|Throbbing Gristle, 2002, London, UK|
(photo: Brian Griffin)
PETER “SLEAZY” CHRISTOPHERSON
27th February 1955 – 24th November 2010
You never expect to be writing a eulogy about your deepest and beloved friends when you meet them and they glide into your loops of L-if-E so sleekly, so boldly and with such confidence that it is like one of Nature’s perfectly designed dynamic creatures following its instinct home to where it began. You never expect to hear, without forewarning, that you have lost another dear and treasured member of your chosen, freely embraced famille.
We have written several pages already trying to write a eulogy/obituary. But it read too dry. It turned into being about facts and dates and becomes a fake entry in Wikipedia! That’s not what we are feeling and it’s NOT what we want to give to Sleazy at this horrible moment that shocked everyone so unexpectedly. My dear friend Bee in Bangkok emailed me the news. “Sleazy died in his sleep last night Genny”. What do you say? FUCK! It is the slap of a hand on a wall, the crash of a fist on a kitchen table, it is the utter failure of our words to express a feeling! Your mind slides into turmoil. How? What now? Who knows? …Over and over. Who will take care of him? We imagine Bee, and various of his beloved extended famille that he nurtured, supported and cared so deeply for in Bangkok. Sleazy had built his special paradise there. He died there in his haven, amongst his friends, with his dogs, as gentle and peaceful as death can be for we humans. He went to sleep and never woke up perfecting.
We had the great fortune to visit Sleazy at his previous “compound”. A beautiful place to retreat to in between the hectic, stressful life of “work”. With my friend HannaH we had come from Kathmandhu where we had done a puja for Lady Jaye who passed away in 2007. Sleazy had prepared an air conditioned room. Clean linen. Peace and quiet. Food appeared miraculously, clothes were laundered…we had gin and tonics in his “dipping pool” every day at 4pm and we talked of death and loss. Sometimes he held me gently in his arms as we cried. He spoke of Jjonn and how hard that loss had been. We’d both been through a horror of finding our “Other Half” dying at our feet and both been treated awfully by the cops on the scene. My lifelong friendship with Sleazy deepened even further into an unbreakable bond of love as we relived this together and we have treasured ever since those days in Thailand.
We had, needless to say, always loved Sleazy since those early times when we all found his new “real” name so easily adopted. Of course, all families, even those spawning wreckers of civilization, have their little squabbles and minor issues over the years. What is amazing is that our chosen famille (Chris, Cosey, Sleazy and me) weathered thirty-six years despite being attacked and hammered by international newspapers, TV media, the Legal Establishment, and music, art and other rivals. Despite all our various trials and tribulations, “something special almost magical would happen to TG onstage” as Cosey says. The mysterious chemistry that made TG so unique as a unit. Sleazy was an astounding talent. During his prolific phase with COIL he developed new visionary methods of mixing sound and video in ways akin in their radicalism to Rembrandt’s breakthrough with catching light itself within the oil and pigment. For me it is his deftness and precision with minutely accurate sounds or shadows that made him so worthy of the honoured name “Master”.
Sleazy was a huge part of my life creatively during our 36 year friendship. He joined COUM; was an incalculable part of the process and experiment that was and remains TG.; he followed me into Psychic TV to collaborate in two classic albums with Alex Fergusson, Ken Thomas and myself; with Monte Cazazza he actively brainstormed concepts and attitudes towards the creation of Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth. During that first year or so of T.O.P.Y. a young schoolboy called Geff Rushton turned up at my house in Beck Road Hackney. He wanted an interview about “sex magick”. We called Sleazy and said,”We think YOU will be the perfect person to be interviewed by Geff, will you do it?”, because Sleazy wasn’t keen on interviews much back then. Anyway, Geff went, Sleazy did the interview and “one of them got the job”. This turned out to be Sleazy’s “BIG LOVE” and they both went on to create COIL and be a huge worldwide influence on what became, with the parallel influence of David Tibet (also named during his bootcamp times with PTV and TOPY) known as DARK FOLK etc.
Talking of influences, it was Sleazy who discovered Mr Sebastian in 1980 without who we, and hundreds of TOPY Individuals, PTV fans and readers of the Research Book “Modern Primitives” wouldn’t have been pierced.
Sleazy loved Bangkok and Thailand. He had been visiting regularly for several years before deciding to move there permanently after Jjonn/Geff passed on. While we were spending time in 2009 with him we were pretty sick from the intense emotional stress of our ceremony in Nepal for the reliving and releasing of a beloved. Sleazy became a source of every suture for my heart, loving sustenance for my soul. He nurtured me with words of wise counsel garnered from his own similar and tragic losses. There had been a long sometimes desolate expanse between the seventies and now. But we had both crossed our abyss and we were blessed by Sleazy’s loving nature to be able to accept his gentle embrace and, crying like a child we often are, be able to lovingly say to him, “I HAVE GOT MY FRIEND BACK.” Many times, since then, we have stopped during hard times, confusing times, and we think of Sleazy and how his mastery of light went from cameras to hearts and souls, and that makes me smile and laugh. Which is as he would wish. We loved Sleazy in all he did...
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge nyc, Nov 2010.
Letters From A Tapehead