Psychic TV in 2016 with the release of their album Alienist. The tour lasted from mid-September to early December, with concerts in Greece, Israel, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.