The death of Leeds born Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson at the age of 55 robs us of yet another key creative maverick and a man whose incredible work was both innovative and influential.
As a member of Throbbing Gristle Sleazy was part of something that was often spoken about in hushed and reverential terms. Throbbing Gristle were a genuinely dangerous art rock outfit whose music was both unsettling and full of dark humour that pretty well invented industrial rock as well as influencing a myriad of bands. Christopherson, who died in Bangkok where he had recently moved, had a spellbinding career in many fields as well as music including video director, directing videos for, amongst others, Nine Inch Nails‘ ‘Wish’ and Rage Against the Machine‘s ‘Bulls on Parade.’
Prior to his musical career he was a designer in the mid sevetnies that saw him as part of the key Hipgnosis team. He was involved in designing artwork for Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Factory Records. One of those people whose fingerprints seemed to be everywhere he also took the first promo shots of the Sex Pistols and he was part of floating crowd of people who were at the heart of the artcore that was key to original punk, creating a controversial window display for Sex shop before designing the ubiquitous logo for arch rivals Boy.
At the same period in the topsy turvy revolutionary mid seventies he met Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Genesis P-Orridge and they formed Throbbing Gristle who were key pioneers of electronic music and whose five year run saw some of the most fantastically bizarre and unsettling records ever released. In 1981Sleazy and Genesis P-Orridge went on to form Psychic TV who released two albums of, in context, more commercial yet equally thought provoking material.
After the Psychic TV project ended Sleazy formed Coil with his partner Jhonn Balance as a member, releasing a series of cutting edge and highly regarded electronic releases until Jhonn’s passing in 2004 aftyer a fall in their shared house in Weston Super Mare. 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.
Throbbing Gristle’s recent reformation in 2004 saw the band rapturously received in what has now become a swansong to a musical journey that has no precedent.