On November 25, Peter Christopherson, founding member of Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Coil died in his sleep in Thailand where he was currently living. He died a mere 6 years after his life partner, and partner in Coil, John Balance died. No word on the cause of death at this time.
His influence on music cannot possibly be overstated. With the creation of Throbbing Gristle a whole new genre, industrial, was formed. His influence on the music of the 80’s, 90’s and beyond is huge. Coil were vital to the creation of the techno dance explosion of the late 80’s in Britain, and went on to be pioneers in drone and ambient works as well.
Not only that but Sleazy, as he was affectionately known, was a gifted music video director. He directed Ministry’s iconic video N.W.O., Nine Inch Nails’ Wish and even Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes, among many others.
He was also he partner in the 70’s art design house Hipgnosis, taking part in the creation of album art covers for Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here and Animals) and being the creative director for the first three Peter Gabriel albums, such as this famous one:
My relationship with Coil was a bit stop and start. In the 80’s, when I first discovered industrial music, I bought some early Coil releases up to their album Horse Rotorvator. I didn’t follow them any further than that until I purchased Love’s Secret Domain in the early 90’s, which was probably their most accessible, dancy album.
Again, I went no further until I met my Wife, whose brother was a huge Coil devotee. I borrowed and copied all I could and over the last decade developed a deep appreciation for their work. I now number Coil as one of my most loved and respected bands.
In tribute to Sleazy, I post this incredible Coil video for their cover of Tainted Love, turning the happy-go-lucky diddy into an AIDS referencing dirge. Peter directed the video also, which stars Marc Almond from Soft Cell.
Also, I am posting a song from his most recent project, The Threshhold House Boys Choir.
RIP Peter Christopherson.