Born in Manchester, England on May 22nd 1949.
"Real" name: Neil Megson
Genesis P-Orridge has been at the epicenter of the industrial scene for 35 years now and that should earn him some credit, even though many people ask themselves why anyone would want to listen to this often very annoying person. So, even if there are those who would say that the only reason he gets to be around some of the most talented people alive is that he is a good source of quality drugs, you might want to have a look at his history.
In 1969 P-Orridge formed COUM Transmissions in Hull together with his partner Cosey Fanni Tutti. COUM was an experimental improv outfit that almost immediately got the not so friendly attention of the establishment. The outfit created a workshop for independent improv artists in Hull before moving to London after some of the members got arrested.
In 1976 COUM held an exhibition at London's Institute of Contemporary Art. P-Orridge and Cosey together with Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter performed at that exhibition using the name Throbbing Gristle for the first time. Meanwhile, COUM had become a hot topic in Britain and was even discussed in the parliament. P-Orridge was accused for breaking the obscenity laws on many occasions but one of them got more press than the others. After sending out postcards with collages that were considered obscene, P-Orridge was almost thrown in jail. (This is probably the "bogus" case cantsin is referring to above). One of the people supporting P-Orridge in that case was none other than William S. Burroughs, who was living in London at the time.
In 1981 Throbbing Gristle broke up after eleven album releases, several spectacular live performances and the creation of the Industrial Records label. Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti continued as Chris and Cosey while P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson formed Psychic TV together with John Balance.
The 90s was a chaotic decade for P-Orridge. Christopherson and Balance left Psychic TV to concentrate on their own band Coil and left P-Orridge with a continually shifting line-up in his band. This in turn led to his exile from Britain in 1991. A tattoo artist associated with the band was arrested in connection with the infamous Operation Spanner, a crackdown on hard SM gay pornography. The Scotland Yard and a crew from Channel Four were all over P-Orridge and detectives from the Yard raided his house, confiscating much of the material found there. P-Orridge was in Naples, Italy at that time, and decided that it would not be a good idea to return to England, so he moved to California.
The bad luck continued. While staying at producer Rick Rubin's house, P-Orridge was badly injured trying to escape from a fire. He also went through a not-so-clean divorce.
Today, P-Orridge lives with new partner Miss Jackie in New York and together they tour with their band Thee Majesty
Some people who have worked with him call Genesis P-Orridge a self-centered asshole with a set of personal and drug-related problems that make him all but impossible to be around. Still, that hasn't stopped him from recording with Pigface, Download and even Hawkwind. I like to think of him as the Andy Warhol of the industrial scene, and I'm sure he would like that title. Now, if he could only follow Warhol's example and stay in the background so we won't have to listen to his whiny voice on an otherwise perfectly good record again...